Why do we designate places as having heritage value?

    Heritage is important in understanding the story of an area – its history, identity and diversity, and how it has shaped us and our world today. Heritage is diverse and consists of places such as buildings, monuments, gardens, cemeteries, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites. As a community, we share the responsibility to identify and protect what is important and pass on these places to future generations, so they will understand what came before them.

    What is the Local Heritage Survey?

    The Local Heritage Survey (formerly the Municipal Heritage Inventory) is a database of heritage places in the City of Fremantle, which have been assessed for their aesthetic, historic, social or scientific value. It contains an invaluable collection of heritage information for more than 5000 places across the local government area and a record of each place can be found in the inHerit database, which is managed by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

    The purposes of a Local Heritage Survey are to:

    • Identify and record places that are, or may become, of cultural heritage significance in the district.
    • Assist the City in making and implementing decisions that are in harmony with cultural heritage values.
    • Provide a cultural and historical record of the district.
    • Provide an accessible public record of places of cultural heritage significance to the district.
    • Assist the local government in preparing a heritage list or list of heritage areas under a local planning scheme.

    It does not, by itself, have any legal implications for the protection and development of places.


    What is a heritage area?

    A heritage area is a collection of places with shared cultural heritage significance, such as the West End or Hilton Garden Suburb. Heritage areas are recognised in the Local Planning Scheme and policies can be adopted for a heritage area to conserve and enhance the streetscape, key heritage features, notable character etc. There are currently 26 heritage areas across the City of Fremantle.

    What are Aboriginal Heritage sites and heritage places?

    An Aboriginal Heritage site or place is one that is of cultural heritage significance to persons of Aboriginal descent, or is associated with the Aboriginal people and is considered to be of importance and significance to the cultural heritage of the State. These places are administered by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, in accordance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

    What types of heritage listings exist?

    There are several different types of heritage listing which can apply to a place, from world heritage through national and state listing, down to local listing. The implications of each listing type are different, due to the relative cultural heritage value of a place.

    What is the UNESCO World Heritage List?

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List was established for the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.  This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.  Fremantle Prison is the only UNESCO World Heritage listed place within the City of Fremantle and one of only four listed places in Western Australia.  It is listed as one of eleven Australian Convict Sites, which present the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.

    What is the National Heritage List?

    The National Heritage List is Australia’s list of natural, historic and Indigenous places of outstanding significance to the nation.  The National Heritage List is an instrument of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and is administered by the federal Department of Environment.  Again, Fremantle Prison is the only nationally listed heritage place within the City of Fremantle.

    What is the State Register of Heritage Places?

    The State Register of Heritage Places is a list of places that represent the story of Western Australia’s history and development, administered by the Heritage Council of Western Australia. Places in the State Register include buildings, structures, gardens, cemeteries, memorials, landscapes and archaeological sites.

    Entry in the Register is reserved for places of State cultural heritage significance and is the highest recognition afforded at the State level. Heritage places are entered in the State Register after an assessment and registration process which includes extensive consultation with owners, local governments and other stakeholders.

    What is the Local Planning Scheme Heritage List?

    The City’s Local Planning Scheme No. 4 requires that the City compile a list of individual properties that are of cultural heritage significance to Fremantle and worthy of conservation. There are currently 2500 heritage listed places within the City. The list only contains the property description and address; however, further information on each place can be found in the inHerit database, which is maintained by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

    What does it mean if my property is heritage listed?

    If your property is heritage listed or within a heritage area, it does not mean that development is prohibited. It is a common misconception that if a place is included on the State Register of Heritage Places, Local Planning Scheme Heritage List or in a heritage area, then that place cannot be altered in any way. This is not the case. The City of Fremantle recognises that the best way to protect heritage places is to have them occupied and in use. This means that development of heritage places to accommodate contemporary requirements and uses is encouraged, provided that it is done in a sensitive manner.

    Development proposals for heritage places are assessed on the standard planning requirements and their impact on the heritage significance of the place. Development that respects and is sympathetic to the heritage value of the place is supported by the City.

    What is draft Local Planning Policy 1.6 – Heritage Assessment & Protection and what would it do?

    Draft Local Planning Policy 1.6 – Heritage Assessment & Protection is an update and combination of two existing local planning policies; LPP1.6 – Heritage Assessment and D.B.H9 – Procedures for the Recording & Assessment of Places of Heritage Value.  It is intended to facilitate a transparent, consistent and robust approach to heritage protection.  It outlines the guiding principles that the City applies to the management of heritage and the criteria and method applied to heritage assessment and Local Heritage Survey categories.  It also defines how the City manages requests to review heritage listing and when and how heritage assessments and heritage impact statements will be required.

    What is draft Local Planning Policy 3.6 – Heritage Areas and what would it do?

    The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 require that all adopted heritage areas are accompanied by a local planning policy that contains a statement of significance and associated mapping.

    Draft Local Planning Policy 3.6 – Heritage Areas has been created to meet the requirements of the regulations by mapping and consolidating the statements of significance for the 17 heritage areas that it is proposed to retain, and to provide broad guidance for development where no specific policy has been prepared.  It is intended that this policy be an evolving document, which would be refined and have further area-specific detail added as parts of the City are reviewed in further detail.

    The draft policy contains:

    • A definition of areas and statements of significance for each.
    • An explanation of contributory places, and how these are determined where not pre-mapped.
    • Development guidance (for areas not subject to their own specific policy), addressing:
    1. Conservation
    2. Subdivision and amalgamation
    3. Changes of use
    4. Demolition
    5. Additions and alterations
    6. Infill development
    7. Garages and carports
    8. Ancillary structures and external fixtures
    9. Street fencing.
    • Explanatory definitions and supporting figures to illustrate some of the key policy principles, including the siting and form of additions and alterations to established places.

    Which heritage areas would be covered by Draft Local Planning Policy 3.6 – Heritage Areas?

    The draft policy would apply to:

    • Arthur Head Conservation Area Precinct
    • Cantonment Hill and Victoria Barracks Precinct
    • Central Fremantle Heritage Area
    • Convict Establishment Precinct
    • Fremantle Museum and Arts Centre
    • Fothergill Street Precinct
    • Holland/Forrest Street Heritage Area
    • Howard Street Precinct
    • Inner Harbour Conservation Area
    • Memorial Reserve Precinct
    • North Fremantle Precinct
    • Ord and Bateman Street Precinct
    • Ord Street Precinct (bounded by Stirling, Knutsford, High, Loukes & Ellen Streets)
    • South Fremantle Precinct
    • Victoria Quay Precinct

    Hilton Garden Suburb and the West End are already subject to their own area-specific policies.

    As part of the review, it is proposed to revoke several existing areas because they are either individual heritage listed places (not areas), and/or they are already subject to separate, generally stronger protection elsewhere.  These changes are simply a rationalisation of early work to bring it into line with contemporary standards and legislation, not a rolling back or ‘watering down’ of protection.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Convict Establishment Heritage Area (Prison Tunnels)?

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Indian Ocean Heritage Area?

    • The Indian Ocean Heritage Area covers physical and environmental features which are outside the boundaries of the City of Fremantle, and do not fall within the area of Local Planning Scheme No. 4.
    • There are numerous historical features of the Indian Ocean, such as shipwrecks, which are protected by state/federal/international legislation and well beyond the scope or effectiveness of a local heritage area.  An example of such legislation is the Australian Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018.
    • The Indian Ocean is recognised for its significance to Aboriginal people under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972; however, it is not an individually registered site, unlike the Swan River for example.
    • Recognition of the history and social significance of the of the area through its retention on the Local Heritage Survey (see inHerit) as a non-statutory heritage precinct is recommended.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the John Curtin College of the Arts Heritage Area?

    • The John Curtin College of the Arts Heritage Area relates to a single site and so does not qualify as an ‘area’ under State Planning Policy 3.5 – Historic Heritage Conservation.
    • The place is listed on the State Register of Heritage Places and Local Planning Scheme Heritage List and thus has already has a high degree of statutory protection.
    • The place’s status as a heritage area is not required as unlike Fremantle Arts Centre, there is not a wider associated area to consider and review.
    • The buildings are vested in the State Government with direct responsibility for and control of ongoing care and maintenance.
    • Retention of the place on the Local Heritage Survey (see inHerit) and on the Local Planning Scheme Heritage List is recommended.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Law and Order Precinct Heritage Area?

    • The Law and Order Precinct Heritage Area overlaps with both the Convict Establishment Heritage Area and the West End Conservation Area, both of which include Fremantle Prison and Fremantle Oval in consolidated precincts.  It is proposed to retain these areas as part of this review.
    • All buildings within this Heritage Area are listed on the State Register of Heritage Places (see inHerit) and Local Planning Scheme Heritage List and thus have a high degree of statutory protection.
    • There is no statement of significance for this heritage area; however, state listings incorporate a statement of significance for individual sites, and a statement exists for the broader Convict Establishment.
    • Retention of individual places on the Local Heritage Survey (see inHerit) and on the Local Planning Scheme Heritage List is recommended.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Lilly Street Precinct Heritage Area?

    The Lilly Street Precinct Heritage Area is located entirely within the South Fremantle Precinct Heritage Area, which it is proposed to retain as part of this review. There is no added benefit to include a single street as its own heritage area and its removal would reduce confusion and aid in future reviews of the South Fremantle Precinct Heritage Area.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Monument Hill and War Memorials, Fremantle Heritage Area?

    • The Memorial Hill and the War Memorials are listed on the State Register of Heritage Places and thus already have a high degree of statutory protection.
    • The state heritage listing contains individual statements of significance for the various contributory elements of the place.
    • This place also features within the Memorial Reserve Precinct Heritage Area, which includes the Memorial Reserve as well as the surrounding residential dwellings (its curtilage).  It is proposed to retain the Memorial Reserve Precinct Heritage Area as part of this review.
    • Retention of individual places on the Local Heritage Survey (see inHerit) and on the Local Planning Scheme Heritage List is recommended.

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Princess May Reserve Heritage Area?

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Swan River Heritage Area?

    Why is it proposed to revoke the Victoria Pavilion (Fremantle Oval) Heritage Area?

    • The Victoria Pavilion (Fremantle Oval) Heritage Area is listed on the State Register of Heritage Places and Local Planning Scheme Heritage List and thus already has a high degree of statutory protection.
    • The place also features within the Convict Establishment Heritage Area.  This area includes the Victoria Pavilion as well as the surrounding sites within a consolidated heritage area.  It is proposed to retain the Convict Establishment Heritage Area as part of this review.
    • Retention of the place on the Local Heritage Survey (see inHerit) and on the Local Planning Scheme Heritage List is recommended.