Key Facts About Perth & Western Australia

FACT Sheet No. 1 Key Facts About Perth & Western Australia Introduction Released 9 August 2012 This document has been prepared as an index of k...
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FACT Sheet No. 1

Key Facts About Perth & Western Australia Introduction

Released 9 August 2012

This document has been prepared as an index of key facts relating to the current performance of Western Australia and its capital city, Perth.  

It draws on data from a range of sources including FACTBase and government sources and will be updated regularly.  

Facts and figures         

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The Western Australian economy more than doubled in size from 1990‐91 to 2010‐11. The State’s Gross State Product (GSP) increased from $76.9 billion to $187.1 billion. 1 (ABS, 2011a) Western Australia’s economy was valued at $217 billion in 2010‐11, a growth of 3.5%. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Western Australia accounted for 16% of the Australian economy in 2010‐11, above its 10% share of the national population. 2 (WAEP, 2012) The State contributed 24% ($49 billion) of Australia’s business investment in 2010‐11. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Mining industry activity (value added) rose 6% in 2010‐11, contributing 1.6 percentage points to GSP growth. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Business investment rose 13% in 2010‐11, contributing 3.0 percentage points to GSP growth. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Business investment and merchandise exports are expected to rise 23.5% and 7.5% respectively in 2011‐12, according to the Western Australian Budget 2012‐13. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Western Australia contributed 46% ($113 billion) of Australia’s merchandise exports in 2010‐11, more than New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland combined. 2 (WAEP, 2012) Western Australia maintained its status as the nation’s leading exporter in 2010, contributing a record 44% towards Australia’s export earnings worth $230.8 billion. Queensland followed with 22%, NSW 15% and Victoria 8%. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Western Australia’s mining industry employed 114,800 workers directly in the June quarter 2012, 30% (26,800) more than a year earlier. 2 (WAEP 2012) Mining accounted for 33% ($71 billion) of Western Australia’s GSP and 7% (86,375) of total employment in 2010‐11. 2 (WAEP 2012) Minerals and petroleum resources dominate Western Australia’s exports, making up 91% of the State’s exports in 2010. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)


FACT Sheet No. 1

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Western Australia’s resources sector is responsible for the production/extraction of more than 50 minerals, making it more diverse than Alberta in Canada, Texas and Colorado. 4 (CCE 2012) In 2010 Western Australia accounted for 21% of the world’s iron ore output and 15% of the world’s alumina production. WA produced 12% of the world’s nickel output, 11% of the world’s garnet, 10% of the ilmenite and 9% of the world’s seaborne LNG trade. 5 (USGS 2012) In 2011, Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum sales reached $91.6 billion, compared to $27.8 billion in 2001. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) 73% of Australia’s exports to China come from Western Australia. Similarly 40‐50% of exports to Japan India and Korea come from Western Australia. 6 (Premier, June 2012) China is Australia’s major trading partner, but Western Australia with a population of only 2.4 million, exports more than half of what all of the United States of America does to China. 6 (Premier, June 2012) Two out of the three largest mining companies in the world, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, each have around one third of their global assets in Western Australia and make approximately half of their profits from the State. 7 (Premier, June 2011) There are around 30 international oil and gas companies and more than 40 oil and gas service companies with offices in Perth. It is a ‘who’s who’ of world companies – BHP Petroleum, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, ExxonMobil, Inpex, Shell, Total, and Woodside. 7 (Premier, June 2011) The Gorgon liquefied natural gas project, which began construction in 2011 on Barrow Island off the Western Australian coast, is, at $43 billion, Australia’s biggest project and the largest project Chevron has ever undertaken, either inside or outside America. 7 (Premier, June 2011) Western Australia currently produces around 16Mtpa of LNG, or 6% of world supply from the North West Shelf Project. LNG production in Western Australia is set to more than treble by the end of the decade to something in excess of 60Mtpa. 7 (Premier, June 2011) Western Australia’s petroleum industry is now worth $19 billion in production and is about to expand very, very rapidly. It accounts for 67% of all of Australia’s petroleum production and 71% of Australia’s exploration expenditure. 8 (Premier, APPEA, April 2011) Western Australia’s resources industry posted an average annual growth rate of 16.1% between 2001 and 2010. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) As of September 2011, total market capitalisation of the ASX reached $1,374.8 billion, 12% of which was accounted for by Perth based companies. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Out of all of the listed companies in Australia, Perth had 34% or 830 of them headquartered there as of September 2011. Sydney and


FACT Sheet No. 1

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Melbourne on the other hand had 23% and 14% respectively. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Western Australia’s economic base is more closely tied to the mining sector than any other Australian city. 9 (Premier, October 2011) Foreign direct investments in the mining industry account for a quarter of total foreign direct investments in Australia. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Employment in the mining sector posted a remarkable increase from being 3.2% of total employment in Western Australia in 2000 to being 8.2% in 2012. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Between June 2007 and June 2011 Western Australia accounted for almost 20% of Australia’s total intake of workers coming in on 457 visas. The top three countries from where 457 visa holders originated were the United Kingdom, the Philippines and South Africa. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) More than a quarter of the people arriving on 457 visas had jobs in the mining sector, the construction sector had almost 21%. 10 (FACTBase 27, 2012) In 2010‐11 Perth Domestic Airport generated traffic of 8.2 million people, about 2.2 million of the people flying were directly related to the resources sector. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Western Australia is better placed than the rest of Australia when it comes to jobs. In the last six months up to February 2012, employment in Western Australia has grown by more than 23,000 jobs, while for the rest of Australia jobs growth was less than 2,500. 2 (WAEP, 2012)

Lifestyle  

In 2012 Perth was ranked eighth by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey. 11 (WA Today, 2011) More migrants on a pro rata basis come to Western Australia than any other Australian State, and particularly business migration and skilled workers. There are 40,000 overseas students who study at universities and schools in Perth. 12 (Premier, October 2011) The $440 million Perth Waterfront project is underway and it is estimated it will create about 1700 residential apartments, 100,000 square metres of commercial floor space and about 39,000sqm of retail space and extensive tourism facilities. 13 (Premier, April 2012) Perth's new multi‐purpose stadium, being built on the Burswood Peninsula, will have the third‐biggest capacity in Australia and will be the second largest AFL home stadium. It is scheduled for completion in 2018. 14 (Premier, June 2012)


FACT Sheet No. 1

Investment 

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Business investment in Western Australia increased 28% in real terms in 2011, well above its 13% annual average growth over the past five years. The State accounted for 26% of Australia’s business investment in 2011 and had 52% of Australia’s total value of resource projects under construction or committed in April 2012, according to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. 2 (WAEP 2012) The value of new capital expenditure by the mining industry rose 44% to $36 billion in 2011 (56% of the Australian total). It is expected to rise to $51 billion in 2011‐12 and $72 billion in 2012‐13, 54% and 60% of the national total respectively. 2 (WAEP 2012) The State had $64 billion of engineering construction work in the pipeline at the end of 2011, mainly comprising the $43 billion Gorgon LNG project. 2 (WAEP 2012) In March 2012, there were:  $167 billion of resource projects under construction or committed in Western Australia and a further $151 billion under consideration.  $105 billion of oil and gas projects under construction or committed and $83 billion under consideration.  $61 billion of minerals projects under construction or committed and $68 billion under consideration. 2 (WAEP 2012) Western Australia continues to lead the way as Australia’s premier resources investment destination. There is currently more than $180 billion worth of projects either committed or under consideration for the State during the next few years. These will create more than 50,000 construction jobs and more than 15,000 permanent jobs. 15 (DSD, 2012)

Knowledge generation 

Perth is evolving into an internationally recognised hub for minerals and renewable energy, fostered by the work of various centres of research and excellence including The University of Western Australia, Curtin University and the CSIRO. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Perth is moving towards a highly, globally connected knowledge based economy especially in IT with a staggering 60% of global mining software now being produced in Perth. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Perth can be regarded as a talent‐producing hothouse. While WA only accounts for 10% of Australia’s population it accounts for 14.6% of the university graduates within the core knowledge disciplines such as physics and astronomy, earth sciences, engineering and related technologies, process and resources engineering, civil engineering and law. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)


FACT Sheet No. 1

The number of new creative industries set up in the City of Perth between 1990 and 2007 increased by 38.5%, from 517 to 715 businesses. The majority of this growth can be linked to engineering and computing services. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Perth is home to a number of global research leaders. The fastest growing hub of excellence is the Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET), a joint venture between The University of WA, Curtin University and the Minerals Industry and it is focused on advancing the science of exploration targeting. The CET is a world recognised research centre with 75 corporate members, 42 staff, 30 research PhD/MSc students and a turnover of $5 million a year. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Western Australia is currently evolving into an internationally recognised hub for minerals, renewable energy and agriculture. While the current focus is on Scotland, Canada, the USA, Netherlands and Germany there are excellent prospects for the State to become a springboard into Malaysia, Vietnam and China. In fact, WA is more connected into Asia than any other Western city‐region. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Perth is increasingly being recognised as a global solutions centre in oil and gas. This development is mirrored by KPMG’s establishing of one of the ten Oil and Gas Centres for Excellence worldwide in Perth. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)

Knowledge promotion and information exchange 

Between 2007‐12, there were at least 109 mining and resources related conferences held in Perth or within the State. This attracted an estimated 66,500 attendees over the course of 226 days of presentations and exhibitions. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012) Assuming that the average conference delegate paid between $800‐ $1,000 to attend, this means that mining and resources conferences have generated between $49 million and $66 million for the local economy since 2007. On top of that, delegates would have spent on average $1,000 on accommodation, food, shopping, entertainment and other goods and services, which adds another $66 million to the local economy. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)

Innovation and the Future 

Recent developments in Western Australia indicate that the State is an attractive place for innovative organisations and companies. CSIRO has shifted more of its research and development activity into WA; BHP opened one of its three Global Technology Centres in Perth, and Chevron opened the Perth Global Technology Centre. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)


FACT Sheet No. 1

Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Centre (ROC), located near Perth’s Domestic Airport features an operational control room with sophisticated communications systems which allows the company to become a global leader in fully integrated, automated operations. At the ROC they can remotely control the whole rail system, 30 train sets, seven mines, three ports, that sort of technology is probably not seen in Australia anywhere else with the exception maybe of the military. Haulage trucks that operate without humans are currently being trialled with plans to introduce them later. As part of Rio Tinto’s ‘Mine of the Future’ programme, this automated mine‐to‐port iron ore operation forms part of the company’s drive to maintain its position as Australia’s leading iron ore producer. 3 (PGRH, Unpublished, 2012)

References 1 (2011a) Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2010‐11, ABS Cat. 5220.0. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. 2 (2012) Western Australia’s Economic Profile, Department of State Development, Western Australia. 3 (2012) Perth as a Global Resources Hub: A Special FACTBase Report, Committee for Perth, Unpublished, Perth. 4 (2012) Alberta Statistics, Canadian Centre for Energy. 5 (2012) Mineral commodity summaries, US Geological Survey, Reston Virginia. 6 (2012) Premier Colin Barnett, speech to the Australian Tourism Exchange. 7 (2011) Premier Colin Barnett, speech More than China’s quarry, Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, Kings College London. 8 (2011) Premier Colin Barnett, Opening Address, APPEA Conference. 9 (2011) Premier Colin Barnett, speech, Commonwealth Business Forum. 10 (2012) Huddleston P, Huddleston V and Tonts M, Migrants’ Attraction to Cities – Implications for Perth, FACTBase Bulletin 27, The University of Western Australia and the Committee for Perth, Perth. 11 (2011) WA Today. 12 (2011) Premier Colin Barnett, speech, Business Council, Perth. 13 (2012) Premier Colin Barnett, Media Statement, Construction work begins at Perth Waterfront. 14 (2012) Premier Colin Barnett, Media Statement, Fans come first at Perth’s new Stadium. 15 (2012) Significant Resource Projects in Western Australia, Department of State Development, Western Australia.


FACT Sheet No. 1

About FACTBase The FACTBase project is a joint venture between The University of Western Australia and the Committee for Perth, an influential member‐ based organisation driven by a diverse assembly of Perth’s leaders. Members collaborate with business, government and community groups to actively improve the liveability of our city, resulting in a real and enduring contribution to Perth and the metropolitan area. One of the only broad‐reaching projects of its kind to be undertaken in the southern hemisphere, FACTBase condenses the plethora of databases and studies on the subject of liveability and analyses what’s happening in Perth through words, maps and graphs. Acknowledgments We acknowledge the assistance of the Department of State Development in compiling this FACT Sheet. Copyright This paper is the copyright of The University of Western Australia and the Committee for Perth. While we encourage its use, it should be referenced as: (2012) Key Facts About Perth & Western Australia, FACT Sheet No. 1, The University of Western Australia and Committee for Perth, Perth. Contacts For further information on the FACTBase project contact: Marion Fulker, CEO, Committee for Perth 0419 048 665 or [email protected] Committee for Perth Research work commissioned by the Committee for Perth is funded entirely through the contribution of our members. Our Foundation Members are: Alcoa ANZ Bankwest BHP Billiton Ernst & Young Freehills


FACT Sheet No. 1

Rio Tinto The West Australian Wesfarmers WesTrac Woodside A full list of Committee for Perth members is available at


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