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e-Newsletter April/May 2017

Connecting local businesses with global opportunities 


As producers of quality products including food and wine, our region has a lot to offer the world. But it's not always easy for producers to crack the international market. That's where our trade team lends a valuable hand.

Contracted by the Australian Trade Commission to deliver Austrade's TradeStart services, Mat Lewis and Simon Taylor work behind the scenes to help local businesses wanting to connect with international opportunities.

They are on hand to assist with trade facilitation, provide strategic export advice and coordinate trade visits as part of our wider efforts to grow the South West economy.

It's been a busy month or so for our trade team who have worked with local stakeholders to ensure the region is promoted to potential importers from a number of countries including India and China.

Keep reading to find out more about what they've been up to.

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Spotlight on local wine 

Our region was recently showcased to some of the world's best sommeliers as part of a wider Wine Australia tour.

The South West leg of the visit enabled the sommeliers to get to know the region, meet winemakers and visit tourist hotspots.

We were pleased to assist with this visit - and hope the visitors take their discoveries back home and share more of the region's wine with the rest of the world. Pictured: Piotr Szewczuk at Green Door Wines in the Ferguson Valley.

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China eyes Margaret River 

A trade delegation from China received a taste of the Margaret River region during a three-day visit last month.

A highlight was a trade tasting event at Eight Willows Retreat, which presented a long-list of local wine producers with the chance to showcase their products.

The South West Development Commission, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Wine Australia and Margaret River Wine Association all assisted with the visit.

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Waterfront plans transform into reality 

It's exciting times for the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront initiative, with the first stage of the project under way.

Forward works for the Dolphin Discovery Centre redevelopment are progressing well with local firm Perkins Builders delivering this component of the project.

Meanwhile, contractor Ertech has moved onsite to carry out the City of Bunbury-managed Koombana Bay foreshore revitalisation. Ertech will engage a total of 16 South West contractors in delivering the foreshore makeover.

Stage one of the waterfront project is funded through the State Government's Royalties for Regions Growing Our South fund. We are pleased to facilitate the project through our coordination of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront steering committee.

Pictured: Dolphin Discovery Centre general manager David Kerr and SWDC assistant director infrastructure Ashley Clements taking a look at how the forward works are progressing at DDC.

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Free NBN information 

The South West's independent NBN advisor, Mike Hendry, will provide information and advice at free presentations to the public in May.

If you haven't yet made the switch, come along and have your questions about the national broadband network answered by an impartial party. Mike will arm you with what you need to know and the questions you need to ask when getting connected.

The NBN advisor position has been made possible by the South West Development Commission, Regional Development Australia - South West, NBN, Business South West and the South West Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

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Support for our volunteers  

Volunteers provide a valuable service in our region, so it's always terrific to support them where we can.

We're delighted that a Royalties for Regions grant we gave the Yallingup Rural Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade has enabled the group to furnish its newly-built training room.

Now the group's volunteers, who give up their time to keep local communities safe, can carry out training and hold meetings onsite in a purpose-built facility.

Pictured: Yallingup Rural Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade chairman Ian Mackenzie and training officer Peter Seton-Stewart.

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New housing options for region 

Construction is nearly complete at new housing developments in Boyanup and Dardanup that will give local seniors the option to 'right size' and remain in their home town as they grow older.

Through its Royalties for Regions funded South West Ageing in Place Housing Pilot projects, Access Housing is building 14 new units for over 55s at Mitchell Way, Dardanup and a further nine new units at Thomas Street, Boyanup. Three existing over 55s units at the Boyanup site will also benefit from modern refurbishments.

SWDC is proud of its role in helping to deliver these much-needed housing options for the region and looks forward to residents moving in.

Local seniors can register their interest to purchase or rent one of the units by contacting Access Housing's South West office on 9722 7200.

Pictured: Ralton Benn and Glenn Howe from Access Housing with Julie Wade from SWDC checking out the new units in Boyanup.

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State of the region 

Our latest edition of Progress Indicators: Western Australia's South West has been released.

The document is produced annually to provide insight into the state of the region.

It is a useful tool to assist with everything from research for school assignments to planning and decision-making by business and industry.

We encourage you not only to make use of the information in this document, but to contact our research analyst for any facts and figures about the region you may need.

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Science in agriculture 

The role of science and technology in agriculture and agribusiness in the South West will be explored at an upcoming conference that we are supporting.

Organised by the South West Science Council and WA Division of the Ag Institute of Australia, the event will take place in Manjimup over May 18 and 19.

It will be opened by the chief scientist for WA, Peter Klinken, and feature a keynote address on Pathways to Competiveness, a report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA.

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Get to know how the South West was shaped 

Think you've seen everything there is to see on the Working Life Heritage Trail? Well, think again because there are now fresh new sites to explore.

A number of heritage attractions have recently joined the trail, and these are highlighted in new brochures released last Friday in Busselton.

New additions include Busselton's new Railway House, Pemberton Historic Timber Town, Balingup Heritage Precinct, Bridgetown's Old Gaol, and Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre.

Pictured: SWDC's Alan Cross and South West Working Life Association chairman Ian Wilson.

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Go on, give us your best shot 

Entries in our popular annual This South West Life photography competition are pouring in.

We've received some stunning entries so far, and encourage people who want the chance to have a photo featured in the 2018 South West calendar to submit a photo in the contest.

This year's theme is "Spirit of the South West" and people have until Friday June 30 to capture an image that highlights the character of the region.

The calendars will be made available for free to promote the region. Enter today.

Pictured: Karen Garratt's winning photo from 2016.

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