Reignite Perth inspires broader border debate   

Brookfield’s Reignite Perth, which included leaders from industry groups including  Australian Hotels Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Minerals and Energy as well as Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer, was convened to start a conversation about attracting workers back to the CBD, where almost half of the offices are vacant despite  the WA community’s coronavirus-free status.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said for the most part, it was business as usual for WA with the state clearly re-opening. Ms Brewer has also said that in the longer term there was evidence that to maintain higher productivity the office was best.

“To maintain productivity gains, for the most part, workmates collaborate more effectively and creatively face-to-face,” Ms Brewer said. “The upshot of this pandemic, I hope, is that we will assign greater value to the social and nurturing elements of workplace culture, which creates a positive learning environment for younger and new employees and generates better long-term productivity.”

At the event, Premier Mark McGowan was urged to work on a strategy to reopen WA’s borders.

Qantas chairman Richard Goyder told the group of Perth corporate heavyweights, that the economic and social costs of closed borders would be “very significant” and that, until WA had free movement of people across its borders, Perth was not the place to be.

Mr Goyder was speaking at the same function as the Premier and said he would recommend Rio Tinto move its global headquarters from London to Perth but not while WA’s borders were closed.