Vote for a thriving Perth CBD

A version of this opinion piece was published in The West Australian on Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Property Council WA encourages City of Perth residents, business operators and building owners to enrol and exercise their voting rights at the City of Perth elections on October 17.

It’s crucial that each stakeholder with an interest in making a contribution to a thriving central Perth ensures they are enrolled before the August 28 deadline.

City of Perth, working with stakeholders including Property Council WA, has released its COVID-19 Economic Rebound Strategy to get Perth back up and running.

Optimising this plan and charting a way forward for economic growth will be the first priority of Perth’s new Lord Mayor.

Before the pandemic shutdown, Property Council WA released Project 90K, which made the case for crucial central infrastructure including schools and playgrounds to support a future CBD residential population of 90,000. Both City of Perth and the State Government nominated a CBD university campus as a potential catalyst for a CBD population of 90,000 by 2050.

While the pandemic put a temporary hold on Perth’s City Deal talks, the themes that emerged, including attracting more residents and creating exciting tourism drawcards, still ring true.

During the City of Perth election campaign, Property Council WA will also release our ideas for reinvigorating the CBD, fuelling a financial recovery and reactivating underused spaces, including upper floors in Hay and Murray Street Malls. We think City of Perth voters should carefully consider our ideas against candidate platforms before they vote.

A new Lord Mayor should be firmly focused on securing a City Deal for Perth that will maximise the economic dividends for our city. The Perth CBD is the beating heart of our economy. And as we continue to navigate our way through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be essential for the State Government, the City and the private sector to work together to ensure healthy numbers of people and activity flow through our City again.

We know commercial office owners, tourism and hospitality, hotels, retail, businesses dependent on international students and others have been hard hit by the pandemic and central Perth has yet to reach its potential as a thriving commercial, residential and tourism precinct.

Business ratepayers make a significant financial contribution, via the rates paid and their investment in the city. We encourage you to have your say.

Sandra Brewer is WA Executive Director at the Property Council of Australia.