THE City of Wanneroo has adopted an economic development strategy that aims to create job opportunities for residents.
The strategy was endorsed by councillors at the June 28 meeting and sets out to support local business, stimulate investment, drive economic growth and diversify the City’s economic base.
Mayor Tracey Roberts said it was crucial to create more local jobs for the City’s growing population.
“Currently the City has 11,600 local businesses and 53,000 local jobs,” she said.
“On average 1600 new jobs are created in the City each year, however with our growing population we need to be adding another 2800 jobs annually, which is a huge challenge, but achievable.”
Economic development manager Ian Martinus said in developing the strategy City representatives met stakehold-ers, including government agencies and developers.
“They are really excited about economic development in Wanneroo over the next 15 years,” he said.
“International investment was one of the key things that a lot of stakeholders spoke about.
“While some people think that it is an uphill battle, we are saying we are diversifying job opportunities.”
Dr Martinus said continuing “business as usual” would see congestion remain and most people would not be able to find jobs if it relied on existing industries.
The strategy targets the emerging sectors of agribusiness, clean technology and advanced manufacturing and engineering, along with the currently high performing industries of construction, manufacturing and retail.
It outlines economic growth occurring largely in Yanchep, Two Rocks, Alkimos, Eglinton and the Neerabup industrial area.
Neerabup will be a focus area, offering potential for 20,000 jobs and aiming to become a centre of “manufacturing and engineering excellence and innovation”.
The document said challenges facing the City included the provision of transport infrastructure and retention of land for employment purposes.
Mrs Roberts said it would work with partners such as the State and Federal governments, Wanneroo Business Association, the local business community and other local governments.
“We have the ability to put our region forward as an economic powerhouse and provide the necessary foundations for our rapidly expanding population,” she said.