April 18 2017
By Shane Wright, Economics Editor, for The West Australian.
Figures showing Perth will need to squeeze in another 700,000 residents over the next 20 years have prompted calls for the inner-city population to double and for a fast train link to Bunbury.
The West Australian can reveal that projections supplied to the Federal Government show Perth’s south-eastern suburbs will become the city’s driving force of growth, with almost 250,000 people likely to swell areas such as Byford, Southern River and Whitby.
Compiled by respected modeller NATSEM, the forecasts suggest WA will add 953,000 people to reach 3.6 million residents by 2036.
More than 2.6 million of those will be living in Perth.
The city’s south-eastern suburbs will house more than 756,000, eclipsing the 735,000 in the city’s north-west.
Mandurah and Bunbury are also expected to become important population centres.
Mandurah is projected to grow by almost 50 per cent with its regional population edging 150,000, while the wider Bunbury area is forecast to have almost 250,000 residents. Property Council of WA executive director Lino Iacomella said the forecasts showed a new approach was needed to manage the State’s growth.
He said the McGowan Government had to fast-track its Infrastructure WA plan to prioritise major projects to support population growth, including a fast train to Bunbury.
Part of that plan also had to include doubling inner Perth’s population so it matched other cities like Melbourne.
“Not enough people are expecting to live in the inner-Perth region,” he said.
“To achieve the productivity gains of cities like Melbourne and Sydney we need to plan to double the expected population growth of inner areas.”
Mr Iacomella warned that a “business as usual” approach would lead to a hollowing out of the Perth metropolitan area.
And the growth in areas like Mandurah and Bunbury meant there was an opportunity to properly supply public transport the entire region.
“We need a better public transport connection between Bunbury and Perth to capitalise on the economic benefits of the two cities working together,” he said.
Read the original article HERE.