Freo's View

HERITAGE MUSICAL CHAIRS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on January 30, 2012

There is an obvious reluctance to look after Fremantle‘s heritage when one looks around and sees the debilitated Henderson Street Warders’ Cottages and the Married Quarters, or Army Barracks cottages at Cantonment Hill. It is a bit like musical chairs with heritage, as those responsible to look after the properties try to get rid of them. The Henderson Street cottage were first offered by State Government to the City of Fremantle, but they don’t want them, and now Housing Minister Troy Buswell is hoping a private organisation will buy and restore them and make good use of them.

At the Army cottages it is the same story, with the Department of Defence offering the houses to the Western Australian government, which of course don”t want them, as they are already trying to get rid off the cottages in Henderson Street.

This is an unacceptable situation and it will see the heritage buildings deteriorate more and more. Governments, be they local, state or federal, can’t keep shirking their responsibility for historically significant buildings, because they are too expensive to maintain, and departments simply put them in the too hard basket and try to leave the care of those important buildings to someone else.

It is not as if Australia has an abundance of heritage buildings, as many were destroyed or allowed to rot away in the past. Our state, federal and local governments need to make heritage maintenance a priority, and not treat it as a pain in the neck!

Roel Loopers

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