Future looks healthy

PERTH has a terrific potential in the globalised world if only the opportunities can be seized.

This was the view of delegates and speakers from around Australia who spoke at the Future Perth Conference held recently by the WA Planning Commission and the Committee of Economic Development of Australia.

The conference was initiated when the Future Perth project was announced by Planning Minister Graham Kierath in June.

The Future Perth project will set out the goals for Perth over the next ten to twenty years by looking at the economic, social and environmental factors that will shape Perth’s future.

Over the coming months a series of seminars focusing on Perth’s future and its place in the global economy will take place.

Topics addressed will include education and tourism, housing and property, infrastructure and industry and resources.

WA Planning Commission chairman Simon Holthouse said the conference was convened in recognition of the increasing focus on changing economic trends and location of employment.

“We need to urgently explore and identify the ways in which Perth and its hinterland can be globally competitive and identify the implications for Perth’s growth,” Mr Holthouse said.

Bankwest managing director and CEDA vice president Terry Budge said there were great opportunities coming out of Asia’s urbanisation.

“There are plenty of opportunities out there but the question is whether we will turn these opportunities into reality,” he said.

University of Notre Dame lecturer Professor Don Watts said, while great opportunities existed, there was a pending national tragedy in terms of the education of children.

He said it was important to educate children to remove the ignorance in the community empowering those who don’t want to embrace change.

University of Canberra Centre for Developing Cities director Lyndsay Neilson said to succeed Perth had to improve its profile to compete with 500 similarly sized cities for venture capital.

Professor Neilson said that, in a survey of 260 international businesses, less than half of one per cent saw Australia as a potential investment location, while more than 50 per cent believed Asia was a good place to invest.

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