Too many people and communities in Perth and WA’s regions are impacted by the level of empty space going to waste in this ‘booming’ city, and are sick of being literally locked out of these spaces – as places to live, work or create. There is a serious lack of affordable commercial space for small businesses and creative enterprises to set up – and this is strangely occurring as we see a serious decline in retail, with shop fronts being closed and left empty in our cities, high streets and regional towns.


You are invited to share your experiences of Perth’s empty spaces and help us to make the case for how and where you’d like to see this change.

The Australian Greens have repeatedly requested that federal funding be used to convert empty spaces around Australia into affordable rental dwellings. In 2010 we launched our Convert to Rent initiative, and last year made a budget submission for $350 million, which would have funded the creation of 15,000 new rentals, however this was rejected by the government. You can read more about the initiative and our efforts to have it formally adopted here.




Download the Why So Empty app for iPhone to map your "pretty vacant" spaces.


This campaign is a collaboration with Perth organisation Spacemarket, a group dedicated to creating a vibrant and productive city, their motto is “pairing disused spaces with useful people”. Spacemarket has been running for two years and provides a key advocacy, information and pairing service to connect building owners and prospective tenants. Success stories include the creation of Moana Chambers, the Ward, the King Street Studio and many more.


You can find out more about Spacemarket on their website and facebook page.


Our mission in this campaign is only positive:

• We want to discover more about why buildings are vacant so that we can address the broader and complex issues that keep these spaces from being used

• Our long term goal is to provide solutions for the community and owner alike. We are in the process of developing a federal initiative that will provide assistance for owners to reuse buildings, introduce a new building code, and address incentives that actually encourage owners to keep buildings empty.

• Your reports on vacant spaces across the city will help us build a more genuine picture of the amount of space out there. Currently the government does not keep official records of space deliberately held off the market.

• Your reports will also allow Spacemarket to reach out to building owners and connect them with prospective tenants. We hope that many of the buildings located using this App will become listings on Spacemarket, through which we can create new pairings between owners and prospective tenants.

• Your ideas on how you would like to see spaces used helps us to may even give building owners new ideas about their potential use.

Together let’s build a better city.




Authorised by Jess McColl & Trish Cowcher, the Greens (WA), Ground Floor 445 Hay St Perth