The past decade has been one of the most dramatic in Perth's history. Against the background of a dynamic global economy and expansion of the State's minerals and energy sectors, the city has experienced an economic, social and cultural transformation. This transformation has posed numerous questions about the future of Perth. This includes questions related to business competitiveness, global connectivity, urban policy and planning, quality of life, and social change. As the pace of change increased during the 2000s, the Committee for Perth and The University of Western Australia embarked on a unique research partnership (FACTBase) to better understand how the city was being transformed.
The FACTBase project aimed to strengthen the evidence base underpinning the dialogue about the challenges the city faced, the ways in which it was changing, and how major challenges might be addressed.In short, a central focus was to ‘dispel myth and folklore’ by drawing on evidence rather than anecdote. Since mid 2009, this partnership has contributed to over 60 publications, including FACTBase Bulletins and a number of major reports. The topics covered have been diverse, spanning themes such as the geography of corporate power, labour market change, social inequality, local government reform, retail trading, gender equity and ethnic diversity. The work has been used to inform public policy, stimulate community debate, to underpin local planning, and as an educational resource. This report draws on some of the work that has been undertaken as part of the Committee for Perth – UWA partnership. It paints a picture of change over the past decade, and lays the foundation for further discussion and debate about the future of Perth.