FOR many years, Midland has been the main shopping hub for farmers travelling to and from the Perth metropolitan area.
Spreading either side of the Great Eastern Highway at the base of Greenmount, Midland is considered a gateway to regional WA, with access to the northern, central and eastern Wheatbelt.
Midland was occupied by settlers in 1832, but little development occurred until 1886 with the opening of the Midland Railway Company.
The township of Midland Junction was established in 1891 and true to its name, it was a junction for the railway system and the roads heading north and east, known nowadays as the Great Northern and Great Eastern highways.
One of the most well-known landmarks in Midland is the large foursided clock on the dome of the Town Hall, which was placed there by local citizens as a town war memorial in 1923.
An exciting urban renewal program is underway in Midland to transform the city centre, which is 18 kilometres from the Perth CBD, and revitalise the gateway to the Swan Valley and Perth Hills.
The revitalisation is enhancing Midland’s rich heritage, breathing new life into the area and strengthening its role as a strategic metropolitan centre for the eastern region.
A master plan was released by the former Midland Redevelopment Authority in 2000, before being superseded by the State Government’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority’s current Midland Master Plan in mid-2015, which sets out a 15 to 20-year vision for Midland.
The plan covers 160 hectares of land in and around the former local railway workshops and city centre and aims to create a medical services and education hub and a contemporary mixed-use development providing new housing, employment and community benefits.
In April Railway Square, which is the heart of The Workshops development, was opened.
The space will be surrounded by cafes, shops, restaurants and bars when the development is complete.
The site celebrates its history through a peace memorial and heritage interpretation, while the large public square will provide space for recreation, meetings and events for generations to come.
The arrival of Icon Cancer Centre at The Workshops in 2017 is helping to service the east-metro region and surrounds, building on a number of milestones including opening of the Midland public hospital and GP super clinic, the announcement of the Curtin Medical School and the relocation of the PlusLife Tissue Bank.
The culmination of these facilities provided a major boost for Midland and surrounding communities, significantly increasing the number of people who could access high-quality healthcare in the region.
Early site works will soon begin on the new Curtin University campus, which is due to open in 2019, providing a base for higher education pathways that will see the medical hub grow and more employment opportunities for Perth’s eastern hills region.
Plans are progressing for Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s four-storey Child Advocacy Centre The Workshops, based on the model of its acclaimed Georges Jones Child Advocacy Centre in Armadale.
It will also redevelop the historic tarpaulin shop on lot 738 into offices for the organisation and like-minded not-for-profit agencies.
Several organisations have already expressed interest in joining Parkerville Children and Youth Care on the site – delivering WA’s most significant one-stop-shop of support services for vulnerable children, young people and at-risk families.
Adding to the changing face of the area is the $100 million expansion of Midland Gate, the biggest regional shopping centre in Perth’s east.
The redevelopment is expected to be completed by early 2019 and will see the fully-enclosed single level centre expand to about 69,000 square metres of gross lettable area and include a new fresh food precinct, an expanded dining offering and 215 retailers on completion.
Anchored by Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Big W, Target, and Ace Cinemas, other retailers including Aldi, JB Hi-Fi and Harris Scarfe have confirmed that they will move into the expanded centre along with 35 new specialty retailers.
|Farm Weekly, Perth|
|Supplements – page 29 – 667 words – ID 877885875 – Photo: Yes – Type: News Item – Size: 389.00cm2|