Bustling city celebrates

Kwinana in the 1960s.
Kwinana in the 1960s.

While the City is battling to survive under the looming axe of local government reform, its roots date back to the 1950s, born from an expanding industrial area led by the opening of the BP Refinery.

The Kwinana Council began as a small outpost for workers based in the industrial strip before it was officially recognised in its first form as the Kwinana Roads Districts Act of 1953 on February 15, 1954.

The Commissioner originally administered the district until a board of seven members was elected on February 11, 1961.

The District reached Town status soon after and was declared a City by WA Governor Malcolm McCusker on September 17, 2012.

The declaration of the Kwinana Roads District Act was considered essential by the government to cope with the high demands from the industrialisation of Cockburn Sound and the construction of the BP oil refinery and the BHP steel mill.

While Kwinana’s history as a municipality began in the 1950s, the City’s heritage dates back more than a century to pioneering settlers including Thomas Peel, who attempted to farm the plains around Kwinana.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the State Government made generous concessions in the availability of land at Kwinana to Anglo-Persian.

Anglo-Persian built a giant petroleum refinery on the shores of Cockburn Sound to supply a local market ” becoming the BP Refinery.

In addition, the State Government provided necessary utilities including power, water, railways, roads and agreed to build houses for Anglo-Persian employees.

The State Government planned residential parts of Kwinana in the early 1950s and Medina was the first suburb created to accommodate newly arrived migrants.

Medina’s neighbouring suburbs were later named after early sailing ships, including Calista and Parmelia.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the City had certainly come a long way from its original setting of an outpost for workers along the industrial strip.

‘Kwinana continues to grow into a mature and well-rounded community and with a new family moving to the area every four hours, there is a real challenge for us to continue providing the services and amenities they require,’ she said.