Suburbs on Perth’s fringe will have a population boom over the next two decades, with forecasts predicting one northern council will be home to more than 400,000 by 2040.

Population forecasts by Australian demographers .id for more than 20 Perth councils show that areas on the edge of the metropolitan region — such as Wanneroo in the north and Kwinana in the south — will almost double in size by 2036.

But further forecasts show that by 2041, Wanneroo will be home to more than 400,000 people, growth that could force the city to split into two councils.

In Serpentine-Jarrahdale, growth by 2036 is expected to be more than 120 per cent, from 31,000 this year to 68,000.

The forecast report said the growth would mostly be because of changing land development from bigger rural properties to greenfield lots.

“The outward growth of metropolitan Perth towards the shire in recent years has already and will continue to change these land-use dynamics, with extra pressure for urban and rural residential expansion at the northern end of the shire,” it said.

Areas such as Mundijong, which has about 2000 people, will be home to more than 20,000 in 18 years, a tenfold increase.

Other outer suburban councils are also expected to have a population boom, including Kwinana (90 per cent), Armadale (54 per cent) and Swan (49 per cent).

City of Wanneroo mayor Tracey Roberts said though the council was anticipating a population boom, the city could be split between the developed southern section around Wanneroo and the expanding northern region.

“One day it may be the northern part becomes another city, which will obviously be planned for very carefully and very strategically,” she said.

It would not be the first time the sprawling council has been divided, with a commission in the 1990s recommending the creation of Joondalup council from the south-western corner of the then shire of Wanneroo.

Ms Roberts said the council was making a push for significant Federal and State investment in transport and other infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population.

“The key message for us is to keep sending a clear message to the State and Federal governments that we need the infrastructure, we need the roads and if you build the road that attracts the businesses,” she said.

“Growth is not something that comes as a shock. It’s something that’s carefully planned, carefully considered and in doing that we ensure that we know what the needs are of our community.”

With an ageing population, the City of Joondalup is expected to grow just 9 per cent by 2036 — the smallest rate in Perth — from 162,000 this year to 177,000 people, with more than half of that growth driven by people 70 years and older.

Now the third biggest city in Perth, by 2036 Joondalup will be overtaken by the cities of Swan and Rockingham.


This article was originally published on January 27, 2018