In 1979, Cockburn was experiencing rapid change and a huge population growth. As the traditional market gardeners moved south after the War, large industries moved in and block sizes shrank. Cockburn became known as a ‘dormitory suburb’, perfectly placed for industrial and marine workers to build their homes close to work.
As the voice of a swelling population of workers and families, the newly formed Cockburn council threw itself behind many plans for the future population of Perth, as well as taking steps to conserve and protect the City’s environment by setting aside natural areas for conservation and accepting responsibility for large sections of the Beeliar and Jandakot Regional Parks.
As the Kwinana Freeway crept south, new roads were built connecting Cockburn to the rest of the city. Previously rural land in Cockburn’s south-east grew to become booming new suburbs – South Lake (created 1982), Hammond Park (2002), Aubin Grove (2003) and Cockburn Central (2006), a new centre of commerce and urban living along the freeway.
Recognisable buildings from the last 35 years include South Lake Leisure Centre (built 1991), Coolbellup Library (1989, then 1993), the upgraded Coolbellup Hub (2010), and the Council Admin building in Spearwood (1992). And of course the brand new Integrated Health Facility and Success Library at Cockburn Central!
This article originally appeared as History with Leah in the October 2014 edition of Cockburn Soundings
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