State’s $8.5m to aid City growth strategy
An $8.5 million State Government investment in the region will support the City of Busselton in implementing its recently adopted first-of-its-kind Economic Development Strategy.
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam surprised City officers and councillors on Wednesday morning, announcing Busselton as one of five local governments successful in stage two of the Regional Centres Development Plan.
During the announcement, Mrs Mettam said it was an opportunity for the City to take its growth “to the next level”.
“This is … the fastest growing region in WA (and) the eighth-fastest in Australia, so I think this is a fantastic development,” she said.
The program draws on Royalties for Regions funding and is aimed at driving economic development and growth in regional areas.
Albany, Carnarvon, Mandurah and Kununurra were also announced as funding recipients.
Busselton Mayor Grant Henley welcomed the announcement and praised the work of the City’s economic development co-ordinator Jon Berry in forming the economic strategy, which underpinned the funding application.
The City adopted the four-year strategy, aimed at guiding the City of Busselton’s economic future, in early November.
It is the City’s first formal economic strategy and will be reviewed every two years.
Mr Berry told the Times the State Government investment had given the strategy a “leg up”, and hoped it could be leveraged for further funding or investment.
“I like to think of economic development in terms of what we can do from the ground up, rather than things imposed from above,” he said.
“It’s really what we make of it from a local level, so this is fantastic for Busselton and Dunsborough and the whole district.”
Mr Berry said the funding would allow the City to explore economic opportunities set out in the strategy.
“This could be through marketing materials online, attracting investment, industry development … like agri-business or tourism for example,” he said.
The strategy is also aligned with the South West Regional Blueprint, which outlines a broader regional plan.
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