April  2014 - E-Newsletter

Changing of the Guard at the GEDC

The appointment of Norman Baker as acting CEO of the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission has marked the beginning a new era for the Commission.  Mr Baker is well qualified for the position. He is a Senior Executive within the WA Public Sector.  Norman Baker and Laverton Shire CEO Steve Deckett

Norm has experience working in regional areas, including undertaking the Chief Executive Officer role of Managing Director, Pilbara Institute of Technology. With over 20 years of management and leadership experience, Mr Baker brings to the role a breadth of experience, having worked in both the public  and private sectors, including four years abroad in the United Arab Emirates. He holds a number of qualifications; two Masters degrees and is currently completing a Doctorate in Business at UWA.

Since his arrival in Kalgoorlie at the beginning of March, Norm has been busy travelling the region, from the Northern Goldfields to Esperance to meet with local government, business leaders, state and federal government agencies and community organisations.   He is particularly keen to ensure that the Goldfields-Esperance recently announced Revitalisation Initiative, funded through Royalties for Regions,  brings maximum  benefits to the region as a whole and cements the Goldfields-Esperance region as a  place where people want to come to work, live and stay. 

Over the Horizon - another great success

The 2014 Over the Horizon business and industry forum, held at the newly redeveloped Esperance Bay Yacht club, turned out to be another successful event with over 120 delegates attending.

A quality line up of speakers, across a broad range of industry sectors, provided a great insight into what is currently happening in the region and what may happen in the foreseeable future.

L-R - ECCI CEO Grant Shipp, Tourism Esperance Cindy Poole, Minister for Regional Development Hon. Terry Redman, GEDC CEO Norman Baker, ECCI Vice President Wayne Halliday.
Minister for Regional Development Hon Terry Redman delivered a powerful key note address and set a really positive tone for the forum. The Minister reinforced that the government was still very committed to the Royalties for Regions program and he outlined some key initiatives being rolled out including $300M for the "Seizing the Opportunity" agriculture initiative and the $96.8M Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund, with both programs having the potential to deliver  significant benefits across the region.

Other presentations included the Small Business Development Corporation,   the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia, Virgin Australia,  Tourism Western Australia, the Goldfields Institute of Technology,  the Shire of Esperance, the Department of Housing,  Esperance Port Sea and Land, Sirius Resources,  Macarthur Minerals, Yilgarn Iron  Producers Association,  Jack Segal Marketing Services and  the AEC Group.

Local Builders bring Esperance waterfront to life

The Esperance Waterfront development is well and truly making progress with significant new landmarks like the Tanker Jetty headland beginning to take shape! Car parks, pathways and retaining walls are near completion and the Shire hopes to re-open the Tanker Jetty to visitors upon completion. During April, landscaping works have included the installation of rain water tanks for irrigation and the planting of beds and laying of turf on the waterfront area. Group of Esperance Shire Councillors and representatives from the GEDC, ECCI and media tour the headland.  
GEDC representatives joined the Council for a guided tour of the Waterfront during April to view the extensive works and enjoy a briefing about the planned amenities including new solar heating and lighting initiatives and artwork that celebrates Esperance’s marine and cultural heritage. The Waterfront Project has benefitted from $15.6M in Royalties for Regions  funding, $12.6 from Supertowns and $3M from the Regional Grants Scheme Strategic Reserve and is utilising local contractors for the project helping to retain and up-skill local tradespersons and employees.
SuperTowns funding is also being used for an Economic Development Strategy and the Town Centre Revitalisation Masterplanning project. Both of these projects are closely linked to the Waterfront project and are also progressing well. Visit the Shire of Esperance website for regular updates on all of the Royalties for Regions SuperTowns funded projects in Esperance.

Regional Investment Blueprint and Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation

These  two GEDC major projects are on track, with the release of the first draft of the Regional Investment Blueprint (RIB)  and  the beginning of the prioritisation of major projects under the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation initiative.

The first draft of the RIB, which will  guide the strategic direction of the region’s future, was released in February for feedback by strategic stakeholders.  A second draft will be released for public  comment in May 2014 following the State Budget and the final document is expected to be completed by the end of June 2014.

The Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Initiative, a $186M commitment of Royalties for Regions for this region over the next four years  is attracting much interest. The GEDC has received a significant number of project summaries, which  have been added to the current GEDC master list . The Board is currently prioritising these  projects  to present to the  Advisory Group . The latter  will make a decision on  what projects will proceed to the next stage and require a business case.  Of the $186M, $89.2 M has already been committed to three key initiatives, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School ($45M), the Goldfields Arts Centre ($6.2M) and Great Eastern Highway overtaking lanes ($38M), leaving $96.8 for projects submitted by State and Local Government as well as non government organisations.

Community Profile

GEDC is pleased to now offer access to the Goldfields-Esperance Region Community Profile on its website, in addition to the comprehensive economic data contained in the Economic Profile.Community Profile logo

The Community Profile is also sourced from REMPLAN which uses the most up to date information available and includes population statistics, demographics, employment, education and housing figures for each Local Government area. These can be benchmarked against the whole region and the State.

Trip to the Lands

Following wide ranging consultation in the  Southern region and the Eastern Goldfields, the impetus for a Goldfields-Esperance Arts and Culture Trail has reached the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. GEDC senior staff Janice Kendall and Pip McCahon travelled to the Central desert region in late March and held workshops in Warburton, Warakurna and Wingellina to gauge the interest and support for the trail. Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan, MLA , who was also travelling in the region attended the Warburton workshop.

The region boasts many talented artists who have shown keen interest in the project. Many community members  recognize that such a trail will benefit the local economy and have expressed interest in working with tourists and visitors to enhance their experience, knowledge and understanding of the local  people and the land. They would like to showcase some aspects of their unique culture while ensuring  the land and sites are treated with respect.

Janice Kendall, Pip McCahon and Member for Kalgoorlie Wendy Duncan, MLA

The trail, which could ultimately extend over 2,320 km could be the longest in Australia and would extend from the South West (Ravensthorpe) to Warburton and include Hopetoun, Esperance, Norseman, Coolgardie, Kambalda, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies, Laverton and Leonora. It is proposed that the trail include art galleries, public art, museums, cultural and heritage sites, cultural events and creative groups. At this early stage, brochures, a website and phone apps have been singled out as indispensable tools for the trail.

“It is always a pleasure to travel in this remote area of our region, meet new people and reconnect with dedicated staff and community who are knowledgeable and passionate about this central desert region”,  Ms Kendall said,  "and we also encourage anyone interested in the project to have their say and participate in this online survey".

Draft Goldfields-Esperance Planning and Infrastructure Framework open for comment

The Department of Planning, under the guidance of the WA Planning PIF cover pageCommission,  is developing a regional planning and infrastructure framework for the Goldfields-Esperance region to provide a regional strategic context for land use planning. The WAPC is currently seeking comment on the draft document .

The public comment period is open until Thursday 5 June 2014. Submissions can be emailed to centralregions@planning.wa.gov.au or posted to the Project Manager, Goldfields-Esperance Regional Planning and Infrastructure Framework, Department of Planning, Locked bag 2506, Perth WA 6001.

SPOT Maps strategic initiative to update satellite imagery

The West Australian Land Information Service (WALIS) invites all State and Local Government agencies to submit expressions of interest to the SPOT Map capture, funded under the Royalties for Region initiative.Land capture flyer page

Many regions, including much of the Goldfields-Esperance region, are still accessing satellite imagery that is almost ten years old, last collected in 2005-06. While some areas can access high quality aerial photography, many areas cannot. Additionally aerial photography offers varying quality standards. Satellite imagery is consistent, comparable and can be collected across a far greater area.

Expressions of interest for SPOT Map capture should be lodged on the WALIS portal by Wednesday 30 April 2014.

For details on how to access the register, or for further information on the State Land Information Capture Program, including the SPOT Maps strategic initiative, contact the WALIS office at walis@walis.wa.gov.au