The slow return of COVID restrictions by the WA has led Perth, once a jealous destination, to plummet into the global scale of sustainability, but Prime Minister Mark McGowan has stood firm in his response to the pandemic.
The city was ranked sixth last year with the highest living potential in the world.
But what goes up must fall and this year Perth fell to number 32.
The Global Sustainability Index, conducted by the Financial Intelligence Unit, looked at stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure to find the world’s best cities.
Vienna in Austria topped the list, followed by Copenhagen in Denmark. Zurich in Switzerland and Calgary in Canada are tied for third place.
Rankings in previous years relied heavily on COVID, with lockdowns affecting culture, education and healthcare scores, but recent research has shown that the index has largely returned to normal.
The survey found that the cities of Australia and New Zealand have suffered some of the largest reductions in sustainability in the last 12 months, with the lifting of restrictions increasing the degree of sustainability in European countries.
It is no secret to the people of Perth that our city is the best place to live, work and raise a family.
The report said those below – and their neighbors across the moat – benefited in early 2021 when COVID vaccines were scarce, due to closed borders that kept infection rates low.
However, that changed as the highly contagious Omicron penetrated both countries late last year.
This meant that the cities of Austria and Kiwi no longer had a “COVID-19 advantage” over the well-vaccinated European and Canadian cities.
Despite the setback, Melbourne managed to win its place in the top ten, winning the title of the most sustainable city in Australia.
Perth and Adelaide, meanwhile, have been cited as “slower to lift restrictions” by other sites that have hit their viability scores.
But Mr McGowan told The West Australian that the WA’s “careful and prudent” management of COVID at all times, based on health advice, immediately resulted in some of the best health outcomes, both economically and socially.
“What makes our state and our city so attractive is that compared to other states, WA has the highest annual salary and the lowest average mortgage,” McGowan said.
“It is no secret to the people of Perth that our city is the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
The mayor of Perth, Basil Zembilas, also said the score was “just a hit on the radar for Perth”.
“We all know how sustainable our city is,” said Zembilas.
“Affordable housing, employment opportunities and the climate and leisure facilities are still the best in Australia.”
Mr Zebilas said he was “very optimistic” that a return to normalcy would put Perth back in the top ten for the next 12 months.
“But there is no doubt that we are working hard to improve our arts and culture, the offer remains a growth opportunity for Perth. “That’s why attracting and facilitating events like the Van Gogh Alive and Strange Festival as well as favorites like the Perth Festival and the Fringe is such a big focus for the city of Perth,” he said.
The report also said that the war in Ukraine and future variants of COVID could continue to affect results in the future.
“Our main assumption is that a new variant will cause a global wave of cases later this year, but that it will not be more aggressive than Delta nor will it be resistant to current vaccines,” the report said.
The list of the top ten:
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Zurich, Switzerland is level with Calgary, Canada
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Geneva, Switzerland
7. Frankfurt Germany
8. Toronto, Canada
9. Amsterdam. Netherlands
10. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia