Cockburn authorities are predicting plenty of changes for the city and in June adopted several documents to guide growth over the coming years.
Notable among these was the 2016 to 2026 Strategic Community Plan (SCP), considered in conjunction with other supporting papers.
Put simply, Cockburn is expected to grow significantly.
The city’s population is forecast to increase from 110,300 people in 2016 to 148,500 in 2025.
Adding to a 35 per cent boost in population will be the addition of 13,000 new dwellings.
The SCP said the coming decade was likely to be the last in which population growth was driven by greenfield residential developments.
“From 2026, population growth is more likely to come from the revitalisation of existing suburbs and the rate of growth is forecast to decline,” it said. A 2015 perception survey found traffic issues were the number one concern for people in the city, followed by the overall appearance of the area, and public safety and security.
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the city would move to address those concerns, but had to negotiate its own challenges.
Those challenges include the need to balance increased density while protecting green space, finding long- term options for waste management and environmental changes.
Also included was reduced income streams and cost shifting from state to local governments – coupled with increased demand for services – and the need for access to new technology for residents and businesses. WA Local Government Association president Lynne Craigie agreed local councils would shoulder more of the burden, but said a decade is a relatively short time in terms of public sector evolution.
“The deteriorating economic situation is likely to be the most significant challenge for local governments in the next 10 years,” she said.
“As both State and Federal Governments work to reduce debt and recover deficits, we foresee the likelihood of a reduction in discretionary funds to the local government and not-for-profit sectors.
“The reduction in funding may be coupled with an attempt by the governments to shift provision of services to the local government sector.
“This may place significant pressure on the local government sector to increase rates above inflation to provide more services.”
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said councils would continue to evolve as service and facility providers.
“Over the next 10 years, local governments will need to focus on community consultation and development relationships across the sector, and with corporate and community organisations,” he said.
“The aim is to encourage greater flexibility in delivery of services to produce better outcomes for communities.”
We asked Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett to dust off the crystal ball and predict how Cockburn will be in 10 years time.
Q – How will older suburbs be redeveloped and newer areas planned to accommodate population growth?
“We have developed several revitalisation strategies for our older areas to ensure these suburbs remain desirable places to live. In 10 years, the Phoenix, Hamilton Hill, Coolbellup and The Lakes (North Lake, Bibra Lake, South Lake) strategies should be completed. We will be implementing the revitalisation of Yangebup and will have moved onto work in Munster. More development will have occurred either side of the freeway and the households will change slightly in that there are likely to be more children in the newer suburbs.”
Q – By 2025, what stage do you believe LandCorp’s Cockburn coast redevelopment will have reached and will it be considered a success?
“This will depend on the economy but we expect that the Cockburn coast, Port Coogee and South Beach Village will have another 10,000 residents. The area is a fantastic use of land with residents able to enjoy the beautiful coastline and amenities on offer such as cafes, bike paths and local parks. It is definitely on the way to being wholly successful. The community will be pleased with the way redevelopment has occurred, especially with the rejuvenation of the old South Fremantle Power Station precinct.” (Picture #456329a: The redevelopment of the South Fremantle Power Station is one element of LandCorp’s effort to bring new life to the Cockburn coast.)
Q – Will the $109m Cockburn ARC be considered a success?
“By 2025, the residential development around Cockburn ARC will be well underway. Having local people use this facility will ensure it is integrated well into the community. It will also continue to attract people from other parts of Perth given the attraction of pools and water slides in our climate. The business case for Cockburn ARC has it being cash flow positive after three to four years. Sitting in the hub of our City, the ARC will have become a major community drawcard and one of the reasons the Dockers had won a premiership or two.” (Picture #456329b: Cockburn ARC should be open early next year.)
Q – Traffic congestion is the number one issue for residents now? Will it still be a concern in a decade?
“The bridge linking North Lake Road and Armadale Road will have done much to facilitate traffic accessing the freeway and transiting the City. In another 10 years, thousands more trips will be made by bicycle instead of private cars, especially for short distances to local facilities. The increase in population and housing density will also allow for more frequent public transport and hopefully alternatives such as light rail will be on the horizon. The extension of the Thornlie train line through to Cockburn Central will also have made it easier for residents to get to the new Perth Stadium. With increased capacity on the rail network and more destinations serviced by rail, train travel will be easier and more popular.” Picture 456329c: Proposed Armadale Road bridge.
Q – Will people still be talking about the Perth Freight Link?
“There will be planning and design for a better alternative, which will be linked with the development of the outer harbour. Development of an outer harbour will also have been the catalyst for major investment and job creation in the southern metropolitan area.” (Picture #456329d: Rethink the Link protester.)
Q – Will people be working closer to home?
“Technology infrastructure improvements will help people who want to work at home or at local facilities. Working closer to home will be even more attractive than it is now so people avoid long commutes. Job creation in Cockburn will have provided more opportunity for local employment, particularly within Cockburn Central, now a thriving CBD.”
Q – How will a local government’s role have changed in ten years time do you think?
“We are here to provide services and facilities for our residents, visitors and ratepayers and will continue to do so. That valuable role is one that won’t change a lot. We may develop some new areas of business, particularly waste management and tourism, and it is possible the State Government will continue to shift more service provision to Local Government.”