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e-Newsletter May 2016

Take the Loop 


We are pleased to support local businesses affected by the recent bush fires through the Take the Loop tourism campaign.

Run by Australia's South West, the campaign encourages people to travel along the South Western Highway and to nearby towns in the Geographe region, before returning to Perth via the coastal areas of Bunbury and Mandurah.

Travel along the loop and enjoy historic towns like Harvey, the adventure playground of Collie, the gourmet delights in the Geographe wine region and the cosmopolitan city of Bunbury.

As part of the promotion, there is a chance to win a one-night stay package.

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Creating a bright future 

Thank you to everyone who has taken up the opportunity to help shape Collie's economic future by completing a survey.

Information and views gained from the questionnaire will be considered in the formation of an economic action plan for the town. Together, we can create a bright future.

Pictured: Collie Shire president Wayne Sanford with a survey form.

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Help secure prosperity 

Have you got ideas for making Greater Bunbury even greater?

Well, don't keep them to yourself. Share them at one of the informal ideas-sharing sessions that the Greater Bunbury: Partnerships in Prosperity for WA's Second City group is holding this week.

Your input will be valuable in shaping a strategy for driving growth and creating ongoing prosperity in Greater Bunbury.

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More connected communities 

There's no doubt that mobile phone coverage enhances an area's competitive edge, improves safety and aids the delivery of emergency services.

Which is why we've been working behind the scenes to expand telecommunications infrastructure in the region.

Recently our efforts resulted in a win in the form of Molloy Island getting a mobile phone tower.

The island was one of the locations highlighted in the South West Regional Blueprint as a priority for mobile coverage.

Pictured: SWDC's Ashley Clements, Minister Terry Redman and Telstra Country Wide's Boyd Brown.

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Faster internet arrives 

We're looking forward to local residents and businesses benefiting from the arrival of faster internet.

The National Broadband Network has been officially switched on in central Bunbury, South Bunbury and Dalyellup, opening up opportunities for locals ranging from entertainment to work.

But perhaps what is most exciting is the technology's potential to facilitate innovation and enhance competiveness, contributing to the region's long-term prosperity.

Pictured: SWDC's Stuart Hicks, NBN's Rachael McIntyre and SWDC's Ashley Clements.

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Photo comp calls for entries 

No one knows the South West better than locals. And to help get the word out about our wonderful region, we are asking you to photograph what it is about the South West that makes you smile.

A total of 13 winning entries will be featured in a 2017 wall calendar, which will be available for free.

Enter the contest before June 30 to be in the running to win - and next year, it could be your photo hanging up in people's homes and offices.

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Aquaculture forum on menu 

Registrations are open for the inaugural Aquaculture Western Australia State Forum.

The event, which is a collaboration between eight regional development commissions, will be held in Perth on Thursday May 26.

Attend and learn from the experiences of existing commercial operators and investigate opportunities for the industry's development in WA.

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Feed your creativity 

We are supporting a total of 57 events to be staged this year through our South West Community Events Program.

Among them is the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival that's taking place between June 3 and 6.

The annual event will once again give attendees the chance to hear from guests, including author Andrew Daddo (pictured).

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Critical look at housing needs 

Thank you to everyone who attended our recent Critical Horizons event.

The "Housing the South West in the 21st Century" conference was a success.

Not only did more than 200 people come along, but our line-up of quality speakers got people thinking about the region's future housing needs.

Pictured: Housing Minister Colin Holt and SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks at the conference.

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Retirement plans announced 

Our chief executive, Don Punch, has announced he is retiring.

In almost 18 years at the helm of our organisation, he has contributed much to the growth and development of the region.

His leadership will no doubt be missed by our staff and board members, as well as people in the wider South West community, when he leaves on July 1.

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Board changes 

There is a new face around our board table.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan (pictured here with chairman Stuart Hicks) has been announced as the new local government representative on the board.

Meanwhile, existing board member and Bannister Downs Dairy managing director Sue Daubney has taken on the position of deputy chair.

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Glimpse into region's early years 

The Working Life Heritage Trail now has a Facebook page.

You can follow the official page for a virtual window into how the South West was shaped by settlers and workers.

Expect to be kept up to date with what's happening at Working Life sites around the region, and enjoy seeing historic photos of the South West.

Pictured: Manjimup's Giblett Street in 1914.

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Start warming up for challenge 

With this year's SWAS-Telstra Fun Run Relay just weeks away, it's time to sign up to take part if you haven't already done so.

On Sunday May 29, individuals, pairs and teams will race around Bunbury's Leschenault Inlet all in the name of fundraising for a cause.

Proceeds will once again benefit the not-for-profit South West Academy of Sport, which is supporting young athletes in the region to reach their potential.

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Funding decisions have positive impact 

Because we allocate Royalties for Regions funding through the Community Chest Fund and Regional Grants Scheme, we're in a unique position to see the positive difference the grants make to local communities.

Case in point: funding which has enabled the Margaret River Community Resource Centre to expand its child care service to meet demand.

At the moment, applications for the current rounds of the Community Chest Fund and Regional Grants Scheme are going through the assessment and approvals process. We look forward to announcing funding recipients.

Lydell Huntly, Celeste Bullock and Lynda Green in the new child care centre building in Margaret River.

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