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e-Newsletter June 2013

Transforming towns into SuperTowns 

supertowns intro

At the Commission, we work to make our region an even better place to live, work and invest.

So we are proud to be involved in the State Government's SuperTowns program, which aims to make nine regional towns in Western Australia more appealing to both current and potential future residents.

One of these SuperTowns is Manjimup, which has received Royalties for Regions funding to grow its agricultural sector, revitalise its town centre and establish itself as a culinary food destination.

In this edition of our newsletter, we take a look at some of the work being done to transform Manjimup into a SuperTown.

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Planting the seeds for a stronger future 

Many people know Manjimup as a timber town.

But did you know the district has long been one of the State's biggest food bowls?

Or that it's becoming increasingly popular with people seeking a gourmet getaway, thanks to locally-grown goodies such as truffles and cherries?

Through the SuperTowns program, the Southern Forests Food Council has received Royalties for Regions funding to grow the region's $126million agricultural sector and also promote the area as a culinary food destination.

The coming few weeks will mark a couple of major milestones for the Council, which is run by people passionate about the future of the Southern Forests - such as Nicole Giblett and Laura Bolitho (pictured).

The group, which supported the weekend's Truffle Kerfuffle event, is set to reveal its brand strategy for the Southern Forests region, taking in the towns of Manjimup, Pemberton, Walpole and Northcliffe.

It will also soon open a shop front in Manjimup's town centre, providing office space, a place to interactively promote Southern Forest produce, while also creating a meeting venue for project stakeholders.

It's all part of efforts to strengthen the regional economy, generate jobs and build community vitality.

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Southern Forests Food Council board member Nicole Giblett and project coordinator Laura Bolitho showcase tempting produce from the region.

Southern Forests Food Council board member Nicole Giblett and project coordinator Laura Bolitho showcase tempting produce from the region.

Family-friendly Manjimup 

Towns need places where families can have fun together.

Which is why we think a new playground being built at the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park is going to be an asset for the town.

Ahead of its official opening, the playground is already creating a buzz of excitement through the community.

The fun park, which includes a flying fox and fort, has already been tested out by SWDC board member Wade De Campo and Shire of Manjimup director of works Doug Elkins.

And we are pleased to report that both reviewers gave the SuperTowns-supported facility the thumbs up.

The playground was made possible through funding from Royalties for Regions and LotteryWest.

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SWDC board member Wade De Campo and Shire of Manjimup director of works Doug Elkins try out the new playground being built in Manjimup as part of the SuperTowns program.

SWDC board member Wade De Campo and Shire of Manjimup director of works Doug Elkins try out the new playground being built in Manjimup as part of the SuperTowns program.

History house for Manjimup 

It's sometimes said that in order to move forward, we must have a good understanding of the past.

So we are pleased that as Manjimup positions itself as a SuperTown, its history will be safe-guarded in a new building.

Located within the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park, the building will enable the Manjimup Historical Society to move out of the old police station and into a purpose-built facility.

The new venue for the historical society includes a fire-proof room which will provide a dedicated space in which to store historical items.

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A new building at the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park will become the new home of the local historical society.

A new building at the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park will become the new home of the local historical society.

Television series pilot filmed at Roelands Village 

There's a chance you could be seeing Roelands Village on television in the future.

With help from a grant from the South West Development Commission, a pilot for a television series was recently filmed at the former mission.

The proposed series would follow well-known indigenous chef Mark Olive as he leads the establishment of Outback Academies around Australia.

Outback Academies will initially provide indigenous people with opportunities to pursue careers in hospitality and related industries, with the pilot program in WA set to engage up to 12 people.

The Roelands Village community was also successful in achieving an Australian Government grant to support planning for the Roelands Outback Academy and a native foods garden program that will form part of the Outback Academy, including food for the proposed Roelands Bush to Table - Outback Café.

All of these exciting activities are set to be captured in the television series.

We are proud to support this initiative which will provide training and career options for the local indigenous community alongside real benefits to the broader community - and if the TV series goes ahead, throw a spotlight on Roelands and the South West.

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Filming has been carried at Roelands Village for a pilot of the Outback Academy with the Black Olive.

Filming has been carried at Roelands Village for a pilot of the Outback Academy with the Black Olive.

Selling the region’s tourism allure 

We've been working to get the word out about what the South West has to offer international tourists.

And as part of this, we recently played tour guide to a group of travel agents and officials from China.

The delegation spent four days in the South West visiting a range of attractions in Bunbury, Busselton, Yallingup and Margaret River.

The visit was successful in giving the travel agents first-hand experience of places they can sell to their customers.

It also left us with a better idea of how the region can be packaged to appeal to tourists from China.

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Edwin Zhuang from the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office (centre) introduces the travel delegation to a local at Bunbury Big Swamp Wildlife Park.

Edwin Zhuang from the Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office (centre) introduces the travel delegation to a local at Bunbury Big Swamp Wildlife Park.

South West toasted in Jakarta 

Three local chefs - Dennis Mifsud, Nigel Harvey and Tony Howell - helped us cook up interest in the South West at a recent food and wine festival in Jakarta.

The trio was on hand to bring the flavours of the South West to the event, which had been designed to create export opportunities for the region's producers.

The chefs hosted a culinary master class and used South West produce to create gourmet delights at two dinners.

We hope the event leads to more South West food and wine being exported to Indonesia, with a number of enquiries already being made.

Pictured is chef Tony Howell at a master class.

To see the chefs in action, view our Culinary Journeys gallery.

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Chef Tony Howell at a master class.

Chef Tony Howell at a master class.

New-look library a winner 

The next time Margaret River residents go to check out a book, they'll also be able to check out their new-look library.

The Augusta Margaret River Regional Library has been officially re-opened after undergoing a refurbishment and expansion.

Now boasting double the floor space, the improved facility has a new art exhibition area, a quiet study zone, youth space, and big comfy chairs for reading.

There is also an outdoor area featuring an edible garden, which was made possible through an allocation of our Royalties for Regions funding.

Library services manager Heather Auld, who recently gave SWDC regional coordinator Alan Cross a tour of the improved facility, said the vision for the enhancement project was to create a welcoming and relaxed space.

Can't visit the library any time soon, but want to know what the library looks like after its makeover? View our gallery and find out.

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Library services manager Heather Auld shows SWDC regional coordinator Alan Cross the new-look Augusta Margaret River Regional Library.

Library services manager Heather Auld shows SWDC regional coordinator Alan Cross the new-look Augusta Margaret River Regional Library.

Surf’s up in…Nannup? 

Drift was premiered at a star-studded, red carpet event in Yallingup in March, before opening in cinemas around the country in May.

Now it's Nannup's turn to see the South West-filmed movie up on the big screen!

Drift, which stars Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel and Sam Worthington, will be shown in the South West town next month.

Over the weekend of July 13 and 14, there will be two special screenings of the movie, which was partly filmed in Nannup.

For details about the South West Development-sponsored screenings of Drift in Nannup, visit www.nannupgardens.org.au .

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Scenes for the movie Drift were filmed in Nannup.

Scenes for the movie Drift were filmed in Nannup.

Swell time for surfer 

Sport has the power to unite people.

And we like to think the South West let out a collective cheer when news broke that local teenager Jacob Willcox had become a world surfing champion.

The South West Academy of Sport scholarship holder was crowned best under-16 surfer at the Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship held in Nicaragua earlier this month.

In addition to his individual achievement, Jacob's performance at the event helped Team Australia to finish in first place.

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Margaret River teenager Jacob Willcox is the world under-16 surfing champion. Picture: ISA/Rommel Gonzales.

Margaret River teenager Jacob Willcox is the world under-16 surfing champion. Picture: ISA/Rommel Gonzales.

After a tasty weekend treat? Try Bridgetown 

Like food? And wine? Then we have an event that is sure to interest you!

The Taste of the Blackwood festival will give people the opportunity to sample tasty treats from the Blackwood Valley region when it is held this weekend.

Over Saturday and Sunday, there will be produce available to taste and purchase, olive oil appreciation sessions, cupcake decorating for the kids - and much more!

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

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The Taste of the Blackwood event will be held this weekend.

The Taste of the Blackwood event will be held this weekend.

Storytelling fun for children 

Children are encouraged to tell tales - and for once, it won't get them into trouble!

The Telling Tales in Balingup storytelling event will be held in the South West town in the upcoming school holidays.

Over July 13 and 14, children will be able to join in storytelling, creative writing, illustration and filmmaking workshops, as well as book binding sessions.

And back by popular demand will be the popular parade of book characters from 12.30pm to 1.30pm on both days.

For details about this South West Development Commission-sponsored event, visit www.balinguptourism.com.au .

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The parade of book characters will make a return to this year’s Telling Tales in Balingup storytelling event.

The parade of book characters will make a return to this year’s Telling Tales in Balingup storytelling event.

Supporting excellence in business 

The annual South West Small Business Awards was held in Bunbury on Saturday.

And among the names read out on stage at the South West Italian Club was Harvest Tours.

The Margaret River business, which conducts food and wine tours, was the winner of this year's Tourism Award.

Having sponsored this award, we would like to congratulate Harvest Tours on their win.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to all of this year's award recipients.

Held annually, the awards recognise and promote excellence in business, something we believe assists in promoting local businesses in a positive light, encourages investment and builds competitive edge.

Pictured is Shauna Willis from GWN7 presenting Jamie and Nicky Batrick-Nolan from Harvest Tours with their award.

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Shauna Willis from GWN7 presenting Jamie and Nicky Batrick-Nolan from Harvest Tours with their award.

Shauna Willis from GWN7 presenting Jamie and Nicky Batrick-Nolan from Harvest Tours with their award.

Preston River planning 

The State Government recently awarded $1.5million in Royalties for Regions funding towards planning for the potential realignment of the Preston River.

Repositioning of the river would enable the Bunbury Port Authority to expand the Bunbury Inner Harbour and meet forecast growth in exports.

Exports through the port are projected to increase from 14 million tonnes in 2011 to 31 million tonnes by 2020.

We are pleased that this funding has been secured. The Commission will be assisting with the project.

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The State Government has announced Royalties for Regions funding towards planning for the potential realignment of the Preston River.

The State Government has announced Royalties for Regions funding towards planning for the potential realignment of the Preston River.

Surfers Point progress 

The world's best surfers are going to get a welcome surprise when next year's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro rolls around!

Surfers Point in Margaret River is in the process of being enhanced with great new facilities.

The precinct is currently undergoing a range of improvements, including the building of new toilets and change rooms, stairs and boardwalks.

The enhancement project has been supported with $3.46million in Royalties for Regions funding through the SuperTowns program.

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Alan Cross and Marcus Turner from the South West Development Commission receive an update about the project from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Wayne Prangnell.

Alan Cross and Marcus Turner from the South West Development Commission receive an update about the project from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Wayne Prangnell.