Marion Fulker says there are few signs to show that the economy of Greater Perth is one that teeters from boom to bust.

Boom-bust economy a myth: report

A new report has challenged the accepted wisdom that Western Australia has a boom-bust economy that rises and falls on the back of the resources sector.


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A well-researched report challenging the oft-quoted boom-bust assessment of the WA economy is long overdue. Worse still is the oft-repeated fallacy that the Kalgoorlie-Boulder economy is also a boom-bust economy. Statistics compiled by both Reiwa and RP Data, now Core Logic, prove that the Kalgoorlie-Boulder economy is more stable than any of the coastal towns and cities of WA, including Perth. The reason is quite simple; the Pilbara never had a boom, just an unusually high number of construction projects under way simultaneously. They transitioned in close succession into production and the workforce adjusted accordingly. Blind Freddy could see the employment level change coming. Only now is the royalty cash flow picking up with the increased volume of exports. Kalgoorlie-Boulder suffered from the hijacking of its skilled workforce by the temptation of Fifo of the Pilbara and also had to contend with the effects of the GFC on global commodity prices and the resultant drop in confidence and clamp on exploration but it weathered all this with barely a hiccup in property values. The Kalgoorlie-Boulder economy is very broadly based with its mining technology, innovation and specialist manufacturing servicing markets on every continent. Likewise the WA economy is broadly based with its wide spread of mineral and agricultural resources, many of which are for 21st century uses such as EV motors and batteries and property solar and wind power back-up batteries, unlike the eastern states with a heavy dependence on coal, which most people recognise as having a limited future. Politics aside, the WA economy in general is in very good shape with increasing royalty flows as mines crank up production and infrastructure the envy of most states, and so what if the next generation or two will have to help pay for it, they will after all be the beneficiaries.

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