Big beachfront boom on horizon
From humble beginnings dating back to 1847, Rockingham has grown to become one of the largest city centres in Perth’s south with a big future ahead.
Originally named after the ship Rockingham, the city’s roots can be traced back to pioneers who settled along tracks to Mandurah, where there was fertile soil between two wetlands in the mid-1850s.
Local government in the area was officially established in 1897 as the Rockingham Roads District and has since undergone a number of changes including becoming the Shire of Rockingham in 1961 as well as attaining city status in 1988.
Now home to more than 125,000 people, the city finds itself in the midst of a population boom, spearheaded by Baldivis and a cultural shift which is set to be led by developments to the city’s iconic foreshore precinct.
Having led the City through this period of change for more than a decade, Mayor Barry Sammels predicted big things for the future of the city.
“I expect the next 10 years to be a decade of continued growth and development for the City of Rockingham,” he said.
“Our strong population growth will continue and we will become one of the largest local government authorities in Western Australia.
“The exciting redevelopment and revitalisation of the Rockingham beach foreshore will be completed, creating a wonderful recreational and tourism asset that we can be really proud of.”
The revitalisation, outlined in the Rockingham Beach Foreshore Masterplan, will include upgrades to Railway Terrace, expansion of the “boardwalk” in front of cafes and restaurants west of The Cruising Yacht Club and a water playground in the area now home to the Flinders Lane foreshore carpark.
In addition to City-funded developments at the foreshore, a private sector push for a marina at Wanliss Street could also be on the horizon.
As revealed by the Telegraph earlier this year, proponent Paul Ogilvie is leading a push for a $35 million marina that would include 500 boat pens, 600 parking spaces and 4500sqm of retail space.
The future of the much- publicised Mangles Bay Marina proposal also looms large, with the Western Australian Planning Commission yet to make public its recommendation on the proposal.
Also key to the city’s growth in the next decade is Baldivis, which in the past five years alone doubled its population to almost 32,000.
“Major infrastructure projects in Baldivis will be complete, and residents there will be able to enjoy a range of sporting and recreational facilities,” Mr Sammels said.
The sporting and recreational facilities the mayor alludes to include the construction of a district-level sporting facility, which once complete will cost more than $36 million.
Construction of stage one of the facility is set to begin this financial year, after the City purchased 19.41ha of land for $9.72 million.
Stage one of the project will feature playing space equal to four AFL ovals, with senior and junior clubroom facilities catering for the majority of summer and winter sports codes.
Mr Sammels also highlighted the City’s burgeoning relationship with France as a key point of future development.
“As a result of the City’s ongoing work in the area of investment attraction, particularly in building a strong and dynamic relationship with France, I imagine there will be a large French presence in the City stemming from the Renaissance Technopole and other Rockingham Renaissance projects,” he said.
“We will continue to make the most of our wonderful natural assets to ensure that residents and visitors alike recognise our city as the place where the coast comes to life.”
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