Premier Barnett hopes to augment Perth’s fortunes and enable it to better compete against other state capitals by elevating the city’s legislative status.
The Western Australian government has announced the drafting of a new act that will establish Perth as the pre-eminent council of the state capital, setting it apart from other residential councils in city as part of ambitious reforms of metropolitan government.
Premier Colin Barnett said that the elevation of the City of Perth's official status was long overdue in light of recent efforts to upgrade the area's infrastructure and facilities.
"Given the Government's investment in revitalising Perth with investments such as Elisabeth Quay, the Perth City Link and riverside, it's timely for the City of Perth to have this special recognition," said Barnett.
"The city is the centre of business and retail activity and is the pre-eminent entertainment precinct in the State. This Act will recognise the need for it to be treated differently from other residential councils."
The new City of Perth Act, which will be tabled before parliament early next year, will dramatically expand council boundaries to encompass a far broader range of facilities and services. Under the act the redefined City of Perth will also include the City of Vincent, the University of Western Australia, Kings park, the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, as well as the recently built Perth's Children's Hospital.
According to Barnett the readjustment of the City of Perth's council boundaries will serve to enhance urban planning as well as the marketing of the city to potential visitors.
"It will bring several of the features that are Perth's great selling points under one council which makes good sense from a planning and tourism point of view," said Barnett.
Barnett hopes that the City of perth's redefined status will help to raise not just its status within Australia, but its regional and international profile as well.
"A bigger and stronger City of Perth will be better equipped to respond to the demands of a growing State - and better represent WA on the world stage," said Barnett. "It will give the city the status it should hold as Australia's west coast capital and an increasingly important city in the Asia region."
The Property Council of Australia hailed the drafting of a City of Perth Act by the WA government as potential a major step forward for the Perth CBD, serving to compliment the ongoing and copious levels of investment in the area.
"A City of Perth Act is proper recognition of the enormous investment going on in the Perth CBD and the economic benefit that will flow to the rest of the state," said Joe Lenzo, Property Council Executive Director.
"Imbuing Perth with the legislative state of a capital places the city on an equal footing with other Australian capitals like Sydney and Melbourne. This is essential as we compete against them for international investment attention, particularly in the Asia region."