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e-Newsletter January 2013

Welcome to the new year – and our new e-newsletter! 

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As there's always so much happening here at the South West Development Commission, we thought we'd share our projects and activities with you in a new monthly e-newsletter.

In our first edition in this format, you will be able to learn how we're transforming towns into SuperTowns, shaping the future of a Bunbury suburb, and supporting community projects.

And if you read our e-newsletter and want more information on any of the featured projects, don't forget our team is always willing to answer your questions. Just phone 9792 2000 or email info@swdc.wa.gov.au .

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Collie project has African potential 

Like most people, we love a success story. So we were heartened to learn that a project we supported could be replicated in Africa.

Ngalang Boodja Enterprises, which is behind an award-winning mine lake aquaculture project in Collie, is in talks with mining companies about a possible joint venture.

The corporation hopes to form a partnership with a mining company to start Africa's first commercial mine lake aquaculture project.

And while a counterpart in Africa would use a similar set up to the project in the South West corner of Western Australia, it would focus on culturing tilapia rather than the silver perch and marron that has been farmed in Collie.

Such a project would recycle an old asset, generate employment, offer training, and raise money for community projects, which all sounds great to us!

We are proud to have allocated $251,585 in Royalties for Region's money towards the Collie project back in 2009. We are even prouder to see how it has developed over the years.

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A bird’s eye view of the aqua farm at Collie provides a unique perspective of the innovative operation.

A bird’s eye view of the aqua farm at Collie provides a unique perspective of the innovative operation.

SuperTowns celebrate milestone 

How do you transform a town into a SuperTown? Like a lot of great things, it begins with a plan.

And the reason for this is because a good, well-thought-out blueprint is needed to provide the solid foundations on which to start building.

That's where the recently-launched SuperTown growth plans come in. Designed to guide the development of each SuperTown in to thriving regional hubs, the plans contain visions for social, economic and spatial growth.

The official release of the completed growth plans in December marked a major milestone in the journey towards Collie, Manjimup and Margaret River becoming SuperTowns.

To view the growth plans, visit our SuperTowns website.

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The SuperTown growth plans have been endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission.

The SuperTown growth plans have been endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission.

Planning for the future of Busselton airport 

Could we one day fly from Busselton to the eastern states of Australia? Or even overseas?

Under our direction, work is underway to develop a case for the possible expansion of the Busselton Regional Airport into a facility capable of accommodating interstate and international air services.

We have put together the committee tasked with coordinating the business case for the proposal.

The group met for the first time in November, and will meet again in February.

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SWDC is coordinating the business case for the possible expansion of the Busselton airport.

SWDC is coordinating the business case for the possible expansion of the Busselton airport.

Drift trailer released 

Like many of you, we watched the Drift trailer as soon as it was released on the web - and we liked what we saw.

Shot in the South West in 2011, the film makes the most of the region's stunning scenery with locations in Margaret River, Augusta, Gracetown and Nannup starring alongside Sam Worthington, Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard.

Set in the 1970s, the movie tells the story of two brothers who battle to start a backyard surf business. To view the trailer, visit driftthemovie.com .

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Drift was filmed in the South West region last year, with the aid of funding from the South West Development Commission and Royalties for Regions.

Drift was filmed in the South West region last year, with the aid of funding from the South West Development Commission and Royalties for Regions.

Funding to make events shine 

Funding from the South West Development Commission will support a diverse range of community events to take place in the region this year.

Almost 50 events, including festivals, sporting contests and conferences, will receive financial support through our South West Events Program.

A total of 46 events will benefit through the latest round of the scheme, which we hope takes pressure off organisations sourcing funding for events happening in 2013.

Find out which events received funding.

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The Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival was one of a diverse range of events which has received funding through the South West Events Program.

The Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival was one of a diverse range of events which has received funding through the South West Events Program.

Collie community centre opens its doors 

Collie now has a dedicated facility for Noongar services - the Collie Noongar Community Centre.

Officially opened in December, the project involved the transformation of an existing building on Forrest Street into a hub for Aboriginal health and community services.

Attending the launch of the centre on Tuesday December 11, we were honoured to be among the first to walk through the refurbished building and see first-hand the medical consulting rooms, meeting areas and activity spaces.

We are pleased to have been involved in the development of this project and are heartened that our $85,000 in Royalties for Regions funding has resulted in a facility that will improve quality of life for local Aboriginal people.

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Norm Hayward, Gayle Gray, Colin Holt and Don Punch celebrate the launch of the Collie Noongar Community Centre.

Norm Hayward, Gayle Gray, Colin Holt and Don Punch celebrate the launch of the Collie Noongar Community Centre.

New sign to greet Harvey visitors 

Visitors always enjoy receiving a bright welcome - and people stopping in Harvey are certainly receiving that, thanks to a new entrance sign.

The sign, located at the Harvey Visitor Centre, features a colourful design that catches the eye.

According to staff, it is has been well-received, with people stopping for a photo.

The initiative was funded by the South West Development Commission as part of the Pinjarra-Brunswick Sustainability Strategy.

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Anne-Marie Gardiner reveals the new sign which greets people as they enter the Harvey Visitor Centre grounds.

Anne-Marie Gardiner reveals the new sign which greets people as they enter the Harvey Visitor Centre grounds.

Curtain raised on upgraded theatre 

Many people enjoy seeing a play at the local theatre - and in Busselton, the theatrical experience is now even better.

Thanks to upgrades to the Weld Theatre carried out by the Busselton Repertory Club, the partly heritage-listed building boasts a new foyer, toilets and access ramp.

The renovations, which got underway in August, were completed in time for the club's annual pantomime.

We are pleased to have played a supporting role in improving this community asset through our contribution of $82,049 in Royalties for Regions funding.

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Marj Evans shows Terry Thompson, Alan Cross and Joe La Mancusa with costumes being used in the Busselton Repertory Club’s production of the pantomime Rumpelstiltskin.

Marj Evans shows Terry Thompson, Alan Cross and Joe La Mancusa with costumes being used in the Busselton Repertory Club’s production of the pantomime Rumpelstiltskin.

$1.5m to kick-start Withers renewal  

For about a year, we've been working with the City of Bunbury to develop a strategy that will help guide Wither's transformation into an even better place to live.

So we're excited that not only is the draft strategy out for public comment, but funding has already been allocated towards renewing the Bunbury suburb.

Earlier this month, the State Government announced up to $1.5million will be made available for initial revitalisation works.

A portion of the funding will be put aside to improve parks and play equipment in the neighbourhood in the near future, a move that will allow action to happen sooner rather than later.

People have until February 8 to comment on the draft report. For more information or to view the report, go to Withers Urban Renewal .

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The draft Withes Urban Renewal Strategy: A Village in the City report is out for public comment until February 8.

The draft Withes Urban Renewal Strategy: A Village in the City report is out for public comment until February 8.

Celebrating Australia Day 

Australia Day celebrations in Bunbury are set to go off with a bang!

With the aid of a grant through our South West Events Program, the City of Bunbury will once again put on the Australia Day Celebrations and Fireworks Spectacular.

On January 26, Bunbury's Bicentennial Square will come to life from 3pm with entertainment for the whole family, with the fireworks show scheduled to take place at 8.30pm.

For a full program of entertainment and activities for the event, visit www.bunbury.wa.gov.au .

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The sky over Bunbury will explode with colour on Australia Day.

The sky over Bunbury will explode with colour on Australia Day.

Spotlight on Margaret River 

We've always thought of Margaret River as being a great place to visit. And as it turns out the rest of Australia agrees.

Margaret River, famous for its wine and waves, was recently voted favourite town by the readers of Australian Traveller magazine.

It outshone finalists Ballarat, Broome, Byron Bay and Tamworth to claim the honour.

The SuperTown has been in the spotlight for all the right reasons lately, with its Telstra Drug Aware Pro annual surfing event recently granted World Championship Tour - meaning the contest will now attract the top-ranked surfers in the world.

The SuperTown, which recently hosted the high-profile Margaret River Gourmet Escape, was allocated Royalties for Regions funding earlier this year to protect and transform Surfers Point into a world-class, modern tourism precinct.

In addition, State Government funding was committed to the Perimeter Road project.

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Margaret River has been voted favourite town by readers of Australian Traveller.

Margaret River has been voted favourite town by readers of Australian Traveller.

Festival for food and wine lovers 

If you enjoy food and wine, make sure you plan to spend Saturday February 2 in Donnybrook.

That's the day the annual Donnybook Food and Wine Fest will be held this year, and attendees can expect to spend the hours between 10am and 4.30pm discovering the tastes of the region.

From wine and olive oil appreciation sessions and appearances by "Pizza King" Theo Kalogeracos, to stalls of high-quality local produce and ready-to-eat food to buy, there will be something for everyone.

Other attractions will include a vintage car display, live music and grape stomping.

For more information about the South West Development Commission-sponsored event, visit www.donnybrookfoodandwinefest.com.au.

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This year’s Donnybrook Food and Wine Fest will be held on Saturday February 2.

This year’s Donnybrook Food and Wine Fest will be held on Saturday February 2.

$1.395million to improve safety in Busselton 

Safety for cyclists and pedestrians in Busselton, including in areas near schools, will be improved with the aid of $1.395million from the South West Development Commission.

We recently announced funding to enable the City of Busselton to carry out improvements to road and pathway networks in the popular tourist destination.

The strong population and tourism growth being experienced by Busselton means it is necessary to improve community infrastructure in the area.

The works, which are expected to begin early this year, will include the construction of pedestrian islands, upgrades to footpath networks, and improved disability and aged access.

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Are you the average South West resident? 

Did you know the median age of South West residents is 39?

That families in the region have an average of 1.9 kids?

Or the median weekly household income is $1,194?

Recently released data from the 2011 Census provides a snapshot of the people living in the South West corner of Western Australia.

For more statistics about the region, contact our research officer Matthew Monisse by phoning 9792 2000 or emailing matthew.monisse@swdc.wa.gov.au .

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