The City of Perth is exploring how it can increase the residential population in the CBD to make it more “liveable, sustainable and prosperous”.
Perth councilors on Tuesday approved a motion by Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas which called for a report on barriers and disincentives preventing residential development and increased density.
They also voted for the report to include recommendations to boost the city’s development in the 2023-24 financial year.
“The city can influence residential population growth through a number of mechanisms, including incentives for increased residential development within the local development scheme, statutory fee relief, l infrastructure investment, economic development and investment attraction strategies and activities, marketing and promotion, community building and events and activation,” Mr. Zempilas said.
Councilors also voted to seek input from industry and state and federal government agencies.
“I am very pleased that it is clear from the feedback we have had and the reaction from the public over the past seven days that there are willing participants in our community to help us, and once and for all, provide a significant increase in the number of people living in the heart of the city of Perth,” Mr Zempilas said.
He said his council needed to hear first-hand why the residential and real estate sectors would or would not grow in the city, what issues were holding them back and what it would take to redirect their resources back to the city.
“The information obtained would help the city plan and allocate resources to execute incentives and initiatives within its remit, and advocate with the state government for assistance with other specific initiatives. essential,” said Zempilas.
Cr Liam Gobbert said it was important to take stock from time to time of what the city could be accelerating.
“We don’t know what we don’t know, so I think it’s important that our role as elected members…engage with relevant industry bodies, state and federal agencies, and representatives, so I am very happy to vote in favor of this motion,” he said.
PerthNow reported last week that the number of people living in the CBD and East Perth has exploded over the past 20 years.
Mr Zempilas said that since being talked about, the feedback he has received about his motion has been “really meaningful”.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics census data for Perth, a total of 11,365 people lived in Perth’s CBD or East Perth in 2001, soaring to 25,468 this year. The number of dwellings in the two suburbs increased from 5,159 to 16,225 during the same period.
Curtin University urban and regional planning professor Jake Schapper said last week that a “pro-development” attitude by the city had led to a surge in the number of people building and living in the central and suburban suburbs. east of Perth since 2001.
Mr Zempilas said more people living in the heart of Perth would improve the vibrancy of the city and provide greater economic support for local businesses, particularly at night and at weekends.
“To make the city a truly livable, sustainable and prosperous destination, a substantial increase in the residential population is essential,” Zempilas said.
“To achieve this, a direct and multi-pronged intervention is needed.”
Cr Catherine Lezer – who is also the president of the Strata Community Association WA – said the group was excited about more residential development in the city.
“But not at all costs – we want the density to be done right and the city to remain livable, walkable and accessible,” she said.
Deputy Mayor Di Bain said the move has the potential to be one of the city’s “most important and strategic pieces of policy” to come out of the city since 1992.
“Thank you to the admin for shaping it and putting some flavor into it,” she said.