Redcliffe is a suburb of Perth and is located within the City of Belmont local government area.
The story of its name is ambiguous: while some claim it was named after steep red clay deposits that lined the banks of the Swan River when settlers first arrived, others claim that it was named after the ancestorial home of an early settler. The suburb was once a single property near modern-day Water Street and the main house, 'Nulsen Haven' still stands today. The local Primary school was built in 1908 and at this time, Redcliffe had been transformed from one property into many small farms after being subdivided in 1897.
After World War II, however, immigrants and refugees were housed on crown land at the airport in temporary accommodation known as Nissen Huts (one of these huts survives as the Assembly Hall for the primary school today). These 'New Australians', as they were once known, soon moved into the wider Perth community. During this housing boom in the Belmont/Redcliffe area, some opted to live in tents while waiting for materials needed to finish their homes.
When it became clear that airport use had exceeded the capacity of First Street, many homes and small farms were forcibly resumed by the state government to facilitate the creation of the current access road, Brearley Avenue. This sparked much anger amongst the ousted Redcliffians.
It also spurred one man in particular to take action. Mr Coffee, a man who had lived all his life in the little suburb of Redcliffe and was educated at the local school, joined the Belmont council and made it his life's work to represent Redcliffe's interests. When the state government approved the construction of Tonkin Highway (a major arterial road) through the centre of Redcliffe, Mr Coffee saw at once that eastern Redcliffe would be effectively isolated from the rest of Belmont. He also saw that this would restrict attendance of the Primary School and therefore, possibly force its closure. Therefore, he successfully lobbied for the First Street bridge to be built and for it to include pedestrian access.
Modern Redcliffe is a unique mix of residential, semi-industrial and retail buildings. It is 18 minutes from the Perth CBD and a short walk from the Swan River.
Redcliffe is the site of the Perth Immigration Detention Centre.
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