The State Government has praised the outstanding achievements of the Katanning Telecentre over the past seven years as an excellent role model for all regional communities.
Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan said Katanning was one of the pioneers of the telecentre movement and had played a leading role in defining new ideas to improve service delivery to regional areas.
"When the Katanning Telecentre was established in 1993, it was only the eighth Telecentre in Western Australia," Mr Cowan said.
"Its phenomenal success is one of the reasons why we now have 78 approved telecentres across the length and breadth of the State.
"Everyone involved in this facility can feel very proud of their achievements."
Mr Cowan said telecentres had been one of the great success stories of the past decade.
"It is no exaggeration to say they have helped level the playing field for regional people through access to state-of-the-art technology and training, access to community education and the provision of key business services such as desktop publishing and information gathering,” he said.
"As an Internet Service Provider, the Katanning Telecentre has also helped to reduce costs and increase efficiencies for local Internet users, which is a vital service in itself, and has also helped to make a range of Government services more accessible to the community."
In town today to celebrate the relocation of the Katanning Telecentre from its original location in Reidy House, Amherst Street, to the old library building in Austral Terrace, Mr Cowan said the change of venue would ensure the telecentre continued to go from strength to strength.
"The facility now has a prime location in the central business district which has immediately resulted in many new clients coming in to use its services," he said.
"It is also now accessible to people with disabilities, which is an important step forward in helping to overcome obstacles to growth and development."
Mr Cowan said Katanning was one of the largest regional centres to establish a telecentre, and this showed another important side of the potential of telecentres.
"Most often, telecentres are established in communities with only a few hundred, or perhaps a thousand or so residents, where even a photocopier or laminator has not previously been available locally," he said.
"Katanning is a relatively large regional centre where many more services are available, yet the popularity of the telecentre shows that this type of facility still has a very important role to play in enhancing overall access to new technologies and a range of other services."
Mr Cowan commended the telecentre management committee, staff and volunteers on their untiring efforts to provide a quality service to the people of Katanning.
"While both the State and Commonwealth Governments provide significant funding to telecentres, there is also a large element of volunteer work with many people freely contributing their time and effort on behalf of the community," he said.
“This community spirit has always been one of the strengths of regional communities. It is here in abundance in Katanning, and the ongoing success of the telecentre is very much due to the strong support it receives from these people.
"I commend them all for their commitment to Katanning and its future growth and prosperity."
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595