#Australia#Perth#Western Australia

City Focus: Perth

Sean Galea-Pace
|Oct 5|magazine11 min read

Business Chief finds out how Perth is flourishing through a combination of esteemed education establishments and big business.

As one of the most isolated cities in the world, Perth’s nearest Australian city is over 2,200kms away and is closer to Singapore than the capital of its own country, Canberra.

With an estimated population of approximately 2.14mn people, Perth is Australia’s fourth largest city in terms of population size and it has great international links, including its own airport with direct flights connecting it with London.

It was originally named after the city of Perth in Scotland by Captain James Stirling in 1829 and is notable for being home to the largest city park in the world, King’s Park, at 988 acres beating New York City’s iconic Central Park in the process.

An education hub

Perth is considered Australia’s “Education City” due to its focus on providing top-class learning institutions.

Schooling in Perth is governed by the School Education Act 1999 and requires children of compulsory school age to attend school between the ages of 6 and 17 years old.

Students come from all over Australia and the wider world to study in Perth. There are five universities in the city. These are: Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, University of Notre Dame and the University of Western Australia.

Complex transport infrastructure

Perth is well-connected and offers a number of different options to get around the city. There are regular bus, train and ferry journeys to help transport tourists and commuters daily.

It has an airport which offers a shuttle service for drop-off and pickup from five conveniently located pickup points in the city: East Perth train station, WA Museum on Beaufort Street, Wellington Street, The Kings Perth Hotel and The Ambassador Hotel.

The city also offers an Uber service called “Uber Perth” which provides an alternative option to a normal taxi journey.

Business in Perth

Perth is also a popular place for businesses with a number of major firms choosing to hold their headquarters and offices in the city.

The conglomerate Wesfarmers, holds its headquarters in Perth and its business operations cover supermarkets, liquor, hotels and convenience store. The Australian giant is the largest company in Australia by revenue (AUD $68.4bn), beating Woolworths and BHP Billiton and remains the biggest private employer in the country with approximately 220,000 employees.

Bankwest, formerly The Bank of Western Australia, is based there too despite also holding offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Having been founded in 1895, it is one of Australia’s foremost banks.

Also stationed in Perth is the petroleum exploration and production company, Woodside Petroleum, which is the largest operator of oil and gas production in Australia.

The city’s electricity supply is mostly generated, supplied and retailed by three Western Australian Government corporations. Verve Energy controls the coal and gas power generation stations, in addition to wind farms and other power sources. Western Power operates the physical network while the state’s largest energy retailer, Synergy, is responsible for providing the electricity to residential and business consumers.

Away from work

Perth offers a host of scenic views and adventure walks to allow business travelers and tourists an avenue to escape from the bustle of city life. Just outside of the city is Mount Dale Walk Trail, a 2.5km rock walk which enables visitors to follow the contours of Mount Dale to its peak and enjoy extraordinary views of its surrounding areas.

Being located on the West Coast of Australia, Perth also provides its inhabitants with 19 sun-kissed beaches. A firm favourite among locals and tourists alike is Cottesloe Beach, with many visitors enjoying swimming, snorkelling, surfing and taking in the ocean sunsets.

The city is also home to Perth Zoo which offers a wide range of Australian and exotic animals from around the world.

One of Western Australia’s most significant landmarks is Perth’s Fremantle Markets. Having been built in 1897, the markets are home to a number of stallholders and offers a place for street performers to show off their talent. There are art displays, musicians and lots of photo opportunities which come together to create a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors.

There are a number of sports teams in the city that fans can get involved in. Perth boasts men’s and women’s teams in basketball, football, Australian rules football and cricket while there are also men’s teams in baseball, ice hockey and rugby. Perth built Subiaco Oval stadium for use in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and is used for a variety of different events and officially opened a brand-new facility called the Perth Stadium in January 2018. The 60,000-seater is primarily used for Australian rules football and cricket.