An urgent works program to conserve the World Heritage Listed Fremantle Prison has begun through an immediate cash injection of $3.5 million by the McGowan Government.
The funds have been secured partially through the redirection of the 2019-20 Heritage Grants program, which will be unavailable during the 2019-20 financial year.
Initial works will see the cells within the main cell block repaired by local Aboriginal business Thuroona Services at a cost of $1 million.
Fremantle Prison is one of the 11 member sites of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Currently, the Federal Government funds Australia's natural World Heritage properties; however, there is no ongoing funding for built World Heritage properties, including Fremantle Prison.
Heritage Minister David Templeman has called on the Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley to at least match the State Government's contribution to assist with the works in recognition of the prison's World Heritage status.
Mr Templeman made the comments while launching the Fremantle Prison Master Plan 2019‑2029 and invited the public to comment on the proposals in the plan.
The Fremantle Prison Master Plan 2019-2029 looks to the assets' future activation and recommends a 'Sound and Light' show and 'Night in Prison' immersive experience to increase the prison's appeal to the growing demand for heritage tourism and iconic attractions.
Independent analysis concludes the combined impact of these initiatives would see approximately 45,000 additional visitors per year, generating $5.3 million per annum, and supporting nearly 50 additional jobs in Fremantle.
Increased revenue from tours and new experiences on site will also improve the long-term self-sufficiency of Fremantle Prison.
The Fremantle Prison Master Plan 2019-2029 is open for public comment until November 3 and is available at https://consultation.dplh.wa.gov.au/.
Read the full media statement.