Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is Australia's fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.06 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with most of the metropolitan area on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. Captain James Stirling founded Perth in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. It gained city status in 1856 and was promoted to the status of a Lord Mayorality in 1929. The city inherited its name due to the influence of Sir George Murray, then Member of Parliament for Perthshire and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The city's population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Italy, Greece, and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth. This was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for several large mining operations.
As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are in the city, as is Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia.
Data and Facts
- Perth enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other capital city in Australia
- The late great Heath Ledger was born here
- In 2016, Perth was ranked the 7th most liveable city in the world
- It has the world's biggest collection of investment gold bars
- It’s home to His Majesty’s Theatre, the only remaining working Edwardian theatre
- It has the highest per capita number of self-made millionaires in any city in the world
Perth is divided into 30 local government areas and 250 suburbs, stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Singleton in the south, and east inland to The Lakes. Outside of the main CBD, important urban centres within Perth include Armadale, Fremantle, Joondalup, Midland and Rockingham. Most of those were originally established as separate settlements and retained a distinct identity after being subsumed into the wider metropolitan area. Mandurah, Western Australia's second-largest city, has in recent years formed a conurbation with Perth along the coast, though for most purposes it is still considered a separate city.
The Perth metropolitan area is divided into thirty local government bodies, including the City of Perth which administers Perth's central business district. The outer extent of the administrative region of Perth comprises the City of Wanneroo and the City of Swan to the north, the Shire of Mundaring, City of Kalamunda and the City of Armadale to the east, the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale to the southeast and the City of Rockingham to the southwest, and including the islands of Rottnest Island and Garden Island off the west coast.
Perth is represented by 10 full seats and significant parts of three others in the Federal House of Representatives, with the seats of Canning, Pearce and Brand including some areas outside the metropolitan area.
The Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (previously the Federal Magistrates Court) occupy the Commonwealth Law Courts building on Victoria Avenue, which is also the location for annual Perth sittings of Australia's High Court.
Home to 27,762 people, Perth supports 149,475 jobs and has an annual economic output of $75.546 billion. Perth is the dynamic and rapidly growing capital city of the State of Western Australia, located on the Indian Ocean Rim within the Asia Pacific region, one of the world’s fastest growing and developing economic zones. By virtue of its population and role as the administrative centre for business and government, Perth dominates the Western Australian economy, despite the major mining, petroleum, and agricultural export industries being located elsewhere in the state. Perth's function as the state's capital city, its economic base and population size have also created development opportunities for many other businesses oriented to local or more diversified markets. Perth's economy has been changing in favour of the service industries since the 1950s. Although one of the major sets of services it provides is related to the resources industry and, to a lesser extent, agriculture, most people in Perth are not connected to either; they have jobs that provide services to other people in Perth.
It was simply cheaper to import all the needed manufactured goods from either the eastern states or overseas.
Industrial employment influenced the economic geography of Perth. After WWII, Perth experienced suburban expansion aided by high levels of car ownership. Workforce decentralisation and transport improvements made it possible for the establishment of small-scale manufacturing in the suburbs. Many firms took advantage of relatively cheap land to build spacious, single-storey plants in suburban locations with plentiful parking, easy access and minimal traffic congestion.
Our City is a centre of government, commerce, culture, education, sports, recreation, shopping and entertainment. It is set between the beautiful Swan River, and the 400 hectares of Kings Park. A large proportion of the City’s 19.36km2 area is public open space. Our City has a Mediterranean climate, and enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other capital city in the nation.
Most of Western Australia’s 2.58 million people live in the greater metropolitan area of Perth, of which the City of Perth is the nucleus.
The City of Perth’s Business Support team strives to provide a flourishing and prosperous business environment, develop small and medium businesses and encourage local and diverse entrepreneurialism at a neighbourhood level.
The team flies the flag for small and medium business, with a program of engagement initiatives which allow for high quality, effective two-way communications between business and the City.
Key services include:
- Business advice.
- Business engagement (face-to-face).
- Business information briefings, educational workshops and networking events.
- Business communication e-newsletter and alerts.
- Business resources (website, materials, services, education).
The City of Perth aims to help business by providing business events, innovative support programs, leadership recognition and unique opportunities for networking. The City holds regular business workshops on a range of topics to support small and medium businesses to thrive within the city environment. The business must be located within the City of Perth to be eligible to attend. A maximum of two participants per business may secure tickets for each workshop.
Perth is served by Perth Airport in the city's east for regional, domestic and international flights and Jandakot Airport in the city's southern suburbs for general aviation and charter flights.
Perth has a road network with three freeways and nine metropolitan highways. The Northbridge tunnel, part of the Graham Farmer Freeway, is the only significant road tunnel in Perth.
Perth metropolitan public transport, including trains, buses and ferries, are provided by Transperth, with links to rural areas provided by Transwa. There are 70 railway stations and 15 bus stations in the metropolitan area. Perth provides zero-fare bus and train trips around the city centre , including four high-frequency CAT bus routes.
The Indian Pacific passenger rail service connects Perth with Adelaide and Sydney once per week in each direction. As of 2013, Royal Perth Hospital in the city centre is the largest, with others spread around the metropolitan area: Armadale Kelmscott District Memorial Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus, King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women in Subiaco, Rockingham General Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands, St John of God Murdoch and Subiaco Hospitals, Midland Health Campus in Midland, and Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch. Perth Children's Hospital is the state's only specialist children's hospital, and Graylands Hospital is the only public stand-alone psychiatric teaching hospital. Most of these are public hospitals, with some operating under public-private partnerships. St John of God Murdoch and Subiaco Hospitals, and Hollywood Hospital are large privately owned and operated hospitals.
Perth's electricity is predominantly generated, supplied, and retailed by three Western Australian Government corporations. Verve Energy operates coal and gas power generation stations, as well as wind farms and other power sources. Perth's water supply has traditionally relied on both groundwater and rain-fed dams. While these developments will create tens of thousands of jobs and buoy the Perth economy in the coming years, many of these projects will also enhance amenity in local communities, which will help to drive demand and prices for nearby housing.
Although some of these apartment, hotel and shopping centre projects have started, the research report shows that the large majority of works are still ahead of us and will be completed over the next 2-4 years, so those investors who can act early and take advantage of this private infrastructure spending spree are likely to benefit most.
While the Momentum Wealth report, Perth Private Infrastructure 2017, details the unprecedented building boom ahead, investors need to be vigilant when making their investment decisions.
Hotel developments are typically limited to the Perth CBD, and while they will help stimulate the local economy by creating jobs these projects won’t have a direct impact on property markets.
Instead, investors could focus on metropolitan apartment and shopping centre developments that deliver more tangible benefits to local communities by way of new cafés, shops, restaurants and cinemas.
For example, many shopping centre expansions include main-street dining and leisure precincts to ensure the areas remain activated after 5pm while some suburban apartment projects include café and retail offerings at the ground floor that are open to the local community.
New amenities that come with these projects will help buoy values of nearby housing as more people want to live in these areas.
Perth has become a hub of technology focused startups since the early 2000s who provide a pool of highly skilled jobs to the Perth community. Companies such as Appbot, Agworld, Touchgram and Healthengine all hail from Perth and have made headlines internationally. Programs like StartupWA and incubators such as Spacecubed and Vocus Upstart are all focused on creating a thriving startup culture in Perth and growing the next generation of Perth-based employers.
Perth is served by thirty digital free-to-air television channels. ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten were also broadcast in an analogue format until 16 April 2013, when the analogue transmission was switched off. Community station Access 31 closed in August 2008. In April 2010 a new community station, West TV, began transmission (in digital format only).
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Since the end of the White Australia policy in 1973, Asia has become an increasingly important source of migrants, with communities from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and India all now well-established. There were 99,229 persons of Chinese descent in Perth in 2016 – 5.5% of the city's population. These are supported by the Australian Eurasian Association of Western Australia, which also serves a community of Portuguese-Malacca Eurasian or Kristang immigrants.
Middle Eastern immigrants have a presence in Perth. They come from a variety of countries, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Perth also has one of the largest Latin American populations in Australia, with Brazilians and Chileans being the largest Latin American groups in Perth. 1.6% of the population, or 31,214 people, identified as Indigenous Australians in 2016.At the 2016 census, 73.5% of inhabitants spoke only English at home, with the next most common languages being Mandarin , Italian , Vietnamese , Cantonese and Arabic .Catholics are the largest single Christian denomination in the Greater Perth area at 22% The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross claims over 2,000 members.Perth is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. Other performing arts companies based in Perth include the West Australian Ballet, the West Australian Opera and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, all of which present regular programmes. The Western Australian Youth Orchestras provide young musicians with performance opportunities in orchestral and other musical ensembles.Perth is also home to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, from which many actors and broadcasters have launched their careers. The city's main performance venues include the Riverside Theatre within the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, the Perth Concert Hall, the historic His Majesty's Theatre, the Regal Theatre in Subiaco and the Astor Theatre in Mount Lawley. The largest performance area within the State Theatre Centre, the Heath Ledger Theatre, is named in honour of Perth-born film actor Heath Ledger. Perth Arena can be configured as an entertainment or sporting arena, and concerts are also hosted at other sporting venues, including Optus Stadium, HBF Stadium, and nib Stadium. Films shot or set in Perth include Japanese Story , These Final Hours , Kill Me Three Times and Paper Planes .
The climate of Perth allows for extensive outdoor sporting activity, and this is reflected in the wide variety of sports available to residents of the city. Perth was host to the 1962 Commonwealth Games and the 1987 America's Cup defence . Australian rules football is the most popular spectator sport in Perth – nearly 23% of Western Australians attended a match at least once in 2009–2010.The two Australian Football League teams located in Perth, the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Football Club, have two of the largest fan bases in the country. The Eagles, the older club, is one of the most successful teams in the league, and one of the largest sporting clubs in Australia.The next level of football is the Western Australian Football League, comprising nine clubs each having a League, Reserves and Colts team.