Up Late with Ben Harvey: Why does Mark McGowan want people to move to WA during a housing crisis?

Western Australia is wide open again, with Mark McGowan to use his first in-person National Cabinet meeting to tell families on the East Coast to move to WA for a “better life”.

But, in Up Late Ben Harvey has questioned the timing, with a housing crisis in Perth.

Ahead of Friday’s state leaders’ meeting in Canberra, the prime minister believed a combination of cheaper housing, higher wages and an enviable lifestyle made moving west “a no-brainer”.

Recruitment drives are already underway on the East Coast in a bid to attract people to WA, which has been hit harder than anywhere else by a nationwide shortage of skilled workers.

Premier Mark McGowan and local member Hannah Beazley inspect a new state-run vaccination pop-up clinic in a shopping center in Vic Park Central and provide a COVID-19 update to the media.
camera iconPrime Minister Mark McGowan. Credit: Michael Wilson/western australia

But Mr McGowan intends to use Friday’s meeting to point out the differences in living standards and the economies of WA and the East Coast, describing it as “a tale of two countries”.

“We have the lowest unemployment rate (2.9 per cent) by far and the highest participation rate, so (the labor shortage) is most acute here,” McGowan told The West Australian.

“One of the things I will point out is that we have comparatively the cheapest housing, the highest median weekly income, a great lifestyle and a secure job.

“When I was in Sydney last week, I saw a lot of people who have very ordinary paying jobs, but the average price of a house there is $1.2 million dollars; I don’t understand how people live.

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