Kwinana might be the State's industrial powerhouse but it is a "bust town" in terms of extreme socioeconomic disadvantage, a new report reveals.
The report says the town, just 33km from the city, is plagued by high unemployment, shocking numeracy and literacy in schools and poor early childhood, health, education, crime and indigenous outcomes.
The Town of Kwinana commissioned the report to spearhead a push for the Federal Government to provide more services, funding and programs to tackle some entrenched social problems.
It provides data, sourced mainly from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, to highlight the "extreme disadvantage" in the town, population more than 26,000.
The Kwinana industrial strip pumps billions of dollars into the State economy each year but the report says residents of the town are not sharing the benefits of the wealth generated. The town's gross local product per person is about $121,090, compared with the WA figure of $80,000 per person.
"Repeated governments of WA and Australia have taken all the production benefits that Kwinana has to offer into their economies and have given very little back in terms of social capacity," the report says.
"Historically, disadvantage has been ignored in Kwinana and it continues to be ignored."
The report says by almost every measure studied, Kwinana is a "boom town" in production terms, but a "bust town" for factors including early childhood disadvantage and poor literacy and numeracy standards.
The Kwinana-Rockingham region has the second highest unemployment rate in WA after East Kimberley and the lowest indigenous employment rate of any region.
It says the region has the highest high school suspension rate in the State, and the town's only public high school truancy rate is one in five.
There is also a significantly higher proportion of obese residents in Kwinana at 35.2 per cent compared with 24.6 per cent in WA.
The report highlights the "very poor" performance of Kwinana schools, particularly government schools, on the Federal Government's My School website to argue that all the town's schools should benefit from Council of Australian Governments' national partner- ships.
Kwinana mayor Carol Adams said despite efforts locally, the town could not "do it alone" and needed more help to tackle problems.
She said the town had potential and was a place of great opportunity for work and living but was underrated unfairly by many outside the area.The report made seven key requests for Federal help, including funding for a children and family centre, a trade training centre and a youth centre.
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