Opportunities for all in the City of Belmont

Article image - Opportunities for all in the City of Belmont

The City of Belmont is a vibrant community located six kilometres from Perth, along 11 kilometres of Swan River frontage. Traditionally known as an area for families, Belmont has more recently been attracting young singles, executives, retirees and businesses. These groups have recognised Belmont’s close proximity to the City, river frontage, affordability, transport networks and growing shopping precincts.

With such change and potential growth, the City has developed new infrastructure and facilities to ensure the area continues to be family friendly and a strong sense of community and opportunity remains.

In addition to traditional Council services, Belmont has focused on ‘creating community’ and developing a ‘family friendly environment’.New developments in Belmont included Faulkner Park Feature Playground, a million dollar playground and barbecue area that quickly become a favourite family picnic spot.

Community halls and centres have also been upgraded and refurbished to create more comfortable areas for locals to enjoy sporting and recreational pursuits. In 2005, a new $2.85 million Youth and Family Services Centre was built to provide an inviting venue for essential programs for local young people and their families who may be experiencing a range of difficult life issues. The City’s main swimming and recreation centre, Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre, is also being refurbished to allow it to cater more comfortably for the growing population.

In a recent survey, Belmont residents and businesses gave the City the highest overall satisfaction rating of any Western Australian Council surveyed in the past 12 months.

Belmont also received the highest rating in the provision of youth services, seniors’ services, environment, recreation facilities, catering for people with a disability, community halls and buildings.

Importantly, the more traditional, vital services of roads and pathways also set industry standards.

By continuing to listen to the needs of families, residents and businesses Belmont is succeeding in balancing economic, social and environmental factors and is ready for the opportunities to continue to grow.

Business confidence strengthens

Business confidence in Belmont is strong. Some 70 per cent of businesses surveyed in the City expect their organisation’s economic situation to improve over the next 12 months, compared to only 34 per cent expecting Australia’s economic situation to improve.

Mayor Glenys Godfrey said that businesses have good reason to be confident. “With large investments and the development of a ‘Vision Plan’ to put a greater focus on business in Belmont, there is an increased level of certainty, market confidence and predicted growth,” she said. “Business in Belmont continues to get stronger.”

Recent years have seen unprecedented growth in the City, with significant commercial and residential developments and the establishment of a number of new industries.

An exciting new $11 million office and showroom is currently being developed in the City’s thriving industrial area. It will offer a range of office and showroom/warehouse combinations for sale and lease to cater for the changing requirements of businesses. This development adds to the growing number of progressive commercial ventures in the area.

Local Belmont businesses range from micro to major multinational corporations. They recognise close proximity to the City, good transport networks, including Perth Airport, and affordability as reasons for choosing to locate in Belmont.

The City is growing to be one of the major business centres in the metropolitan area, with an estimated 29,000 jobs. This is two jobs for every Belmont resident of working age, and is only surpassed by the Cities of Perth and Fremantle.

Belmont’s population of 30,451 grows to 49,281 during the day as people come to work in the City. This also takes into account the number of residents who leave Belmont during the day to work elsewhere.

An independent Business Perceptions Survey found that 79 per cent of businesses in the City are satisfied with City of Belmont, with 45 per cent saying they are very satisfied.

This was the highest overall satisfaction rating given to any of the ten Western Australian Councils surveyed in the past 12 months.

It is clear that the time has come for Belmont to be recognised as the next big business centre in Perth. The City is helping to promote that aim.

Young people right at home in Belmont

Young people in the City of Belmont have a brand new home. The new Youth and Family Services Centre, a $2.85 million project, has been built as part of the City’s focus on improving and maintaining a family friendly environment.

The state of the art facility provides a venue to implement essential programs for local young people and their families who may be experiencing a range of difficult life issues. It has a large activity area where young people can meet to enjoy the games room and free activity programs, areas for interaction with youth workers and for professional family counselling.

Mayor Glenys Godfrey officially opened the centre in December 2005. She said the centre provides a necessary and inviting venue for young people to interact and receive support.

“It is important that we make our young residents feel part of the community,” she said. “This contemporary venue will allow them to access youth programs, services and support in a comfortable and respectful manner. We also provide services and activities through our recreation and leisure teams to support and encourage them to be involved in Belmont.”

One of these initiatives is the introduction of free Rampage Clinics. Clinics are held at Belmont’s popular skate park, in conjunction with Freestyle BMX. Freestyle BMX is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission as the top Australian organisation for freestyle BMX riding.

Freestyle BMX assisted Belmont in starting the program. Clinics cater for young freestyle BMX riders and the entire cost is subsidised by the City to allow for maximum participation.

“We have created these facilities for our local young people to enjoy, so it is great to see them making the most of what Belmont has to offer,” Mayor Godfrey said.

Innovative fish protect City and environment

As part of its environmental management plan, the City of Belmont is implementing projects and initiatives that will protect its natural surroundings. All environmental implications are considered with each new project to be undertaken in the City.

Recently an innovative new measure was put in place to ensure no mosquito breeding occurs at the Garvey Park wet basin. The City began the project with leading environmental consultancy, Parsons Brinkerhoff.

The newly created Garvey Park wet basin was stocked with native fish species specifically trained to protect it from mosquitoes. Belmont’s environmental team released 200 adult Western Minnows and 100 adult Swan River Gobbies into the wet basin.

The native fish were originally purchased by the City and sent to a training camp on a local aquaculture farm. While there, the fish were fed a high protein diet to accelerate their growth rate, trained to eat dead mosquitoes, then weaned onto live prey.

The fish graduated from the farm as keen larvae eaters with the ability to jump 30 centimetres out of the water to catch passing adult mosquitoes. They are frog friendly and able to coexist with all other native fish species.

Mayor Glenys Godfrey says the City is pleased to be leading the way in innovation to ensure a sustainable future by balancing social, economic and environmental issues. “Protecting our water basin by using the fish is an environmentally sound way to achieve a desirable social outcome for the City,” she said.

Although mosquito monitoring has shown no breeding at Garvey Park, the fish have been introduced to minimise the risk of breeding ever occurring at this site. The City will monitor the levels of mosquito larvae after the fish are released to evaluate the success of the project.