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Start-ups start here: Why the City of Joondalup wants to be a digital hub

One West Australian city is embracing a digital first strategy to future-proof its economy.

Millennials in light office meeting

It might be 15,000km from Silicon Valley, but the City of Joondalup (WA’s third largest local government) aspires to establish itself as a hub of WA’s burgeoning information economy.

Situated on sparkling Lake Joondalup’s shore and only 15km north of Perth’s CBD, Joondalup is already home to more than 13,000 registered businesses as well as several state government departments which recently relocated to the northern commercial hub from central Perth.

The cornerstone of this effort is embracing a digital first strategy for every aspect of business, says Jamie Parry, director of governance and strategy at the City of Joondalup.



“We know that we want to attract digitally minded investment within the city to add to that social and economic vibrancy.”

Jamie Parry, Director of Governance and Strategy, City of Joondalup

Uniquely placed to attract the knowledge economy, Joondalup is home to the highly respected Edith Cowan University, a vocational training centre and a police academy, along with a large health academy.

“We are establishing collaborations with businesses in the area, with the goal of building their local capacity,” Parry says. “We know that we want to attract digitally minded investment within the city to add to that social and economic vibrancy.”

Joondalup isn’t just chasing domestic business as part of its vision for a knowledge economy – it wants regional, national and international business all to come on board to share its vision for the future.

“We’ve also started an innovation fund, as well as an incubator and a co-working space,” Parry says. These developments recognise that many small, agile businesses have few staff and don’t necessarily have the capacity to implement some technical innovations without the help of the City and its programs.

“We want what’s best for our community – and particularly for our business community,” Parry says.

Digital technology and cloud computing means government agencies have an unprecedented opportunity to create citizen-based online services.

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