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Industries Bring Progress

To Rockingham The building of an oil refinery and steel works at Kwinana have been responsible for a rapid increase in building in the Rocddnghamn district and a consequent soaring in land values.

In the past two years the population has increased from 4,000 to 4,700. The attendance at the three schools-Safety Bay, Rocking ham and East Rockingham has increased from 232 in No vember, 1952, to 407 this year. The biggest increase has been at East Rockingham where there were 39 pupils in Novem ber, 1952, and 147 this year. This rise has been brought about by the establishment of the Medina townsite from which children are taken each day by bus to the East Rocking ham school. Seventeen new shops and fac tories have been erected in the district in the last two years. They include bank premises, two htrdware stores, a picture theatre, dry cleaning factory, precision engineering works, two cabinet and joinery works, a shoe store, two mercers shops and a firm supplying builders requirements. Hospital Among the thousands of pounds worth of buildings pro posed are a 64-bed hospital be tween Kwinana and Rocking ham and a 28-bedroom wing on the Rockingham Hotel. Two shops between the pic ture theatre and the Rocking ham Hotel are nearly finished and a modern bakehouse in Gregory-street is being built. Other shops in the town are making extensive alterations and some have plans for addi tions. Two applications for hotels at Safety Bay are to be submitted to the Licensing Court this month. In the Safety Bay area two big areas have recently been subdivided into 380 building blocks and an area of about 500 acres will be subdivided in the near future. Land Prices In the past three years land prices have shown increases av eraging about 300 per cent. Two years ago I -acre blocks in the vicinity of Smyth-street sold for £ 150 and nearby blocks recently sold for £300. Blocks with a sea frontage are almost unprocurable and prices over £1,000 have been offered for some which three years ago were selling for about £300. A block at the. corner of Vic toria and Kent streets bought for £45 in 1942 was subdivided into three blocks and sold for £1,500 last year. There have been 140 homes built in the last two years and nearly 50 are in the course of construction throughout the dis trict.