The South East Metropolitan Region is located to the south-east of Perth, between 5 and 55 kilometres from the Perth CBD. The South East Metropolitan Region is bounded by the Swan River, the City of Swan and the Shire of Mundaring in the north, the Shire of York, the Shire of Beverley and the Shire of Wandering in the east, the Shire of Murray in the south, and the City of Rockingham, the City of Kwinana, the City of Cockburn and the City of Melville in the west.
The South East Metropolitan Region encompasses eight local government areas: City of Armadale, City of Belmont, City of Canning, City of Gosnells, City of Kalamunda, Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire, City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park. About 25% of the population in the Region live in the City of Gosnells, 20% in the City of Canning, between 12 and 14% in the City of Kalamunda and the City of Armadale, between 8 and 9% in the City of Belmont, the Town of Victoria Park and the City of South Perth, and 4% in Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire.
The South East Metropolitan Region is a growing residential, semi-rural and rural area, with some commercial and industrial land use, and substantial parklands and reserves. The urban areas are mainly in the areas closest to Perth, with numerous small townships in the areas further away from Perth. There is rapid residential and rural-residential growth in the eastern and southern parts of the Region. The South East Metropolitan Region encompasses a total land area of over 2,000 square kilometres. Rural land is used mainly for agriculture, horticulture, orchards, grazing, poultry farming and equine activities, with conservation, timber milling and water catchment also being important land uses.
The original inhabitants of the South East Metropolitan Region were the Beeloo Nyungar Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the Region dates from 1829, when farming commenced along the Canning River. A number of small settlements were established, with land used mainly for farming, market gardening, orcharding and timber milling. Population was minimal until the 1870s, with growth through to the 1920s, spurred by nearby gold discoveries, the opening of the South Western railway in 1893, and the subdivision of land. Expansion continued in the interwar period, accompanied by the construction of dams in the 1920s and 1930s. Significant residential development occurred from the post-war years, starting in the areas closest to Perth in the late 1950s, aided by immigration and public housing construction. Rapid growth continued from the 1960s to the 1980s, spreading eastwards and southwards. The population of the Region increased steadily from the 1990s, rising from under 322,000 in 1991 to about 428,000 in 2011, with the greatest growth between 2006 and 2011. Recent growth has been from new development in the outer areas, and redevelopment and infill in the areas closest to Perth. Population growth is expected to continue.
Major features of the South East Metropolitan Region include numerous National Parks (Beelu, Darling Range, Gooseberry Hill, Kalamunda, Korung, Lesmurdie Falls, Midgegooroo and Serpentine), various Regional Parks (Banyowla, Canning River, Darling Range, Jandakot, Mundy and Wungong), several Nature Reserves (Cardup, Milyu, Modong and Watkins Road), Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital, Bentley Health Service, Kalamunda Hospital Campus, South Perth Hospital, Curtin University (Bentley Campus), Polytechnic West (Armadale, Bentley, Carlisle and Thornlie Campuses), Crown Perth, Perth Zoo, Cohunu Koala Park, Perth Observatory, Castledare Miniature Railway, numerous shopping centres (Armadale City Centre, Belmont Forum Shopping Centre, Centro Maddington, Centro Victoria Park, Forrestfield Forum & Marketplace Shopping Centre, Hometown Cannington, the Kalamunda CBD, Kelmscott Town Centre, Market City, Southlands Boulevarde Shopping Centre, Stockland Riverton Shopping Centre, The Park Centre and Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre), Canning Arts Centre, Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, numerous recreational facilities (Aqualife Centre, Armadale Aquatic Centre, Armadale Arena, Ascot Racecourse, Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre, Belmont Park Racecourse, Byford Trotting Complex, Cannington Central Greyhound Racing, Cannington Leisureplex, Champion Lakes Recreational Park, Ern Clark Athletic Centre, Hendley Park Motocrosse, Langford Park Sporting Complex, Leisurelife Centre, Mundijong Equine Training Track, Perth Hockey Stadium, Queens Park Recreation Centre, Riverton Leisureplex, State Tennis Centre, Tom Bateman Sporting Complex and Willetton Basketball Stadium), various golf clubs (Burswood Park, Canning Vale, Gosnells, Hartfield, Hill View, Pickering Brook, Royal Perth, Serpentine & Districts and Whaleback), numerous parks and reserves, Serpentine Dam, various Reservoirs (Canning, Churchman Brook, Victoria and Wungong), several rivers (Canning, Serpentine and Swan), Como Beach, Shelley Beach, various wineries, several state forests, the Bibbulmun Track and The Munda Biddi Trail.
The South East Metropolitan Region is served by the Graham Farmer Freeway, the Kwinana Freeway, the Albany Highway, the Brookton Highway, the Canning Highway, the Great Eastern Highway, the Leach Highway, the Roe Highway, the South Western Highway, the Tonkin Highway, the Perth Domestic & International Airports, and the Perth-Bunbury, Armadale and Thornlie railway lines.
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