The owners of places on the State register are obliged to observe the requirements of the Heritage of Western Australia Act 1990 (and subsequent amendments), into which the Register is incorporated.

Any proposals concerning the precinct must be referred to the Heritage Council of Western Australia (HCWA).

The following statement of significance has been provided by the HCWA from the State Register of Heritage Places (No. 1014).  It is consistent with J.S. Kerr's Statement of Significance contained in ‘Fremantle Prison: a policy for its conservation' (1998).  Fremantle Prison has exceptional cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:

  • it contains major evidence of the physical apparatus of an imperial convict public works establishment and of its adaption for subsequent colonial use;
  • the establishment is the most intact such complex in Australia;
  • the prison is the outstanding symbol of the period in which Western Australia was developing using convict labour;
  • it is a memorial to the design and supervision of the royal engineers including Joshua Jebb (Surveyor General of {English} Prisons), Edmund Henderson (Comptroller General of Convicts), Henry Wray (Acting Comptroller General), J Manning (Clerk of Works in the Royal Engineer office) and to the work of the sappers and miners, artisan pensioners and the prisoners;
  • the association of the persons who left their mark on its fabric or made an impact on its discipline and reputation; in particular the governors, Charles Fitzgerald and John Stephen Hampton; and, superintendents H M Lefroy, J F Stone, W A George and H Hann; as well as the prisoners;
  • the prison in its present form also demonstrates with some precision the facilities, conditions and attitudes prevailing in a major Western Australia prison - an experience rarely available to the public and made more immediate by the retention of graffiti, murals, signs, notices and recent evidence of use; and,
  • the austere and monumental quality of the longest and tallest cell range in Australia set in a precinct characterised by a homogeneity of form, materials, texture and colour make it a landmark feature of Fremantle.

Click here to view the details of the Heritage Council Permanent Entry.