04/10/2005 - 22:00

Taking it easy in the ‘state of excitement’

04/10/2005 - 22:00

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For all the lifestyle it has to offer Perth is often attacked as lacking the vibrancy and cultural diversity available in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

Taking it easy in the ‘state of excitement’

For all the lifestyle it has to offer Perth is often attacked as lacking the vibrancy and cultural diversity available in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.

And while Western Australia is envied for its weather and aquatic attractions, the Swan River and long stretches of pristine coastline among them, when it comes to restaurants, pubs and clubs, the ‘state of excitement’ is left behind by other states.

Recent attention to liquor reform and retail trading hours (in particular Sunday trading) has come to the fore in public debate, but the referendum on deregulation on the latter at the last state election failed to gain support.

Currently in WA, patrons are required to buy a meal at restaurants before they can drink alcohol. But in most other states the liquor laws are more lenient, with extended opening hours and relaxed restaurant laws. At present, laws permit WA restaurants to have a licence that allows alcohol consumption without a meal in up to 20 per cent of the floor space.

Another area in which Perth compares less-than-favourably with other centres is cultural diversity.

While Northbridge and Fremantle are home to a vast array of cultures and traditions, overall the proportion of overseas-born people living in the city is well below the national average.

At the 2001 census the proportion of people born overseas living in the Perth metropolitan area was 16.7 per cent. This compares with the national figure of 22.4 per cent.

Perth is famous for receiving the most sunshine of any capital city in Australia. The average daily maximum temperature in Perth throughout the year is 24.5 degrees. The WA coast is also one of the windiest in the world. The city averages a wind speed at 3pm of 16.4 km/h, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The state’s workers earn below the national annual wage, making $33,620 a year on average, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

However, the cost of living is also lower, with Perth ranked below the other capitals in the Mercer international cities living cost survey.

Famous for its beach lifestyle, the state has one of the highest participation rates in surf lifesaving, with 10,775 members recorded by Surf Life Saving WA in the 2003-04 season.

Western Australians also have a longer life expectancy than the national average at 77.3 years for males and 83 for females. This compares with the figures of 77 and 82.4 respectively for the nation.

When it comes to major sporting teams WA has two AFL, one soccer, one men’s and one women’s basketball team, one cricket and one Super 14 Rugby side.

The city has one art gallery and one museum, which is in the process of being relocated.

Despite all Perth’s sporting teams, one of the most significant issues is the lack of an indoor stadium, with the Burswood Dome planned for closure.

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