Cowan home listing backed

PERTH city council’s planning committee has backed the heritage listing of Edith Cowan’s 130-year old home by WA’s heritage council.

Heritage minister Albert Jacob moved to protect the house in September after plans were submitted by owners Francesco and Carlo Cardaci to replace it with a $100 million, seven-storey hotel. After intense lobbying, including from the vice-chancellor of Edith Cowan University, Steve Chapman, it was placed on the state’s interim list.

The council’s acting planning director Erica Barrenger told this week’s planning committee the development application which triggered the assessment has subsequently been withdrawn.

• Edith Cowan lived in this house on 31 Malcolm Street, West Perth between 1893 and 1919. 

• Edith Cowan lived in this house on 31 Malcolm Street, West Perth between 1893 and 1919.

Struck off

Edith Cowan graces the Australian $50 note and was the first woman in an Australian parliament, but her family home didn’t cut the mustard for former Liberal planning minister Graham Kierath, who struck it from the heritage list in August 2000, although it was included on a list for future listing.

But the heritage council says the Victorian rustic gothic building has all the criteria to qualify it as culturally significant to Western Australia.

“This is an important listing because the house provided Edith Cowan with a central base during the most important period of her work in welfare, education and social justice from 1911 to 1919,” Mr Jacob said.

Perth council did have a chance to heritage list the house back in 2006, but decided not to following objections from the Cardacis.

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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