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Demolition by neglect to be ancient history under new Heritage Act

Nov 13, 2017
  • Heritage Bill replaces 27-year-old Heritage of Western Australia Act
  • New Act will provide better protection for important heritage places that are left to become run down and at risk from 'demolition by neglect'
  • Stronger penalties for deliberate destruction of registered places

The outdated Heritage Act will soon be replaced with modern, updated legislation to preserve places that tell the story of our State's history and development, with a new Heritage Bill introduced into State Parliament on November 8.

This new legislation will replace the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990 and fulfils the McGowan Government's commitment to deliver much-needed modernisation of heritage legislation.

The Bill retains the strengthened penalties for deliberate destruction of registered places and responds to the community's call for better protection for important heritage places that are left to become run down and at risk from 'demolition by neglect'.

Operationally, the new legislation significantly streamlines the process for entering a place in the State Register and will increase transparency by requiring the publication of the Heritage Council's advice to the Minister for Heritage on inclusion of a place in the State Register.

Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:

"Introducing the Heritage Bill 2017 is a significant step in ensuring heritage legislation is aligned with contemporary community values.

"The new legislation brings forward elements of the current Act that have served the interests of the community well for the last 27 years, while addressing its shortcomings.

"A new Heritage Act will provide Western Australia with legislation that is open, transparent, simple to operate and understand and reflects best practice in the recognition and protection of heritage places."

Comments attributed to Anne Arnold, Heritage Council of Western Australia chairperson:

"This Heritage Bill has been developed through three rounds of stakeholder and community consultation, and by drawing on the Heritage Council's experience in administering the legislation designed to protect Western Australia's most important heritage places.

"It sets out simpler and less time-consuming processes to assess cultural significance using nationally accepted criteria. It also provides more certainty and predictability for owners, decision-makers and the community when development of State-registered places is proposed."


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