Focus on creating more jobs in Armadale and Gosnells as data reveals three quarters of residents travel outside area for work

Forrestdale Business Park. Picture: Jon Hewson d480195
Forrestdale Business Park. Picture: Jon Hewson d480195

ARMADALE and Gosnells are areas hundreds of thousands have chosen to call home, but up to three quarters of those residents have to travel elsewhere to work.

According to the 2016 census, 71.2 per cent of Armadale’s 79,602 residents travelled outside of the area to work, while in Gosnells that number was even higher at 75.7 per cent of its 118,000 residents.

It is a statistic both local governments are looking to combat through the construction of industrial parks and the creation of more local jobs.

The Forrestdale Business Park (FBP) already houses more than 107 businesses and 1300 employees, but Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said as many as 15,000 people could be working at the park once it is completed.

However he said they were realistic it would be impossible to achieve a figure of 100 per cent of locals working locally.

“Our primary target is more jobs/employment investment in the City Centre, Forrestdale Business Park and future Rowley Rd precinct, however we will never reach 100 per cent employment self-sufficiency and therefore our next priority is the infrastructure, road and public transport, to get people to jobs efficiently,” he said.

“Attracting investment and businesses to FBP is imperative just to maintain our existing 50 per cent Employment Self Sufficiency level of one job per two employed residents, but given that nine people a day move into the City of Armadale, people are moving into Armadale faster than jobs can be created in the region.

“We will be advocating that the WA Planning Commission’s aspirational target of 60 per cent (locals working locally) at 2050 could be increased if Armadale’s City Centre Structure Plan is successful.

“This will be a long hard road and as long as our population continues to grow, it will be difficult for jobs to catch up.”

Gosnells Mayor Glenn Dewhurst said the City was working on a number of initiatives to boost employment opportunities in the area.

“At a planning level, the City has worked successfully to rezone land within the Maddington Kenwick Strategic Employment Area from rural to industrial to pave the way for major business investment,” he said.

“This area is predicted to generate more than 30,000 jobs and grow the local economy by almost $20 billion.

“Plans are also in place to develop the Southern River Business Park, which will create further employment prospects with zoning to accommodate light industry, warehouse and commercial business properties.”

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