A new study identifies the infrastructure and property developments that will keep WA growing as the mining boom fades, with the proposed MAX light rail system and the Peel Business Park among the key projects identified by the report. The Property Council of Australia’s ‘Keep WA Growing’ report by Urbis demonstrates how $4.5 billion of infrastructure investment and $2.4 billion of unlocked property development would enable a further $27 billion of economic activity for WA, generating 32,500 new jobs.
The study introduces a new framework to independently identify and prioritise major projects according to economic and community benefits. The framework prioritised three major projects around Perth that would deliver the greatest benefit: MAX Light Rail, Western Trade Coast and the Peel Economic and Environmental Initiative.
“The property industry is perfectly positioned to pick up the growth baton from the resources sector and these projects are urgently needed to ensure WA continues to deliver prosperity, jobs and strong communities, said the Property Council WA Executive Director Joe Lenzo. “The absolutely right thing for WA to do now is plan for growth and invest in high performing infrastructure. The totally wrong thing is to withdraw from infrastructure investment for short-term Budget reasons”. Urbis Chief Economist Nicki Hutley said the focus going forward needs to be on rational budgetary decisions which deliver maximum leverage from the more scare infrastructure capital. “We are pleased to inform the debate and to promote a deeper understanding of those investment projects which will provide optimum outcomes for the WA community,” Mr Hutley said.
Key findings of the report are:
- MAX Light Rail investment would conservatively generate $5.5 billion in direct economic activity over a 20 year period and upon full completion of development in key activity centres would unlock 13,000 jobs. It would also unlock opportunity for Transport Oriented Development nodes which would allow for infill development in line with the Government’s Directions 2031 and Perth @ 3.5 Million draft strategy.
- Not investing in MAX Light Rail is expected to cost Perth $16 billion in productivity loss in 2031 in the absence of any additional transport capacity.
- The development of the Peel Business Park would generate $8 billion over a 20 year period and will enable significant raw and manufactured agricultural exports to new markets in Asia and Africa.
- The Peel Business Park would support a peak of 9,500 new jobs when fully developed.
- The Western Trade Coast development will enable $13.7 billion of economic activity over 20 years, capitalising on Perth’s strategic location and supporting export markets.
- The Western Trade Coast would support 6,500 per annum jobs at 2025 and 20,800 jobs per annum at full build out in 2040.
Source: New Release, Government of Western Australia, 17 August, 2015