Hames Sharley has been working closely with the WA’s Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire and the local community to deliver a future vision to be implemented by 2050. Serpentine Jarrahdale have a predicted population growth of 1.5 million people in 20 years. Hames Sharley has assisted in creating a strategy and vision together with the Shire and the community.
How has this come about?
Based on current trends it is estimated that the Perth and Peel region, where the Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire is located, will be home to 3.5 million people by 2050 - an increase of 1.5 million people within 20 years.
While this growth is sure to bring enormous opportunities, it calls for a new strategy for the Shire’s current social and physical infrastructure and resources which are currently unequipped for the rate of growth and development.
Like many sub-regional areas across Western Australia, the Shire as a whole has grown from the centre outwards, making future growth and infrastructure - such as water, sewers and roads - both expensive and difficult to build,
Delivery of the SJ 2050 vision has been shaped through the input of the Shire, key stakeholders and the broader community. It provides an overarching framework to guide the future planning of the Shire supporting other strategic documents to ensure a sustainable and economically viable future within the wider region.
Challenges faced by Serpentine Jarrahdale and other urban-rural areas
The Serpentine Jarrahdale community and the Shire have experienced a number of challenges over the past years, including possible amalgamation, significant growth (being the fastest per capita growth local government in Australia for the past three years) and increasing pressure on ageing infrastructure.
The pressures of population growth within the Shire are not uncommon to rural-urban areas across Australia, such as:
- Cheap housing, yet limited employment opportunities
- The local economy is driven by agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail so those who seek study and job prospects outside of this field have to leave or travel outside of the region
- Rapidly evolving technologies changing the nature of traditional agricultural, manufacturing and retail sectors
- Lack of infrastructures that process water, waste, recycling and sewage are not equipped for a population influx
- A strain on natural resources such as water supply, water quality, local flora and fauna
- Lack of public transport connecting people to activity centres and employment nodes
- Increasing traffic congestion on regional roads not currently built for the rate of a population increase
- Limited facilities and activities to entertain young people and teenagers
- Limited resources that enable the ageing population to remain integrated into the community
- Increasing demand for the provision of public open space and the high cost of maintenance
In this context, the SJ 2050 vision aims to set out a framework for the Shire to commit and accommodate an expected 100,000 additional people in Perth and Peel.
What has been Hames Sharley’s role?
- Clearly articulating the purpose and approach in order to take the community and key stakeholders along on the journey
- Asking the right questions and listening to current needs, wants and desires in order to understand the position the community, shire and key stakeholders are coming from
- Taking account of past aspirations and shaping these in the community’s favour by identifying gaps or key challenges to be addressed
- Empowering the local community with an aligned vision, strategy and purpose
Hames Sharley has been involved in developing the 2050 strategic vision for Serpentine Jarrahdale in collaboration with the Shire, administration and the local community.
The strategy involved opening a dialogue amongst the various stakeholders to articulate this. It was achieved by asking the questions:
- What sort of place do you want to live in?
- What are you, as a community, determined to hang onto?
- What are you prepared to give up?
- How do we manage future impacts on the Shire?
By identifying lessons learnt from other regional towns facing similar challenges, Hames Sharley ensured future decisions were well-informed shape the strategy and vision.
Workshops, surveys and interviews were conducted with community members to gather insights regarding their future wants and needs.
Discussions between the Shire, Hames Sharley and the community resulted in outlining a spatial framework to guide the future planning.
Want to learn about the resulting strategy? Click here.