Youth in the streets

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Kim Mac­don­ald

AUBIN Grove has emerged as the Kid Cap­i­tal of Perth, with nearly one in three peo­ple in the sub­urb un­der 14 years of age.

Mother-of-two Hay­ley Long said she was not sur­prised the sub­urb topped the list, with neigh­bour­hood events re­volv­ing around chil­dren.

Mrs Long (23) said schools, face-paint­ing and fam­ily pets were the three hot top­ics of con­ver­sa­tion dur­ing her years liv­ing in the south­ern sub­urb, where 29.2 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion are aged un­der 14 years.

She re­cently moved from Aubin Grove to neigh­bour­ing Ham­mond Park, which is fourth on the list of WA’s kid hot spots, with 27.9 per cent of res­i­dents aged un­der 14 years.

She said both sub­urbs were set up to ac­com­mo­date young fam­i­lies, with plenty of parks and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices for chil­dren.

“I don’t think I’ll ever move from this area – it has every­thing we need,” she said.

De­mog­ra­pher Bernard Salt said Nappy Val­leys, as they were nick-named, were typ­i­cally found in metropoli­tan fringe sub­urbs such as Aubin Grove be­cause of the rel­a­tively af­ford­able house and land pack­ages on of­fer.

But the sub­urb would tran­si­tion with the res­i­dents, with the kid cap­i­tal likely to move far­ther south and Aubin Grove to move up the peck­ing or­der on the hous­ing lad­der.

He an­tic­i­pated the main top­ics of lo­cal con­ver­sa­tion would soon move on to sports util­ity ve­hi­cles or “soccer mum mo­biles” and chil­dren’s sports.

In about a decade, the high pro­por­tion of chil­dren of the same age would prompt po­lice con­cerns about teenage delin­quency.

Over the same pe­riod, hot top­ics of con­ver­sa­tion would move on to trips to Bali, ca­reers and ren­o­va­tions. Par­ents would then ex­pe­ri­ence a gen­er­a­tion of young­sters who would not move out of the fam­ily home.

Par­ents would buy the best home of their lives in their early 40s, with some mov­ing out of the sub­urb or buy­ing a bet­ter home.

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