wrote, in Stark (his 1989 satirical novel):
Perth gets up in the morning and says: Okay, let’s do it,
let’s make money, let’s get on with a load of really
high-powered stuff right now!’ So wrote ,
During the late 1980's, Perth boasted more millionaires
per head than any city in the world. This was largely thanks to
aggressive development of Western Australia’s massive resources
of gold, iron ore, nickel and other minerals.
However, a lot has changed over the last decade. A series of financial
scandals involving corporate fraud and a Royal
Commission into government corruption sent some of the highest
flyers to prison (Alan Bond and Laurie Connell) and others on
the run (Christopher Skase). Anxious to correct its reputation
as the ‘Wild West’, the Perth pendulum has now swung
in the other direction, with the result being a business climate
that may be too traditionalist for its own good.
The current outlook is, however, optimistic.
Despite the October 1997 Asian stock market collapse, Perth’s
head count of millionaires is still considerable, with the late
1990's having seen a surge in new technology moguls, although
many of these fell by the wayside in the 2000 dotcom crash.
Successful companies that remain include daytraderHQ,
access1 and adultshop.com. The Perth economy sits comfortably
on a cushion of natural resources, some of the biggest mining
and exploration companies in the world have offices in Perth,
including BHP Billiton, Alcoa, Rio Tinto and Western Mining.
Tourism has climbed gradually since Fremantle
hosted the America’s Cup in 1987, Perth plays host to over
three million visitors per year. Major corporations headquartered
in the city also include Wesfarmers, Bankwest, ERG Ltd, Chevron
and Woodside. Nevertheless, the government has been criticised
for not expanding enough from the resources sector.
Western Australia still leads Australia in economic
growth. In the quarter to June 2001, the area
contributed 25 % of Australia’s total exports, well ahead
of the other states. Unemployment in Perth, standing at 7.7 %,
was just 1 % above the national rate.
Central Perth is roughly divided
into City, Perth, East Perth and Northbridge, with the main business
district being Perth, particularly along Hay Street, Murray Street
and St George’s Terrace. The Perth
Convention & Exhibition Centre is expected to be completed
in 2004 and will be situated in the CBD. The centre will cater
for functions of up to 2,500 delegates.
Businesspeople in Perth are normally less formal
than in Melbourne or Sydney. Small talk and humour are welcome
and most people prefer to be addressed by their 1st names from
1st acquaintance. However, a high standard of dress
is expected, even in markedly hot weather.
Perth people have a strong service ethic and ‘not a problem’
is a frequent reply to any request. Work related socialising,
in the form of picnics, barbecues or cruises, is common and alcohol
will flow freely.
Similarly, liquid lunches come with the territory.
However, smoking in any indoor place should be
stringently avoided by visitors unless they are invited to do
General business hours are weekdays 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.