Brief History of Rockingham, WA
Located just 40 minutes South of Perth is the coastal gem, Rockingham. Affectionately known as the Swinging Pig by the locals Rockingham has become a busy little town and developed a long way since being founded in 1847. It started off as a small little beach town with lots of land beginning to sell but at a very slow rate. It wasn’t until the construction of a Jetty and railway that it really started to develop with the transportation of Timber to and from Ports. Unfortunately with a new, more direct train line built Fremantle became (and still is) the main shipping port for the Perth Region.
Rockingham continued to grow and now it 2017 has a population of 14,000 and growing rapidly. Rockingham has come a long was since the 1970’s were it started to earn it’s name as a perfect little coastal town. The are many older houses still standing (particularly along Safety Bay Road) and many of the locals who bought property back then are still living there today.
Rockingham has seen several facelifts over the decades and is now considered the gateway to the southern Metro region of Perth. It is home to many modern shopping centres and cinemas having recently going through major upgrades to account for the increase in traffic and population growth. With quite a massive growth it has raised the issue of future developments to allow for the population increase. New developments were set to be constructed along Point Perron and other neighbouring areas much to the rage of local communities.
Part of the appeal for Rockingham is the quieter costal lifestyle. Locals have expressed grave concerns about future developments and wanting to avoid situations such as the gold coast where the buildings take away from the natural beauty of the environment. Allowing for more people to be around the Rockingham coast line raises other issues with the impact on the environment and its flora and fauna in the area, particularly the marine life. Rockingham (in part) is surrounded by Garden Island and forms part of Cockburn Sound. This provides a safe haven for many marines species including Dolphins, Little Penguins, Seals and local species of fish (Breeding grounds). At the moment there is a complete halt on any potential construction in Point Perron and surrounding areas. Although with changing Government and times it will always remain a point on contention.
One advantage Rockingham has in keeping it’s natural beauty is that the current Premier of W.A (Mark McGowan) is a local Rockingham man himself and still lives in the area. They can’t get a better ambassador than that.
Rockingham also has a rich naval history with Garden Island being one of the largest naval bases in Perth. There are plenty of articles and stories about the old bunkers and cannons that surround the coastal areas. Most of the old guns have since been removed but few have been turned into historic features that have plenty of walk ways along the Rockingham Foreshore for people to wander and enjoy the history of Rockingham.