Perth needs to overhaul its public transport network, tackle housing affordability and choice and boost efforts in tertiary education and indigenous affairs if it is to prosper as a city of 3.5 million people by 2050, a new report has found.
To be launched today by business-backed think tank the Committee for Perth, the Towards a Bright Future report also calls for more investment in science and innovation, local government reforms and a focus on crime prevention and community health.
Describing Perth as at a crossroads, the report says the city lacks a long-term vision and strategy to guide growth.
But it warns that a "business- as-usual" approach will put the city at "crisis point" and mire it in traffic congestion, public transport overcrowding, housing and rental affordability issues and urban sprawl.
The culmination of more than four years of research and consultation with 600 stakeholders, the report's 20 recommendations for government and decision makers cover the economy, planning, environment and education.
_The West _ _Australian _, a foundation Committee for Perth member, will examine issues raised in the report in the next two months.
The report says a long-term vision and strategy for the metropolitan area should be a priority, along with a public transport system led by light rail and the reform of a "fragmented" local government sector to cut red tape.
It says "innovative action" is needed to remove barriers to developing diverse and affordable housing.
The report, endorsed by a nine-member steering committee led by former WA governor Ken Michael, says an indigenous cultural centre should be a first step to establish Perth as a national leader in celebrating indigenous culture.
It says investment in higher education could help boost "human capital", attract talent and address skills shortages.
Light rail connections are a way to turn Perth's tertiary campuses into vibrant, community hubs.
Other recommendations include removing barriers to "quicker, lighter and cheaper" initiatives such as alfresco dining and street vendors and promoting research and development of renewable energy and resource efficiency.
"If we don't start working towards a shared vision for Perth now, our options in the not-too- distant future will be reactive rather than proactive and that won't produce the best results for any of us," Dr Michael said yesterday.The report will be presented to Planning Minister John Day today for the State Government's consideration.
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