Feature Article - Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom report launch


It was with much anticipation and excitement that the Committee’s Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom: Perth’s Pathway to Prosperity report was launched last month. The result of two years’ research, the final report identifies 11 opportunities and seven recommendations with 25 actions that will seek to protect Perth’s much valued quality of life and deliver economic growth.

Importantly, the report was undertaken using the Committee’s unique four-pronged research approach, incorporating academic research and in-house expertise from 10 reports specific to the project, findings from international and national on-the ground study tours and community surveys of 2,600 residents to create a report ‘by Perth, for Perth’.

An examination of Perth’s economy identified, unsurprisingly, our significant strengths in mining and resources, which have remained resilient despite the recent downturn. Additionally, the sector has become more diverse and innovative, providing new opportunities for a competitive and innovative economy. Our mining and energy sectors have contributed to Perth’s global connectivity, particularly with countries in Asia and Africa, through the 652 ASX Perth-headquartered firms and their respective global presence.

The report also identified industries creating opportunities to enhance Perth’s economic growth beyond the resources sector, which are emerging as ‘bright lights’ for the future. While not always the biggest employers or industries with the most firms, their contribution to vibrancy and economic diversity suggests new employment opportunities and enhanced global engagement for Perth. These included the recreation and creative industries; professional, scientific and technical industries linked to mining and resources; tourism; internationally competitive education institutions; health care and social assistance; and agriculture and agribusiness, able to service Asia’s growing demand for food.

While these industries have, and will continue, to deliver positive opportunities for Perth’s economy, Perth is currently experiencing a period of significant disruption and growing dissatisfaction. Between 2012 and 2016, mining investment fell by 37%, which had flow on effects for other areas of Perth’s economy including reduced non-mining investment, decreased wages for many Perth and Peel residents and fewer employment opportunities across the metropolitan region. This economic downturn has impacted on resident perceptions of Perth, with 33% of people saying that the region has changed for the worse since 2015.

In addition, there is increasing global competition for talent, investment and visitors at a city to city scale. The report identified Perth’s competitiveness as a place to live, work and do business is under threat, due to a lack of significant reform or planning for our future in the 21st century global market. Our long-term economic resilience and mining and resource upswings have generated a ‘crisis of complacency’ in Perth, linked to abundant natural resources, significant periods of growth and prosperity, short-lived and moderate downturns and a high quality of life.

So as to ensure Perth moves from this state of complacency into a period of prosperity, the Committee for Perth has identified 11 major opportunities for the region. These have translated into seven recommendations, outlined below which are supported by 25 implementable actions for government, industry and the community to realise Perth’s bright future. 

Read the report.

Other articles from Insight, November 2018 (view email newsletter):