Remember Midland convenor Matthew Pavlinovich takes a walk back in time to how the area has changed

Matthew Pavlinovich. Photo: Bruce Hunt
Matthew Pavlinovich. Photo: Bruce Hunt

|A LOT has changed in Midland and surrounding suburbs since the first edition of the Midland Reporter hit the streets in 1978.

Remember Midland convenor Matthew Pavlinovich said over the past 40 years, the Midland Reporter had been there to cover it all.

“Forty years ago, the nucleus of Midland’s workforce came from the railways, abattoir, meatworks, saleyards, clothing, brickworks or wineries,” he said.

“The closure of the Midland Abattoir in 1981 was the start of what was sadly to become the decline of major industries within the Midland area.

“Wills Ezifit Clothing Factory was next to shut its doors in December 1990, the Westrail Railway Workshops in 1994 and the Midland Livestock Saleyards in April 2010.

“The likes of Globe Meats and Huttons have disappeared too.”

Mr Pavlinovich said today, the focus of Midland’s workforce was around retail and the growing health sector.

“Right from the establishment of Midland, the Great Northern Highway and Great Eastern Highway played major roles in carrying traffic in and out of Midland with high volumes,” he said.

“Victoria Street and Great Eastern Highway were converted to one-way traffic in 1982 to reduce congestion until the construction of Roe Highway as a bypass around Midland in 1984.

“Years later, it was Roe Highway that was experiencing congestion issues and these were addressed with the construction of Reid Highway that replaced the ageing Middle Swan Road in 2010, and the Roe Highway and Great Eastern Highway interchange in 2012.

“Great Northern Highway in Midland was closed by the Shire of Swan in 1993 and will likely go down as the biggest planning mistake in Midland’s history. It starved the life in the traditional heart of Midland.”

Mr Pavlinovich said Midland’s landscape changed forever back in 1980 when the $10 million Midland Gate Shopping Centre officially opened.

“We’ve lost our pubs – the Victoria Hotel, the Council Club Hotel, the Stockman Hotel and the Midland Inn – with only the Council Club Hotel returning as a new establishment.

“Middle Swan, Midland and Bellevue primary schools were closed, with Middle Swan moved to Stratton and Bellevue merging with Koongamia to become Clayton View.

“The Midland Redevelopment Authority was born in 2000 and contributed with the redevelopment of the former Westrail Railway Workshops, opening them up for the first time in more than 100 years to the public for commercial and residential opportunities.

“Swan District Hospital closed its doors in November 2015 and has been replaced with the modern St John of God Public and Private Hospitals.

“It’s sad this is the final edition of the Midland Reporter; it too will forever be a part of our local history and memories.”