Ambitious $1.5 billion City Deal to revamp Perth CBD

Ambitious $1.5 billion City Deal to revamp Perth CBD

With more than $1 billion to be spent on moving university campuses to the centre of Perth, a new deal has been finalised for a range of projects including a robotics and AI startup hub, cultural facility upgrades and roll-outs, and energy infrastructure.

The Commonwealth Government, State Government and City of Perth expect the 'City Deal' will re-energise the WA capital and create 10,000 jobs in the process, as well as the flow-on of economic benefits for small businesses.

The largest sum under the deal will go to Edith Cowan University, which will be funding a project together with State and Federal governments to move its law and business schools - along with Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts - into the Perth CBD.

But the initiative doesn't stop there. A further $360 million will be spent by the WA Government, Curtin University and Murdoch University to establish new presences in the CBD.

Murdoch University will create a vertical campus and eSports Stadium linked with Singapore and East Asia, while Curtin University will build a CBD knowledge and innovation precinct.

The ambitious scheme also includes the following projects:

  • $105 million has been allocated to the Perth Greater CBD Transport Plan to upgrade cycling and walking infrastructure, bus stop accessibility upgrades and enhance Roe Street. The centrepiece of this plan is the new Swan River Causeway Bridge;
  • A $20 million investment into the Perth Cultural Centre precinct will see immediate improvements in lighting, security, wayfinding and environment and the development of a longer-term vision for the space to become a place of destination for all visitors to the city;
  • $42 million to develop the Perth Concert Hall into a premier world class music venue:
  • Up to $100 million to redevelop the WACA and transform it into a state of the art sporting facility including an inner city swimming pool;
  • $20 million for the East Perth Power Station to upgrade necessary infrastructure and improve connectivity to the site and surrounding areas while plans for redevelopment and preservation of the historic buildings and heritage progress;
  • $36 million to provide facilities, safety improvements and services for homeless people in the city;
  • $18 million for the creation of an Australian Space Robotics, Automation, and AI Command Control Complex to encourage start-ups, small businesses, and researchers supporting the development and operation of robotic and remote asset management activities in space;
  • $10 million towards a WA Indigenous Business and Employment Hub in partnership with the Wirrpanda Foundation to provide support and advice to Indigenous businesses, job seekers and entrepreneurs; and
  • $4 million of funding to undertake a pre-feasibility study for an Aboriginal Cultural Centre to be located in Perth on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people.

At a time when city centres worldwide have been cleared out with social distancing measures and the working from home dynamic pulinng workers out to the suburbs, Perth is taking steps to entice even more people into its beating heart.

More than 25,000 students and staff will be brought into the city and the construction of the campuses will bring over $1 billion of investment to Perth's CBD.

It is estimated this will create more than 4,100 construction jobs and nearly 1000 ongoing direct jobs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday Perth would benefit for generations to come from the game-changing investment in education, culture, jobs and lifestyle.

"This is a JobMaker investment which will generate employment for thousands of hard-working West Australians, it will boost those businesses that are already in the CBD and it will drive new businesses to open," the Prime Minister said.

"WA, like the rest of Australia, needs a targeted economic stimulus which will provide a boost now and into the future, and this is what we're delivering."

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the Perth City Deal will see more than $1.5 billion worth of investment into the Perth CBD unlocking thousands of local jobs and creating flow on economic benefits for small businesses.

"This City Deal has given us the unique opportunity to collaborate with the Commonwealth Government, universities and local businesses to help re-energise our capital city," McGowan said.

"We have worked to establish up to three university campuses in our CBD which will create up to 5000 direct and indirect jobs while re-energising Perth.

"This will have positive flow on effects for small businesses including retail, restaurants and bars while returning vibrancy to our capital city."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said City Deals were the Federal Government's proactive approach to help develop cities and regions.

The opportunity is to bring all levels of government together as well as the private sector and the community to provide a coordinated investment plan for Perth," Senator Cormann said.

"We have negotiated an ambitious City Deal that unlocks Perth's incredible future potential while continuing to develop it into a vibrant, exciting and liveable capital city."

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the new deal will help drive people into the Perth CBD.

"More people and students in the CBD, means more activity, a better vibrancy and more money flowing for retail, restaurants and tourism," Tudge said.

Western Australian Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the City Deal aligned with the State Government's key objective to connect, activate and future proof Perth's communities.

"The Perth CBD Transport Plan will feed into METRONET, closing gaps on the shared path network while encouraging people to embrace new modes of transport," she said.

"The new university campuses highlight what density can achieve and the positive effect it can have on creating well planned and vibrant communities.

"This new deal will create and support local jobs, encourage more people into our CBD and provide a much needed boost for local businesses."

Chair Commissioner for Perth Andrew Hammond said the City of Perth welcomes the announcement of the Perth City Deal as a transformative landmark deal between all three tiers of government.

"The City's commitment includes $25 million toward the redevelopment of the iconic WACA, specifically funding the addition of a community aquatic facility, and $10 million toward the CBD Transport Plan to upgrade Roe Street and facilitate regeneration of the area," he said.

"We look forward to working in partnership with the Federal and State Government and the wider community to bring the Perth City Deal to fruition and secure the future prosperity and liveability of our great city."

South of the city, State and Local governments are also working on a "once-in-a-lifetime" port project to transition freight from Fremantle Port to a new development in Kwinana, which is due to be completed over the next 15 years. 

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