Annual Report 2016-17 released
November 02, 2017 at 2:30 PM
The Wheatbelt Development Commission’s 2016-17 Annual Report highlights the Commission’s key achievements over the last financial year including:
- Innovation – The Commission models innovative practices to build capacity and deliver cost effective solutions across the Region. The Wheatbelt Service Learning program brought cross discipline UWA students to the Region to work on initiatives in communities and provide ‘on the ground’ solutions. The UWA Centre for Regional Development has provided input into key Commission initiatives such as the Age Friendly Communities in Small Towns program, business case development, tourism and high value agriculture development.
- Partnerships –Strengthening relationships with key stakeholders and partners continues to deliver results for the region, including partnerships the Water Corporation, Department of Water, Western Power, Main Roads WA, LandCorp, UWA, Murdoch University, the private sector, 42 Wheatbelt shires, the Departments of Transport, Housing, Agriculture and Food and Regional Development (now the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development).
- Vibrant Economy – These partnerships have also focused on initiatives to deliver infrastructure to key growth areas including Muchea Employment Node; supporting digital infrastructure; activating and enhancing access to the Jurien Bay Harbour; and linking Great Northern Highway and Great Eastern Highway via the Northam – Pithara Rd.
- Creating community connections – The Commission continues to support individuals and local government groups to deliver projects that grow the economy and population; attract private investment; and enhance liveability. The delivery of the Age Friendly Communities in Small Towns project and the development of 5 business cases across 37 local governments for well-aged housing will allow Seniors to age-in-place and remain independent in their communities.
- Ensuring a sustainable environment – Increasing water efficiency through stormwater management and evaporation control is crucial for local governments to increase efficiencies and deliver community amenity and industry development. The Commission in partnership with the Water Corporation is developing whole of region solutions through the Total Water Management initiative. The Commission has also focused on emerging industry development in the area of alternative energy.
- Marketing Wheatbelt opportunities – Effective marketing is integral to the development of the Region, to highlight the benefits of working, living, visiting and investing in the Wheatbelt. The Commission partnered with not-for-profit marketing organisation Heartlands WA to produce its monthly e-newsletter and coordinate weekly social media Tweets. The e-newsletter is emailed to over 550 subscribers including media and has an open rate of 35%, well above industry average. The Commission will be developing emerging industry strategies and prospectuses aimed at maximising growth opportunities for the Region.