Jobs Summit tackles unemployment

Yanchep, Alkimos and Neerabup need new jobs to support the area’s rapidly growing population.

THE City of Wanneroo says its Jobs Summit this week will gather innovative thinkers, including a world-renowned transport expert, to confront the city’s high unemployment rate.

Federal Employment Department figures reveal the city’s jobless rate has risen by 81 per cent in the past three years, to 8.5 per cent.

The city has been set a target of 100,000 new jobs through the structure planning process in key areas including Yanchep, Alkimos and Neerabup.

Key note speaker Emeritus Professor Robert Cervero from the University of California Berkeley, a global sustainable transport expert, will lead discussions on integrating economic development with land use and transit links.

Professor Cervero said regional hubs for jobs and infrastructure were a more efficient model than centralised city models.

“An efficient system that allows traffic flow both ways more evenly can shave up to 20 to 30 per cent off the stressful travel time to work, meaning this time can be used in better ways,” he said.

The City of Wanneroo’s population has doubled over the past decade to 198,000 residents and is expected to double again during the next 25 years.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said a minimum of 2800 new jobs were needed every year to support the city’s rapidly growing population.

Cr Roberts said as it was an outer metropolitan area, the city was in desperate need of improved transport infrastructure.

“The population forecast will undoubtedly create massive challenges for all levels of government and we need to work collaboratively to resolve issues including employment, transport and work life balance,” she said.

“Three out of four residents travel to the CBD to work losing time to traffic congestion on a daily basis.

“The lack of efficient transport networks also puts strain on job seekers, particularly young residents.’’

Participants at the Jobs Summit on Monday, November 28 and Tuesday, November 29 include the private and public sectors, entrepreneurs, social enterprises, developers and Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand founding executive director Adam Beck.