Public Input Sought on the Concept Plan For the Future of Cossack

The State Government’s Department of Housing and Works, the Heritage Council of WA and the Shire of Roebourne have commissioned Palassis Architects to investigate a range of issues affecting the future of the historic settlement of Cossack.

Palassis Architects are working with local and national experts on an eventual draft master plan, which will have considered comments and suggestions from people in Western Australia, and from national and international sources.

The investigations to date have resulted in the development of a concept plan, an integrated framework that will guide future use at Cossack. Heritage, archaeological significance, tourism and provision of essential services are key components of the plan, the aim of which is to identify a sustainable future for the historic precinct.

We are now inviting members of the public to consider the plan. Click here to download the Cossack Concept Plan Report [6.7Mb].

The concept plan includes proposals for:

  • A Heritage Precinct - to provide a mix of art/cultural/tourism/interpretation uses;
  • A Commercial Zone - to reinforce the Heritage Precinct;
  • Residential/Tourist Nodes - to house a limited number of carefully placed lots;
  • Tourist Node - to provide 100 bed tourist accommodation, restaurant and guest services with room for expansion;
  • Parkland - to protect and enhance Cossack’s unique values; and
  • Improved access and amenities, including:
    • new parking area for visitor and tourist buses
    • restricted vehicular access to river-front road
    • new pedestrian access paths reinforcing the historic precinct
    • new entry road and parking to tourist accommodation
    • new relocated boat ramp.
  • Map PDF to go here?

Click here to download the Cossack Concept Plan Map [400Kb].


You Can Help Us Plan a Sustainable Future For Cossack

You can contribute your views about the concept plan for Cossack in a number of ways:

  • Comments can be made via email.
  • Phone Helen on 0411 722 613; or fax 9388 1440
  • Write to Palassis Architects, 353 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco WA 6008

Presentations about the concept plan are planned for you to find out about and make suggestions or comment. Details are:

  • Roebourne Community Hall
    Saturday 2 December 10.00 am
  • Also on Saturday 2 December between 10am and 2.30pm, project team members will be at the display in the Centro Karratha Shopping Centre, to answer queries and hear your thoughts.
  • Alexander Library conference room, Perth
    Monday 4 December from 2pm – 4.30pm
  • Alexander Library conference room, Perth
    Thursday 14 December from 5.30pm – 8.00pm.

So that we can ensure that we cater for all attendees at these presentations, a booking is important. You can book by phoning/SMS Shontay 040 744 8391 or Helen 0411 722 613, or emailing helenjgr@iinet.net.au.

The consultation period will close on 5 January 2007.


Cossack’s Colourful History

Established in 1863 at the mouth of the Harding River near Roebourne. Cossack was once a thriving community servicing the pastoral and pearling industries.

Originally known as Tien Tsin harbour, the name was changed in 1871 to Cossack in honour of the ship that carried the Western Australian Governor Sir Frederick Weld to the area.

Pearl divers from Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia were first attracted to the area in 1866 and by the 1870s more than 80 boats were operating out of the port.

The townsite was officially declared in 1872. Such was its commercial importance that by 1887 a horse drawn tramway connected Cossack port with the township of Roebourne.

The town was abandoned after World War II following unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate the local pearling industry.

For decades the heritage buildings deteriorated into ruins until new funding permitted restoration work to be undertaken.


Land at Cossack

The State Government’s primary focus is continuing the restoration of the old buildings and providing essential services for families and tourists at Cossack.

During the popular events held in Cossack, Karratha, Roebourne, and Perth during 2006 as part of the development of a proposed new future for the town, it became apparent that the current cadastral layout for the town, developed in 1866, is well past its use-by date.

Planning for the future therefore needs to take into account the values and qualities as well as opportunities for this unique place. The proposed way forward for Cossack identified in the concept plan is a marked change from its past.

The path has been carefully crafted to provide a sustainable future and offer a wealth of opportunities for local, state, national and international people to visit or stay in this special place in the Pilbara, which, was heard overwhelmingly during the consultations, needs to be handled with care.