The State Government has announced the establishment of a Peel Development Commission with a wide-ranging brief to promote economic and social development in the region.
Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Ian Taylor said today in Mandurah the new commission was a major part of the Government's plans for Statewide regional development announced today by Premier Carmen Lawrence.
"The State Government will provide $60 million over five years for regional development initiatives throughout the State, with the PDC being allocated $4.5 million," Mr Taylor said.
"The commission board will be comprised of competent and skilled local people and expressions of interest for positions will be taken over the next three months."
Mr Taylor said the PDC would be assisted by advisory committees based on specific areas of interest.
The PDC office would be staffed by SWDA officers and secondments from existing agencies and all would have to be strongly motivated and skilled so the goals which had been set for the region could be achieved.
Those goals included developing regional tourism and recreation strategies; finalising a detailed coastal plan for Mandurah; participating in planning for the Fremantle to Mandurah passenger railway; encouraging development of the Mandurah marina; developing a regional recycling and waste disposal strategy; and co-ordinating regional planning for the Peel College of TAFE.
"There are also a number of exciting major initiatives planned for the area including the development of a cultural precinct in the old CBD and the eastern foreshore area of Mandurah, the creation of a regional wildlife park and turning the Waroona and surrounding dams into a major recreation site," Mr Taylor said.
The Deputy Premier said the Peel region was one of the most rapidly developing regions outside the metropolitan area with its population expected to reach more than 70,000 by the end of the decade.
"One of its major future growth areas is tourism. With more than one million people on its doorstep, the region's tourism potential has barely been tapped," Mr Taylor said.
"The PDC will play a significant role in the creation of marketing strategies to be implemented to access the domestic, interstate and international tourism markets to Western Australia and ensure that a percentage of the market share goes to the Peel region," he said.
"But the most important implication of today's announcement by the Government is that the people of Peel now have their own development commission, under the control of a local board, which will give them a direct input into the development of their region."