With recent upturns in the mining industry, property markets and employment figures, the signs are that Western Australia is experiencing a revitalisation of fortune. You can quite literally see the concrete evidence of the state’s increasing prosperity in its program of infrastructure projects.
One of the biggest – and most obvious, in terms of its presence on the streetscape – is the new Perth Stadium, gearing to open early next year. Not just for sport, but for concerts, major events and conferences, it’s a statement of intent for WA, and is already generating buzz about the effect it will have on consumer confidence and state pride.
According to predictions by the AEC Group, increased tourism and trade linked to the stadium could create almost 1400 jobs, generating nearly $20 million in taxes for the state and $291 million for the economy. Indeed, the stadium is already responsible for bringing in tourism and it hasn’t even opened yet – it’s estimated that 5500 people have booked from interstate and overseas for Ed Sheeran’s highly anticipated live show in March.
Also scheduled to open early next year is Yagan Square, the $74 million project linking Northbridge and the CBD. Pitched as a Federation Square for Perth and expected to funnel in 60,000 people per day, its mix of food, entertainment and retail will enhance the local economy, and, as a marker for the city’s identity, attract still more interstate and international visitors.
In tandem with these expected hikes in tourist numbers, Perth has added 16 new hotels with more than 1400 rooms since 2012. Rather than stop there, however, the industry is continuing to expand, with five more hotels scheduled to open in 2018 (providing more than 1000 rooms), and another three either under construction or securing contracts to build before 2020.
But perhaps the biggest project set to impact the city – and its skyline – is the planned Perth World Trade Center. This $1.85 billion undertaking will consist of a pair of towers (the tallest at 75 storeys) between Perth and McIver stations, and will feature a convention centre, shops, offices and, yes, more hotel space – because while estimations are that the centre will bring in $100 million a year in trade alone, there can be no doubt that it will act as another magnet for tourists. By offering Perth a skyline as instantly memorable and recognisable as those of New York and London, how could it not?
Between this and the other projects at various stages of development, the effect on Perth will be something like a makeover – and with a fresh and exciting new look, the city is certain to reap the benefits.