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Perth, city (1991 pop. 1,018,702), capital of Western Australia, SW Australia, on the Swan River estuary. Fremantle is Perth's port. Perth is a communications and transportation center and the state's financial, commercial, and cultural hub. The suburbs of Fremantle, Kwinana, and Welshpool have heavy industries. Perth was founded in 1829 but did not gain importance until the Coolgardie gold rush (1890s), the development of the port at Fremantle, and the construction of rail lines (early 20th cent.). Perth evolved into a modern metropolis in the late 20th cent. and saw much new construction. The Univ. of Western Australia and Murdoch Univ. are there. It is also the seat of Roman Catholic and Anglican archbishops. Perth is very isolated; Adelaide, the closest major city, is nearly 2,000 mi (3,219 km) away.