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e-Newsletter April 2013

A star is born 

drift

The South West has made its big screen debut - and we couldn't be more proud of our region.

Up on the big screen at the premiere of Drift, the picturesque South West and its spectacular waves proved to be star material.

There were cheers, whistles and applause from the 1300-strong crowd at Yallingup as local people, landmarks and settings appeared in the feature film.

We have no doubt the film will continue to get people excited about our part of the world - in particular Nannup, Augusta, Margaret River, Gracetown, Yallingup and Bunker Bay - when it is released in cinemas on May 2.

And to help leverage tourism opportunities on the back of the enthusiasm the film is expected to generate for the region, we're working with stakeholders to progress a number of exciting marketing ideas. Expect to see our initiatives rolled out soon.

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Behind the scenes at première 

Movie stars, extras, surfers, investors and locals were among the people who walked the red carpet at Caves House for the Drift première.

And in keeping with the 70s surfer theme of the flick, the grounds of the iconic Yallingup venue were dotted with vintage cars and surfboards.

Starring Myles Pollard, Sam Worthington and Xavier Samuel, Drift is inspired by the true story of Australia's legendary surf communities and the rise of the global surf brands.

View our gallery or watch our video for a peek inside this glamorous, star-studded premiere.

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Drift actor and producer Myles Pollard lent star power to the Drift premiere when he attended the event with wife Brigitta.

Drift actor and producer Myles Pollard lent star power to the Drift premiere when he attended the event with wife Brigitta.

Winner drifts across red carpet 

We recently gave people the opportunity to win a double pass to the Australian premiere of Drift on March 21.

To enter, people had to 'like' the SWDC Facebook page and submit a photo they had taken at a coastal location in the South West.

The competition was popular and many high-quality entries were received, but in the end it was this eye-catching and creative shot by Marcus Morrell that won over judges.

To see some of the other photos that were entered in the competition, visit our Facebook page.

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Marcus Morrell’s creative photo of a wave at Yallingup won our photo competition.

Marcus Morrell’s creative photo of a wave at Yallingup won our photo competition.

Swell time for SWAS surfer  

Like many people, we love a sporting triumph.

And at the moment, we can't help but smile when we think of young Margaret River surfer Jacob Willcox's recent feats on the water.

After entering this year's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on a wildcard, the 15-year-old turned heads when he beat Brazilian superstar Adriano De Souza in a heat, causing one of the biggest upsets of the event.

Jacob then scored another wildcard and became one of the youngest people to line-up to compete in the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.

In his first round of the event last week, the South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder faced off against 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

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South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder Jacob Willcox in action during the recent Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Picture: ASP/Robertson.

South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder Jacob Willcox in action during the recent Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Picture: ASP/Robertson.

The light between oceans  

Did you know the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is located on the most southern westerly tip of Australia?

Or that it stands near the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet?

The historic lighthouse is popular with visitors to Augusta, with many people taking the opportunity to climb the maritime landmark, which has a beam that can be seen for 26 nautical miles or 48 kilometres.

Guided tours are conducted daily. To find out more about the lighthouse tours, visit http://www.margaretriver.com/lighthouse-tour-times-and-prices .

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 People can climb the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse as part of a guided tour.

People can climb the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse as part of a guided tour.

Emergency management centre proposed 

Could Nannup one day be home to the State's emergency management centre?

The Shire of Nannup hopes so and is working on a business case to support the development of the proposed Western Australian Emergency Management Institute.

If the project receives the green light, a purpose-built centre will provide a place for career and volunteer emergency service workers to undertake training in emergency preparation, response and recovery.

We are pleased to support this project through the provision of Royalties for Regions funding towards the cost of preparing a business case.

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An artist’s impression of the proposed Western Australian Emergency Management Institute.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Western Australian Emergency Management Institute.

Epic event for cycling trail  

Having put $1.5million of our allocation of Royalties for Regions funding toward the expansion of the Munda Biddi cycling trail, we are delighted to report that people will soon be able to pedal along the extended track.

The completion of the world's longest, most continuous off-road cycling track will be celebrated with an exciting event - the Munda Biddi Epic 1000.

The Epic see 26 riders complete the first end-to-end 1000km ride on the trail over three weeks, starting in Albany on April 7 and finishing in Mundaring on April 28.

After crossing the finish line, the participants will have become the first to ride the newly-completed Munda Biddi Trail.

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 The completion of the Munda Biddi Buddi Trail will be marked with the Munda Biddi Epic 1000 cycling event.

The completion of the Munda Biddi Buddi Trail will be marked with the Munda Biddi Epic 1000 cycling event.

Success for our latest trainee  

Here at the Commission, we like giving young people a start in their careers.

So we are proud that one of our customer service officers, Melissa Hinds, has successfully finished her business traineeship.

In addition to being a front desk superstar, Melissa recently wrapped up her business studies through the Apprentice and Traineeship Company, completing a Certificate IV in Business.

Melissa plans to continue studying and plans to commence a Bachelor of Commerce in industrial relations and human resources at university later this year.

Well done Melissa!

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Melissa Hinds is the latest business trainee to benefit from the support of the South West Development Commission.

Melissa Hinds is the latest business trainee to benefit from the support of the South West Development Commission.

Milestone for river restoration 

Despite being largely known for industry, Collie's natural assets are not limited to resources, with the town surrounded by forests, streams and pools.

And now, with support from Royalties for Regions and SWDC, the town's natural beauty is shining brighter than ever.

Riffles were recently installed in the Collie River, downstream from Soldiers Park, as part of efforts to improve the waterbody.

The construction of riffles is one of the key outcomes of the Collie River Revitalisation Program and marks a milestone in efforts to restore the waterway.

Further plans by the Shire of Collie to revitalise the river are moving forward with the recent lodgement of applications to undertake Nardoo treatment and control measures.

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 The plan to revitalise the Collie River reached another milestone when riffles were recently installed downstream from Soldiers Park. Pictured are Donna Davies and Gayle Gray with Wayne Sanford and Keith Williams.

The plan to revitalise the Collie River reached another milestone when riffles were recently installed downstream from Soldiers Park. Pictured are Donna Davies and Gayle Gray with Wayne Sanford and Keith Williams.

Enhancing health services  

Nobody wants to be admitted to hospital with heart problems. But if the time ever comes to receive life-saving treatment, people want the comfort of having their loved ones by their side.

So it's with this in mind that we welcome the opening of Western Australia's first regional coronary care unit in Bunbury.

The new state-of-the-art facility will allow South West patients to be treated by a specialist cardiac team in the South West.

This means being close to home - and family and friends - when it matters most.

We are pleased to have been able to secure $5million in Royalties for Regions for St John of God Bunbury Hospital to complete this $10million project.

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South West Development Commission chairman Stuart Hicks and chief executive officer Don Punch at the opening of the new coronary care unit.

South West Development Commission chairman Stuart Hicks and chief executive officer Don Punch at the opening of the new coronary care unit.

Event to create recipe for tourism success  

People love holidays. And they enjoy food. So why aren't more businesses bringing the two together and marketing gourmet getaways?

A conference in Manjimup this month will consider how people can connect the food and tourism industries.

Called Culinary Journeys - All the Tourism Ingredients, the event will be held over four days and feature guest speakers, field trips and a farmers' market.

Keynote speakers will include The Outback Café star Mark Olive (pictured).

For details about this South West Development Commission-sponsored event, visit http://culinaryjourneys2013.com .

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The Outback Café star Mark Olive will feature at the upcoming Culinary Journeys – All the Tourism Ingredients event.

The Outback Café star Mark Olive will feature at the upcoming Culinary Journeys – All the Tourism Ingredients event.

Meeting of the creative minds 

The Emergence Creative Festival was promoted as an anti-conference - and it certainly broke the mould in all the right ways.

An outdoor film screening, surfing competition and beach breakfast were among the sessions that saw people break free of the confines of the conference room and network in casual settings.

The event, held in Margaret River between February 20 and 22 for people who "think digitally and differently", gave attendees access to a number of creative minds.

Among the experts who presented during the event was Shane RJ Walker (pictured) of onedotzero, a London-based moving image and digital arts organisation.

He talked about his adventures in digital entertainment and showcased digital works and events he had been involved in.

Watch highlights from the event here - http://vimeo.com/61338808 .

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Shane RJ Walker was one of the speakers who inspired at the Emergence Creative Festival.

Shane RJ Walker was one of the speakers who inspired at the Emergence Creative Festival.

Heritage project up for award 

Having provided a grant to Vue Group to assist them with filming the excavation of shipwrecks in Bunbury back in 2011, we are pleased the project has received official recognition for its contribution to heritage.

The production company was recently named as a finalist in this year's Western Australian Heritage Awards, after impressing with its Carpark Whalers documentaries.

Posted online, the mini documentaries highlighted the work of archaeologists as they dug up sites along Koombana Drive as part of efforts to unearth what was believed to be the wrecks of American whalers.
The documentaries were available to download for free, giving people the opportunity to learn about Bunbury's past.

A whopping 250,000 views were recorded in the first eight days of the documentaries going live.

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Vue Group managing director Alan Lindsay at work at the site of the shipwrecks dig.

Vue Group managing director Alan Lindsay at work at the site of the shipwrecks dig.

Economic powerhouse  

The South West might be well known for its natural beauty, but did you know it is also a regional economic powerhouse?

The region's Gross Regional Product was estimated at $15.1 billion for the 2011/12 financial year, up 7.5 per cent on the previous year and a 65.3 per cent increase over the past five years.

The mining, construction and manufacturing industries are the main contributors to economic production in the region at 31.6 per cent, 16.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent of total production respectively.

In terms of State production, the South West region accounted for 6.3 per cent of the Gross State Product.

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Record for Busselton Jetty Swim 

When we signed on as a sponsor of this year's Be Active Busselton Jetty Swim, we knew the event would be popular.

But despite our high expectations for this event, even we were surprised at just how many people swam around the 3.6 kilometre timber pier on Sunday February 10.

The contest attracted a record number of swimmers, leading organisers to close entries early for the first time in the event's 18 year history.

And with more than 1500 people in the water during the event, we are pleased to have been able to provide protection for competitors by providing funding to enable a helicopter surveillance patrol to take place.

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This year’s Be Active Busselton Jetty Swim attracted a record number of competitors.

This year’s Be Active Busselton Jetty Swim attracted a record number of competitors.

Dunsborough makeover 

Walking from the town centre to the beach in Dunsborough is now more enjoyable than ever.

Recently-completed works have resulted in improved pedestrian links between the central business district and the newly-revitalised foreshore.

Other enhancements include the completed Seymour Park featuring new children's play equipment, as well as landscaping and barbecue and picnic facilities on the foreshore.

The project was helped along with $3.643million in Royalties for Regions funding, and supported by the South West Development Commission.

The redevelopments were officially opened on February 12.

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Ian Stubbs and Don Punch inspect the new-look Dunsborough foreshore during the official opening.

Ian Stubbs and Don Punch inspect the new-look Dunsborough foreshore during the official opening.