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Review of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990

The review of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990 (1990 Act) involved two phases of community consultation in 2011 and a third in 2015.  The Review aimed to ensure that any changes to legislation lead to an Act that is: 

  • Open
  • Transparent
  • Simple to operate and understand
  • Able to reflect best practice in the recognition and protection of heritage places.

The first phase of the review involved the release of the Consultation Paper and sought views on the effectiveness of the 1990 Act and what a contemporary heritage act should look like.  Through a series of stakeholder meetings and formal submissions, the general consensus was that the 1990 Act, which had its origins in the 1970s and 80s, was out-dated and inadequate.  It was characterised by a lack of clarity, cumbersome and inefficient processes, difficulties in interpreting the legislation and perceptions of its effectiveness.

 This feedback from the first phase assisted in the development of the Discussion Paper for phase two of the review. The Discussion Paper outlined a series of proposals that might form the basis of a new heritage Act. Further stakeholder meetings were held and formal submissions invited. In addition, five workshops, including one in Bunbury, were held for heritage owners and community groups, heritage professionals, State Government heritage property owners and local government authorities.

Feedback received from the phase two Discussion Paper assisted in the preparation of the Heritage Bill 2015 (Exposure Draft). The 2015 Bill reflected the findings of the two rounds of public consultation undertaken on behalf of the Heritage Council, and it was published for stakeholder and community consultation. Feedback on the 2015 Bill informed the final version of the new legislation (known as Heritage Bill 2016).

The Heritage Bill 2016 was introduced in Parliament by the previous government, but a change in state government in early 2017 saw the legislative process recommence under the McGowan Labor Government.

Heritage Minister David Templeman introduced the Heritage Bill 2017 in Parliament in November 2017. Read the Minister's speech introducing the bill here. On 12 September 2018, Parliament passed the Heritage Bill 2017, effectively giving Western Australia a new heritage Act (to be known as Heritage Act 2018).


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