UDIA WA was pleased to host an industry breakfast with over 200 guests on Wednesday focused on development opportunities in the North East Corridor as a result of an increased investment in major infrastructure including the delivery of the Forrestfield- Airport train link and Ellenbrook extension as part of METRONET.

CEO of Perth Airport Kevin Brown kicked off proceedings with an overview of the opportunities for further development at the airport and what is in the pipeline.  Mr Brown highlighted the integral role of aviation in the social and economic development of WA, including the projected $9 billion contribution the sector will make to Gross Regional Product in 2040.

The aviation sector has experienced unprecedented challenges due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions associated with the current pandemic, but Mr Brown was very positive about the development opportunities at the airport.

As Mr Brown noted, Perth Airport is strategically located just 12kim from the City with a total 482ha available across four precincts including industrial and commercial lands.  The presentation particularly focused on opportunities in the Airport North precinct where there is a total development area of 250ha with the opportunity to deliver $3,299 million to the state economy.

Following the airport updates, Ben Lisle from Hesperia provided a brief overview of industrial land opportunities in the corridor and City of Swan CEO Jeremy Edwards provided a growth snapshot of the City of Swan.

Mr Edwards’ team is expecting significant growth in the City, projecting over 111,000 dwellings and a population of close to 310,000 by 2051.  Residential growth will be centered in Bullsbrook (5,000 additional dwellings), Ellenbrook (3,500 new dwellings), and Midland (8,100 residents in redevelopment and infill).

The panel session that followed featured an interesting discussion around how some of these opportunities can be realized to the benefit of the local area and the broader WA economy.

A key for Mr Brown was the need to ramp up the government’s COVID vaccination drive to get more people travelling again and a greater ability to open up economic opportunities further.

In terms of what the greatest opportunities are in the corridor, Mr Brown said realizing the extensive assets that the Perth Airport has and mobilizing those will be critical.  He noted a significant challenge is making sure Perth has a clear international brand in order to attract people here.

For Mr Edwards, the greatest opportunities lie in the Swan Valley, which could rival the Margaret River region for tourism if it had more quality accommodation.  He did note that one of the most significant challenges for local government is asset management and the capacity moving forward.

According to Mr Lisle, freight rail offers a significant opportunity along with the outer harbour planned for Kwinana.

Overall, there is no doubt that the new rail and road projects occurring in the north east corridor are critical to unlocking the eastern suburbs of Perth, providing desperately needed connectivity that has been a handbrake on the delivery of housing in the eastern suburbs.

A focus on this corridor is very timely, given the findings from UDIA WA’s recent report entitled Housing our Community, which provided a snapshot of future housing supply across Greater Perth and recommendations for addressing future shortages.

Our study found that in both greenfield and infill areas, there is limited capacity to quickly ramp up lot production and deliver housing to meet buyer demand. The North East Corridor was one of the areas highlighted in the report with limited future supply.

Read more on our report here.