Cascade of skills and investment poised to flow west – if we can grasp it

CCIWA CEO

Chris Rodwell

A nation-wide survey commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) has revealed a massive spike in our attractiveness as a place to invest.

Across Australia, nearly three in five businesses (57.3%) now express an increased interest in shifting their investment to the west. A powerful improvement in perception of WA was recorded by businesses in New South Wales (74%), Victoria (60%) and Queensland (55%).

Critically, there is strong interest among financial and insurance (93%) and professional and technical services (59%), putting WA in the box seat to grow and diversify our economy. Perception of WA as an investment destination has improved among 81% of large businesses – those with over 200 employees.

WA’s lifestyle was cited by 61% of large businesses alongside our strong economy (60%) as the state’s most attractive features. Our shared time-zone with Asia was attractive to nearly two in five large businesses (37%).

To capture this opportunity, Western Australia should seize the moment and compete harder. Our rate of payroll tax is not competitive. Among survey respondents, more than four in five larger businesses (82.5%), and two in five smaller businesses (43.5%) cited WA’s payroll tax having some impact on our reputation. A shift in rate, or a move to CCIWA’s proposed model for payroll tax would get more of these businesses over the line, and could prove key to supercharging our economy in coming years. We could use this as a basis to lift our effort across international markets and position Perth and WA as a key global location in Indo-Pacific region.  

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