Each edition of Council magazine we choose one local government from across Australia to shine a spotlight on. Whether it’s new infrastructure, an innovative technology project, a leading sustainability initiative or a community connection, we want to highlight the best of our local governments and share some valuable knowledge to other place makers across our nation. This edition, we spoke to the City of Stirling, to learn more about this unique LGA in the heart of Western Australia.

What is the population size and land area of the City of Stirling?

The City of Stirling has a population of 219,981 (based on the 2016 census data) and a rich, diverse natural and physical landscape covering approximately 104 sq km, including 6.5km of coastline; 627ha of parks, gardens and developed reserves, 616ha of natural bushland; 30 suburbs; 1,118km of roads; 984km of footpaths; and 101,250 rated properties.

How many employees work at the City of Stirling?

Approximately 1,393.

Who is the mayor?

The Mayor of the City of Stirling is His Worship the Mayor Mark Irwin. Mayor Mark Irwin was born and raised in Scarborough and was first elected as a Councillor for the City of Stirling in 2015.

He was elected as Mayor by his fellow Councillors in October 2017 and was re-elected as the City’s first popularly elected Mayor in 2019.

Who is the CEO?

The City of Stirling’s CEO is Stuart Jardine PSM. Stuart possesses significant international local government experience spanning over 35 years and has been the Chief Executive Officer at the City of Stirling since 2007, and has been reaffirmed as the CEO with an extended contract out to 2023.

Stuart Jardine is widely recognised as a leading CEO throughout Australia within the sector and has been awarded a Public Service Medal for his service to the community.

What is the City’s annual budget?

The annual budget for the 2021/22 financial year that was adopted in June estimates overall expenditure of $316.3 million. In broad terms, the budget consists of $262.9 million in operating expenditure and $53.4 million in capital expenditure.

Breakdown of spending for the budget year ahead

The budget is balanced, the City of Stirling is debt-free, and is delivering projects, programs, and initiatives in line with the key focus areas from the Strategic Community Plan 2018-2028, including: Thriving communities ($36,532,920), Vibrant economy ($4,283,775), Liveable neighbourhoods ($103,133,494), Sustainability ($45,152,071), and Governance and leadership ($17,586,345).

In addition to ongoing progress toward the City’s strategic goals, a number of major construction projects and upgrades across Stirling have been progressed in the past month, delivering important strategic infrastructure and stimulating the local economy.

Major earthworks are now complete for the extension of Stephenson Avenue from Scarborough Beach Road to Howe Street, with drainage works and culvert works underway at Oswald and Howe Street.

Vegetation clearing, surface and subsurface remediation works, and construction and demolition waste are also 95 per cent complete.

Council workshops and community information sessions on the progress of the Hamersley Public Golf Course Redevelopment project have taken place, as has the schematic design of the Golf Pavilion and Driving Range, with detailed designs completed at the end of July 2021.

The Inglewood Oval/Hamer Park Project is ongoing, with oval lighting complete and the demolition, in-ground services and slab curing processes completed for both Hamer Park and Moyle Pavilion on Inglewood Oval.

The Bennett Park Clubrooms (Doubleview) have been handed over to the clubs and the Dianella BMX project is on track to complete the first two approved stages of construction by the end of July.

What is the City of Stirling’s vision for the community?

The City of Stirling will be a place where people choose to live, work, visit and invest. We will have safe and thriving neighbourhoods with a range of housing, employment and recreational opportunities. We will engage with our diverse community to help shape our future into the City of Stirling – City of Choice.

Our mission is to serve the City’s diverse community through delivering efficient, responsive and sustainable services, and our values are:

  • Agile
  • Approachable
  • Inclusive
  • Innovative
  • Inspiring
  • Respectful
  • Transparent

What makes the City of Stirling region unique?

The City of Stirling is the largest local government in Western Australia by population, and is one of, if not the most multicultural community in the country by country of birth and languages spoken in addition to English.

Our economy includes major industry in Osborne Park, major tourism destinations like Scarborough Beach, and what will be the largest shopping complex in Western Australia once the $800 million redevelopment of Karrinyup Shops is complete, doubling its original size.

And despite all that, community tree planting alongside streets and sand dunes is one of the most popular activities the City puts on. The City of Stirling is diverse, large, and the City of Choice.

What are some of the challenges the City of Stirling face, and how does the city overcome these?

The Stirling City Centre is located just 8km north of the Perth CBD. When combined with the adjoining Herdsman Glendalough area, it is the largest business precinct outside the Perth CBD, in both land area and employment.

With more than 40,000 local jobs available in the Stirling City Centre and a mix of retail, residential and commercial use, the area is experiencing major congestion and accessibility issues.

The City has worked in collaboration with the Western Australian State Government, local community and private sector over the past ten years and together has developed a consolidated vision for the Stirling City Centre to combat these issues.

How is the City of Stirling addressing climate change and sustainability?

The City of Stirling has a long history of strong action on climate change and emissions reduction:

  • 2003 – The Local Greenhouse Action Plan was endorsed by Council and reported on until 2009
  • 2010 – The WALGA Climate Change Declaration was endorsed by Council and the City began publicly reporting on corporate energy consumption and carbon emissions via its Annual Report
  • 2012 – The Climate Change Adaptation Plan was endorsed to guide the City to adapt to risks from climatic changes occurring. The City also produced its first Corporate Energy Management Plan, which led to successful grants for energy efficiency projects and a solar PV program across the City
  • 2015 – The Fleet Emissions Reduction Action Plan was endorsed, aiming to reduce its fleet emissions by 25 percent by 2020

In May 2021, the City of Stirling Council voted unanimously to endorse the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (2020-2030) or ‘SEAP’, committing the City to achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity supply and a 70 per cent carbon emissions reduction target by 2030, leading to net zero by 2050.

The consultation survey of residents undertaken in the drafting of the SEAP showed overwhelming support for energy and emissions targets, with 92 per cent supporting the 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 goal and 81 per cent supporting the 70 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 goal.

The SEAP includes a documented 2025 review point with specific key performance indicators set at 50 per cent renewable electricity demand and 35 per cent carbon emissions reductions, and also has led to the City joining the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership.

Most recently, the City adopted a plan to purchase three electric vehicles in 2022/23 to replace the three current Parking Services hybrid vehicles. 89 per cent of the City’s passenger vehicle fleet is already hybrid.

What is an urban development project the City of Stirling is undertaking at the moment?

The City of Stirling has a bold vision for the heart of our region, called the Stirling City Centre project. As one of Australia’s largest urban regeneration projects, the Stirling City Centre project will alleviate the critical issues of congestion and housing affordability to improve connectivity and increase access to jobs.

Stage 1 of the Stirling City Centre project includes the construction of a new freeway interchange and the extension of Stephenson Avenue through the middle of 55ha of landlocked vacant land, following a $82.5 million commitment by the Western Australian State Government and a $82.5 million commitment by the Federal Government.

The Western Australian State Government has also committed $45 million to the Stirling Bus Interchange upgrade project together with $42.5 million committed by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government has also provided $2 million to fund a business case into Trackless Tram, an innovative alternative
to light rail that could potentially deliver similar outcomes with regard to corridor uplift and improved transport at a fraction
of the cost.

The route would connect passengers at the heart of the Stirling City Centre precinct with the iconic tourism destination, Scarborough Beach Foreshore, which recently received a $100 million redevelopment.

In between the two locations sits the major shopping centre Karrinyup, which is soon to complete an $800 million redevelopment, doubling its original size.

The City has a large and strategically placed piece of land on the eastern side of the Stirling City Centre, and has recently publicly stated its interest in encouraging developers of wave park facilities to consider developing the site.

What’s an exciting community program currently underway or coming up in the community?

The City of Stirling delivers over 200 different services and programs to residents, including most recently a back-by-popular-demand Barista Brews course to help young people get qualified in a skill that will improve their employment prospects.

How is the City of Stirling growing its technological capabilities?

The City of Stirling has been investing over several years into a relationship management system (RMS) that will revolutionise the way residents interact and engage with the City when accessing information and services.

The product is a cloud-based solution called Salesforce that will support the City on its digital maturity journey by enabling efficient, responsive and sustainable service experiences to its diverse customers.

Alongside this, the City will develop a bespoke mobile device app that is fully integrated into the RMS, meaning residents can notify the City of issues from their mobile device through the app, and that information will immediately translate into action tasks for the relevant City officers.

How has the pandemic affected the region, and how is the city recovering?

Residents and businesses all across the City of Stirling were hit hard during 2020, and continue to be impacted by the Delta variant-related lockdowns and economic challenges.

In May of 2020, Council approved a $43.7 million boost for households, businesses, and community in the form of our Economic Stimulus and Community Recovery Package.

Primarily funded by drawing down on the City’s reserves, the City strategically reprioritised projects to provide maximum relief for households, businesses, community health and wellbeing and to generate employment opportunities.

The Recovery Package includes:

  • Ratepayer Financial Relief Package – $4.9 million
  • Business and Activation Package – $7 million
  • Community Package – $2.9 million
  • Capital Investment Package – $28.9 million The Economic Stimulus and Community Recovery package complemented the $2.1M in measures already implemented as an immediate response to COVID-19, including:
  • Development of a Community Services Hotline and a Small Business Hotline
  • A partnership with Business Foundations to give tailored one-on-one advice
  • Waiving verge permit fees and reducing bond charges
  • Reducing meal fees for two months for all Home and Community Care and Commonwealth Home

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