South Fremantle Power Station


City of Cockburn

Place Number



Robb St Coogee

Location Details

Formerly Hamilton Hill. Lot 3.

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1946, Constructed from 1951

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 14 Jul 2011
State Register Registered 08 Jun 2021 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Aboriginal Heritage Sites Register Permanent
Municipal Inventory Adopted 10 Apr 2014 Category A

Statement of Significance

South Fremantle Power Station demonstrates the strong expression of a structure specifically designed for an industrial process. South Fremantle Power Station is a good example of an Art Deco industrial structure, being the largest one to be built in Western Australia. South Fremantle Power Station housed the first major power generating equipment in the State specifically designed to generate alternating current at the Australian and British Standard Frequency of 50 Hz.

Physical Description

South Fremantle Power Station is a high-volume, steel framed building, representing a late Art Deco industrial design. The external steel frame is clad in concrete rendered and painted with a predominantly vertical window treatment continuous between levels in the recessed bays between columns. Steel window frames throughout are clear glazed.


Construction of South Fremantle Power Station commenced in 1946. The Minister for Electricity, David Brand, officially opened it in June 1951. South Fremantle Power Station worked in conjunction with the East Perth Power Station to supply the Metropolitan area with power. Much of the machinery in the Power Station was designed and manufactured in England. A major fire occurred at the power station in 1954. Though only structural damage occurred, the fire was the catalyst to the change from coal to oil fuel for the station. During the mid-1970s however, South Fremantle Power Station reverted back to coal. In the 1980s extensions to the Muja Power Station, located near the coal supplies at Collie, led to the closure of both the East Perth and South Fremantle Power Stations. As production of electricity had become uneconomical at these sites, East Perth closed in 1981 and South Fremantle in 1985. Since 1994 the Power Station has had its plant and equipment removed and the workshops, amenities building, canteen and ash pump chamber have been transferred or demolished. A part of the contract for readying the building for any future occupancy was the removal of all asbestos materials. Although a number of proposals have been made for the building, including hotel or marine museum, continued deterioration is the only prospect unless a useful tenancy can be achieved.






Name Type Year From Year To
W.H. Taylor, General Manager of WA Government Electricity Supply Architect 1946 -


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
HCWA assessment form for "South Fremantle Power Station". State Heritage Office

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6641 South Fremantle Power Station : heritage assessment review. Heritage Study {Other} 1997
8519 First light: The development of a State Government Electricity and Gas supply. Part one. Book 0
877 South Fremantle Power Station heritage assessment. Heritage Study {Other} 1994
6304 South Fremantle Power Station. Brochure 0
6303 Souvenir program : closing ceremony : South Fremantle Power Station : September 27th 1985. Brochure 1985
9147 Cockburn Coast: draft district structure plan Book 2008
5832 Port Catherine environmental review summary. Report 2001
2400 Industrial heritage schools competition 1990. Report 1990
10036 The changing Cockburn Coast. Appendices - European Heritage Electronic 2008
9846 East Perth Power Station proposed site redevelopment. A proposal to refurbish and modify a heritage power station complex to create a science and technology centre. Heritage Study {Other} 1997
10272 South Fremantle Power Station: Master Plan Heritage Study {Other} 2014
9101 Cockburn coast: reborn. Report 2008
10273 South Fremantle Power Station: Master Plan Appendices Heritage Study {Other} 2014
9935 Electricity generation, transmission and distribution in Western Australia: representation on the register of heritage places. Report 2007
4948 Market research study of the South Fremantle Power House Project. Report 1998
9148 The changing Cockburn coast: Aborignal and European heritage in the Cockburn region. Heritage Study {Other} 2008
9102 Cockburn coast: regional framework. Report 2008
9529 South Fremantle power station: a heritage dilemma? Journal article 2004
9917 Survey of the Port Coogee development area. Electronic 2006
3703 Integrated coastal management strategy City of Cockburn (draft). Report 1998
553 South Fremantle Power Station : archive photographs. Heritage Study {Other} 1994
3214 Proposal to Purchase the South Fremantle Power Station. Report 1996
4476 Fremantle Studies: journal of the Fremantle History Society. Serial 1999
6640 South Fremantle Power Station : conservation plan. Volumes 1 & 2. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2003

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Power Station

Architectural Styles

Inter-War Art Deco

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall CONCRETE Concrete Block
Roof CONCRETE Concrete Slab

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Immigration, emigration & refugees
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES Water, power, major t'port routes
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Resource exploitation & depletion
OCCUPATIONS Technology & technological change
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

20 Dec 1993

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

18 Dec 2019


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.