Grow South East (South East Metropolitan Region)Economic profile
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Grow South East (South East Metropolitan Region)

About the area

Location and boundaries

The City of South Perth is located about 4 kilometres south of the Perth GPO. The City of South Perth is bounded by the Swan River in the north and north-west, the Town of Victoria Park and the City of Canning in the east, and the Canning River in the south and south-west.

Included areas

The City of South Perth includes the suburbs of Como, Karawara, Kensington (part), Manning, Salter Point, South Perth and Waterford.

Economic region
Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale

Land use

The City of South Perth is a predominantly residential area, with commercial land use mainly along the Canning Highway, and substantial parkland areas.


The City of South Perth is served by the Canning Highway and the Kwinana Freeway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from 1829, although population was minimal until the 1880s. Early settlement was mainly on the foreshore, closest to Perth. Land was used mainly for farming, particularly food production and dairy farming. Gradual growth took place from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, aided by the discovery of gold in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, and the arrival of Chinese market gardeners. Some growth took place in the interwar period, with the population growing from about 3,000 in 1921 to 9,000 in 1933. Significant development occurred in the post-war years, when dairies and market gardens were replaced by houses and parklands. The most substantial residential growth took place in the 1950s and 1960s, aided by improvements in access, the construction of roads and bridges, and the influence of the War Service and State Housing Commissions. During the 1960s and 1970s many older houses were removed and replaced by high-rise residential flats, apartments and commercial buildings. In the 1980s the population increased slightly, from 32,000 in 1981 to 34,000 in 1991. The population continued to increase from 1991, reaching over 40,000 in 2011. Most of this growth was in the 2001-2011 period, and has been mainly from urban infill (units, flats and townhouses).

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the South Perth area were the Nyungar Aboriginal people.