Much of the city of Perth and surrounding suburbs is situated on an alluvial/aeolian plain and as such is underlain by variable unconsolidated formations. Frequently this limits the application of surface foundations and alternatives are needed. An obvious solution is some form of deep foundation system (piles), however in many cases a cheaper and often more effective solution is found in ground improvement. The most common ground improvement methods applied have been vibrocompaction and/or stone columns and permeation grouting, but other techniques have been applied. This paper presents an historical review of the application of ground improvement in Perth and examines some of the design issues and presents some local applications.