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e-Newsletter February 2015

Working on tomorrow, today 

blueprint

It's official. The South West Regional Blueprint has been finalised, giving us a strategy that will guide development of the region to 2050.

Jointly created by SWDC and Regional Development Australia - South West, the Blueprint is designed to ensure that as the region's population grows, so do jobs, services and facilities.

It's about making sure residents continue to enjoy prosperity and quality of life in the decades ahead.

We look forward to working with you, our stakeholders in the region, on securing the bright future we want for the region and its residents.

Pictured:
Regional Development Australia - South West chair Duncan Anderson and SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks.

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Sister act for caves 

We are pleased to have facilitated a sister cave agreement that is expected to provide a platform for international tourism opportunities.

The agreement between the Margaret River Tourism Association and the People's Committee of Quang Binh Province was signed last week at Lake Cave.

The arrangement pertains to cross promotion, research sharing and other collaborations relating to tourist caves in the Margaret River region and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam.

Pictured: Vietnamese Consulate General to Perth Le Viet Duyen and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman witnessing the agreement.

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Vietnamese Consulate General to Perth Le Viet Duyen and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman witnessing the agreement.

Waterfront for the future 

We are working with the Bunbury marine facilities steering group and the wider community to plan how Casuarina harbour could be used in the future.

But before we create a master plan for possible development, we want to know what you would like to see - and not see − at Casuarina in the future.

We'd appreciate it if you'd take a few moments to let us know through a survey.

Pictured: Donna West from the Department of Transport talking about marinas to David Kerr from the Bunbury Marine Facilities Alliance, SWDC's Ashley Clements and Bunbury MLA John Castrilli.

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Donna West from the Department of Transport talking about marinas to David Kerr from the Bunbury Marine Facilities Alliance, SWDC’s Ashley Clements and Bunbury MLA John Castrilli.

Snap the South West 

If you enjoy taking photos, you'll want to set aside some time to get creative between Monday March 2 and Sunday March 8.

Over those seven days, we are inviting people to take photos that showcase what a great place the region is to live, work and play - and then enter them in our photography contest.

Entrants will have the chance of having their work featured in a 2016 calendar and a Drift DVD autographed by the stars of the South West-filmed movie.

Pictured is SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch who is looking forward to seeing your pics.

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SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch who is looking forward to seeing your pics.

Family-friendly Collie 

We were recently given a behind-the-scenes look at the redevelopment taking place at the Collie swimming pool complex.

It was terrific to see the progress being made on the project, which involves refurbishing the 50metre pool and constructing a new leisure pool.

It is one of many projects underway in Collie that are expected to make the town an even better place for families to live.

Pictured: Shire of Collie chief executive officer David Blurton and SWDC regional development coordinator Marcus Turner inspecting progress on the new pool.

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Shire of Collie chief executive officer David Blurton and SWDC regional development coordinator Marcus Turner inspecting progress on the new pool.

Let your creativity emerge 

The countdown is on to this year's Creative Emergence Festival in Margaret River.

The fun gets underway on Sunday March 8 with Enlightenment, the event's opening night featuring interactive art installations, light painting, 3D digital mapping and live music.

Then between Monday March 9 and Wednesday March 11, hear first-hand from some of the world's top creative minds and mix with like-minded souls.

For more details about the event or to purchase tickets, head to www.emergencecreative.com .

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Proudly sponsoring events 

Every year we support local festivals, concerts and exhibitions through our South West Community Events Program.

And this year is no different, with our financial helping hand set to extend to 56 events happening in 2015.

One of those events is the annual Harvey Harvest Festival, which is taking place next month.

Visit Harvey on Sunday March 15 and experience the magic of Italy as the town serves up a feast for the senses, complete with arts, food, wine and markets.

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Call for better coverage answered 

Having mobile coverage and internet is important for the region's growth and development, and vital in emergency situations.

So we are pleased Gracetown, Molloy Island, Nyamup and Wilyabrup are set to receive mobile phone towers.

All four places are listed in our South West Regional Blueprint as sites where there is significant lack of mobile phone coverage.

The towers will be installed as a result of the State Government's $45million Regional Telecommunications Project.

Pictured: SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

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SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.

Catching up with grant recipients 

It's always a delight meeting up with the people behind the projects that make our region a great place to live.

And we've been getting the chance to do just that thanks to a series of functions that have been held recently for recipients of our Community Chest Fund grants.

A total of $370,000 has been allocated to South West projects through the Fund, which is a component of the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.

Pictured: SWDC grant coordinator Amanda Taylor with Duncan Anderson and Matt Granger who were guests at a recent afternoon tea for grant recipients in Bunbury.

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SWDC grant coordinator Amanda Taylor with Duncan Anderson and Matt Granger who were guests at a recent afternoon tea for grant recipients in Bunbury.

We choose respect 

One of the many great aspects about living in the South West is the number of people who care about each other and the community they are part of.

To help promote respect, we encourage people to get behind the Choose Respect initiative by coming along to this year's rally.

The event is held annually to promote the importance of treating people with care and consideration.

It will take place this year in Bunbury's Anzac Park at 4pm on Thursday March 26, and will be supported by SWDC.

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Protecting our dolphins 

It's always a treat spotting a dolphin when out boating. Even better when one of the friendly creatures let's us share the water with them in the shallows of Koombana Bay.

But as our population grows, together with use of our waterways, we need to make sure the way people use the water doesn't impact negatively on the mammals.

Which is why we have allocated funding to enable Murdoch University to carry out further investigations into the local bottlenose dolphin population.

The research is expected to inform industry and recreational activity in the water, guiding the long-term viability of the population.

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