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Perth ( ) is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australiamarker. With a population of 1,650,000 (2009), Perth ranks fourth amongst the nation's cities, with a growth rate consistently above the national average.

Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free-settler Swan River Colony. It has continued to serve as the seat of government for Western Australia to the present day. Its port, Fremantlemarker is a city in its own right and slightly older than Perth.

The metropolitan area is located in the south-west of the continent between the Indian Oceanmarker and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the Swan Rivermarker. Perth is tied for fifth place in The Economist's 2009 list of the World's Most Livable Cities.

Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Lights" as city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated its feat as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.



Before European settlement, the area had been inhabited by the Whadjuk Noongar people for over 40,000 years, as evidenced by archaeological findings on the Upper Swan River. These Aborigines occupied the southwest corner of Western Australia, living as hunter-gatherers. The lakes on the coastal plain were particularly important to them, providing both spiritual and physical sustenance.

Rottnestmarker, Carnac and Gardenmarker Islands were also important to the Noongar. About 5,000 years ago the sea levels were low enough that they could walk to the limestone outcrops.

The area where Perth now stands was called Boorloo by the Aboriginals living there at the time of their first contact with Europeans in 1827. Boorloo formed part of Mooro, the tribal lands of the Yellagonga, one of several groups based around the Swan River and known collectively as the Whadjuk. The Whadjuk were part of a larger group of thirteen or more tribes which formed the south west socio-linguistic block known as the Noongar (The People), also sometimes called the Bibbulmun.

On 19 September 2006, the Federal Court of Australia brought down a judgment recognising Noongar native title over the Perth metropolitan area, in the case of Bennell v State of Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243. The judgement was overturned on appeal.

Early European sightings

The first documented European sighting of the region was made by the Dutch Captain Willem de Vlamingh and his crew on 10 January 1697. Subsequent sightings between this date and 1829 were made by other Europeans, but as in the case of the sighting and observations made by Vlamingh, the area was considered to be inhospitable and unsuitable for the agriculture which would be needed to sustain a settlement

The Swan River Colony

Although the British Army had established a base at King George Soundmarker (later Albany) on the south coast of western Australia in 1826 in response to rumours that the area would be annexed by France, Perth was the first full-scale settlement by Europeans in the western third of the continent. The British colony would be officially designated Western Australia in 1832, but was known informally for many years as the Swan River Colony after the area's major watercourse.

On 4 June 1829, newly-arriving British colonists had their first view of the mainland, and Western Australia's Foundation Day has since been recognised by a public holiday on the first Monday in June each year. Captain James Stirling, aboard the Parmelia, said that Perth was "as beautiful as anything of this kind I had ever witnessed." On 12 August that year, Mrs. Helen Dance, wife of the captain of the second ship Sulphur, cut down a tree to mark the founding of the town.

It is clear that Stirling had already selected the name Perth for the capital well before the town was proclaimed, as his proclamation of the colony, read in Fremantle on 18 June, ended "[g]iven under my hand and Seal at Perth this 18th Day of June 1829. James Stirling Lieutenant Governor" The only information on the source of the name comes from Fremantle's diary entry for 12 August, which records that they "named the Town Perth according to the wishes of Sir George Murray." Murray was born in Perth, Scotlandmarker, and was in 1829 Secretary of State for the Colonies and Member for Perthshire in the British House of Commonsmarker. It is therefore often asserted that the name was given in Murray's honour.

Beginning in 1831, hostile encounters between the British settlers and the Noongar people – both large-scale land users with conflicting land value systems – increased considerably as the colony grew. This violent phase of the region's history culminated in a series of events in which the British overcame the indigenous people, including the execution of the Whadjuk elder Midgegooroo, the death of his son Yagan in 1833, and the Battle of Pinjarra in 1834.

By 1843, when Yellagonga died, his people had begun to disintegrate after having been dispossessed of the land around the main settlement area of Perth. They retreated to the swamps and lakes north of the settlement area including Third Swamp, known to them as Boodjamooling. Boodjamooling continued to be a main camp-site for the remaining Noongar people in the Perth region, and was also used by travellers, itinerants, and homeless people. By the gold-rush days of the 1890s they were joined by miners who were en-route to the goldfields.

In 1850, Western Australia was opened to convicts at the request of farming and business people looking for cheap labour. Queen Victoria announced the city status of Perth in 1856.

Federation and beyond

St Georges Terrace in Perth, 1968
After a referendum in 1900, Western Australia joined the Federation of Australia in 1901. It was the last of the Australian colonies to agree to join the Federation, and did so only after the other colonies had offered several concessions, including the construction of a transcontinental railway line to Perth (via Kalgoorliemarker) from the eastern states.

In 1933, Western Australia voted in a referendum to leave the Australian Federation, with a majority of two to one in favour of secession. However, an election held shortly before the referendum had turned out the incumbent "pro-independence" government, replacing it with a government which did not support the independence movement. Respecting the result of the referendum, the new government nonetheless petitioned the Agent General of the United Kingdom for independence, where the request was simply ignored.

Perth's growth and relative prosperity, especially since the mid-1960s, has resulted from its role as the main service centre for the state's resource industries, which produce gold, iron ore, nickel, alumina, diamonds, mineral sands, coal, oil, and natural gas. Whilst most mineral and petroleum production takes place elsewhere in the state, the non-base services provide most of the employment and income to the people of Perth.


Perth is one of the most isolated metropolitan areas on earth. The nearest city to Perth with a population over one million is Adelaidemarker in South Australiamarker, which is away. Perth is geographically closer to Dilimarker (East Timormarker), Singaporemarker and Jakartamarker (Indonesiamarker), than it is to Sydneymarker, Melbournemarker, and Brisbanemarker. The antipode of Hamilton, Bermudamarker is located 45 kilometres offshore from Point Peronmarker in Perth's southern suburbs.

Central business district

The central business district of Perth is bounded by the Swan River to the south and east, with Kings Parkmarker on the western end, while the railway lines form a northern border. St Georges Terrace is the prominent street of the area with 1.3 million m² of office space in the CBD. Hay Street and Murray Streetmarker have most of the retail and entertainment facilities. The tallest building in the city is Central Parkmarker, which is the seventh tallest building in Australia, although it is to be surpassed by City Squaremarker in 2012.


Geology and landforms

Satellite image of Perth
Perth is set on the Swan River, named after the native black swans in 1697 by Willem de Vlamingh, captain of a Dutch expedition and namer of WA's Rottnest Islandmarker. Traditionally, this water body has been known by Aboriginal inhabitants as Derbal Yerrigan. The city centre and most of the suburbs are located on the sandy and relatively flat Swan Coastal Plain, which lies between the Darling Scarp and the Indian Ocean. The soils of this area are quite infertile. The metropolitan area extends to Yanchepmarker in the north and Rockinghammarker to the south, total distance of approximately . From the coast in the west to Mundaringmarker in the east is a total distance of approximately . The area of Perth is thus over 6,100 km² (1.5 million acres).

The coastal suburbs' placement is advantageous due to proximity to Perth's oceanside location and clean beaches. To the east, the city is bordered by a low escarpment called the Darling Scarp. Perth is on generally flat, rolling land — largely due to the high amount of sandy soils and deep bedrock. The Perth metropolitan area has two major river systems; the first is made up of the Swan and Canningmarker Rivers. The second is that of the Serpentinemarker and Murray Rivers, which discharge into the Peel Estuary at Mandurah.


Perth receives moderate though highly seasonal rainfall. Summers are generally hot and dry, lasting from December to late March, with February generally being the hottest month of the year, making Perth a classic example of a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification CSa). Summer is not completely devoid of rain with sporadic rainfall in the form of short-lived thunderstorms, weak cold fronts and on very rare occasions decaying tropical cyclones from Western Australia's north-west which can bring significant falls. The hottest ever recorded temperature in Perth was on 23 February 1991, although Perth Airport recorded on the same day. On most summer afternoons a sea breeze, also known as "The Fremantle Doctor", blows from the south-west, providing relief from the hot north-easterly winds. Temperatures often fall below 30 degrees a few hours after the arrival of the wind change.

Winters are relatively cool and wet, with most of Perth's annual rainfall falling between May and September. The coldest temperature recorded in Perth was on 17 June 2006. The coldest temperature within the Perth metropolitan area was -3.4 °C (25.9 °F) on the same day at Jandakot Airportmarker.

Though most rainfall occurs during winter, the wettest day ever was on 9 February 1992 when fell. The rainfall pattern has changed in Perth and Southwest Western Australia since the mid-1970s. A significant reduction in winter rainfall has been observed with a greater number of extreme rainfall events in the summer months.


Perth Metropolitan Area

Population by year ( ABS)
1850 1,400
1861 3,507
1871 5,007
1881 5,044
1891 8,447
1901 27,553
1911 106,792
1921 154,873
1933 207,440
1947 272,528
1961 420,133
1971 641,800
1981 809,036
1991 1,142,646
2001 1,325,392
2006 1,445,079
2007 1,554,769
2008 1,600,000
2009 1,650,000
Significant overseas-born
Country of Birth Population
United Kingdommarker 168,483
New Zealandmarker 33,751
Malaysiamarker 18,939
Italymarker 18,701
South Africa 18,683
Indiamarker 14,007
Singaporemarker 11,199
Vietnammarker 10,081
Irelandmarker 7,706
People's Republic of Chinamarker 7,681
Germanymarker 7,617
Netherlandsmarker 7,570
Indonesiamarker 7,392
United Statesmarker 5,524
One dot represents 100 persons born in the UK (dark blue), China (red), Italy (light green), Malaysia (dark green), South Africa (brown), Singapore (purple) and Vietnam (yellow), based on 2006 Census
Perth is Australia's fourth largest city, having overtaken Adelaidemarker's population in the early 1980s. At the 2006 Census 1,445,079 persons resident in the Perth statistical area were enumerated.

Ethnic groups

In 2006, the largest ancestry groups in the Perth metropolitan areas were: English (534,555 or 28.6%), "Australian" (479,174 or 25.6%), Irish (115,384 or 6.2%), Scottish (113,846 or 6.1%), Italian (84,331 or 4.5%) and Chinese (53,390 or 2.9%). There were 3,101 Aboriginals in the city (0.2%).

Perth's population is notable for the high proportion of British-born residents. At the 2006 Census, 142,424 British-born Perth residents were counted, narrowly behind Sydney (145,261), despite having just 35% of the overall population of Sydney.

The ethnic make-up of Perth changed in the middle of the twentieth century, when significant numbers of European immigrants arrived in the city. Prior to this, Perth's population had been almost completely Anglo-Celtic in ethnic origin. As Fremantlemarker was the first landfall in Australia for many migrant ships coming from Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, Perth started to experience a diverse influx of people, which included Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Germans, Croats, Bosnians, Serbs, Poles, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, Macedonians, Turks and many others. The Italian influence in the Perth and Fremantle area has been substantial, evident in places like the "Cappuccino strip" in Fremantle featuring many Italian eateries and shops. In Fremantle the traditional Italian blessing of the fleet festival is held every year at the start of the fishing season. In Northbridge every December is the San Nicola (Saint Nicholas) Festival, which involves a pageant followed by a concert, predominantly in Italian. Suburbs surrounding the Fremantle area such as Spearwood and Hamilton Hill also contain high concentrations of Italians, Croatians and Portuguese. Perth also has a vibrant Jewish community — numbering 20,106 in 2006 — who emigrated primarily from eastern Europe and more recently from South Africa.

Another more recent wave of arrivals include European minorities from Southern Africa. The South Africa-born overtook those born in Italy to become the fourth largest birthplace group after 2001. By 2006, there were 18,825 South Africa-born in Perth, accounting for 1.3% of the city's people. Many Afrikaners and Anglo-Africans from South Africa and Zimbabwemarker emigrated to Perth during the 1980s and 1990s, to the extent that the city has been described as "the Australian capital of South Africans in exile". The phrase "Packing for Perth" has become associated with South Africans who choose to emigrate abroad, sometimes regardless of the destination. The reason for Perth being so popular among white South Africans has often been the location (closer to Africa than other large cities), the vast amount of expansion and space, and the slightly warmer climate compared to other large Australian cities.

In the last three decades, Southeast Asia has become an increasingly important source of migrants, with communities from Malaysiamarker, Indonesiamarker, Singaporemarker, Hong Kongmarker, Mainland China, and Indiamarker all now well-established. There were 53,390 persons of Chinese descent in Perth in 2006 — 2.9% of the city's population.

The Indian community includes a substantial number of Parsees who emigrated from Bombaymarker — Perth being the closest Australian city to India — and the India-born population of the city at the time of the 2006 census was 14,094 or 0.8%. Perth is also home to the largest population of Anglo-Burmese in the world; many settled here following the independence of Burmamarker in 1948 and the city is now the cultural hub for Anglo-Burmese worldwide. There is also a substantial Anglo-Indian population in Perth, who also settled in the city following the Independence of India.


Perth houses the Parliament of Western Australia and the Governor of Western Australia.

Government House, Western Australia
Parliament House, Perth.
At present, 42 of the Legislative Assembly's 59 seats and 18 of the Legislative Council's 36 seats are based in Perth's metropolitan area as of the 2008 state election. Perth is represented by 9 full seats and significant parts of three others in the Federal House of Representatives, with the seats of Canning, Pearce and Brand including some areas outside the metropolitan area. The metropolitan area is divided into over 30 local government bodies, including the City of Perth which administers Perth's central business district.

The state's highest court, the Supreme Courtmarker, is located in Perth, along with the District and Family Courts. The Magistrates' Court has six metropolitan locations. The Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates' Courts occupy the Commonwealth Law Courts building on Victoria Avenue, Perth, which is the also the location for annual Perth sittings of Australia's High Courtmarker.

The Metropolitan Region Scheme is the statutory town planning scheme for land use in the Perth metropolitan area, and has been in operation since 1963.


See also: Economy of Western Australia
By virtue of its population and role as the administrative centre for business and government, Perth dominates the Western Australian economy, despite the major mining, petroleum and agricultural export industries located elsewhere in the state. Perth’s function as the State’s capital city, its economic base and population size have also created development opportunities for many other businesses oriented to local or more diversified markets.

Perth’s economy has been changing in favour of the service industries since the 1950s. Although one of the major sets of services it provides are related to the resources industry and, to a lesser extent, agriculture, most people in Perth are not connected to either; they have jobs that provide services to other people in Perth.

As a result of Perth's relative geographical isolation, it has never had the necessary conditions to develop significant manufacturing industries other than those serving the immediate needs of its residents, mining and agriculture and some specialised areas, such as, in recent times, niche ship building and maintenance. It was simply cheaper to import all the needed manufactured goods from either the eastern states or overseas.

Industrial employment influenced the economic geography of Perth. After WWII, Perth experienced suburban expansion aided by high levels of car ownership. Workforce decentralisation and transport improvements made it possible for the establishment of small-scale manufacturing in the suburbs. Many firms took advantage of relatively cheap land to build spacious, single-storey plants in suburban locations where parking, access and traffic congestion were minimal. "The former close ties of manufacturing with near-central and/or rail-side locations were loosened."

Industrial estates such as Kwinana, Welshpool and Kewdale were post-war additions contributing to the growth of manufacturing south of the river. The establishment of the Kwinana industrial area was supported by standardisation of the east-west rail gauge linking Perth with eastern Australia. Since the 1950s, heavy industry has dominated the location including an oil refinery, steel-rolling mill with a blast furnace, alumina refinery, power station and a nickel refinery. Another development, also linked with rail standardisation, was in 1968 when the Kewdale Freight Terminal was developed adjacent to the Welshpool industrial area, replacing the former Perth railway yards.

With significant population growth post-WWII , employment growth occurred not in manufacturing but in retail and wholesale trade, business services, health, education, community and personal services and in public administration. Increasingly it was these services sectors, concentrated around the Perth metropolitan area, that provided jobs.


The University of Western Australia is located at Crawley
See also: Education in Western Australia

Perth is home to four public universities: the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Curtin University of Technologymarker, Edith Cowan Universitymarker. There is also one private university, the University of Notre Dame.

The University of Western Australia, which was founded in 1911, is renowned as one of Australia's leading research institutions. The university's monumental neo-classical architecture, most of which is carved from white limestone, is a notable tourist destination in the city. It is the only university in the state to be a member of the Group of Eight, as well as the Sandstone universities.

Curtin University of Technologymarker is Western Australia's largest university by student population, and was known from its founding in 1966 until 1986 as the Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) and had amalgamated with Western Australian School of Mines and the Muresk Institute. It has a rapidly growing research reputation and is the only Western Australian university to produce PhD recipients of the AINSE gold medal, the highest possible recognition for PhD level science and engineering research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

Murdoch University was established in the 1970s, and is Australia's largest campus in geographical area (2.27 square kilometres), necessary to accommodate Western Australia's only veterinary school.

Edith Cowan Universitymarker was established in the early 1990s from the existing Western Australian College of Advanced Education (WACAE) which itself was formed in the 1970s from the existing Teachers Colleges at Claremont, Churchlands, and Mount Lawley. It incorporates the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

The University of Notre Dame Australia was established in 1990. Notre Dame was established as a Catholic university with its lead campus in Fremantlemarker and a large campus in Sydney. It is the only Western Australian university with a campus in another major Australian city. Its campus is set in the west end of Fremantle, utilising historic port buildings built in the 1890s, giving Notre Dame a distinct European university atmosphere. Though Notre Dame shares its name with the University of Notre Damemarker in Indianamarker USA, it is a separate school, claiming only "strong ties" with its American namesake. It is also the fastest growing university in Australia.

Colleges of TAFE provide trade and vocational training, including Diploma level courses. TAFE was formed in the 1970s to provide technical courses previously offered by WACAE.


Like the other mainland Australian state capital cities, Perth is served by five free to air stations: ABCmarker, Sevenmarker, Ninemarker, Tenmarker and SBS (like all other states of Australia). A community station, Access 31, closed in August 2008. Foxtel provides a subscription-based satellite and cable television service. Perth has its own local newsreaders on ABC, Seven, Nine and Ten. Seven's weekly presenters are Rick Ardon and Susannah Carr; presenters for Nine are Dixie Marshall and Greg Pearce, and the presenter for Ten is Narelda Jacobs. The ABC news anchor is Karina Carvalho.

Television shows produced in Perth include local editions of the current affair program Today Tonight, and other types of programming such as The Force (documentary), and The Western Front (sport).An annual telethon has been broadcast since 1968 to raise funds for charities including Princess Margaret Hospital for Childrenmarker. The 24 hour Perth Telethon claims to be "the most successful fundraising event per capita in the world" and raised more than A$7.5 million in 2008.

The main newspapers for Perth are The West Australian and The Sunday Times. Localised free community papers cater for each local government area. There are also many advertising newspapers, such as The Quokka. The local business paper for Western Australia is WA Business News.

Radio stations are on AM, FM and DAB+ frequencies. ABC stations include News Radio (585AM), 720 ABC Perth, Radio National (810AM), Classic FM (97.7FM) and Triple J (99.3FM). The 6 local commercial stations are: 92.9, Nova 93.7, Mix 94.5, 96fm, on FM and 882 6PR and 1080 6IX on AM. DAB+ has mostly the same as both FM and AM plus national stations from the ABC/SBS, Radar Radio and Novanation, along with local stations My Perth Digital and HotCountry Perth. Major community radio stations include RTRFM (92.1FM), Sonshine FM (98.5FM), SportFM (91.3FM) and Curtin FM (100.1FM).


The distinctive WA Maritime Museum building on Victoria Quay

Perth Cultural Centre is both an area of central Perth and the collective name for the main buildings of the Art Gallery of Western Australiamarker, Western Australian Museummarker, Alexander Librarymarker, State Records Officemarker and Perth Institute of Contemporary Artsmarker (PICA).

The Perth International Arts Festival is a cultural festival which has been held annually since 1953.

Museums and galleries

The Western Australian Museum holds an extensive display of Aboriginal artefacts as well as numerous zoological and social exhibits.

The new (2002) Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle displays maritime objects from all eras and includes a former Royal Australian Navy submarine. It also houses Australia II, the yacht that won the Americas Cup in 1983.

The Art Gallery of Western Australiamarker houses the State Art Collection. It curates and hosts numerous impressive visiting exhibitions, like the 2006 Norman Lindsay exhibition. Additional exhibits occur at PICA and many other smaller venues on a regular basis across Perth.


The most popular sports are Australian rules football, cricket, association football (soccer) and netball .

The climate of Perth allows for extensive outdoor sport activity, and this is reflected in the wide variety of sports available to citizens of the city. Perth was host to the 1962 Commonwealth Games and the 1987 America's Cupmarker defence (based at Fremantle). Australian rules football is the most popular spectator sport in Perth — nearly 24% of Western Australians attended matches in 2005.

Perth is home to several professional sporting teams participating in various national competitions:

Perth has hosted numerous state and international sporting events. On going international events include the Hopman Cup during the first week of January at the Burswood Dome and the final leg of the Red Bull Air Race held on a stretch of the Swan River called Perth Watermarker, using Langley Park as a temporary air field. In addition to these Perth has hosted international Rugby Union games, including qualifying matches for 2003 Rugby World Cup. The 1991 and 1998 FINA World Championships were held in Perth. Several motorsport facilities exist in Perth including Perth Motorplexmarker, catering to drag racing and speedway, and Barbagallo Racewaymarker for circuit racing and drifting.

Music and performing arts

Perth Concert Hallmarker is the city's main concert venue and hosts theatre, ballet, opera and orchestral performances. Other theatres include an auditorium within the Perth Convention Exhibition Centremarker (completed in 2005), the historic His Majesty's Theatre and Burswood Dome, which hosts music concerts. Outdoor concerts are held in Kings Park, Subiaco Ovalmarker and Members Equity Stadiummarker and the Convention Centre on the foreshore replaces the Burswood Dome until a more satisfactory building is established.

Because of Perth's relative isolation from other Australian cities overseas artists often exclude it from their Australian tour schedules. This isolation, however, has developed a strong local music scene, leading some to dub Perth the "new Seattlemarker".

Perth has been a hotbed of local rock music producing such nationally and internationally respected acts as Pendulum, John Butler Trio, Eskimo Joe, End of Fashion, Little Birdy, Jebediah, The Sleepy Jackson, The Panics, Karnivool and Birds of Tokyo. The Hip-Hop and R&B scene has seen rise to artists such as Che'Nelle, and Samantha Jade, who has an international recording contract with Virgin Records. The local music culture revolves around a series of venues such as The Amplifier Bar, The Clink, and The Rosemount Hotel. The WAMI awards (West Australian Music Industry Awards), have been acknowledging local music since 1985. .

The more popular rock concerts held in Perth are the Big Day Out (nationwide) and V Festival . The city is also referenced in the Pavement song "I Love Perth".

Perth has a very changeable and, at times, energetic Folk music culture. Bands such as The Settlers regularly played at Clancy's Fish Pub in Fremantle and the earlier line ups of the Mucky Duck Bush Band that now has regular bush dances in Whiteman Parkmarker. A favourite spot was the Hayloft in West Perth — home of WA Folk music in the 1970s and later moving to the Peninsula Hotel in Maylandsmarker. Perth is also home to a vibrant alternative sexuality music scene, focused especially around such nightclubs as "The Court" and "Connections". It also has a large growing electro indie scene through such nightclubs as "Cassette", the "Brass Monkey" and "Universal Bar". Perth is also known for its thriving Drum & Bass scene and is known as the capital city for Drum & Bass Music in Australia. Perth has produced several big name Drum & Bass producers such as Greg Packer, Shock One, and Pendulum who regularly tour overseas, although they are now credited as not in fact being drum and bass, but popstep.

Other musicians from Perth include the late AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, and veteran performer and artist Rolf Harris (also known as "The Boy From Bassendean"marker).

Perth is home to the West Australian Ballet, performing classical-based ballet at His Majesty's Theatre (2 seasons per year), Quarry Amphitheatre in City Beach (one season per year in conjunction with the Perth International Arts festival)and Regal Theatre in Subiaco (one season per year). WA Ballet also performs its Genesis Choreography Workshops in one season per year, as well as regular touring, education and guest programs. West Australian Symphony Orchestra which performs a regular programme of orchestral music, usually from its base at the Perth Concert Hall. The Perth International Arts Festival also includes music in its schedule. Opera is provided by West Australian Opera.

Western Australia Youth Music allows young musicians in Perth to gain performance opportunities by playing in a musical ensemble. The Western Australian Youth Orchestra is WA Youth Music's premier and flagship ensemble, however the organisation offers several other ensembles including the WA Youth Symphonic Band and the WA Youth Chorale. Acceptance is granted to amateur players under the age of 25 years. Auditions are held in November of each year.

Film and Television

Famous actors and media personalities hailing from Perth include Judy Davis, Melissa George, Heath Ledger, Rove McManus, Russell Napier, Alan Seymour, Tim Minchin, Sam Worthington, Isla Fisher, Gerard Kennedy and Terry Willesee and Mike Willesee.

Perth boasts the internationally regarded Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts of Edith Cowan Universitymarker, from which many successful actors and broadcasters have launched their careers, including Hugh Jackman, Frances O'Connor, Marcus Graham and William McInnes.

Films which feature Perth include Last Train to Freo, ABBA: the Movie, Das schöne Ende dieser Welt, Rabbit Proof Fence, Two Fists, One Heart and Japanese Story.


Perth is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. Roman Catholics make up about 23% of the population, and Catholicism is the most common single denomination. Other forms of Christianity, predominantly Anglican, make up approximately 28% of the population. Approximately one in five people from Perth profess to having no religion, with 11% of people are not specific as to their beliefs. Buddhism and Islam each claim more than 20,000 adherents, and Perth is also home to less than 5,000 Latter-day Saints and the Perth Australia Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Perth has one of the larger Jewish populations in Australia, numbering approximately 10,000, with both Orthodox and Progressive Synagogues and a Jewish Day School. The Bahá’í community in Perth numbers around 1500.


Perth has many cuisines from nearly every country. Some of these include Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, Italian, Turkish and Polish cuisines. Many others can be found throughout Perth.A suburban cafe in Perth has been awarded a title of world's best gourmet pizza maker.



Perth is served by Perth Airportmarker in the city's east for regional, domestic and international flights and Jandakot Airportmarker in the city's southern suburbs for general aviation and charter flights.

Perth has a road network with three freeways and nine metropolitan highways. The Northbridge tunnel, part of the Graham Farmer Freeway, is the only significant road tunnel in Perth.

Perth metropolitan public transport, including trains, buses and ferries, are provided by Transperth, with links to rural areas provided by Transwa. There are 70 railway stations and 15 bus stations in the metropolitan area. The rail system has recently undergone significant redevelopment, with a new railway line built between Perth and Mandurah which doubled the length of Perth's railways. The railway was opened on 23 December 2007, a year after the original deadline.

Recent initiatives include progressive replacement of the bus fleet and the SmartRider contactless smartcard ticketing system.Perth provides zero-fare bus and train trips around the city centre (the "Free Transit Zone"), including three high-frequency CAT bus routes. Additionally, the rail network has been expanded in the northern and southern suburbs as part of the New MetroRail project.

The Indian Pacific passenger rail service connects Perth with Adelaide and Sydney via Kalgoorlie. The Transwa Prospector passenger rail service connects Perth with Kalgoorlie via several Wheatbeltmarker towns, while the Transwa Australind connects to Bunburymarker, and the Transwa Avonlink connects to Northammarker.

Rail freight terminates at the Kewdale Rail Terminal, 15 kilometres south-east of the city centre.

Perth's main container and passenger port is at Fremantle, 19 kilometres south west at the mouth of the Swan River. A second port complex is being developed in Cockburn Sound primarily for the export of bulk commodities.

Water supply

Reduced rainfall in the region in recent years has lowered inflow to reservoirs by two-thirds over the last 30 years, and affected groundwater levels. Coupled with the city's relatively high growth rate, this had led to concerns that Perth could run out of water in the near future. The Western Australian State Government has responded by introducing mandatory household sprinkler restrictions in the city. In November 2006, a sea water desalination plant was opened in Kwinana (see Kwinana Desalination Plantmarker), able to supply over 45 gigalitres (10 billion imperial or 12 billion U.S. gallons) of potable water per year; its power requirements were met by the construction of the Emu Downs Wind Farm near Cervantesmarker. Consideration was given to piping water from the Kimberley regionmarker, but the idea was rejected in May 2006 due primarily to its high cost. Other proposals under consideration included the controversial extraction of an extra 45 gigalitres of water a year from the Yarragadee aquifer in the south-west of the state. However, in May 2007, the state government announced that a second desalination plant will be built at Binningupmarker, on the coast between Mandurah and Bunbury. A trial winter (1 June-31 August) sprinkler ban was introduced in 2009 by the State Government, a move which the Government later announced would be made permanent. In September 2009 Western Australia's dams reached 50% overall capacity for the first time since 2000.

See also


  1. Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  2. " Urban idylls",
  3. (1970) Perth — a city of light Perth, W.A. Brian Williams Productions for the Government of WA, 1970 (Video recording) The social and recreational life of Perth. Begins with a 'mock-up' of the lights of Perth as seen by astronaut John Glenn in February 1962
  4. (Northern Territory Government Newsletter)
  5. AINSE Gold Medals
  6. " About Telethon",
  7. Sonshine FM's website
  8. SportFM's website
  9. Curtin FM's website
  10. Western Australian Youth Music Association

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