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e-Newsletter June/July 2017

Call answered for better mobile phone coverage 

phone coverage

At the South West Development Commission, we work to make the region an even better place to live, work and invest.

While many projects we're involved in fulfil at least one or two of these aims, sometimes a project checks all three.

Such is the case with the delivery of a Mobile Black Spot Program-funded mobile phone tower in the Ferguson Valley, a residential and tourism area dotted with wineries that's now enjoying enhanced coverage.

The improvements benefit local residents and business owners as well as tourists, and make the area more attractive to people wanting to invest.

Pictured: SWDC assistant director infrastructure Ashley Clements, Member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray, Department of Fire and Emergency Services superintendent Peter Norman, Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, and Telstra Country Wide area general manager Boyd Brown.

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Last call for entries 

Got a great photo that captures the spirit of the South West?

Maybe it's of your family out and about enjoying the great outdoors? Or perhaps it's of one of the region's iconic attractions?

Whatever the scene, if you've snapped a quintessentially South West moment on camera, you've got a chance to have it featured in next year's This South West Life calendar − but you'll have to get moving.

Entries close midnight tonight. Enter here. Pictured: The image that won Alexis Zahner a spot in this year's calendar.

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Funding boost announced 

We are pleased to provide the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office with a financial boost.

As part of our trade facilitation strategy, we have allocated $25,000 towards supporting the activities of the office.

Since its launch in 2008, the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office has built on the sister city relationship between Bunbury and Jiaxing.

Over the years, it has served to strengthen economic ties between China and the South West corner of Australia.

Pictured: Yan Lyu from the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office and Anna Oades from SWDC.

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Milestone moment in waterfront transformation 

Major infrastructure projects are a bit like marathons in that they take longer to complete than some projects, which is why every step forward is worthy of celebration.

No wonder then that we are smiling about the successful delivery of the forward works component of the Dolphin Discovery Centre redevelopment.

The completion of this phase paves the way for the main build of the upgrade and expansion of the Bunbury tourist attraction to get under way.

The redevelopment of the centre forms part of stage one of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront initiative, which also includes the City of Bunbury-managed revitalisation of the Koombana Bay foreshore.

A total of $24.9 million in State Government money from the Royalties for Regions Growing Our South initiative is supporting stage one.

Pictured: Dolphin Discovery Centre general manager David Kerr, South West Development Commission assistant director infrastructure Ashley Clements, DDC volunteers Jean Giles and Pam Maddison, and DDC volunteer coordinator Jan Tierney at the relocated volunteer and research building.

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New accommodation for older Harvey residents 

At the South West Development Commission, we're fond of saying that "we're working on tomorrow, today".
The reason for this is because we're often involved in the early planning of projects, sometimes well before it becomes a reality.

With this in mind, we're pleased to have worked behind the scenes to assist the Hocart Lodge team with achieving funding for a project that will improve quality of life for older residents in Harvey.

We recently had the chance to visit the aged care facility to view the completed first stage of its multi-million dollar expansion.

The new buildings incorporate 30 beds, a large dining area and activity space, two lounge rooms, nurses' station, and treatment room. A total of 29 residents moved into the new facility on June 7.

Pictured: SWDC's Alan Cross (centre) congratulates Hocart Lodge chairman Gary van Burgel and Hocart Lodge board treasurer and building committee chairman Ron Newby inside the new premises.

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Passport to the past 

Want to know how the South West was shaped by early workers? Or what life was like for the region's early settlers?

Follow the refreshed Working Life Heritage Trail to discover the South West's rich history.

New sites of interest - including Bridgetown's Old Gaol and Balingup Heritage Precinct - have been added to the popular link of heritage attractions.

To learn more, visit the official website or head along to the display hub at the Bunbury Visitor Centre.
Working Life Heritage Trail brochures are also available from selected locations.

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School holiday fun 

These July school holidays, children will be encouraged to tell tales - but only the best kind!

The Telling Tales in Balingup story telling event will be held on Saturday July 8 and Sunday July 9 - and young bookworms are in for a treat.

Catering for four to 14 year olds, the festival will feature storytelling, creative writing and illustration workshops, and bookbinding sessions.

The popular parade of book characters will take place between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on the Saturday.

We're pleased to support this event through our South West Events Program.

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South West produces another national champion 

What's better than earning gold in a race? Also earning a national title, that's what.

Bryce Lanigan knows the feeling, having recently taken out his event at the Cycling Australia Under 19 Road National Championships to be crowned under-19 Australian criterium champion.

We're pleased to support Bryce and other young athletes in the region through our continued backing of the South West Academy of Sport.

After all, we are firm believers that nurturing the development of today's young achievers helps to create tomorrow's young leaders.

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Spotlight shines on local small businesses 

It's terrific when hard work and innovation is recognised.

Which is why we were proud to once again support this year's South West Small Business Awards, an annual event organised by Business South West to celebrate local efforts and achievements.

We'd like to congratulate all of this year's awards winners - well done!

Pictured: SWDC acting chief executive officer Anna Oades presenting Deb and Brian Vanallen from Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages with the Tourism Industry Award.

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Meet your independent NBN advisor 

Thinking about getting connected to the NBN?

Before you make the switch, it's worth hearing what the South West's independent NBN advisor has to say.

Mike Hendry is on hand to offer free impartial advice to residents and business owners in the region. He can arm you with the crucial questions you need to ask your carrier to ensure you get a deal capable of meeting your needs.

Come along to one of Mike's free upcoming presentations or contact him directly by email or by phoning 0473 976 389.

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Coming soon to home cinemas: Jasper Jones 

Grab some popcorn and plan to have a night in - because Jasper Jones will soon be available to watch in the comfort of your own home.

The South West-filmed and SWDC-supported movie adaptation of the critically and popularly acclaimed Craig Silvey novel is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray this coming Wednesday July 5.

And once you've watched the film make sure you check out where the movie version of Jasper Jones was brought to life.

Our filming locations guide tells you where in Pemberton you can find some of the buildings that feature in the coming-of-age mystery drama.

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Local project, local opportunities 

The Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront initiative is a local project and, where possible, we'd like locals to benefit.

Which is why we recently organised an information session to give businesses and organisations the opportunity to link with the three tenderers short-listed to deliver the main component of the Dolphin Discovery Centre redevelopment.

About 130 people came along to the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront event, and we're delighted to have already heard reports about attendees making connections they hope will lead to work.

We plan to coordinate similar events as the waterfront project moves into stages two and three.

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Cruise ship welcomed 

We'd like to applaud the Bunbury community for giving the Pacific Eden a warm welcome when it visited at short notice on Saturday June 10.

Members of the Cruise Bunbury committee quickly coordinated a welcome marquee, welcome packs and shuttle busses.

The group is working on a number of new initiatives designed to increase Bunbury's appeal as a cruise destination.

Cruise Bunbury is coordinated by SWDC and comprises representatives from Australia's South West, Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry, City of Bunbury, Southern Ports Authority, and local businesses.

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Chairman bids a fond farewell 

After serving the maximum time permitted on the SWDC board, Stuart Hicks is vacating his seat at our boardroom table.

Also leaving the board of management are Sue Daubney and Pip Close.

We thank all three outgoing board members for their valuable service to SWDC and the South West region, and extend our gratitude for their work which has helped to steer the region in a positive direction.

Pictured: SWDC acting chief executive officer Anna Oades and outgoing chairman Stuart Hicks.

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Regional priorities in focus as Trust visits region 

We recently had the honour of hosting an influential group which provides independent advice on the allocation of Royalties for Regions funds.

Over two days earlier this month, we accompanied the Western Australian Regional Development Trust as they toured the Vasse region and were briefed on the South West, regional priorities and local projects.

Members had a chance to view a Royalties for Regions investment when they visited the Augusta Boat Harbour.

They also took the time to see the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport and Busselton foreshore, both of which are being developed to unlock economic and social opportunities for the South West as the population grows.

It was a privilege to host the group in the region and give members a chance to see first-hand the great work being done to secure regional prosperity.

Pictured: Western Australian Regional Development Trust members Karlie Mucjanko, Tim Shanahan, Stuart Hicks, Kate Chaney and Paul Farrell take a look at the development under way on the Busselton foreshore.

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