Melville Cockburn Chamber of Commerce President Tony Romano says Perth’s southern suburbs are a hive of opportunity with recent developments including the $109 million Cockburn ARC – which doubles as a public recreation facility and home of Fremantle Dockers.
And with a $750m upgrade to Garden City set to kick off before the end of the year, there are more opportunities to come for small business.
“There’s been a massive amount of growth particularly in Cockburn Central with the initial development of apartments and commercial activities near Cockburn train station, then with the shift by the Fremantle Football Club and the completion of the community facility, the ARC,” he says.
“That public facility and the new home of the Dockers are magnificent. That’s drawn a lot of additional small business from retail – and professionals want to move out that way as well,” says Romano, who works in commercial real estate and is a former City of Cockburn councillor.
“When the flyover over North Lake Road – which is another major project – is completed, it will help with the congestion around Beeliar Drive.”
Tony will be joined at the sundowner by City of Melville Director of Urban Planning Steven Cope, City of Cockburn’s Manager Strategic Planning Andrew Trosic and CCI’s Chief Economist Rick Newnham.
Romano says growth in commercial industrial has been strong in Bibra Lake, Cockburn Central, Phoenix with further discussions about a potential wave park for the City of Melville and development around the Raffles.
“From a Chamber’s perspective, they are both very progressive cities. There is more recognition from the local councils now of the role small business plays in the area,” he says.
“We hope to get a lot of SMEs to the sundowner. Being a small business owner can be a fairly lonely existence at times, particularly if you are one or two-person operator where you don’t get a lot of interaction with small business people, so it’s an opportunity for people to share some views and vent the spleen a little bit about what’s going on.”
“We see ourselves as an important cog in the machine when it comes to small business in the area and I think there is a mutual respect there from both the local governments.”