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e-Newsletter Jan/Feb 2017

Let the transformation begin  


The South West of Western Australia is poised for a major transformation, with a raft of major projects set to lead the region into a new era of economic opportunity and quality of life.

Underway are game-changing projects such as the development of the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport, which will result in tourists being able to fly directly into the South West to holiday and attend events from late next year.

A sod-turning ceremony was held at the airport today to commemorate construction beginning on its $69.7 million redevelopment.

Other projects set to leave their mark on the region include the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront initiative, redevelopment of the Busselton foreshore, Manjimup town centre revitalisation, and completion of the Margaret River Perimeter Road.

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Making the leap from paper to reality  

After years of planning, the transformation of Bunbury's waterfront is about to get underway - and nobody is more excited than us at SWDC.

Stage one of the project, which begins this month with forward works for the redevelopment of the Dolphin Discovery Centre, will breathe new life into the Koombana Bay foreshore.

Thanks to improved public amenity and a world-class tourist attraction, the result will be a greatly enhanced precinct that will lead to long-term community and economic benefits for Bunbury and the region.

Pictured: Lloyd Pringle and Joerg Sandbiller from MCG Architects, Dan Perkins of Perkins Builders, SWDC representative Gayle Gray and David Kerr from the Dolphin Discovery Centre.

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Community Chest opens for South West groups  

Sometimes small things can make a big difference. Like being able to listen to the latest tunes on the radio in your home or backyard.

With help from a Royalties for Regions grant, residents of Nannup are now on the way their way to getting something many take for granted: FM radio.

The Community Chest Fund grant will assist the Shire of Nannup with its efforts to install a repeater on the broadcast tower on Dunnet Road, allowing people to receive FM radio in their homes and making the town an even more enjoyable place to live.

The funding allocation was one of 22 recently announced for the South West, on top of nine Regional Grants Scheme allocations being delivered in the region by SWDC.

Pictured: Nannup Shire Deputy President Robin Mellema with Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

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Creating a vibrant town centre  

We are pleased that a project that's expected to increase Capel's appeal as a place to live and visit has received a financial boost.

The State Government recently announced it had approved an investment of $2.2million to support the final stages of the $9.3million Capel Civic Precinct development.

The project will help to create a vibrant town centre that will help to boost the local economy by drawing tourists into town.

Pictured: Shire of Capel president Murray Scott, SWDC acting chief executive Anna Oades, Shire of Capel chief executive officer Paul Sheedy and Shire of Capel executive manager community services Michelle Plume.

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Communities for life  

Without appropriate and affordable housing, people can be forced to move to bigger towns or cities as their needs change with age.

Which is why we've been working behind the scenes to grow the region's stock of accommodation for older residents in places such as Boyanup, Dardanup and Pemberton.

One of our latest wins has been working with stakeholders to secure more than $2.3 million in Royalties for Regions funding towards the expansion of the Brunswick River Cottages development.

Pictured: John Clifton from Brunswick River Cottages with South West MLC Colin Holt.

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Helping people stay connected  

There's no place like the town or city you call home. After all, it's where you'll find familiar faces, favourite haunts and trusted service providers.

For these reasons, we're big believers in giving people opportunities to remain connected to their communities as they become older.

Which is why we have been delighted to support the delivery of $2million in State Government Royalties for Regions funding towards the building of 11 independent living units for over 55s or people with special needs in Donnybrook.

Pictured: SWDC board member Brian Piesse, SWDC acting CEO Anna Oades, Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup president Angelo Logiudice and Alliance Housing CEO Mike Bateman at the site of the Bridge Street Affordable Housing project.

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Tourism partnership announced  

As tourism plays an important role in the South West economy, we are always looking for new opportunities to grow the sector in the region for the purposes of boosting businesses and supporting jobs retention and creation.

Most recently, we formed an alliance with our fellow development commission in the Great Southern and the regional tourism organisation, Australia's South West, for this purpose.

The partnership will see all three organisations working together on activities across the two West Australian regions that comprise Australia's South West.

Pictured: SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks, Australia's South West chairperson Dee Smith, Australia's South West acting chief executive officer Catrin Allsop and SWDC acting chief executive officer Anna Oades.

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Help your business reach its potential 

Is your New Year's resolution to grow your business? If so, don't let that important goal slip away as life gets busy again after the summer holiday period. Instead, why not sign up for a new course like the one being delivered by Business South West?

The heavily subsidised program, which is being supported by the South West Development Commission, is designed to help local businesses take the next step, whatever that next step may be.

Applications close Tuesday February 7, ahead of the commencement of the course on Wednesday February 22.

Pictured: Patrick Warrand from SWDC with Fiona Fitzgerald and Shannon Gale from Business South West.

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Funding to boost nine community projects 

Across the region, nine organisations are celebrating news they have been allocated funding through the Regional Grants Scheme.

The Royalties for Regions funding program supports region-specific priorities that are driven by local communities to assist the development of infrastructure, services and community projects.

Among the projects to receive a financial boost is the Warren Blackwood Stock Route, which will be a regional tourist attraction in the form of a 320 kilometre bridle trail traversing three shires.

Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes president John Nicholas, Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes grant and services manager Megan Richards and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

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Shaping Collie’s economic future 

Input from the local community and wider South West has been valuable throughout the process of identifying ways to broaden Collie's industry and business base.

We'd like to thank everyone who recently took the time to provide feedback on the draft strategy for diversifying Collie's economy. And while on the subject, we'd like to extend our gratitude to those who have been involved at other points in the timeline of this important project.

We've come a long way since we started this journey towards a more sustainable and resilient economic future together.

The next step for the Collie Economic Development Taskforce will be to consider the views and information received in the most recent public comment period before finalising the report.

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