April 2016- E-Newsletter

Excellent response to GERGS AND GECCF Funding rounds

GEDC Janice Kendall reviewing RGS applications

The last day of the current funding round for the Royalties for Regions Goldfields-Esperance Regional Grants Scheme (GERGS) and Community Chest  fund (GECCF) saw a flurry of applications lodged at the GEDC Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Leonora offices.  The round opened on 11 February and closed on 17 March 2016. 

A total of twenty-two (22) applications were received for the GERGS, totalling over $4 million request funding for the available $1.54million. Forty (40) applications for the GECCF sought $1.13 million against the $556,000 available.

Manager of Policies and Projects, Janice Kendall, who coordinates the programs said she was delighted with the level of interest. She added that the funding was very competitive and that unfortunately not all applicants could succeed.  "We have received excellent applications" she said, "and the assessment process is now in full swing".

Futures Forum coming up soon


Renowned Demographer and Futurist Bernard Salt will be the keynote speaker at a "Futures Forum" to be held in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on May 3 & 4. The Forum, a key feature of the Regional Centres Development Plan,  is set to be a major event in helping to determine the future of the City.

 A free community event will be held in the evening of May 3, followed by a BBQ and the full day forum will be held on Wednesday May 4, 2016. The aim of these events is to ignite conversations and generate ideas for the future development of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. 

Kalgoorlie-Boulder was selected in June 2015 to be one of the first four (4) regional centres in WA to participate in Phase 2 of the Regional Centres Development Plan. The GEDC has been working with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, the Department of Regional Development, the Regional Development Council and Landcorp to deliver a Regional Centres Development Policy and a Growth Plan to guide an economic development strategy.

Outcomes from the Futures Forum will form a major contribution to the Growth Plan and it is important that local knowledge and ideas are actively sought.

Over one hundred people attend Blueprint Launch

An enthusiastic crowd of over one hundred people from all over the Goldfields-Esperance region gathered at the Hannans Club in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on March 9, 2016 to attend the official launch of the much awaited Goldfields-Esperance Regional Investment Blueprint and they were not disappointed. Minister Redman officiated at the launch and spoke passionately about the importance of regional development. 

GEDC Deputy Chair and Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor,John Bowler at launch
"The 2050 vision for the Goldfields-Esperance region is for exceptional lifestyle and opportunities and a prosperous diverse economy built upon the skills, natural resources and rich cultural heritage of the region", the Minister said, adding that  the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission was "at the forefront of a collaborative effort between all levels of government, business and the community to make this vision a reality."

He added the Blueprint was a plan for the region, by the region and that the level of ownership would be critical to driving better outcomes for the Goldfields-Esperance region and for the state of Western Australia. The Blueprint has identified regional priorities that would help guide the focus, effort and investment towards the region's 2050 vision.

The launch of the Blueprint coincided with the announcement of the opening of tranche 2 of the Royalties for Regions' Goldfields Revitalisation Fund.

GEDC on the road 

Kris Starcevich, Pip McCahon and Shane Liddelow in Leonora

Following the successful launch of the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Investment Blueprint (Blueprint) and of Tranche 2 of the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation (GER) Fund, by Minister Redman in March 2016, GEDC senior staff Shane Liddelow and Kris Starcevich have been on a regional road trip to meet with Local Government Authorities in the region and further discuss the Blueprint and the GER process. They made presentations to the Shires of Ravensthorpe, Dundas, Coolgardie, Menzies, Leonora, Laverton, Esperance and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, outlining key aspects of the Blueprint and how to access GER funding.

Tranche 2 of the GER fund is open until April 28, 2016. The Fund holds $46 million available for strategic projects that will help build a vibrant region with a strong economy and the GEDC has called for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from interested parties. Further information is available on the GEDC website.

Hopetoun Community Centre officially opened

The Hopetoun Community Centre, - first project funded under the Royalties for Regions Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund (GER) - was officially opened by Regional Development Minister, the Hon. Terry Redman on March 20. The GER Fund contributed $2.7 million to the $4.3 million Centre, which is co-located with Hopetoun's Community Resource Centre, the Hopetoun Progress Association and the Shire of Ravensthorpe's Hopetoun depot.

 Features of the Centre include a community hall with stage, integrated sound system, seating for 180 people, enlarged office space, a fully equipped commercial-grade kitchen, two meeting rooms, two spacious lounge areas and toilets. The project also included the renovation of the existing medical centre, Community Resource Centre and external facade and new rainwater tanks, reticulation and landscaping.

Esperance hosts "Over the Horizon" Forum

Chair of the Small Business Development Corporation, Kitty Prodonovich addresses the Forum

The annual "Over the Horizon" forum, held in Esperance on March 10, attracted over 120 people gathered to hear about future opportunities for the Esperance region. A partnership between the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission. the Forum is a good indicator of the pulse of the region.

Speakers represented a wide range of interest , ranging from agriculture, fishing, small business, the energy , transport and mining sectors, education,  health and tourism. They expanded on the many opportunities just "over the horizon".

Of particular interest to the audience was a presentation by Telstra's Boyd Brown, outlining the potential of the National Broadband Network in overcoming communications challenges and giving businesses unprecedented access to the global market.  The  announcement by Horizon Power that Esperance had been selected as testing ground for their newly developed  Stand Alone Power System, struck chord with the audience while the forthcoming resumption of operations at the Mt Catlin lithium mine by General Pining was well received.

Despite obvious challenges facing small business,  they are resilient and, as SEPWA's Nigel Metz pointed out,  the farming community is" leading the charge in testing new technologies and techniques"  to benefit the local economy. As summarized by Ausindusry Roban-Lynne Clarke, "Esperance is a hot bed of innovation" and the future is full of opportunities.

Norseman Men's Shed fully operational

A recent Goldfields-Esperance Community Chest Fund grant has made a positive difference to the life of some Norseman residents. The $19, 970 grant to the Norseman Men's Shed (NMSA) has enabled the purchase of machinery, equipment, tool and storage to assist its operations.

Coordinator, John Ackerman said the NMSA could now function as a Men's Shed for the Norseman community for the purpose of woodworking, metal work and men's health initiatives. "The NMSA had limited resources and equipment prior to receiving the grant and we are now able to operate effectively as a community resource with the support from the local Shire and the local community", he said.

More Playgroup kids to benefit from Community Chest Fund

Playgroup President Kate Ducrou, GEDC Chair Tony Crook and Committee Members at official opening

A new state-of the-art playground was recently officially opened at Kalgoorlie Central Playgroup. Funding from the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission Community Chest and from the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, together with $35,000 raised by the playgroup contributed to the $103,000 revamp of the playground.

Group President Kate Ducrou said the aim of the project was to produce an area visually appealing to children, bright and inviting with many play opportunities. "The main priority", she said, "was safety, as well as ensuring the area was wheelchair accessible in order to service a wider range of children with disabilities". The playground now boasts slides, climbing walls and giant puzzles on a rubber soft fall surface. Ramps make the area accessible for toddlers and children with disabilities.

New Look for Ray Finlayson Sports Centre

The Ray Finlayson Sporting Centre (RFSC) landscape has undergone a massive change in the past few weeks and the spectacle of a large crane erecting the pavillion and new squash centre structures tilt panels made interesting viewing. 

The construction of the first level floor and the sewer and storm water infrastructure have commenced.  Practical completion and handover of the Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex is expected in October 2016.

The construction of the pavilion and associated structures was made possible thanks to a $6 million contribution from the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund.

Northern Goldfields Regional Office and Accommodation Centre Update

Wendy Duncan, MLA with builder Bob Majstrovich, GEDC Pip McCahon and Shire of Menzies President Peter Craig

The construction of the $7.2 million Northern Goldfields Regional Office and Accommodation Centre is proceeding well, with internal frames and roofing structure now in place.  

The project, one of the first two  to receive funding from the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund  in 2014 with a contribution of $4.62 million, is scheduled to be completed by 31 December 2016. 

During a recent visit to Leonora, Member for Kalgoorlie Wendy Duncan, MLA, met with meeting with Shire President Peter Craig and CEO, Jim Epis and community members and inspected the building.  

“It was so exciting to actually walk through the building and see how it the spaces are going to work. The innovation of the design, such as making the wide central corridor an art gallery is brilliant and I am looking forward to seeing it completed later in the year.  It will bring a new era for Leonora and the Northern Goldfields.” she said.