Western Australia

WA Government announces new direction for State heritage

WEST Australian Heritage Minister John Castrilli has announced a new direction for State heritage, with changes designed to cut red tape and introduce greater transparency.

Mr Castrilli last week said owners of State Registered places would no longer be required by law to seek Heritage Council advice on maintenance and minor works to their properties.

"This will allow owners to get on with the job of looking after their heritage places without unnecessary paperwork and delay," he said.

A new website has also been launched to provide easy access to information for owners and other stakeholders and to highlight outstanding examples of conservation and adaptation of heritage buildings.

The Minister said the announcement to cut red tape coincided with the Heritage Council and the State Heritage Office move to the restored Bairds Building in Wellington Street, Perth.

The Office of Heritage has been renamed the State Heritage Office to reflect its role as a branch of State Government supporting the Heritage Council.

Mr Castrilli said the government had already shown its strong commitment to heritage through its adoption of Western Australia's first State Cultural Heritage Policy, increased penalties for illegal demolition of heritage places and the review of the Heritage Act.

"These changes are necessary to meet the growing challenges of conserving and promoting the sensitive development of heritage places during this period of rapid change and population growth," he said.

According to the government, other initiatives to be unveiled this year include a 'one-stop-shop' for State and local heritage inventories and lists, and a new directory of heritage specialists to assist owners to find the help they need to conserve and adapt places.

The new State Heritage Office website is available at <http://www.stateheritage.wa.gov.au>.

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