Freo’s gain, Perth’s pain

THE Barnett government’s decision to relocate 1500 pubic servants from Perth to Fremantle has been welcomed as a new era of economic growth in the port city, but it’s less popular in the abandoned capital city as it grapples with even more vacant office space.

Lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the announcement was “counter-intuitive”, and contrary to the City of Perth Act.

“I could understand the decision if this was during the height of the economic mining boom, but to implement it post-boom will further prolong the recovery of office vacancies, which currently stand at 22 percent,” Ms Scaffidi said.

“Taking into account current economic predictions, it’s anticipated it will take several years for the office vacancy rate to normalise, and the strategy of decentralising is contrary to the City of Perth Act.”

“Specifically, decentralising government agencies will impact on the functional efficiency, innovation and growth of the capital city.”

The strategy was formulated during a period of strong economic growth in 2010, but Perth’s office vacancy is now at its highest rate in more than 20 years.

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