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e-Newsletter July 2015

Future vision launched 

blueprint launch

The South West Regional Blueprint, a strategy for guiding the growth and development of the region to 2050, has been formally launched - and we couldn't be more pleased.

Already, we have made impressive headway with progressing projects identified in the blueprint as important to stimulating the economy, generating jobs and enhancing quality of life.

These projects include the $59.7million Busselton Regional Airport expansion, aged accommodation projects, improving telecommunications, and

the upgrading and sealing of the Ferguson Valley tourist route.

To download your own copy of the blueprint, which is a collaboration between SWDC and Regional Development Australia - South West, click here.

Pictured: Regional Development Minister Terry Redman officially launching the blueprint.

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Focus on future 

A conference designed to give people the chance to explore the future of the region and the opportunities people may be able to tap into has been hailed a success.

More than 250 people attended each day of the two-day South West Focus event, hearing from a number of thought-provoking speakers including futurist Gihan Perera and TripAdvisor representative Jessica Quinlan.

We hope the conference has got people thinking about the region and helped equipped them for future success.

Pictured: South West Focus organising committee members Patrick Warrand, Matt Granger and Ray Philp.

Click here to see our gallery of photos from the event.

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Space to create 

As we've been working to grow the creative sector in the South West, we are excited that a creative innovation hub has been launched in Margaret River.

The space, which is located in the Margaret River Education Campus, provides an area for creative professionals to collaborate and work.

The Creative Corner, which manages the Creative Emergence Festival, will base itself in the space.

Pictured: Noah Shilkin, Danielle Norrish, Erin Molloy, Mike Dunn and Mat Lewis at the recent 'open house' event.

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Cultural centre 

While it's usually what's on stage that gets the attention at the Margaret River Cultural Centre, the spotlight was recently on the facility's theatre staging and sound equipment upgrade.

To celebrate the new and improved equipment, a showcase of the centre's enhanced capabilities was recently held.

We were pleased to have supported the upgrade project which has allowed the centre to shine bright. It's all part of our commitment to creating vibrant communities in which people choose to live.

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Healthy communities 

Giving people chances to lead active and healthy lifestyles is an important part of ensuring quality of life in our communities.

With this in mind, we were pleased to provide a Royalties for Regions - Community Chest Fund grant to the Tonebridge Country Club for the purpose of installing outdoor exercise equipment.

Members of the Tonebridge Ladies Exercise Group are among those making use of the six pieces of equipment, which are available to the whole community to use for free.

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Creative class 

We're looking forward to this year's CinefestOZ film festival, which will this year premiere a film made by local students.

Thanks to a Murdoch University project, students from Bunbury's Manea Senior College have worked with some of the film industry's best and brightest to make their own movie.

The premise behind the short film is that any student who misbehaves is sent to the mysterious room known as 2.22. It's there a mad scientist is labotomising students so that they are turned into the 'perfect' teenager.

The movie project is supported by a grant through our Royalties for Regions - Regional Grants Scheme.

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Savings for centre 

We enjoy hearing how our funding has made a positive impact in the community.

So you can imagine how pleased we were to learn of the difference one of our grants has made to Bunbury's Intown Centre.

Money from the Royalties for Regions - Community Chest Fund has allowed the centre to install solar panels and cut down on electricity bills.

The savings will go towards supporting local people in need.

Pictured: Intown Centre manager Leanne Gibbs.

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Event ready to bloom 

A total of 56 events happening in the region will this year benefit from our South West Community Events Program.

Among the events we are backing through the program is the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival, which will take place next month.

Between August 13 and 16, people will be able to enjoy exhibitions, workshops and master classes.

Guests will include Sabrina Hahn, Indira Naidoo and Vince Garreffa (pictured).

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It's official! The South West is one of the best places for families to holiday in Australia.

Travel publisher Lonely Planet has included the region in a list of top family-friendly destinations in the nation, with the region's caves earning a mention.

You can read the full story here.

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Grant reeled in 

It's always worth cheering when the people behind community projects achieve a win.

Case in point: The fishing and crabbing platform planned for the Koombana Bay side of Bunbury's Jetty Road.

The project, which is supported by us through the Royalties for Regions - Regional Grants Scheme, was recently buoyed when it secured a grant from Lotterywest.

Pictured: Kerry Trantham, Alan Cross, John Castrilli, Gary Brennan and Andrew Brien.

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Collie’s cultural centre 

The new Collie Art Gallery was officially opened on Friday July 17, in time for the launch of the Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness exhibition.

We are delighted to sponsor the event, which is the first major exhibition to consider the social and political conscious that infused Boyd's life and link his political concerns to his artwork.

As the gallery is the only venue in Western Australia to showcase the collection, it is expected to draw art lovers from around the region as well as further afield.

The Collie Art Gallery was created as part of the Royalties for Regions-funded SuperTowns program. The exhibition is open to Sunday August 30.

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Showcasing region’s qualities 

We were pleased that the recent South West Focus conference sundowner showcased both food from the region and the skills of future food and hospitality staff.

After a full day of hearing about the South West and its bright future, South West Focus conference delegates came together on the evening of Wednesday July 1 to network and sample culinary delights.

A partnership between the Southern Forests Food Council and the South West Institute of Technology saw future food and hospitality workers serve up finger food featuring produce from the Southern Forests.

Pictured: Bevan Eatts, Alex Weston and John Kilrain.

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Shaping economic futures 

Greater Bunbury has been given the opportunity to shape its economic future through the next phase of the State Government's Regional Centres Development Plan.

Greater Bunbury, along with Broome, Greater Geraldton and Kalgoorlie, will share in $7.5 million to develop a plan to guide economic growth.

Busselton is set to benefit in the second stage of the program.

We look forward to supporting the program in the South West.

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Shining a light on business excellence 

We are proud to have sponsored the Tourism Award at this year's South West Small Business Awards as part of our efforts to build the region's competitive edge by promoting excellence.

The award was won by the Colliefields Cafe.

We congratulate the cafe and all other winners from the night.

Pictured: SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch with Michélè and Gary Gannaway from Colliefields Cafe.

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Retail turnover accelerates  

The South West has enjoyed an increase in retail turnover.

Retail turnover for the South West was valued at $1.97billion for 2013/14, up 2 per cent from the previous year.

The South West accounted for 6.1 per cent of the state's total retail turnover, and has the largest retail turnover of all the regions in Western Australia outside of Perth.

For more stats about the region, contact our research analyst.

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