From the CEO, October 2019

Our research was in demand this month. I gave the keynote address at LIFE2019, WA’s leading surveying and spatial industry event, on the role of data in shaping cities and also participated in a panel on smart cities for the Public Sector Network. Having an evidence base is vital to the work of the Committee and it is pleasing to be able to draw from over 100 research reports on a range of issues to share with others.

Taking both a fact-based and solutions-focused approach in all that we do, we were delighted that, of the seven recommendations made in our report into the future of Perth’s economy, Perth's Pathway to Prosperity, six have been reflected in the State Government's recently released Diversity WA framework. This was followed by the release of the related WA Asian Engagement Strategy 2019-2030. Both documents set out a clear strategic direction which is important to realising economic prosperity and diversity.

Another important part of our work is engagement with members and the Hashtag Perth project Steering Committee met in the month, as did our Reshaping Working Group and Mobility Taskforce. Of particular interest was a visit to ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Centre at Jandakot – in addition to the renewable and clean energy deployed on-site, they have implemented a Noongar Six Seasons Garden.

Mid-September I started a two-year Exec Master of Cities at London School of Economics and Political Science. The only degree of its kind in the world, I am fortunate to be in the fourth cohort to study cities at this level. Aside from a quality team of academics, the class of 2019/20 is comprised of city policy and decision makers, and private and third-sector professionals working in the USA, UK, Australia and Europe. It is such a privilege to be amongst it all as I think about Perth and its future.

Also in September, the government released the 2019 Women's Report Card which was a sobering read. The report prepared by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has an array of statistics which clearly show that if you are a woman in WA, you are more than likely to face inequity and disadvantage in some way. As one of the panellists said at the launch ‘Where is the outrage?’. Indeed!

One controversial topic that did get some coverage recently, thanks to a Business News article, was the development of Perth’s beach and riverside suburbs. I was approached for comment for the piece that looked at how the city was still exploring how best to activate and protect these areas. I shared my thoughts on how coastal developments such as Hillarys Boat Harbour, and the more recent Scarborough facelift, have been huge success stories – despite initially facing opposition. I also discussed how we need to find a way to make the most of the Swan River, and increase access to it for all residents.

We welcome Bianca Parent to the Committee as a new member of our team. Bianca has taken on the newly created role of Executive Support Officer and has responsibility for keeping all facets of the office running smoothly. Her appointment has freed up Madeline to dedicate more time to member engagement activities and for Holly to focus on growth. Bianca also is looking after my diary and navigating her way through the many competing demands on my time.

The rest of the year is shaping up to be busy and our latest research into cost of living and innovation hotspots will be released in October.

Until next month,

Marion Fulker
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow UWA

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.