The establishment of the Pilbara Development Commission is nearing completion with more than 30 applications received for positions on the Board and the Parliamentary approval process for its $800,000 budget well underway.
Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Ian Taylor said that staff positions for the new commission would also be advertised shortly.
"The response from the region to the call for expressions of interest in joining the board has been particularly pleasing - these are now being processed," Mr Taylor said.
The lease for the new Port Hedland office of the commission in Boulevard Shopping Centre had been finalised and refurbishment would commence immediately. The Karratha office had already been established and was operating.
Mr Taylor said the budget allocation of $800,000 for the first year of operation of the commission had been before the Parliamentary Estimates Committee and been passed.
"Work is progressing well with a number of planned activities which will help small business in the region, including a 'meet the buyers' campaign planned for Karratha on November 14 and 'meet the suppliers' in Tom Price later that month.
"The commission is also playing an important role in the campaign to get relief from the effects of the fringe benefits tax.
"When in full operation, and with the legislation in place, the commission will provide the focal point for future development of the Pilbara," Mr Taylor said.