Perth’s residents have traditionally enjoyed the highest standard of living of any of Australia’s big cities.
This is because wages are mostly only a little less than in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, while house prices in Perth are considerably lower than these cities.
From 2000 to 2007, this situation changed because house prices in Perth advanced strongly. However houses prices have stabilised in Perth over the last several years but have continued to rise in Sydney and Melbourne.
The difference between the median house price in Sydney and Perth was $260,000 in mid-2004 and now the difference in late 2016 is approximately $425,000.
All of the usual jobs associated with a big city are available in Perth, though jobs may be slightly harder to get in Perth than in Sydney or Melbourne.
Western Australia has huge deposits of metal ores and coal. Booming Asian economies, particularly China, have sourced many of their raw materials from Western Australia, resulting in high economic growth for the state and its capital, Perth.
Many large mining and mineral concerns have their headquarters in Perth. Mining itself is carried on outside Perth but the city is home to many support industries employing engineers and scientists.
There is a large oil refinery at Kwinana, 25 km south of Perth, with associated engineering and chemicals jobs.
Agriculture and tourism are also large players in the Perth region’s economy.
Getting Around Perth
Most people in Perth drive themselves to work rather than using public transport. Some of the city’s residents’ habit of tailgating the car in front can be unnerving and annoying.
If you drive above the speed limits in Perth, there is a good chance you will be caught. There are a great many speed cameras and traps in the city and its suburbs. Random breath tests to catch drunk drivers are also commonplace.
During business hours, public transport in Perth offers highly efficient, inexpensive services. Transperth tickets are sold on the basis of city zones and can be used to travel on both buses and trains. You can buy Transperth tickets from bus or ferry drivers or from the coin-operated ticket vending machines at train stations on the day of travel.
If you will be making regular journeys, you should buy a SmartRider card. Using the SmartRider card entitles you to a minimum 15% discount compared to paying by cash. If you top up your SmartRider card using a direct debit or credit card, you get a 25% discount.
Perth’s public transport system is good for getting you into the central city and out again but is not so good for travelling between suburbs, for which a car is strongly advised.
In the central city, a free bus service, the CAT, is very handy.