- Mingenew Police Group has been included in the State Register of Heritage Places
- Buildings from different eras illustrate how policing has changed since the 1890s
A regional police complex that has been serving the community for more than 120 years has been added to the State Register of Heritage Places.
The Mingenew Police Group comprises buildings constructed in 1897 and 1964, covering two important stages of Western Australia’s development, illustrating changing police practices.
The 1897 former Police Station and Residence was built during the gold boom when police were on duty 24/7 and responsible for a multitude of tasks including first aid, locating debtors, inspecting timber reserves and managing immigration.
The station’s two-cell stone lock-up was built a year later, meaning prisoners no longer needed to be chained to a tree to await the arrival of the visiting magistrate – a common practice in the regions during those times.
In 1964, during a significant government building program in response to the mineral boom, a new police station with court facilities was built, with the older police station and residence being allocated to accommodation.
The original lock-up continued to be used to house prisoners until 1980 despite being in poor condition, open to the public gaze and a security risk. It was demolished in 1981 while the 1964 court facility remained in operation until 2015.
The 1897 building was included in the State Register in 1992 – the only place in Mingenew to be afforded this honour. The registration has now been expanded to include the 1964 building.
The 1964 station was designed by notable Modernist architect Raymond Jones who was also the principal architect for the City of Fremantle, the Commonwealth Bank and the Royal Automobile Club.
As noted by Heritage Minister David Templeman:
“The original 1897 police station has survived thanks to the efforts of the Mingenew Historical Society who campaigned for its retention in the 1970s and 80s.
“Extending the listing’s boundary to include the 1964 police station provides a more complete picture of how regional law enforcement has changed over more than 120 years.
“State Records holds the original coloured plans for the 1897 police station which are thought to be the oldest drawing on record from the region.”
As noted by Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
“I welcome the inclusion of these buildings on the State’s Heritage Register.
“Our Police Force has been keeping us safe since the 1830s.
“This is fitting recognition of the deep roots the Western Australian Police Force has in the community.
“It’s important that long history is recognised through the listing and conservation of these buildings.”