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Perth’s Beer Economy: Illegal And Can Hurt WA

perth's beer economyIf you think we are done with the ancient transaction method called Barter, just take a look at what’s happening in Perth. Perthites are swapping beer for goods and services. Facebook’s Perth’s Beer Economy page has 56,000 members and counting. They encourage more and more people to barter beer for goods and services.

Perth’s beer economy

List of items include, but are not limited to, cars, furniture, boats, smartphones and various electronic gadgets (even the high-end ones).  Imagine this: A member hailing from Rockingham wished he could swap his car’s bonnet for 4 cartons of beer.

Minister says beer economy is illegal

So what happens now? Legislators are fuming at this development. Racing and Gaming Minister, Colin Holt, asserts that those taking part in the beer economy are trespassing rules of Western Australia. His point is that indulging in barter transactions is equivalent to selling liquor without a licence.

Perth has a good future, but needs to curb such social/economic developments

While Perth’s economy has been affected by the mining bust, it is expected to be a big player in coming years. Some even go as far as comparing Perth with Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles or Shenzhen. It is then disturbing to think that there is a growing group of people that is resorting to means which are a throwback to the barter era.

Perth too reliant on its natural resources

I think the only problem with Perth is that it is way too reliant on its natural resources and it has already seen how this attitude can hurt. Perth will do well to diversify its economy through industrial and export initiatives.

NSW has got it absolutely right

This is where NSW has nailed it just right. Take Sydney for instance. After the Global Financial Crisis and the after-effects of the mining bust, the government shifted momentum from the mining industry to the construction sector. The move worked, and how! Sydney’s property market witnessed phenomenal growth. Presently, its median house price has shot up beyond a million. In fact, this is $160,000 more than Perth’s median house price.

While some in the industry believe that Sydney is sailing on its second wind, I believe that its economy, fuelled by its property market (which has many local and expat takers), has a good year or two in the tank.

Net interstate migration higher in Sydney than Perth

Yes, growth rate will mellow down from here but is it not anticipated when we near the end of a property cycle. The net interstate migration, unlike Perth, is still strong and this means more people are willing to reside in Sydney.

We just hope that people participate in all the government initiated means of healthy transactions and not something like the Perth’s beer economy. Unlicensed transactions only hurt the treasury.