Cossack Townsite

The Client
City of Karratha
Project Team
Nerida Moredoundt
Principal Architect - Heritage
Flavia Kiperman
Principal - Heritage
Mike Davis
Associate - Planning
The Project

Precinct Scheme Amendment, Cultural Landscape Management Plan & Conservation Management Plan

Cossack is a heritage listed town established in 1863 as the first port in the north-west of Australia. Today it contains a number of extant buildings, archaeological and Aboriginal sites, all of which have cultural heritage significance in their own right as well as contributing to the heritage significance of Cossack as a whole. The town is located in one of the oldest geological regions in Australia and encompasses Aboriginal prehistoric, British colonial and Asian immigrant adaptations making it a unique and rare cultural landscape. The area is subject to both inundation risk and coastal erosion processes. The City of Karratha had aspirations and a vision to establish Cossack as a tourism drawcard for the region.

Our Role

We prepared a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for Cossack in accordance with Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage guidelines to:

  • Identify, understand and articulate the heritage values of the site and its component parts; and
  • Develop policies to protect and conserve the heritage values of the site and to inform the future planning of tourism focused development.

The CMP was accompanied by a Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) prepared in conjunction with MP Rogers & Associates. It assessed the risk of flooding and coastal erosion into the future and how the site could be managed and adapted to mitigate that risk as far as possible. We identified and mapped the risks of storm surge inundation and coastal erosion and identified appropriate planning adaptation responses that would support the City’s vision of development of temporary tourism and accommodation structures. In addition to this work we prepared a Scheme Amendment to integrate key requirements of the CMP and CHRMAP into the City’s local planning scheme, while also removing previous statutory impediments to development. Because of the high significance of the area as a whole we prepared a Cultural Landscape Management Plan (CLMP) for a holistic understanding and management of the place.


The CLMP, CMP and CHRMAP have provided the City of Karratha with a considered and strategic basis to consider future tourism, heritage and environmental impacts for the site. The work supported discussions with the Heritage Council, the Department of Local Government, and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage.

The Cultural Landscape Management Plan was only the second one of its kind prepared in Western Australia. The first was the Rottnest Island Wadjemup Cultural Landscape Management Plan, also prepared by us.

What We Delivered
  • Conservation Management Plan
  • Coastal Hazard Risk Management & Adaptation Plan
  • Heritage Advice
  • Cultural Landscape Management Plan

Related Projects

Buckland Hill Cultural Management Plan
Ascot Kilns Local Development Plan And Heritage Strategy
One Subiaco - Interpretation Plan and Strategy