RDA Perth

Reports & Publications

WA Investment Prospectus

Regional investment opportunities and priorities across WA that can
stimulate regional growth, economic diversification, and job creation.

Perth Hills Strategic Visioning

With the support of the five local governments representing the Perth Hills, RDA Perth conducted a series of engagement processes across the Perth Hills over the course of 2020. This initiative benefited from strong participation by community members, businesses and Councillors and revealed significant alignment around key priorities. The Report sets out these priorities along with areas of policy alignment and useful precedents as the basis of a series of recommendations.

Enabling the Western Trade Coast

The world is undergoing an industry renaissance, where sustainable innovation trumps productivity.  Further triggered by COVID-19, we are finding new ways of living, working, interacting, innovating and doing business.  We are learning that we need to better capture downstream economies from our natural resources.  This renaissance requires world class industrial estates to drive strong economic growth into the future.  Western Australia is lucky to have such a location: The Western Trade Coast (WTC).

The WTC covers well over 5,000ha of industrial and defence facilities identified to be the strategic western gateway for Australia.  Located 30 minutes south of the Perth CBD the facilities have direct links to air, sea, road and rail networks making it the ideal location for industries, new technologies and jobs growth for Western Australia.

Enabling the Western Trade Coast, supported by industries and SME’s located across the WTC, identifies opportunities essential to the future development of the district.

Lithium Valley: Establishing the Case for Energy Metals and Battery Manufacturing in Western Australia

“WA can ensure the world has a smooth transition to a clean energy future,” says Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University.

Speaking at the launch of the report Lithium Valley: Building the Case for Energy Metals and Battery Manufacturing for Western Australia, Professor Newman said, “Suddenly WA has become critical to security of supply for battery metals as we are the only place in the world that has them all.”

The report provides the background and a series of recommendations to unlock the potential for ensuring security of supply for a world based on renewable energy, batteries and electric vehicles. It also shows how WA can become a centre for processing the minerals, making the batteries, using them and recycling them.

Click here for a summary document or downlaod the full report below.


Regional Development Australia (RDA) Perth and RDA Kimberley have released a landmark report outlining the most comprehensive overview of the defence sector in Western Australia (WA) to date.

Security and Defence in Western Australia: An Economic Perspective was compiled to bring the defence sector across WA out of the trenches and out into the open. It details the existing defence capabilities across the State and makes a number of key recommendations geared to take economic advantage of the sector into the future.

RDA Perth Chair Keith Ellis and RDA Kimberley Chair Graeme Campbell say that this report establishes a baseline for the defence industry in WA.

“In 2016, the Federal government released its Defence White Paper and supporting documents that outline national investment commitments over the next 10 to 20 years to enhance Australia’s defence capability for the future,” Graeme stated.

“Within Western Australia, RDA wanted to better understand how opportunities across defence and its associated industries could be leveraged in support of this investment to enhance business and job growth for the regions.”

Keith added, “To do this, we needed to better understand the current state of play in WA, so in November 2016 we commissioned a study to investigate the industry across the state, as at that time, there wasn’t much to go on and what information existed was fairly fragmented.”

“This report makes 25 recommendations that target opportunities for enhancing this sector in WA, not only for economic growth and stability, but to take greater advantage of the State and its long-term interests, nationally.”

For a hardcopy of the report, contact RDA Perth (08) 9371 5525 or ea@rdaperth.org

Driving Change: Perth and Peel Economic Development Strategy and Infrastructure Priority Plan

Political, civic and business leaders are being urged to reject “short termism” in discussing Perth’s long-term infrastructure needs.

Chairman of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Perth, Keith Ellis, said there was a risk that short-term thinking would endanger the region’s prospects of developing a considered and balanced approach to infrastructure development.

Mr Ellis made the comments on the eve of the release of a landmark Plan that consolidates the views of key stakeholders about the critical infrastructure needs of the Perth and Peel region up until 2050.

Entitled “Driving Change”, the Perth and Peel Economic Development Strategy and Infrastructure Plan is focused primarily on job creation for the region’s burgeoning population up until mid 21st century.

“The Development Plan is a document designed to drive long term consideration of the key infrastructure priorities for Perth and Peel over the next 30 years but doing so with a single-minded focus on expanded employment opportunities,” Mr Ellis said.

“The Report represents the outcomes of an extensive consultative process with stakeholders with a special emphasis on local government authorities.

“The Report is NOT intended to be an endorsement of any particular project or advocate a strict timeline; rather to represent a long term view of future requirements to drive future consideration and decision making by all levels of government.

“The Committee is anxious that the long term nature of the Report’s focus is understood to avoid short term considerations or debate about future infrastructure needs.

“It is especially important that the Report is used responsibly to drive a balanced discussion of what is needed for Perth and Peel – rather than as a weapon by individuals or groups wishing to prosecute a political viewpoint or agenda.”

Mr Ellis said there were some concerning employment trends in both the Perth and Peel regions that required a renewed focus.

“The current decline in the resources sector has impacted employment significantly and there is evidence that this decline will continue as projects move from construction to operation phase.

“While the resources sector will remain a significant driver of employment, we need to work harder at creating jobs across parts of the region where the population is expected to increase – especially the outer metropolitan areas.

“When you look closely at regions like Perth’s south metropolitan and Peel, where the population is expected to climb, there is a desperate need for infrastructure that creates rich employment opportunities – in other words we need to work harder at developing jobs where the population is growing fastest,” he said.

The Plan identifies two categories of infrastructure that require specific focus by Government and civic leaders: Nation building initiatives that require strong government intervention and regional significant initiatives that require government support and policy development.

Under those sub categories sit a number of specific focus projects:

Nation building initiatives that require strong government intervention

  • Development of the Outer Harbour at Kwinana
  • Latitude 32
  • Intermodal sites at Bullsbrook and Mundijong

Regional significant initiatives that require government support and policy development

  • Common user facilities to support innovation hubs and encourage smart business start ups as well as digital hubs
  • Peri-urban development to ensure productive agricultural land is retained and leveraged
  • Delivery of globally respected knowledge precincts
  • Skills development and training

Mr Ellis said a critical element of the approach being advocated by the Plan was the notion of matching infrastructure development to urban and outer urban areas where there was significant need to create employment opportunities.

“In a sense we are looking at overlaying job-creating infrastructure projects with population density in areas of particularly high youth unemployment.”

Rural Diversification Planning Project

Peri-urban Perth is the outer fringe of the metropolitian area where urban development and rural activity meet. Peri-urban Perth contains agricultural activity, natural resources, remnant biodiversity and significant landscapes. This area is under increasing threat from development and overuse.

RDA Perth and Curtin University are hosting a 1/2 day workshop event to discuss the peri-urban region of Perth. Keynote speaker Michael Buxton, Australia’s leading expert on this topic, will be joined by Systems Dynamist and Landscape Ecologist, Brad Stelfox; human geographer, Amanada Davies; and food tourism expert John Stanley.