SWDC win boon for region

ADAM ORLANDOBunbury Herald

The Bunbury-based South West Development Commission will retain its individual statutory authority status after a belated review of the State’s nine Regional Development Commissions by the Barnett Government.

Picture: Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls last week said the RDCs would be streamlined to provide greater focus on developing regional investment and would work closely with the WA Planning Commission to produce detailed blueprints to identify service gaps and investment opportunities.

Mr Grylls said the RDC (council), comprising the chairs of the nine RDCs, would also continue to play a critical role and be given a dedicated executive support team within the Department of Regional Development and Lands.

He said the State Government also proposed to adopt the review’s recommendation to appoint an independent executive chair to head up the council, which would have a renewed State-wide focus on setting strategic directions, policy prioritisation and strategies common to all RDCs.

Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industries chief executive officer Andrew Horan said it was encouraging the State Government took heed to submissions by regional stakeholders.

``It’s a fantastic outcome for the regions, it’s a fantastic outcome for the South West and the South West Development Commission, but it does also show that the State Government is willing to listen and pay attention when the regions advocate in a certain way,’’ Mr Horan told the Bunbury Herald.

``It means across the State the regions can develop with their communities and with the other stakeholder organisations, including other State Government agencies, and they can develop the blueprints for where the regions are going to go based on what the best outcomes are across the State.

``Those plans can then be implemented at a local level because the development commission will maintain their statutory authority status.’’

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