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e-Newsletter December 2013
- Cruise bid
- Just in time for summer fun
- Funding for events
- Movie awards nod
- Artists to open studio doors
- Stage set for upgrades
- Top holiday town
- Milestone for China office
- Pedal power
- Town update
Beaches, wineries, dolphins…
The South West has a lot to offer visitors - and we'll be making sure cruise ship companies around the world know what a great place it is to explore.
Our latest efforts to boost the South West's tourism industry involve promoting the region as a must-see cruise destination.
To help us be as effective as possible, we've brought together representatives from Bunbury, Busselton and Augusta to form the South West Cruise Alliance.
The Alliance will work to get the region on the radar of cruise ship companies in the hopes of having it included on more cruise itineraries.
Pictured is the Astor docked in Bunbury on December 19.
Just in time for summer fun
Going to the beach and enjoying time in the surf with family and friends is a great Australian summertime tradition.
So it's timely that upgrades to Surfers Point have been completed to the stage where they can be enjoyed by people hoping to cool down over the holiday period.
The popular surfing spot has already had - and passed - its first big test, with the Margaret River Surf Classic held there in mid-December.
Pictured: Alan Cross from SWDC and Wayne Prangnell from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River checking out the newly-upgraded facilities, which were made possible through the Royalties for Regions-funded SuperTowns program.
Funding for events
We've long been supporters of community events. Not only are they great to attend, but they encourage people to visit the region, as well as provide economic and social benefits to the communities they are held in.
For these reasons, we are pleased to announce that 37 events taking place in 2014 will receive a share in $100,000 through our South West Events Program.
Held annually, the grants scheme has long been successful in helping organisations stage both new and established events - and this time around is no different.
For instance, in 2014 we'll be sponsoring the Nannup Music Festival in its 25th year, as well as the very first Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Pictured is the US Late Model Down Under Tour, which we will be helping to come to the Manjimup Speedway in early January.
Movie awards nod
We are so proud that a movie filmed in our wonderful region is up for three Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
Drift, which received funding from SWDC and Royalties for Regions, is in the running to win best original screenplay, best cinematography and best original music score.
The awards are industry-assessed and considered the pinnacle of screen achievement in Australia.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Sydney in January.
Artists to open studio doors
The Margaret River region is home to many creatives, some of whom people will have a chance to meet in person thanks to a new event.
The Margaret River Region Open Studios will see visual artists and artisans open the doors to their studios and workshops.
Over 16 days between April 19 and May 4, people will have the chance to meet creators, as well as pursue and purchase artworks.
Pictured is SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks with Margaret River Region Open Studios vice chair and secretary Jillian Taylor.
Stage set for upgrades
As part of our commitment to creating strong and vibrant communities, we have announced funding to support upgrades to two arts and cultural centres in the region.
The Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre will receive $40,000 towards refitting its box office, while the Margaret River Cultural Centre will be given $40,000 to replace its fly tower equipment.
We hope the funding will enable the popular venues to continue catering to the demands of residents as more and more people call the region home.
Top holiday town
We've had a feeling that Margaret River was increasing in popularity as a tourist destination - but now it's official.
The South West town has been named as the second highest ranking "Destination on the Rise" in the South Pacific by leading travel website TripAdvisor.
While first place was taken out by New Zealand's Christchurch, third place was also claimed by a West Australian town - Broome.
Surfers Paradise was listed at number five, while Alice Springs came in at eighth place.
Milestone for China office
The Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office has recently celebrated five years of helping South West people do business in China.
Since opening on November 11 2008, the office has worked to facilitate and assist trade opportunities.
It is credited with helping to build a positive business climate with the economic development bureau in Jiaxing.
The office is based in the South West Development Commission and its liaison officer, Edwin Zhuang, can be contacted on 9792 2000.
Edwin is pictured (right) with Dean Lomax of Lomax Media, which recently benefited from the services offered by the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office.
Cycling is not only a relatively inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to get from A to B. It can also improve health and fitness, as well as reduce traffic congestion.
To give people living in Bunbury and surrounding areas more opportunities to enjoy these benefits, we have been working to make the region more cycle-friendly.
For example, we initiated the Greater Bunbury Regional Bicycle Master Plan to guide the development of cycle infrastructure in the region. We then set up a committee to oversee the implementation of recommendations in the plan.
Pictured is the start of a new cycleway that is being constructed along Parade Road in Bunbury.
Collie is already a great place to live, but upgrades being carried out as part of the SuperTowns program are set to make it even more attractive to residents.
Among the improvements designed to contribute to the revitalisation of the town's central business district is the refurbishment of the Collie railway footbridge.
Officially reopened on December 15, the heritage-listed footbridge once again connects the north and south of town.
Pictured: Marcus Turner from the Commission with David Blurton from the Shire of Collie.