Victoria Park, Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia
Albany Highway in central Victoria Park
|Population||7,174 (2006 census)|
|• Density||2,760/km2 (7,150/sq mi)|
|Area||2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|Location||3 km (2 mi) from Perth|
|LGA(s)||Town of Victoria Park|
|State electorate(s)||Victoria Park|
Victoria Park is the eastern gateway to Perth's central business district, being the intersection of the three original eastern arterial roads: Albany Highway, Canning Highway, Great Eastern Highway, and the Causeway Bridge. The Causeway connects Victoria Park to the city, located 3 km to the northwest.
The suburb of Victoria Park derives its name from "Victoria Park Estate", a development that took place there in the 1890s. It is believed the name was given to the estate because Queen Victoria was still on the throne, although it may be connected with Victoria Park in Melbourne.
The area was originally the largest portion of a grant of 972 acres (393 ha) to John Butler in 1831. Progress and development was initially very slow, but a few houses were built around coach stops on the Albany Road, initially constructed from hand-sawn wooden logs. The road was rebuilt in the early 1860s by convicts. At this time the entire area from Canning Bridge to Belmont was simply known as "Canning".
In 1886, a settlement started at "2 Mile Spring", opposite the present location of the Broken Hill Hotel, and a year later, subdivision commenced. The building of the railway to Pinjarra in 1893 had a huge effect on the area - within a few years, a state school was built on Cargill Street and by 1898, the population had reached 1,197.
The following year, Broken Hill Hotel and the Town Hall were constructed, serving as both a community centre and as the council office for the Victoria Park Municipality (until amalgamation with the City of Perth in 1917). The Town Hall was later demolished, while the Broken Hill Hotel is listed by the National Trust.
A tram service commenced in 1905, and by 1917 the population had reached 5,000, and had at their disposal electric lighting, a public library (1903), police station (1906), post office (1912), bowling club (1913) and two hotels, as well as several banks and numerous commercial enterprises and factories. After World War I, Albany Highway was bitumenised, and the commercial centre on either side of the road grew to rival centres in more established areas.
While by 1937 considered a "working man's district", by the mid-1970s the area had a higher-than-average elderly population according to ABS statistics, and the development of townhouses in place of some of the original dwellings saw increasing gentrification as city workers settled in areas closer to the Perth CBD. In 1993, Burswood was approved as a name for the northeastern part of Victoria Park, and split away from it.
The Causeway Bridge
The Causeway Bridge was the first major bridge engineering project in or about Perth, and involved augmenting the Heirisson mudflats into a proper island. The mudflats were at that time an important resource for the Noongar Indigenous Australians. The current bridge is the "third edition":
- Originally opened in 1843;
- Largely rebuilt after disastrous floods in 1862, reopened in 1867;
- Improved several times in 1899, 1903, 1933 and 1943;
- Completely rebuilt from 1947 and reopened in 1952.
Victoria Park is bounded by the Swan River to the northwest, Shepperton Road, Harper Street and the Armadale railway to the northeast, Miller and Kent Streets to the southeast and a line 61 m southwest of Berwick Street to the southwest. The suburb is mostly residential, although Albany Highway is a commercial "high street" and a number of parks can be found - most notably McCallum Park on the river, Raphael Park and the smaller Read Park and Hawthorne Park.
At the ABS 2001 census, Victoria Park had a population of 6,980 people living in 3,998 dwellings. Over a quarter of Victoria Park's residents live in unit or apartment blocks. The ABS identified property and business services and retail as the primary occupations, followed by health, manufacturing, hospitality and education. 15.2% of those surveyed were from East or South-East Asia, while sizable Italian and South Asian minorities were reported.
Victoria Park is a major transit route, being the intersection point of the Canning Highway to South Perth, Applecross and Fremantle; the Great Eastern Highway to Belmont and Perth Airport; the Albany Highway to Cannington and Armadale; and The Causeway to Perth's CBD. Albany Highway runs through the suburb as a main shopping street.
Victoria Park is served by the Victoria Park train station on its northeastern corner, and by the Victoria Park bus station on the eastern end of The Causeway. All services are operated by the Public Transport Authority.
Victoria Park's only booth, Homestead Seniors Centre, is marginal at federal level, and supports the Australian Labor Party at state elections. Nearby booths in East Victoria Park consistently support the Australian Labor Party at both levels of government.
- Pat Hawkins - world-record breaking cyclist
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Victoria Park (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
- Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of metropolitan suburb names". Retrieved 2007-04-17.
- Dr Geoff Gallop. "From The Swan To The Canning - Historical Notes on Victoria Park and Surrounding Districts", December 1989. Originally published in Southern Gazette, 21 November 1989, p.6. Accessed at Battye Library, Perth.
- Department of Land Information. StreetSmart® Perth Street Directory (50 (2009) ed.). West Australian Newspapers Ltd. pp. Map 373. ISBN 978-1-921048-28-9.