Feature Article - 2017: A Year in Review

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Looking back on 2017, it’s not surprising it felt like it was a busy year, because it was.

Bigger and Better Beyond the Boom is shaping up to be another landmark project that is expected to positively influence policy development. This year they Committee released three FACTBase Bulletins that offered interesting insights into higher education and vocational training in Perth and Peel, tourism in WA and the challenges and opportunities surrounding Perth’s ageing population.

In November, we released the FACTBase Special Report - Perth as a resilient economy. The report looked at one of Perth’s most significant periods of economic diversification and expansion, from the end of World War II to today. It also examined a number of key economic indicators and found the local economy was less volatile and more robust than the Australian economy. The report found there was virtually no evidence to suggest WA has a boom-bust economy, but more a soaring-gliding one. We hope this research changes the conversation around our economy.

While the macro findings of Perth as a resilient economy found that over the long-term the local economy is robust, the micro economy painted a sobering picture. In March, as part of B4, Ipsos surveyed more than 2,000 Perth and Peel residents to understand how they were faring post-boom, both at work and at home. The research found that many households are apprehensive about the future. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents had experienced career disruption with less than half of respondents feeling secure about their jobs. When asked about the future, 45% of people didn’t expect any improvement in their quality of life, 72% foreshadowed no real wages growth and 59% said they would struggle if household expenses went up by 5%.

In the middle of the year, we released two FACTBase Bulletins on gender equality. The Bulletins found that the career progression rate for women being appointed onto boards and reaching senior and executive level position remains very slow. To try and increase the rate of progression, in collaboration with our partner AIM WA, we developed two professional development opportunities for individuals and organisations to gain practical skills and knowledge that use the 31 recommendations from Filling the Pool.

In total, we released 13 research publications, held 25 events, including a Perth in Focus – The Pull Factor of the CBD, featuring Lyle Bicknell Principal Urban Designer, City of Seattle. We moved into a new professional office in London House on St Georges Terrace. At the official opening, Professor Len Collard, a Whadjuk Noongar, provided a Welcome to Country and a blessing, he named the office ‘Katata Boordier’ which means ‘Thought Leader’, which we believe is very appropriate.

I’d like to thank all the Working Group and Project Steering Committee members, who have generously donated more than 200 hours of invaluable work to help create a bright future for Perth. To the funding partners of B4, thank you for your additional funding that allows us to carry out this landmark research.

We also welcomed 20 new members and we remain keen to grow our total to 150 members, so that we can maintain our reputation as the go-to organisation on Perth’s growth.

In 2018, we will continue to promote, enable and drive change that improves cultural diversity, economic sustainability and the world-class amenity of Perth. Our focus remains on improving the liveability and competitiveness of the Perth and Peel region, to ensure that it is a great place to live, work, visit and invest. I encourage you all to actively join us on our journey.

Tony Monaghan, The Brand Agency


Other articles from Insight, End of Year 2017 (view email newsletter):