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Joondalup CEO James Pearson in front of a car park

This relatively young but maturing City is about to embark on the next leg of what has been an exciting journey so far.

James talks about the road ahead for a City which finds itself transitioning from an economy supported by population growth to one that is driven by private and public sector investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Provide us with some background on the City

The City of Joondalup is home to an engaged and connected community of 161,000 residents.

The Joondalup region is part of Mooro Country and is an important place for Indigenous people. Our City values their contribution and heritage and is committed to reconciliation outcomes. We have recently embarked on the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

Formed in 1998 out of Wanneroo, the City of Joondalup is internationally recognised for its liveability and the healthy lifestyle opportunities it offers those who live within its boundaries and the thousands who visit every day.

Across 22 suburbs, our stunning natural assets include 17km of pristine coastline, biodiversity-rich natural areas, hundreds of family-friendly parks and world-class wetlands.

About 40 per cent City of Joondalup residents were born overseas, including a high number of migrants from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Joondalup City Centre is 30 minutes from Perth International Airport and located 25 minutes north of the Perth CBD. It is easily accessible by car and public transport, with major road and rail connections north-south and east-west.

The City of Joondalup is driven by a vision it shares with its community of being a bold, creative and prosperous global city.

How has the City of Joondalup changed in recent years?

In 2021, the City is responsible for more than $1.5 billion worth of assets throughout the community including roads, lighting, paths, drainage, coastline management, parks, ovals, libraries, leisure centres and community facilities.

The Joondalup City Centre is often referred to as the CBD of Perth’s northern corridor. In just over two decades, it has grown to accommodate Perth’s largest shopping centre, major university, post-secondary and health campuses, a public transport hub, sturdy office and industrial property-fed employment bases and the largest apartment market in the northern suburbs.

It is home to the Joondalup Learning Precinct, which is made up of the City, Edith Cowan University, North Metropolitan TAFE and the Western Australian Police Academy.

A few decades ago, people would mainly travel to Joondalup for three things: to visit the hospital (picture below), Joondalup Basketball Stadium (now gone) or the City’s administration centre.

Joondalup has long been a desirable destination for families to live, businesses to locate, and tourists to visit and in recent years it has forged a reputation as a Destination City.

As well as popular tourism attractions such as Hillarys Boat Harbour, Perth’s best beaches and Yellagonga Regional Park — the “King’s Park of the North” — Joondalup is known for hosting unique and innovative entertainment and events that capture the imagination of the public.

Big events like Kaleidoscope, the Joondalup Festival and AFL pre-season games have consolidated the City’s reputation as the entertainment capital of Perth’s northern corridor.

The City is currently looking at hosting a classic car racing event in the City Centre.

What major projects do you have underway at the City?

Work has commenced on the decades-in-the making Ocean Reef Marina project.

For many years, the City, backed by overwhelming support from its community, invested the significant financial and human resources required to progress this transformational project to a “shovel ready” stage.

The City has managed carefully the planning for a complex project, including numerous studies, investigations and reviews. In 2017 we were pleased to be able to transfer the project to the State Government and DevelopmentWA for implementation. 

Construction of the 18.5m high breakwaters has begun and will take about 18 months to complete. During construction, a monitored 50-metre exclusion zone will be in place around the breakwaters to ensure the safety of the local community.

Joondalup Council recently approved the disposal of Lots 1029 and 1032, Ocean Reef to the State Government, which will facilitate the construction of the marina. This decision by Council enables the Land Transfer Agreement and the Ocean Reef Marina Development Agreement to be finalised and executed.

What issues and opportunities are on the horizon for the City?

Infill density: Joondalup Council has requested a review of the City’s Local Planning Strategy be brought forward to 2021-22.

The review is a response to feedback from some community members about infill development across parts of Joondalup’s Housing Opportunity Areas (HOAs).

HOAs were introduced by the City in 2016 to meet residential infill targets as set by the State Government (essentially increasing the amount of housing in existing suburbs).

Activation of the Joondalup City Centre: The City will continue to work with local businesses and residents to better activate the Joondalup City Centre.

We recently asked community members, workers and visitors for their input into the development of the Joondalup City Centre Place Activation Plan, including asking them for their big ideas for the Joondalup City Centre and what will encourage people to spend more time in Joondalup.

Council elections: 2021 is an election year and because voting at local government elections is not compulsory, we are working hard to encourage voter turnout and engagement.

The City is currently reviewing its Ward boundaries and Councillor representation levels to ensure fair and equitable representation for the electors of the City.

Local Government is the closest tier of government to people. It is the sector that most directly impacts on the lives of its community. We want to see as many eligible voters as possible exercise their democratic right in October.

How would you like to see the City positioned in 10- or 15-years’ time?

The City is currently developing its new 10-year Strategic Community Plan.

Joondalup 2022-32 will communicate the community’s vision for the future and include strategic initiatives and priorities, which will guide service delivery and capital expenditure over the next 10 years. 

As well as furthering our position as WA’s innovation hub, we want Joondalup to be known as a smart place to do business where entrepreneurs can grow into scale-ups.

We want to be home to an increasing number of small-to-medium enterprises that operate in a global market.

There is an opportunity to leverage our Joondalup Learning Precinct and attract talent to catalyse the growth of our economy through the smart industries of the future. That means more jobs and people, and their families spending time in Joondalup.

We are committed to ensuring that Joondalup has a place on the world stage and that our stakeholders and our community benefit from our collective efforts to build and strengthen trade connections in overseas markets.

The Joondalup Activity Centre Plan has an objective to grow employment in the Joondalup City Centre to 45,000 jobs by 2050 — and current jobs growth indicates we are on track to achieve that target.

Like Local Government areas across Perth, we have a significant ageing population. We are planning now to ensure we can accommodate their needs into the future.  Providing a broad range of services, programs and events that promote healthy active ageing for residents and contribute to the standard of living for older people in the community is a key priority.

Most of all we will continue to strive to make ensure the City remains a great place to live, work and visit for all and our ratepayers get great service and value for money.

Is there anything you would like to add? 

The Joondalup story has only just begun. Stay tuned for the next big chapter.

Page reviewed 06 May 2022