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e-Newsletter January 2015

Together, we can  

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Welcome to our first e-newsletter of the year.

We look forward to working with you, our partners in regional development, as we spend 2015 making the South West an even better place to live, work and invest.

You only have to look back at what we achieved in 2014 to see what can be accomplished when we team up.

It just goes to show that together, we really can make a positive difference.

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Super activity in Collie  

The transformation that Collie has undergone as a result of the SuperTowns program isn't over yet.

The building of the Collie Early Education Centre is set to further change the face of the town.

Tenders have been called for the construction of the facility, with council set to decide on its preferred tender at its February meeting.

It is expected the project will be completed by the end of this year, and once open contribute to the town's appeal as a place for families to live.

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Funding windfall for events  

There always seems to be something to see and do in the South West.

And we're pleased to have a hand in creating such a happening, exciting region.

Our events funding program continues to support concerts, festivals and exhibitions throughout the region.

This year, a total of 56 events will benefit from a share in $110,750 through our South West Regional Events Program, including the SunSmart Busselton Festival of Triathlon (pictured).

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Opening doors  

As part of our commitment to growing the region's economy and generating job opportunities, we aim to unearth new opportunities for the region's businesses.

At the moment, we are working to grow the South West's relationship with Vietnam.

As part of this, we recently hosted a crew which filmed footage for a Vietnamese television show.

Pictured are Vu To and Hai To from Meworld Media and Education preparing to film a segment on Bunbury street art festival Re.Discover with assistance from Mark Exeter from SWDC.

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Country classic  

If you're a fan of country music, February is set to be one of your favourite months in the South West.

And that's because that's when this year's Boyup Brook Country Music Festival will take place.

Heralded as Western Australia's premier country music festival, the event will be held between February 11 and 15.

Headline acts include Tania Kernaghan and Troy Cassar-Daley (pictured).

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Trade deal toasted  

Connecting businesses to opportunities is part of our business.

And we are always pleased when those opportunities result in wins for the businesses we are aiming to help. Take for example our work with Picardy Wines.

As a result of us introducing the Pemberton winery to an international buyer during a tour of the region during the 2013 Margaret River Gourmet Escape, it sent a shipment of chardonnay to China.

Though the winery has long exported around the world, the deal marks the first time its chardonnay has cracked the China market. Pictured is Bill Pannell.

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Confidence surges in SuperTown  

We enjoy being part of a vibrant, thriving community as much as the next person - and aim to create towns and cities that people can live and work in.

So we are heartened to learn that the SuperTown of Manjimup has recently enjoyed an upturn in retail activity.

New shops have opened and investors have shown interest in starting new eateries.

And it isn't only Manjimup that's enjoying a retail resurgence, with nearby Northcliffe, Pemberton and Walpole also reporting new activity.

Pictured is Manjimup Shire president Wade DeCampo in the Manjimup CBD.

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Get your creative juices flowing  

Here's a way to spark your creativity (and enjoy Margaret River at the same time).

Head along to this year's Emergence Creative Festival, which will be held in Margaret River in March.

The event will give attendees a chance to connect with fellow creative minds and hear from guest speakers working in the creative industries.

Advertising duo Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens (pictured) are among those set to get the creative juices flowing.

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Export opportunity uncorked 

With our support, Aravina Estate has secured its first direct sale of wine into China.

The new export deal came about after the winery was linked to an importer visiting the region during an SWDC-facilitated tour of the South West during the 2013 Margaret River Gourmet Escape.

The tour gave participants the opportunity to experience the region, sample premium products and meet producers first-hand.

Pictured is Aravina Estate winemaker Jodie Opie.

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Calling tomorrow’s leaders  

We believe that one of the region's most important assets is its people.

It's for this reason that we get involved with programs which help to equip residents of the South West with skills that enable them to play important roles in the region.

With this in mind, we recently signed on to again support the South West Young Achievers Program.

Designed to assist people aged between 18 and 25 to reach their potential, the program will run this year from March 5 to 7.

Pictured is SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch and South West Young Achievers Program coordinator Leanne Oshea encouraging people to register.

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Harbour focus  

We are pleased to report the next stage of laying the foundations for marine facilities development in Bunbury is underway.

Town planning and design firm Taylor Burrell Barnett has been appointed to prepare a proposal for public comment for the land known as "Area 7" on the Bunbury marine facilities concept plan.

The consultants will look at a range of possible uses for the land, which includes Casuarina Harbour and sections of the Bunbury Outer Harbour.

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Jetty reopens  

Here's a fishing tip for you! The jetty in the Leschenault Inlet is once again open to the public.

While it had been closed in recent times to keep people safe until repairs were carried out, the timber structure is now fit for use.

We are pleased to be able to once again make this popular community asset available to locals and visitors alike.

Pictured is SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch taking a look at the refurbishments.

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Holiday fun  

Children in Bunbury had no excuse to be bored over the summer holidays. Not when there were movies to watch, pool comps to win, and candlemaking to learn.

Indeed, there was plenty for kids and teens to do in Withers over December and January as part of school holidays programs run by Bunbury PCYC and Milligan Community Learning and Resource Centre.

The programs were supported by SWDC through our Withers urban renewal project.

Pictured is Mikayla Tubb taking part in an acting and drama class led by Australian theatre and screen actress Lynette Narkle at the Bunbury PCYC.

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Industry focus  

If ports are indicators of economic activity, the South West must be thriving.

In 2013/14, a record 15.6 million tonnes of trade passed through the Bunbury port.

This was in increase from the previous record of 15.3million tones set in 2012/13.

The port's main exports continue to be alumina and woodchips, while the largest imports are caustic and mineral sands.

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