BUILDING an international airport and focusing on smart technologies are some of the ideas suggested by local stakeholders to promote job growth in the City of Wanneroo.
About 100 invited guests from local businesses, State Government agencies, social enterprises, employment services, town planning groups and developers were part of the City’s two-day Jobs Summit in Mindarie last week.
Speakers included University of California Berkley Emeritus Professor of city and regional planning Robert Cervero and Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand founding executive director Adam Beck.
The City has set a target of creating 100,000 jobs in keys areas, including Yanchep, Alkimos and Neerabup, after Federal Department of Employment figures showed the City’s unemployment rates had risen by 81 per cent in the past three years.
Attendees participated in workshops aimed at job creation, with groups focusing on themes including land-use planning, research and innovation, connective infrastructure and role of government.
Their discussions garnered suggestions such as building a second international airport in the region, creating a smart industries hub, removing red tape/bureaucracy, making Yanchep a regional centre with an international focus and investigating tourism opportunities.
Professor Cervero presented the keynote address, where he praised the City’s current plans and said one of its assets was having large landholders.
“I think your plans are good… they well articulate the values and aspirations your citizens want,” he said.
“The conversations we’ve had here will set the scene for long-term visions.
“Having key landholders and developers involved is key.”
He suggested focusing on one area that if successful could be copied elsewhere.
“You really want to concentrate on one station here and do it well,” he said.
“Focus on a prototypical place and hope it catches on.
“Define your place, don’t be a slave to infrastructure… design there, then get the smart infrastructure to it.”
Professor Cervero described the City’s strengths as its coastline, plenty of open space, large land areas and potential for big scope projects, and agreed with the suggestion to build Perth’s second major airport.
“You have the capacity to build a large airport – there’s real potential here,” he said.
“What would be most transformative in this region would be a second airport.”
He encouraged audience members to “think creatively” with a focus on using smart technologies and applauded the City for its approach.
“You have the vision, you have the passion, you know what you want to achieve,” he said.
“You really want to turn plans into action.”
Mayor Tracey Roberts also motivated attendees, telling them pioneers had put their “blood, sweat and tears” into transforming the region into what it is today.
“Now what we do is build on the values of our pioneers,” she said.
“Each and every one of you in this room here has the fire in your belly.
“There’s so much excitement and so many things to achieve and so little time to do it.
“We can do this and we will do this.”