History makes merger sense

Wendy Durant tells of the close ties. Picture: Elle Borgward d398672
Wendy Durant tells of the close ties. Picture: Elle Borgward d398672

Much like Perth’s ‘north vs south’ rivalry, there has always been a sense of tension between Rockingham and Kwinana, but it must run deep if the City of Kwinana had to vote on its preference for a merger with the City of Cockburn, whose CBD is 17km away as the crow flies, in favour of Rockingham 8km away.

One person who can’t understand the perceived reluctance of Kwinana to join with Rockingham is Rockingham Museum curator Wendy Durant, who says the two areas are intrinsically linked historically, with ties that go back to white settlement more than 160 years ago, not to mention the area’s use by local indigenous families for centuries.

‘No matter what people think, Rockingham and Kwinana are historically linked and always will be because of the pioneering families that came to live here,’ Mrs Durant said.

‘This area ” from Hope Valley, out to Mundijong and down to where Singleton is now ” was called Rockingham from its gazettal in 1847. Kwinana didn’t come into existence until the Kwinana Roads Board Act was introduced in 1953 around the same time as the Kwinana Industrial Development Act.

‘Families started settling in the eastern section of Rockingham along the track between Fremantle and Mandurah ” which became Mandurah Road ” because it was a swampy area with fertile soil.’

She said the history between Kwinana and Rockingham was indelible.