PropertyESP attended the Property Council lunch with The Lord Mayor Scaffidi this week where the topic of discussion was the newly introduced City of Perth Act.
Despite the lack of direction with Council amalgamations, it is pleasing to see that the City of Perth has at least been able to place itself strategically.
The City of Perth now includes UWA, QEII Medical Centre and Royal Perth Yacht Club, providing the City with the opportunity to develop a Medical Research Campus on par with the Texas Hospital Campus (which includes 21 specialist hospitals).
The Mayor also spoke about strengthening relations with Sister Cities as part of a tourism strategy and the desire to attract campuses such as the Curtin Business School to the CBD. The recent LNG 18 Conference attracted 3500 delegates and it is these kinds of events that WA needs to continue to secure.
It was also recognised by the panel that most uni students now prefer to live in the City rather than on campus and this evolving trend will provide increased opportunities for business. With this in mind the Mayor is keen to promote Perth first and then education second- in order to further build this economic base.
Attracting overseas students no doubt also attracts their families and it is this leverage that both the Mayor and Premier wish to maximise in the near future.
The panel also discussed that with Perth office rents at highly attractive rates, there was a movement of businesses from the suburbs into the City. This flight to quality will undoubtedly have a trickle-down effect for other office sectors.
The Mayor also emphasised the need to increase the population within the CBD to attract overseas businesses that were seeking a critical vitality. Eight of the nine sites at Elizabeth Quay have been taken up and this will further add to the new infrastructure investment that we have witnessed over the last couple of years.
There is a sense of purpose and plan with the City and this is further echoed by the current Government.
We at PropertyESP are hopeful that with the focus on the same outcomes, that this transition and vision will in fact become a reality for Perth and greater WA.