Morley – Perth, Western Australia
Located within the local government area (LGA) of the City of Bayswater, Morley is a suburb of the capital city Perth, Western Australia, and is about 10 miles (6 km) northeast of downtown Perth.
Formerly known as Morley Park, Morley was part of the Swans River Colony, and was sparsely settled until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Morley remained semi-rural for several years, with progress such as paved roads and public utilities slow to arrive. After the first World War, Morley Park Estate, as it was known, began subdividing for urban development.
As is the case with many suburbs, the post-World War II population boom and the subsequent demand for housing accelerated development of the area. The population continued to increase over the next several decades, due in large part to commercial development of Morley, as well as ambitious settlement programs. Both the initial commercial development and the settlement plan were geared towards attracting the large-scale home building companies that emerged in the 1960’s. In 1984, the Tonkin Highway, connecting Perth Airport with Perth’s north- and south-eastern suburbs, was built and runs through the center of Morley.
Now with a population of about 20,000 people, Morley boasts the fifth-largest shopping centre in Western Australia, the Galleria Shopping Centre. Ambitious plans for a $350 million expansion of the Centre appears to have been postponed due to current unfavorable market conditions. However, plans for improvements to Morley’s commercial district continue, with the aim of achieving a more diversified use of space and improved accessibility for pedestrians, as well as to encourage residential living. The plans include breaking Morley down into precincts, each with its own objectives. They are, according to the Morley Activity Centre Plan (MACP), as follows:
- Central Core- mixed use with a focus on retail.
- Outer Core- lower density residential development focusing on apartment living.
- Mixed Business- transition from industry to “office, research and development activities”.
- Civic and Education-no significant changes.
- Inner City Residential- medium density residential development.
In summary, Morley is a thriving community with bold plans for the future, just a short drive from Perth; an attractive residential alternative to city living and a unique destination spot for nearby inhabitants and tourists alike.
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