Transformation project beautifies neighbourhood

Transformation project beautifies neighbourhood
2 June 2022

City of Kwinana works with State Departments, agencies and local youth to refresh a housing complex in Orelia.

A housing complex in Worrall Court, Orelia, has been transformed using an award-winning model from Napier in New Zealand.

The City’s Community Development Officer for Crime Prevention Sinead Gilligan drew together various State agencies and Departments, including the Department of Communities, Kwinana Police, the State Graffiti Team, Neighbourhood Watch and even some youth from The Zone’s Outdoor Adventure Group assisted.

Their intention was to use environmental design — using landscaping in particular — to influence an individual’s perception of their safety and discourage offending.

Over a two-week period in September 2021, the housing complex was landscaped to restore a sense of pride in the area.

Representatives from WA Police, the Department of Communities and the City of Kwinana also door knocked each of the 19 units in the complex and other residents of the Worrall Court street to hear and respond to their community safety issues.

Mayor Carol Adams said community safety packs were also handed out along with information on how to better connect to their neighbours.

“It was important to listen to the residents and respond to their concerns especially in relations to how they hoped their neighbourhood could improve,” Mayor Adams said.

“Bringing the key Departments and State services together to listen to and address those needs was a key part of this ‘Love my Neighbourhood’ project.”

Youth from the Outdoor Adventure Group helped lay mulch and put in new plants outside several of the units to brighten the space, and even used chalk to provide sidewalk activities for children living inside the complex.

At the end of the fortnight, a barbecue was held to bring residents of the street together and planting initiatives have continued since the conclusion of the Love My Neighbourhood project.

Kwinana Police Station’s Sergeant Anthony Nemeth said the number of calls the station was currently receiving about the Worrall Court complex had fallen by 70 per cent as a result of the project.

In fact, the effect was almost immediate with the number of calls to police dropping by 50 percent in the three months following the Love My Neighbourhood project.

“This has been an outstanding example of how strong partnerships can achieve excellent results. It reflects the great work of WA Police, City of Kwinana and Department of Communities to improve the quality of living for those tenants and wider community,” Sgt Nemeth said.

Mayor Carol Adams said the project continued to gain momentum well after the fortnight had ended, with further plantings being added near the footpath to further beautify the area.

“It was great to hear how this Council and community-led initiative inspired residents to go on to create their own gardens, with additional mulch made available upon request from the City,” Mayor Adams said.