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e-Newsletter December 2011

New inflatable rescue boat used for shark patrols 

When we put Royalties for Regions funding towards a new inflatable rescue boat for the Dalyellup Beach Surf Life Saving Club, we knew the vessel would be put to good use.

But we had no idea just how quickly the boat would be called into action.

Within an hour of the surf life saving group unpacking and inflating the rescue boat on Sunday December 18, warnings about sharks off Bunbury and Dalyellup beaches resulted in the vessel being used to patrol for sharks.

"We had just finished inflating and preparing the boat when we had to put it to immediate use in the water − it was good timing," Dalyellup Beach Surf Life Saving Club president Jenaya Bell said.

"We appreciate the funding from South West Development Commission and Royalties for Regions, and the Shire of Capel, that enabled the club to purchase this important new addition to our prevention and rescue capacity.

"It will certainly be used extensively to ensure the safety of our community."

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The new inflatable rescue boat in action.

The new inflatable rescue boat in action.

Drifting to the big screen 

We always knew the South West region had star potential.

And as it turns out so did the creatives behind a new surf-themed movie which is set to put the South West - and its spectacular coastline - on the big screen.

In bringing to life the rags-to-riches story of two brothers whose backyard surfing business gives rise to a global brand, Drift producer Tim Duffy said he had wanted to showcase the region where he grew up.

"The South West was chosen for shooting Drift because it has a unique blend of ruggedly beautiful settings, unspoiled countryside and renown uncrowded big wave locations," he said.

"It has also rarely been seen in international cinema."

Drift stars Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel and Sam Worthington.

Drift is a production of World Wide Mind Films and has received funding from the South West Development Commission and Royalties for Regions.

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Drift was filmed in the South West region earlier this year.

Drift was filmed in the South West region earlier this year.

Getting creative 

Creative professionals in the South West now have a space to call their own - the Creative Corner.

Developed and facilitated by the South West Development Commission's TradeStart advisor, Mat Lewis, the Creative Corner is bringing creative professionals together and linking them with business opportunities.

"The group is gaining momentum and members are already collaborating on projects they are developing and pitching," Mr Lewis said.

"As well as working on individual projects, Creative Corner members have also been involved with the development of Emergence, a festival which will showcase the region's creative industries when it is held in November 2012."

For more information about the Creative Corner, contact Mat Lewis on 0427 429 016 or mat.lewis@swdc.wa.gov.au .

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SWDC TradeStart advisor Mat Lewis and Noah Shilkin from Sonic Lolly and The West Australian Music Industry Association Board.

SWDC TradeStart advisor Mat Lewis and Noah Shilkin from Sonic Lolly and The West Australian Music Industry Association Board.

Now easier to find your way around Bunbury on foot 

We are pleased to see Bunbury is a step closer to becoming more like Nancy Sinatra's boots - made for walking, that is!

The City of Bunbury has installed 11 map-based signs around Bunbury, making it easier for tourists to find their way around the city centre.

The map-based signs, which will be complemented by 22 directional signs, were part of a series of recommendations contained in a report designed to guide Bunbury's transformation into a more pedestrian-friendly city.

Called the Bunbury CBD Walkability and Wayfinding Strategy, the study was carried out at the request of the South West Development Commission and the City of Bunbury.

Expect to see more initiatives carried out to make it easier for people to find their way around Bunbury on foot in the future, with the City of Bunbury set to use funding from Royalties for Regions and the Commission to implement more of the recommendations contained in the report.

These recommendations include improving a range of crossing points around Bunbury's central business district.

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Bunbury’s map-based signs will help people find their way around the city.

Bunbury’s map-based signs will help people find their way around the city.

Boyup Brook stars in new television commercials 

New television advertisements are revealing to West Australians what Boyup Brook residents have always known: What a great place the South West town is to call home.
 
With the help of long-time local resident and former shire president Terry Ginnane, Boyup Brook is being promoted across the State as a place people will want to live because of its "open spaces", "friendly faces", and "safe environment".
 
Shire of Boyup Brook chief executive officer Alan Lamb said the aim of the advertisements was to showcase what Boyup Brook had to offer potential residents.
 
"Boyup Brook is very safe, convenient - it's got everything you need," he said.
 
"The town has top medical and education facilities, good shopping and a fantastic community.
 
"If you are considering relocating, we encourage you to have a look at Boyup Brook."
 
We were pleased to have provided funding towards this project and are enjoying seeing the advertisements on air.

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Boyup Brook local Terry Ginnane stars in the new advertisements.

Boyup Brook local Terry Ginnane stars in the new advertisements.

Support the Margaret River bushfire appeal 

'Tis the season to give, and if you can spare the money why not support the Margaret River bushfire appeal.

The fire occurred in November and burnt out more than 3,400 hectares of principally Crown land and destroyed 32 houses, nine chalets and four sheds.

South West Development Commission chairman Steve Harrison was a volunteer fire fighter during the fire and saw the destruction caused by the blaze first-hand.

"The fire was terrible in its ferocity and the effects were multiplied by the fact the same areas were repeatedly attacked by subsequent fire fronts," he said.

"As well as the terribly sad loss of people's homes and possessions, the fire took away significant infrastructure and left the natural environment devastated in beautiful and diverse natural habitats.

"Healing, repair and regeneration will all take time but any help in re-establishing people's lives and their environment will assist in that process."

You can help people affected by the recent Margaret River bushfire by donating to the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund.

Donations to the Margaret River Fire Appeal can be made in the following ways:

  • Over the counter at any BankWest branch or agency to the dedicated Appeal account BSB 306-089, account 287738-4
  • Via EFT BankWest's Appeal account BSB 306-089, account 287738-4
  • In person at Customer Service counter, Council House, 27 St Georges Terrace, Perth
  • To make a credit card donation, phone the City of Perth on 9461 3333 during normal business hours
  • By mail to LMDRF, Margaret River Fire Appeal, c/- City of Perth, GPO Box C120 Perth 6839

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Find out more about the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund by visiting http://www.appealswa.org.au/ .

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South West Development Commission chairman Steve Harrison.

South West Development Commission chairman Steve Harrison.

Funding secured for major projects 

One of our highlights for 2011 was helping to secure Royalties for Regions funding for large-scale projects in the South West.

This funding included:

  • $7.47million towards the expansion of the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
  • $5million towards a coronary care unit at St John of Hospital in Bunbury
  • $9.745million towards upgrading the Busselton and Dunsborough foreshores, and
  • $25million towards a boat harbour at Augusta.

We are pleased to play a hand in gaining the financial support needed for these projects to make the leap from paper to reality.

Pictured is work being carried out for the Augusta boat harbour project.

The harbour will include two breakwaters, a four-lane boat launching ramp, two boat holding jetties, a service jetty and parking for vehicles with trailers.

Future stages are expected to include up to 50 boat pens and commercial development opportunities.

For further information about the Augusta boat harbour project visit http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/23469.asp .

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Work is carried out to construct an access road into the boat harbour site. Works on the road commenced in October and were completed in December.

Work is carried out to construct an access road into the boat harbour site. Works on the road commenced in October and were completed in December.

Securing a sustainable supply of water for industry 

We know that water is one of our most precious resources.

And to secure a sustainable water supply for industries in the Collie and Kemerton areas, we have been working with the Department of Water to make better use of one of region's largest reservoirs - the Wellington Dam.

As part of our efforts, we have established an industry group which has examined options for reducing salinity in Wellington Dam so it can be used to meet industry needs.

The recommendations of the industry group have been forwarded to the State Government for consideration.

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Improving the quality of water at Wellington Dam is a focus of the South West Development Commission.

Improving the quality of water at Wellington Dam is a focus of the South West Development Commission.

New DVD promotes region 

Would you like a copy of a DVD which promotes the South West?

We recently commissioned a local production company to produce a five-minute film about the region.

Now completed, the short film provides an excellent overview of the South West, with economy, lifestyle and tourism among the many aspects of the region covered.

Organisations which would like a copy of the DVD can contact South West Development Commission communications officer Julie Wade by phoning 9792 2000 or emailing julie.wade@swdc.wa.gov.au .

To watch the short film go to our video gallery.

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A new DVD on the South West has been produced and is available to assist organisations in promoting the South West.

A new DVD on the South West has been produced and is available to assist organisations in promoting the South West.

New day centre for seniors opens its doors 

At the Commission we are big fans of urban renewal, and think it's fantastic when old assets are redesigned for new purposes.

So we were pleased to provide funding to enable Bethanie Community Care to transform a disused building into a day centre for seniors.

Now known as the Bethanie Maali Centre, the building in the Bunbury suburb of Carey Park has become a place for seniors to socialise and participate in a range of activities.

The centre, which features a bush tucker garden, is also used as a meeting place for yarn time by local Aboriginal groups.

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Bethanie Group South West community services manager Mark Lawther and Anna Oades from South West Development Commission at the new Bethanie Maali Centre.

Bethanie Group South West community services manager Mark Lawther and Anna Oades from South West Development Commission at the new Bethanie Maali Centre.

Following trail leads to discoveries about region’s past 

Are you itching for an excuse to head out on the open road over the summer?

Then why not explore the historic South West by following the Working Life Heritage Trail.

A partnership between the South West Development Commission and individual site operators, the trail provides a link between heritage-themed attractions round the region.

People following the trail will learn about the South West's fascinating past, including the lives of the region's early settlers.

To find out more about the Working Life Heritage Trail, pick up a brochure from a tourist centre or visit www.workinglife.com.au .

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Elizabeth Partridge at White Rocks Farm.

Elizabeth Partridge at White Rocks Farm.

New technology on the horizon 

Houses that understand us, intelligent medicine cabinets and virtual wardrobes…

These were just some of the technological wonders presenters at an NBN-themed Critical Horizons conference revealed could be in our futures.

Held at Bunbury's Edith Cowan University on December 1, the seminar inspired attendees to think about the possibilities that could come with the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

Attendees heard how the NBN will be a positive influence in many areas of our lives including health, business and government.

Guest speakers included Gadget Guy Peter Blasina, futurist Ross Dawson and Australia's First Online Community author Mal Bryce.

For more about Critical Horizons and to access some of the presentations made by the guest speakers at the most recent conference, visit www.criticalhorizons.com.au .

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South West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch and Critical Horizons guest presenter Gadget Guy Peter Blasina.

South West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch and Critical Horizons guest presenter Gadget Guy Peter Blasina.

Funding boost for events 

Organisations holding events in the South West next year have received Christmas cheer in the form of news they will soon be receiving grants from the South West Development Commission.

We recently announced which organisations would receive funding towards their upcoming events through the most recent round of the Commission's South West Events Program.

Commission chairman Steve Harrison said a total of 42 events would benefit from a share in the largest funding pool ever offered through the annual grants scheme.

"The quality of the applications received was so high that the board decided to increase the available funding by $10,000, bringing the total amount available to organisations up to $110,000," he said.

"Grant recipients range from a surf film festival in Yallingup, and a truffle-themed food festival in Manjimup, to a multicultural night under the stars in Bunbury."

A full list of grant recipients is available on our South West Events Program page.

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The Yallingup SurFilm Festival is one of 42 events that will benefit from funding through the South West Events Program.

The Yallingup SurFilm Festival is one of 42 events that will benefit from funding through the South West Events Program.

It’s official: Collie, Manjimup and Margaret River are SuperTowns 

By now you have probably heard of SuperTowns, and no doubt you are wondering what this means for the South West region.

With Collie, Manjimup and Margaret River all given SuperTown status, you can expect to see planning being undertaken to make these towns even more attractive places to live in the future.

The aim of SuperTowns is to offer more choices for people wanting to live in regional areas and provide an attractive alternative to living in the metropolitan area.

Through Royalties for Regions, a share in $80million is available to the nine SuperTowns for transformational projects, with $5.5million also available to assist with strategic planning in these communities.

To hear how people living in Collie, Manjimup and Margaret River feel about living in a SuperTown, visit our video gallery.

This short film was premiered at a SWDC briefing session held in Bunbury on December 1 and attended by a range of stakeholders from around the region.

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South West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch hosted a briefing session about SuperTowns in Bunbury in December.

South West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch hosted a briefing session about SuperTowns in Bunbury in December.

Trade mission explores export opportunities 

Export opportunities for South West wine producers were on the menu when the South West Development Commission hosted a promotional dinner in China.

Designed to help local wine producers uncork the potentially lucrative China market, the dinner in Jiaxing on November 9 showcased wine from the Geographe and Margaret River regions to potential buyers.

In addition to the dinner, a master class for trade and media representatives was held to further raise the profile of the region.

Indulgence Jiaxing was part of a wider mission to facilitate trade opportunities for the region, with South West wines also promoted at both the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair and an event at the Sheraton Chongqing Hotel.

Presentations to potential investors were also held as part of the trade mission.

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Indulgence Jiaxing promoted South West food and wine.

Indulgence Jiaxing promoted South West food and wine.

New Men’s Shed takes shape 

It's a big shed - one many men would like to have in their backyards.

The good news is that once it is completed it will be able to be shared by all men.

The Rotary Club of Bunbury is building the Men's Shed with the intention of it becoming a meeting place for men.

Men will be able to come together, and use their skills to carry out metal and wood work-related activities, while talking about issues such as health and wellbeing.

The Commission recently visited the shed and saw first-hand the progress being made on the shed.

Supported with $30,000 from the South West Development Commission and Royalties for Regions, the building of the shed is being overseen by the Bunbury Rotary Club with the assistance of local organisations and businesses.

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John Saunders talks to Bill Adams, Bevan Forster and Rod Triplett about the project.

John Saunders talks to Bill Adams, Bevan Forster and Rod Triplett about the project.

Bunbury’s shipwrecks feature in online documentaries 

Did you know that Bunbury's Koombana Bay is a ship graveyard?

Starting in 1840, 29 vessels met their end in the waters of Koombana Bay. About 12 of these shipwrecks are believed to remain in the area.

Bunbury's shipwrecks were recently placed under the spotlight when the WA Museum dug up sites along Koombana Bay − including a car park − as part of efforts to unearth what was believed to be the wrecks of two American whalers.

The test excavation can be relived in documentaries made by local production company Vue Group.

Vue Group managing director Alan Lindsay said the story of the ships made for fascinating viewing.

"The digging up of these shipwrecks unlocks a 19th century tale of roguish adventure in pursuit of mighty whales and massive riches, curtailed by the wrath of the Indian Ocean," he said.

We were pleased to be able to provide a grant to support the filming of the test excavation.

Having the documentaries available to download online means people can learn about Bunbury's past − and the recent test excavation − for free.

People can watch the documentaries by visiting www.carparkwhalers.com .

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Alan Lindsay films for Carpark Whalers, an online documentary series.

Alan Lindsay films for Carpark Whalers, an online documentary series.