PERTH can be the headquarters of Australia’s economic engagement with Asia in the 21st century, Federal Opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen says.
Mr Bowen was in Mt Lawley campaigning with Perth candidate Tim Hammond last Thursday.
He spoke to the Guardian Express about revitalising the WA economy after the end of the mining boom.
“Diversification of the economic base is important. We need to get non-mining investment into the state because mining investment has declined and will go further down,” he said.
“There are three key elements: general confidence inspired by a consistent and coherent economic policy; innovation – which we have pursued for many years, only now is Mr Turnbull a little closer to us in that regard than Mr Abbott was, and Asian engagement.”
Mr Bowen said Perth was “ideally placed” to capitalise on economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
“I come over about six times a year to meet with the WA business community, so I understand what makes them tick and they understand what makes me tick.
“Perth is ideally placed. Look at Indonesia; by 2050 it will be the fifth biggest economy in the world.
“It will be bigger than Germany, and it’s right there. Perth is right at the epicentre of these opportunities.”
Mr Hammond said the post-boom downturn was a major issue in Perth and across the state.
He said that economic infrastructure – including education and transport – was critical to economic resilience.