Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said on Tuesday that the city of Perth is shedding its blue collar reputation and is even attracting fresh professional talents. Among those who moved to the WA capital city are scientists, engineers and academics.
The premier cited Department of Immigration figures which showed that the visas it issued the past 12 months to June to immigrants bound for WA were mostly to professionals, technicians and managers.
Interstate migration also hit a 10-year high as WA registered a net migration of 6,163 people in 2010-11 compared with 3,582 in 2001-02.
Mark Barnaba, chairman of the Macquarie Group in WA, said employment growth rates in WA mimicked those in Asia even if there are reports of slowdown in hiring in the mining industry.
"There's an increasing sophistication in the state. We're not just attracting people, we're attracting very good people. We've seen global law firms come in, global consulting firms and many more large companies," Perth Now quoted Mr Barnaba.
"All of a sudden we've got a state that's become a natural resource hub (comparable) with probably Houston and Aberdeen . . . When I was growing up if you wanted to further your career you went east or you went to London or New York. Now you can either stay in Perth or go to Asia and that's changed in a short time," he added.
Besides bringing in quality human capital, Perth is also improving its infrastructure with eight major projects ongoing including the construction Fiona Stanley Hospital, the Elizabeth Quay development and the Perth stadium.
These developments are the focus of an advertising campaign which was criticised by the Opposition.
"The main point of the ads is to draw people's attention to the Web site and the information and yes it is to tell people transformation is taking place in their city and where it is, what it is and how it all related and taxpayers have an entitlement to know that," ABC quoted the premier.
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