Proposed disposal of land - 1 Surrey Street, Bassendean (Closed)

In the late 1980s, the property at 1 Surrey Street was offered for sale and ultimately purchased by the Town of Bassendean with a view to preserving an important part of the history of the local area, with the site being home to the Pensioner Guard Cottage and the adjacent residence. The site is recognised by its inclusion on the Town’s Heritage List, the register of the National Trust of Western Australia and the State Register of Heritage Places. Those listings offer statutory protections about what can happen to the site.

Between 2015 and 2020, the Bassendean Council progressed a proposal for restoration of the historic buildings and repurposing the 1 Surrey Street residence; including an extension for use as a Family and Children’s Services Facility and new community space. The public tender process to appoint a contractor to undertake the works resulted in all tender responses significantly exceeding the cost estimates and budget for the project. In July 2020 Council therefore made the difficult decision of declining to award the tender due to the substantial financial burden it would have imposed on the local rate-paying community.

It is important that the Town's significant Noongar history and more recent Colonial history are acknowledged and shared. Council and the community value the local heritage and recognise that it forms an important part of the local identify. Council therefore remains committed to sharing and preserving its history; which is evidenced by it being a key focus area in the newly adopted Strategic Community Plan. That context informed Council’s November 2020 consideration of the future ownership, development and use of the property. At that meeting, Council was presented with various options for the site and decided to seek Expressions of Interest for the acquisition of the site from interested parties that could demonstrate the capability and commitment to restore the historic buildings while providing genuine community benefit. That decision recognised the cost of the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the buildings to the Town’s rate-payers as well as the value that Council and the community places on the historic site and was considered the best option and one that reflected Council’s commitment to ensuring heritage locations and buildings of historical value within the Town are recognised and cared for. Ultimately, whilst Council decided to pursue disposal of the site, it was on the basis of ensuring the best outcome for the heritage site, whilst also reducing the financial impost on the local rate-paying community and enabling community access.

Following an extensive campaign to promote the opportunity, the Town received two submissions. In May 2021, Council resolved to seek to dispose of the property to Museum of Perth; a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2015 that chronicles the social, cultural, political and architectural history of Perth. ( The Museum of Perth intends to restore the Residence over a number of years, by committing at least $50,000 per year in addition to any funding that may be able to be sourced from grants or other sources. It intends to ultimately use the site as a research office and exhibition space, accommodating staff, volunteers and visitors. Further information is available on the Museum of Perth website.

Sale price: $1 (one dollar)
Conditions of sale: The purchaser shall enter into a deed of agreement with the Town of Bassendean, requiring the purchaser, to the satisfaction of the Town, to (i) provide, as a minimum, community access to the Pensioner Guard Cottage on a monthly basis and (ii) undertake restoration of the existing Residence over a period of up to four years, in accordance with the staged implementation plan provided by the purchaser to the seller dated May 2021 and as contained in its expression of interest submission. The deed of agreement is to be secured by an absolute caveat; registered upon the Certificate of Title at settlement.

Submissions should be lodged via [email protected]. Written submissions should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Town of Bassendean, PO Box 87, Bassendean WA 6934. Please note, comments made via Facebook and other social media channels are not considered formal submissions for the purposes of this process.

Submissions close 5.00pm, Monday 5 July 2021.

Any submissions received will be considered as part of the determination process and your submission will be publicly available in the Council Agenda.

Project Timeline
  • Community Feedback

    Seeking community feedback on the proposed disposal
  • Formal Consideration by Council

    Any community feedback received in the submission period will be considered as part of the determination process with submissions publicly available in the Council Agenda.