Midland post-settlement history

Midland has been occupied by settlers since 1832. However, little development occurred until 1886, when the Midland Railway Company started operations. In 1891, the township of Midland Junction was established, after private land was subdivided and put up for sale by James Morrison.

True to its name, Midland Junction was a junction for the roads north and east (now the Great Northern and Great Eastern highways) and the railway system. The township's expansion was so rapid that the municipality of Helena Vale was proclaimed in November 1895. This name was to revert to Midland Junction in 1901.

Between 1902 and 1904, the WA Government Railway Workshops were moved to Midland, where they had a profound and lasting influence on the town. During World War I, a large number of the workshops’ men joined the armed forces. They are commemorated by the Peace Statue on the site. As a town war memorial, the citizens of Midland placed a large four-sided clock on the dome of the Midland Town Hall in 1923. This clock has become one of Midland's best-known landmarks.

The State Abattoirs were opened in 1914 and the Army's ordnance store in 1920. During World War II, part of the Midland Railway Workshops was converted for the repair of naval equipment and parts, and a large shell annex constructed for the manufacture of munitions.

There were many changes in the area in the 1960s and 1970s. “Junction” was dropped from Midland's name in 1961. The Midland Railway Company was bought by the WA Government Railways in 1964, and their land became the site of the Rapid Transit Terminal in 1967 and Centrepoint Shopping Centre in 1972. In 1970, the Town of Midland merged with the Swan-Guildford Shire to become the Shire of Swan.

Additions to the area during the 1980s included a new police station and courthouse, Midland Gate Shopping Centre, Swan Active Midland and Perth SpeedDome.

In 1993, the Department of Land Administration (now Landgate) moved to Midland. This was followed, in 1994, by the State Government's closure of the Railway Workshops, which immediately impacted Midland's local businesses and workforces.

The establishment of the Midland Redevelopment Authority in 2000 has helped revitalise the area. The Midland Redevelopment Authority became part of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority in 2012.

In 2018, ground was broken on the City’s New Junction redevelopment, an 11ha precinct connecting the original Midland Junction with the Midland Gate Shopping Centre precinct. The vision is to embrace Midland’s future while paying homage to its past, creating a new town centre with high-quality civic, retail, commercial and residential developments.

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