Image courtesy of the City of Vincent Local History Centre

The Mount Lawley Society, a local heritage group whose focus is to preserve the heritage of Inglewood, Mt Lawley and Menora, has written to its members to advise them that they’ll be preparing a submission and working with other stakeholders “to fight to stay within the City of Stirling”.

Whilst much of the focus and front pages in the local news has been dominated by the splitting of Beaufort Street, the society believes another significant local amalgamation issue, that of the threat to the Inglewood, Mt Lawley and Menora Heritage Protection Areas, has all but been ignored.  Indeed, many of the affected residents living in Inglewood, Mt Lawley and Menora appear to be unaware of the proposal to shift them out of the City of Stirling to the newly amalgamated Bayswater/Bassendean super Council.  Even the City of Bayswater seems to be playing down the change, stating on it’s website that:

The new local government that emerges, which centres on Morley as its strategic heart, will also include an additional area west of the City of Bayswater to Alexander Drive and the whole of Noranda.

So Noranda gets a mention but Inglewood, Mt Lawley and the relevant parts of Menora and Dianella are lumped into “additional areas” – not a comforting start.

Under the City of Stirling, Inglewood, Mt Lawley and Menora have designated Heritage Protection Area (HPA) status, related to which are  Character Retention Guidelines, designed to preserve the unique heritage identity of each suburb.  Last year, the City won the  State’s peak heritage award for this work.  The Society says that:

The HPA concept and Guidelines have evolved and been finessed over a long period of time and have successfully stopped the demolition of heritage properties, which continues unabated in neighbouring jurisdictions.  We note that there is no equivalent HPA regime in the City of Bayswater, or even in any other Council.

In a article on Page 5 of the Guardian this week Bayswater Mayor Terry Kenyon is cited as saying that the City has experience in managing heritage precincts, a heritage committee and funds for restoration projects.  The Guardian also quotes the Mayor as saying “The area will remain well protected, it won’t change as far as the City is concerned”.

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And the City of Stirling’s view? Mayor David Boothman is quoted in the same article as saying he didn’t support the boundary change and that it was an “item of major concern for our Inglewood and Lawley ward councillors”.

It seems that there’s much more news and activity to come on local boundary reform.

If you’re concerned about the protection of our heritage suburbs and would like to know more about the Mount Lawley Society’s position and efforts you can email the President, Bruce Wooldridge, at [email protected]. You could also register your concerns with your local Councillor or State MLA, Michael Sutherland (Mt Lawley, Menora and Inglewood as far as Eighth Ave) or Lisa Baker (rest of Inglewood).

What do you think of the proposed changes?  Do you see a threat to our local heritage precincts? Do you think these suburbs should stay with Stirling? Or do you welcome the idea of them moving to Bayswater/Bassendean? Respectful and considered comments welcome 🙂