The social and economic well-being of the South-West region has been helped over the past three years by State Government funding of $1.6million, South-West Minister Bob Kucera said today.
The funding to improve the region has come through the State Government’s Regional Development Scheme (RDS), which in the South-West, is administered by the South West Development Commission and has been running annually since 2001-02.
Mr Kucera said the latest round, which was worth another $400,000, had just closed and he expected to announce the successful applications in the next few weeks.
“This program provides funding for projects which improve the economic and social development of the region and are a kick-start to help get important projects on their way,” the Minister said.
Among previous success stories is the Lake Jasper seed potato operation at Manjimup. It received $28,000 through the RDS to buy seed to grow potatoes suitable to export to Indonesia.
Through RDS, the State has also supported the rapidly expanding olive industry and provided $24,500 toward the South West Olive Association to prepare a business plan for the establishment of a regional olive facility, owned and operated by olive growers.
Manjimup’s fledgling green tea industry received a boost with funding to help analyse the potential to grow tea commercially for export to Japan.
Other previous RDS success stories also include a $28,000 boost to the Dolphin Discovery Centre, to enhance the precinct for the 70,000 visitors a year it receives. The funds have been used to make improvements to the Koombana Bay facilities and in a bid to attract even more visitors to the city.
In addition, $14,750 has been granted to the Bunbury City Council to upgrade tourist facilities at its visitor information centre.
In Harvey, RDS funds helped establish 96.5FM community radio station and improve power supplies into the Harvey industrial area to help attract new industries into the district.
In Collie, funding has helped showcase the town’s rail heritage.
“In the first three years of the program, 60 projects have shared in the funding which was provided because the State Government is committed to providing assistance in regional areas to encourage growth and prosperity in these districts,” Mr Kucera said.
Minister's office: 9213 7000