Warders’ Cottages to fall victim to Barnett’s budget bungle

Warders’ Cottages to fall victim to Barnett’s budget bungle

Fremantle looks set take a hit in this year’s State budget, with early signs revealing that the Warders’ Cottages may be the first victim of the Government’s financial mismanagement.

Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk said the Liberal National Government looked likely to adopt a plan to renovate and sell off two cottages at a time, raising money for the renovation of the next set of cottages.

“This will be the final chapter in the ongoing saga of neglect at the historical Henderson Street site.

“Privatising Fremantle’s heritage assets is a slap in the face for a community which has valued and appreciated these Cottages,” Ms McGurk said.

Ms McGurk said a recent petition she launched together with the Fremantle Society attracted more than 1,000 signatures, calling for a solution that was realistic on the resources needed for restoration, recognised the historic significance of the cottages and put in place plans for their future use.

“Not only will the Government’s new plan take the heritage icons out of public hands, Henderson Street would become a building site for the next ten years,” Ms McGurk said.

Ms McGurk said a recent meeting scheduled with Housing Minister Bill Marmion was cancelled at the last minute, indicating that the Government had closed the door on finding a compromise.

“I would support the plan for the Government to gift the cottages to the City of Fremantle, on the condition that restoration work commences immediately, and heritage standards are maintained,” Ms McGurk said.

Ms McGurk said given the Barnett Government’s record in Fremantle, she was doubtful the budget would deliver on some of the outstanding promises by the Government, such as the relocation of the Department of Housing to the Freo CBD and the replacement of the outdated traffic bridge.

“I’d also like to see the outrageous funding cuts to education reversed, and our high schools invested in, so that Fremantle schools can once again provide the best education possible for our children,” Ms McGurk said.