FACTBase Bulletin 77 - COVID SubUrbanisms Intra Mobility Trends in Greater Perth

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The Committee for Perth is pleased to be releasing their 77th FACTBase Bulletin as the final research piece for this year.

Following on from our Future of Work major research project, this FACTBase Bulletin reviews the intra-metropolitan mobility trends in Greater Perth from February 2020 to August 2021 providing insights on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions had an impact on mobility to key places - retail/recreation, transit stations, workplaces and residential - creating shifts across the region.

Key Findings
  • The Western Australian Government’s ‘hard and fast’ policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date has proved to be effective in helping to contain the spread and impacts of COVID-19 in terms of the number of cases and deaths.
  • The Western Australian (WA) and Greater Perth economies have remained relatively buoyant over the past 18 months. For example, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data show that payroll jobs increased by 3.0% and 2.1% for the State and the metropolitan region, respectively, for the year 14 March 2020 – 12 March 2021.
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on the Greater Perth region were hardest felt during the first few months (March 2020–May 2020) of the pandemic. All local government areas (LGAs) within the region experienced a significant decline in visitors to retail/recreation, transit stations and workplaces, especially during April 2020.
  • The spatial impacts of COVID-19 across the Greater Perth region were far from even. In overall terms, inner-metropolitan LGAs (e.g. Perth, Subiaco, Vincent) and the City of Fremantle have fared worse than their outer-suburban counterparts.
  • Visitors to transit stations across the metropolitan region reached their lowest levels in April 2020, down by over 50% on average. Perth City was hit the hardest, with visitor numbers down by 76%.
  • April 2020 was the worst month in terms of visitors to workplaces, down an average of 40% across the metropolitan region. Subiaco and Perth were the worst affected LGAs, with numbers down by 56% and 55%, respectively.
  • Snap lockdowns plus restrictions on physical distancing and movement resulted in people spending an increased amount of time at home. April 2020 witnessed the largest increases in time spent at home.
Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.