Bringing the bulldozers in at the dead of night to knock over heritage homes in WA suburbs – a recent demolition on a restored home in Claremont springs to mind – has become just that bit tougher, thanks to heftier penalties introduced on Wednesday in State Parliament. Until recently the previous maximum penalty was a paltry $5,000, although in 2005 an additional penalty of $50,000 was imposed by the Planning and Development Act. Considering many new developments cost several millions and more, even $55,000 is a small added expense to pay for demolition.
John Castrilli, Minister for Heritage (among other portfolios) has just introduced legislation to the Legislative Assembly to increase penalties by up to $1million for illegally demolishing or damaging State-registered heritage properties. The legislation, which was approved by the Assembly, now only requires approval from the Legislative Council to be enacted.
In a recent ministerial media release (24/11) Mr Castrilli said, “the amendments would ensure meaningful protection for heritage properties ensuring their retention for current and future generations of West Australians.”
There is some encouraging news in Thurday’s (11/11/2010) “Australian” newspapers “Prime Space Section (Page 33) regarding the financial fragility of the ING Property Trusts, which may compromise their continuance of their Victoria Quay involvement.
Nevertheless, there may well be other “suitors” waiting in the wings to take over the proposal, and the people of Fremantle need to continue to be alert and ever mindful as to the possibility of other property developers taking over the development (most likely at a discounted price) and continue their efforts to debase and erode Fremantle’s Victoria Quay-side heritage.
A few weeks ago, it seemed that no-one was going to put their name forward for election as President of the Fremantle Society for 2011 and beyond. Now, with nominations to close in a few days, two Society members have indicated they are going to stand for the position. If this occurs, it will be the first time there has been an election for the post in the Society’s 40 year history.
I think that’s great, as it indicates there is a high and growing level of interest in the recently ‘re-badged’ Society.
Watch this space for an official announcement after nominations close on November 22nd!
*Ian has been President of the Society since 2007, but is not standing for re-election
The Fremantle Society will be holding its AGM in a few weeks, on Monday December 6th, 7 for 730pm at the University of Notre Dame Santa Maria Lecture Theatre, 19 Mouat Street Fremantle.
We hope as many Society members as possible will attend. Non-members are also encouraged to attend — you join up on the night for just $20 annual sub, $25 family and $10 concession — there is a proposal to increase the subs for 2011, but if you join before or at the AGM, $20 is all you need pay!
Our guest speaker is Dr Carmen Lawrence, well known for her past and dedicated political contributions to WA and especially to Fremantle. Recently, Carmen was appointed Chair of the Australian Heritage Council, the Federal body responsible for heritage. In this role, Carmen will be addressing the topic “Why List the West Kimberley?” Given recent public debate on the future of this area, it is a timely topic.
The Election of a new Committee will also take place at the AGM. Nominations close on November 22nd and nomination papers will be mailed out to members — you are encouraged to nominate, whether it be for Committee (9 members required), for President (Ian Alexander is stepping down after 4 years in the post) or Secretary (Ruth Belben is not re-nominating for that position).
If you are interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org