Development in the Wheatbelt region will be boosted when the new Wheatbelt Development Commission is set up early in the New Year.
Wheatbelt Minister Tom Stephens said he would appoint the members of the inaugural board as soon as possible after the close of nominations on January 20.
"The State Government is determined to move quickly to establish the new development commissions, a key part of the 'Regional Advantage' strategy," he said.
"I am keen to see the Wheatbelt authority in place as soon as possible to enable it to start planning strategies to ensure the sustained development of the region."
Key issues for the Development Commission included -
· assessing the viability of more downstream processing industries, such as large-scale and boutique flour milling and food processing;
· investigating agro-forestry and commercial tree planting opportunities;
· assessing opportunities for more wool industry development; and -
· preparing a long-term land use and management strategy.
Mr Stephens said members of the board of the Development Commission would be appointed to reflect each community of interest in the region.
"Membership will be based on merit and competence, and members will need to be able to work co-operatively towards agreed goals across a wide range of social and economic issues," he said.
"I am looking forward to a close working relationship with the inaugural Board as it sets about its task of maximising the potential of the region to diversify its agricultural base and downstream processing industries."