Keep WA growing

Every city and region faces its challenges – our diversified economy means that it is rare for our states to be in sync with each other.

While our largest state economies of NSW and Victoria are currently growing strongly, Western Australia is facing the hangover after the once in a century mining boom.

Last week I spent a few days in WA, finding out about new projects and meeting with our members. While the macroeconomic factors buffeting the economy are there for all to see, there is some good news filtering through.

There is a super cycle of new investment in shopping centres which is reported on in this issue.

Residential apartment construction is also continuing and sales are ticking over, albeit very slowly.

And the Property Council’s Australian Office Market Report shows a big jump in demand for office space, although the vacancy rate remains an eye watering 21.1 per cent.

The new State Government is also committing itself to transform Perth’s transport network with the construction of METRONET – a new metro rail vision for the future. The idea is that this infrastructure would support the development of METROHUBS, activity centres supported by medium and higher density housing.

It is very early days, but this does provide a potential blueprint for the future growth of Perth underpinned by a transport backbone.

The Property Council is engaging closely in this agenda and the issues that will get WA growing again: more investment in infrastructure, planning reform and cutting red tape, City Deals to co-ordinate government efforts and finding new ways of attracting jobs and investment.