City gears up for lobby

Labor leader Mark McGowan and Opposition cabinet spokespeople will meet in the City today, while Premier Colin Barnett and the State Cabinet are expected to meet in Wanneroo later this month.

Speaking at a Wanneroo Business Association breakfast last week, Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said the City would focus on its advocacy strategy for more infrastructure.

Mrs Roberts said the City had been identified as a major supplier of land and population growth in WA.

�The need for major regional transport infrastructure is a priority,� she said.

She said a rail extension to Yanchep would increase job opportunities in Yanchep and Alkimos and make it easier for people to get to their workplaces.

City planning and sustainability director Philip St John said the existing northern rail line had �full trains going south in the mornings and empty trains going north, and the reverse in the evenings�.

�We�ve got to make better use of the city that we have and the infrastructure that we have,� he said.

Mr St John said the number of people per house had decreased, so smaller houses should be built around existing and future activity centres.

�It�s absolutely critical to get some infill (but) the community will often see infill as a threat to lifestyle and amenity,� he said.

�We have a very car-|dependent lifestyle in WA (but) putting uses that allow vehicles around a station are probably not the best.

�That�s something as planners that we need to address � can we make our cities more dense, more walkable, more vibrant?�

Mr St John said northern suburbs developments faced chicken-or-egg scenarios, with state agencies unwilling to provide the infrastructure until enough people lived there, and people unwilling to move to new areas until infrastructure was in place.

He said the City�s advocacy plan focused on strategic growth areas such as the Neerabup industrial area and advanced manufacturing that could help meet employment self-sufficiency targets.