Balga, from the Aboriginal word for an indigenous tree, was originally used for market gardens and poultry farms, before large-scale development of Balga began in the late 1950s.
Adopted in 1954, the name Balga is derived from the Aboriginal word for the indigenous grass tree Xanthorrhoea.
The Balga locality was originally part of a grant given to T. R. C. Walters in 1840 and was used primarily for market gardens and poultry farms, before large-scale development of Balga began in the late 1950s.
In 1950, the State Housing Commission resumed land at Balga to form part of the Mirrabooka satellite city, which was to also include Nollamara, Westminster and the northern portion of Dianella.
Mirrabooka was to become a regional centre containing 16,000 houses, as well as civic and recreational facilities including childcare, schools and public open space, and it was envisaged the Balga population of workers would commute to and from Mirrabooka and the northern industrial areas. Although the Mirrabooka project was never completed, the State Housing Commission gradually developed land at Balga.
Balga streets began to be laid out in 1959 with the majority of housing constructed between 1964 and 1970 the area is largely characterised by single-storey residential dwellings with lot sizes averaging 700 m2.
Most dwellings in Balga are made of brick and tile, reflecting the period of development and, while most residences are detached, there are some examples of grouped dwellings and flats throughout the suburb.
Commercial and community development
Balga contains numerous parks and recreational reserves and the largest is Princess Wallington Reserve. Offering a broad range of recreational facilities, including an aquatic centre, tennis courts, cricket club and soccer club, its central location provides an important focal point for the Balga community.
Numerous other small parks and reserves, such as Heritage Park and Celebration Park, can be found across the suburb.
Balga also contains 2 local shopping centres, both of which provide a range of retail services to fulfil local needs:
- Fieldgate Square, on the western boundary of the suburb
- Westminster Plaza, centrally located.
Several primary schools, as well as Balga Senior High School and the North Metropolitan TAFE, serve education requirements in Balga. Established in 1972, the Balga campus of TAFE provides a diverse range of part-time and full-time studies with courses ranging from business studies and hairdressing to carpentry and plumbing.