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Gears turn on possibility of an advanced manufacturing hub for Bunbury Geographe

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The South West Development Commission is looking into the possibility of establishing an advanced manufacturing and education hub for Bunbury Geographe, as part of the State Government’s continued efforts to unlock new job opportunities.

SWDC is leading discussions with local stakeholders including local government and industry representatives about potentially undertaking a feasibility study into the viability of a facility for the region.

The State Government agency is seeking support from local government and industry as it moves to build a case for a prospective industrial and educational precinct.

SWDC chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said a roundtable was held in Bunbury last month to scope out possibilities, building on from a similar roundtable chaired by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan in 2017 that kick-started the process.

“Manufacturing is a major industry in Bunbury Geographe – and we want to grow this sector even more,” Ms Teede said.

“The first step is to secure the green light for a feasibility study, and that is what we are working towards with stakeholders.

“If this project gets off the ground, it would be a major region-building and state-building project that would be a catalyst for creating hundreds of highly-skilled trade and technical jobs, including for apprentices who would have access to the latest skills training and technologies.

“A game-changing economic infrastructure project of this kind would provide a facility for small-to-medium enterprises in the Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) and manufacturing sectors.

“The purpose of this facility would be to build the capability of these businesses in new technologies, products and services to initially support the resources sector.

“The hub would provide access not only to the latest technologies but also training, thereby building capability among businesses and workers through research, innovation and skills development.

“A common user facility arrangement would harness innovation to drive the region’s competitive advantage in an increasingly globalised environment.”

There will be further opportunities for industry to get involved, with industry representatives and potential investors encouraged to register their interest in the project at www.swdc.wa.gov.au .

SWDC is part of the State Government and works to make the South West an even better place to live, work and invest, with a focus on economic development.

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