Previous attempts to diversify Mandurah's economy have largely failed.
We are therefore still grappling with the nation's worst joblessness rates and the social problems that come with that.
We need a radical solution - and the City of Mandurah's plan to relocate a state government agency here provides that.
Moving 900-1000 staff here doesn't offer all those new jobs but many jobs are created in the wider economy. We need those jobs. Desperately.
We need more vibrancy in our city centre and we need to be able to excite our young people with stimulating local opportunities.
In every Australian capital except Perth there is a city that fills that second city status - for example, Gold Coast, Geelong and Newcastle - and those cities house government agencies. Mandurah deserves to be treated as such.
We know we're competing with every other city and regional centre that wants a government agency but what is different is, in the words of mayor Rhys Williams, "ours fits beautifully within the broader agenda".
Of course, whenever you move a government department to a regional area, it needs to be a good fit and there needs to be good purpose. The City's Transform Mandurah plan demonstrates that is the case.
The advantages for a government agency and its staff in relocating to our waterfront city include affordable housing, an enviable lifestyle, a supportive corporate community and an easy drive or train ride to Perth.
We know that only by growing the regions do you grow our nation. And we know that only by growing our economy can we save the youths of Mandurah.
It's time for the Labor and Liberal parties to make an election commitment to support this plan.
Because Mandurah is desperate for an economic upheaval.
Daniela Cooper is the Editor of the Mandurah Mail