Building Our Economy

Economic profile

The City is a major contributor to the economic activity of the region and its economic profile reflects its strong position.

There are currently nearly 9,00 local businesses, 52,000 local jobs and 61,000 residents employed across a range of industries and sectors in the City of Cockburn. In 2021, the City of Cockburn contributed 4% of Western Australia’s employment.

Following is an overview of the City’s economic profile. The City's economic analysis toolkit gives in-depth and interactive information on economic activity in the City and compares Cockburn’s performance with other local governments, the wider Perth region and the state.

For more information, visit Remplan

Economy Profile

Community Profile

Gross Regional Product

The City of Cockburn's Gross Regional Product is estimated at $11.4 billion, which represents 3.2% of the state's GSP (Gross State Product).

Cockburn industries

Cockburn industries provide nearly 30 per cent of the employment for the south west area of Perth. This area includes the cities of Fremantle, Kwinana, Melville and Rockingham and the Town of East Fremantle. Cockburn industries generate almost $126 billion in regional exports.

The top five industries in Cockburn make up nearly 70 per cent of regional exports in the local area. They are:  

  • Manufacturing (29.1 percent)
  • Construction (17.6 percent)
  • Mining (9.0%) 
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste (6.7%)
  • Rental, hiring and real estate (6.7%) 

Local jobs and top occupations

Over the last 10 years, local jobs have almost tripled. 

30 per cent of local jobs are concentrated in the City’s commercial parks in Bibra Lake, Phoenix and Cockburn Central. These areas employ almost 18,000 people combined. 

There has also been a large period of growth within the Henderson Industrial area, which is also home to the Australian Marine Complex - where over 6,000 workers are located.

The top three occupations for Cockburn residents are: 

  • Professionals (23.2 percent)
  • ​Technicians and trade workers (16.7 percent)
  • Clerical and administrative workers (13.3 percent).

Economic Development Framework

Within our Strategic Community Plan 2020-2030, the key outcome area of Local Economy has the aim of creating ‘a sustainable and diverse local economy that attracts increased investment and provides local employment’. 

The Economic Development Framework recognises that the City’s normal activities, together with other projects, contribute significantly to economic outcomes. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and we have developed a framework approach to guide our Economic Development activities that is appropriate for our environment and our community priorities. 

The Framework includes the tools and mechanisms to assess projects that will facilitate and encourage Economic Development in a way that is unique to Cockburn.

The impact of using the framework to guide Economic Development Activities will be:

  • More collaborative partnerships focusing on innovative practices and technologies
  • Creation of large and small-scale investment opportunities
  • Growth in the numbers of local jobs and suitably skilled residents
  • Increase in the number of export-oriented jobs
  • Generation of a stronger place identity, including tourism destinations, sustainable industries and innovation hubs.

The Framework (program areas and the enablers of economic development)

Based on the literature review and workshops with staff and Elected Members, four key outcome areas were identified:

  1. Place-based Economic Development

  2. Blue Economy

  3. Visitor Economy

  4. Capacity Building and Innovation Support

Eight enablers of economic development were also identified. These enablers have assisted in the development of the Framework and the proposed action plan by identifying where the work of a range of the City’s internal business units may interact with economic development initiatives and outcomes.
  1. Infrastructure

  2. Environment

  3. Transport

  4. Governance

  5. Advocacy

  6. Urban Quality

  7. Workforce

  8. Community

The Economic Development Framework Action Plan outlines potential initial projects and initiatives (incorporating catalysts, game changers, systems and decisions, and relationships) which align with the Framework’s purpose and the Strategic Community Plan’s outcome areas. Each year officers will prepare an Action Plan for the following year.
The Action Plan has been informed by the consultation and research conducted to date and provides a snapshot of the type of activities that fall within the four Program areas, and then how they impact on each of the eight enablers.

Small Business Friendly Local Government

Small business owners (and operators) create local employment, provide essential goods and services and help create attractive, liveable communities. 

In 2018, the City signed the Small Business Friendly Local Government Charter, to demonstrate our commitment to actively support small businesses in Cockburn.

The Small Business Friendly Local Government initiative was developed by the Small Business Development Corporation opens in a new window

Small Business Charter

The City of Cockburn has committed to supporting our local small business community by:

  • Recognising it as an important stakeholder and consulting regularly
  • Understanding how small businesses operate, their needs, goals and key challenges
  • Providing clear service standards, setting out what we will do to support local business
  • Giving clear advice and guidance to help business owners meet their regulatory obligations
  • Regularly reviewing our policies to check for ‘small business friendliness’
  • Taking reasonable action to limit unnecessary administrative burdens
  • Ensuring prompt payment of small business invoices
  • Providing networking and other development opportunities for local business owners
  • Regularly meeting with and consulting members of the local small business community to improve our understanding of their needs
  • Managing disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Alliance and advocacy groups

The City of Cockburn supports a range of alliance and advocacy groups within Western Australia and nationally.

The South West Group

The South West Group represents one of the fastest growing regions of Perth. This includes the cities of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville, Kwinana and Rockingham and the Town of East Fremantle. 

The South West Group promotes sustainable economic growth and development and lifestyle opportunities for the communities of the region. 

The South West Group partners and collaborates with State and Federal Government, industry, business and community on activities that benefit and facilitate further economic development in the South West Metropolitan Region. 

The Vision for South West Metropolitan Region is to be the ‘Economic Gateway to the West’.

A Board manages the South West Group and includes the Mayors and CEO's of its member local governments.

Find out more about the South West Group opens in a new window.

National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA)

The National Growth Areas Alliance advocates at the Federal Government level for a stronger focus on the needs of Australia’s fast-growing outer suburbs, currently home to 5 million people. 

The City of Cockburn is a member of NGAA, alongside six other WA Councils. 

NGAA’s member councils are calling for dedicated funding for critical infrastructure and services for outer growth areas, and for all levels of government to commit to assisting outer suburbs reach their full potential. 

Find out more about the National Growth Areas Alliance opens in a new window.

Growth Areas Perth and Peel (GAPP)

Growth Areas Perth and Peel aims to improve the liveability and desirability of Perth's outer metropolitan communities, through the development of a dedicated special purpose fund for sport and recreation facilities. 

GAPP consists of 11 outer metropolitan Perth councils, who advocate for public open space and much needed local sporting facilities. 

The aim of GAPP is to develop a federal funding model to help deliver local sports facilities to their local communities by 2025. 

Find out more about Growth Areas Perth and Peel opens in a new window.

The Henderson Alliance

The Henderson Alliance was established in 2017 and is a dynamic and progressive alliance of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) taking positive action to work collaboratively and build capability to create a better business environment, with new opportunities generated in defence-related industries and other specialised sectors of advanced manufacturing. 

Find out more about The Henderson Alliance opens in a new window.

Chambers of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) 

As the peak body representing businesses in WA for more than 125 years, CCIWA supports and connects thousands of businesses, with one vision in mind: for WA to be a world leading place to live and do business. 

CCIWA monitors and analyses the ever-changing local and national economic environment so that we’re all better informed. They stay close to the laws, regulations and proposed Government decisions so that we can put WA business interests at the heart of every aspect of commerce

Find out more about the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia opens in a new window.

Melville Cockburn Chamber of Commerce

The Melville Cockburn Chamber of Commerce supports businesses throughout the cities of Melville and Cockburn. The chamber connects local businesses through regular correspondence, meetings and networking opportunities and it provides advice, advocacy and information to its members to promote economic development. 

Find out more about the Melville Cockburn Chamber of Commerce opens in a new window.

More information and contact

For more information, please contact the Business Engagement Officer on 08 9411 3444 or email [email protected].



Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

Language Support

Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.