Fort Largs in line for national recognition
The National Trust is seeking national recognition for historic Fort Largs at Taperoo, one of the state’s most important military history sites. The Trust has nominated the Fort and the associated World War II buildings for national heritage listing, adding it to the list of more than 100 of the most important heritage places in Australia.
The future of the Fort remains in limbo after plans for the redevelopment of the site appear to have stalled. After announcing a partnership with A V Jennings and the National Trust in June 2016 to create a housing development and restore the Fort as a tourism destination no final plans have been announced by the State Government and there have been no works on the site.
The National Trust submitted a detailed and fully costed proposal to the Government in 2016 to create a heritage tourism destination at Fort Largs. The Government sought cost reductions to the proposal which were submitted in July 2017. Since then there has been no further word on the Government’s plans for the Fort.
National Trust CEO Dr Darren Peacock says, “It is disappointing that the Fort seems to have been placed in the ‘too hard’ basket by the Government. The plans devised by A V Jennings and the Trust struck a good balance between conservation and development and promised significant ongoing employment and tourism benefits for the area. Without any government investment, the Fort continues to languish, the public have no access and we seem further than ever from a solution.”
The Trust is calling on all political parties to seriously consider the future of the site ahead of the state election and to make a commitment to investing in a sustainable future for this remarkable place, which for 130 years was home to thousands of serving military, and police personnel, including Australia’s first women’s army barracks.
“In other states, these forts have seen significant government investment to create thriving tourist attractions such as Fort Denison in Sydney, Fort Nepean in Victoria Fort Scratchley in New South Wales and the Albany Forts in Western Australia. The latter recently won a WA Heritage award and is emerging as a major tourist attraction. This shows what can be achieved with vision and strategic investment, which is what we are offering to bring to Fort Largs.”
“Should the Trust be successful in securing national heritage listing for the Fort, there is more potential for Commonwealth assistance to do the necessary works to restore and conserve it and to make it accessible for future generations.”