Regional Australia Institute forecasts continued economic growth in Mandurah

Regional Australia Institute forecasts continued economic growth in Mandurah

MANDURAH will enjoy continuing growth at around 4.8 per cent per annum but faces the challenge of stimulating local businesses to drive job creation, according to the Regional Australia Institute (RAI).

RAI’s latest two reports document the recent performance of Australia’s small cities, providing a blueprint for their future growth.

While no two cities have the same strengths and capabilities, regional cities fall into four economic performance groups: gaining, expanding, slipping, slow and steady.

Mandurah was identified as a gaining city.

With an economic structure showing strong foundations in healthcare, construction and retail, Mandurah is building its economy around servicing the growing population.

RAI’s forecasts for Mandurah’s economic output growth are among the highest of all regional cities at 4.8 per cent per annum.

The challenge for Mandurah is deepening its share and economic contribution from locally-based jobs and moving away from the reliance on FIFO incomes.

With low participation rate and a high share of residents with high income, meaning many locals are not working, and of those that do, a high proportion are in high paying jobs, most of which are based elsewhere.

RAI found Mandurah needed to lift its Bohemian Index to improve business and cultural diversity, and also deepen local capability in Knowledge Intensive Business Services such as accountants and lawyers to underpin wider range of local jobs and lift participation rate.

RAI chief executive Jack Archer said analysis showed Australia could increase the economic performance of its great small cities by 65 per cent by 2031, adding $378 billion in output annually to the national economy.

“Putting this output in today’s terms, regional cities in 2031 will produce twice as much as all the new economy industries produce in today’s metropolitan cities,” he said.

The new RAI reports demonstrate regional cities like Mandurah have had better economic performance than Australia’s big five major metropolitan cities and should not be regarded as ‘a poor cousin’.

In terms of historical output, productivity and participation rate, there is no statistical difference between the economic performance of Australia’s 31 regional cities and the major metros.

Mr Archer said policy effort in small cities and smart investment to enable new business and population growth can result in an enormous return on investment.

“Investment in regional cities should target their ‘economic engine’ because this will nurture new industry specialisations, enable local business growth, stimulate workforce attractiveness and build on existing lifestyle advantages, leading to more local output and jobs” he said.

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