12 December

Why The Failure of Employment Decentralisation Policy Is Good For The Economy

For the last decade the WA Department of Planning has progressively been introducing policy measures to decentralise employment across the Perth Metropolitan Region. This policy was formalised in Directions 2031 and Beyond, State Planning Policy 4.2: Activity Centres for Perth and Peel, and more recently, Perth and Peel@ 3.5 million. The rationale behind the decentralisation […]

13 February

Small Bars in Perth

To use an old cliché – size doesn’t matter – or at least that’s what the Perthons will tell you. The small bar scene in Perth has taken off and it’s a welcome event. And the implications are anything but small. With the advent of new small bar licences being introduced in 2007, Perth and […]

24 May

Economics and Traffic Congestion

I came across an interesting article this morning, questioning whether plans to further expand the Beijing Subway would have much affect on the city’s heavy traffic congestion. The guts of the article was some comments from an economics professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, who didn’t think that expanding the subway would make much difference, and […]

11 April

High Speed Rail – again!

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has just released Phase 2 of its feasibility study into high speed rail (HSR) in Australia (along the east coast, specifically – sorry fellow Perthites). The proposed route would run from Brisbane, to Sydney, to Melbourne, via Canberra. Currently, no rail link exists between Canberra and the outside world, […]

11 February

Roads, railways and jobs

The Western Australian Planning Commission has just released its Capital City Planning Framework, which sets out how the Directions 2031 objectives will be met in a 12km by 12km area around the city centre. While not a key message of the report, one thing that struck me was two maps that it presented, one showing […]

29 October

WA’s natural resources – still untapped potential?

An article was recently published in The Age describing how the shale oil and gas boom in the US is contributing to a “manufacturing renaissance” in that country. http://www.theage.com.au/business/shale-gas-transforming-us-economy-20121029-28f3w.html The new production capacity, especially in Texas, is delivering energy to businesses in the region for a fraction of what is being paid in other parts […]

17 July

Housing Affordability

Data from the recently-released 2011 Census show a rapid increase in the cost of housing in Western Australia since 2006. This will not come as a surprise to renters or those who have entered the housing market in recent years. In late 2007 I managed to get a room in a nice, recently built three […]

5 July

Infrastructure in Australia

A recurring theme in Australia at the moment is our shortfall in infrastructure, and how this is holding back the economy. In this vein, a recent report prepared by Ernst and Young for the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport discusses how local government can better fund local infrastructure: http://www.regional.gov.au/local/lgifr/files/Strong_foundations_20120615.pdf There is […]

22 May

Want a small bar licence approved? Sorry, they’re not in the public interest.

Never mind that small bars are the new in-thing for Perth, apparently they’re not necessarily in the public interest. An application for a small bar licence in the recently developed Cockburn Central was recently rejected by the Liquor Commission – despite widespread community and local government support. For the news article, click here. In this […]

20 March


One train stop from the Perth CBD sits a burgeoning main street oriented activity centre anchored by a major government infrastructure corporation, with a growing mass of small and medium engineering and professional services firms, a vibrant entertainment scene, and gradual encroachment of medium and high density housing.  The activity centre is vibrant for at […]