17/07/2007 - 22:00

Budget boost for Cockburn

17/07/2007 - 22:00

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With less than four months until the first train rolls in to Cockburn Central, the local council is planning some significant development projects to inject new life into the city.

With less than four months until the first train rolls in to Cockburn Central, the local council is planning some significant development projects to inject new life into the city.

The City of Cockburn has allocated $12.6 million of this year’s record $48 million infrastructure budget to build a new youth centre at Cockburn Central, upgrade the Memorial Hall, complete the final design and tender for a new senior citizens centre, and a new call centre to council house.

A further $24.1 million of the budget has been set aside to maintain and build new roads, including single and dual carriageways for Spearwood Avenue, Russell Road and Beeliar Drive.

Cockburn Mayor Stephen Lee told WA Business News that, in addition to these new projects, council was involved in the development of a new library at Cockburn Central, a sporting facility at Hammond Park, and a resource recovery centre for waste collection.

“We certainly have a lot of work in front of us but ours is an aspirational community and we want to demonstrate we can hold our own,” he said.

Mr Lee said council was also launching a community study into redeveloping its civic hall precinct on Coleville Crescent in Spearwood, most likely with a regional senior centre, piazza, cafes and residential apartments.

High on council’s agenda for the project is a joint venture with a developer.

Its first development joint venture, with Castelli Group and Z-Corp, is under way in Cockburn Central and will deliver a library, offices, and about 80 residential apartments by mid to late 2008.

“We’ll definitely look for any opportunities to partner with developers on council owned land. It makes sense and delivers a good outcome for council and the community,” Mr Lee said.

“If the civic precinct were to be redeveloped, it’s quite likely we’d use profit from the residential component to fund the senior centre.”

Mr Lee said once the study was completed, council may look at formulating a business plan for the project.

With projects in both its traditional city centre in Spearwood and emerging residential and entertainment hub at Cockburn Central on its books, council has had to increase its infrastructure budget in 2007-08 by almost $6 million compared with 2006-07.

The population served by Cockburn Central will be about 200,000, while the new train station is expected to be the second busiest stop on the Perth-to-Mandurah rail line when it opens.

Mr Lee said council’s commitment to providing infrastructure and attracting new business and residents to Cockburn Central had prompted other investors to get behind the area.

In May, the state government announced it would relocate its Fire and Emergency Services headquarters to a $46 million state-of-the-art complex to Cockburn by 2011.

To the south of Cockburn Central, on Beeliar Drive, the owner of the Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre, Perron Investments, is also anticipating greater demand with the $45 million expansion of the centre from 24,000 square metres to 29,000sq m, adding 55 specialty stores, a food court and BigW.

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