December 2015- E-Newsletter

The Year that was ...with Shayne Flanagan

This time of the year always provides an ideal time to reflect on the twelve months that have come and gone. 2015 has certainly been a productive year for the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, with effort focused on consolidating and developing the Commission’s organisational capacity, resetting our Region’s Blueprint, refining the “investment pipeline” through the various Royalties for Regions funding programs we administer, as well as rebuilding our relationships with key regional stakeholders.

The revised draft of the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Investment Blueprint, completed in June 2015, was released for public comment and in excess of 39 submissions were received. They were reviewed by the GEDC Board at their December meeting and staff are now refining the document, based on the feedback. The GEDC expects the Blueprint to be finalised early in the New Year and submitted to the Minister for final approval in March 2016.

The Commission has finalised assessments of business cases for priority projects submitted under the Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund. In addition to the two projects approved this year, (Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex - $6 million, and Golden Mile Loopline Railway - $3.7 million), another five projects have moved to the final approval stage. A new tranche of funding is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder was selected in June 2015 to be one of the first four regional towns in WA to participate in the Regional Centres Development Plan - Phase 2, and 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 strategic economic development in alignment with the Region’s Blueprint.
It has been a busy year and our staff has been working very hard to meet the challenges. Keeping pace with growth, generating jobs and ensuring the appropriate community and industry infrastructure is in place will remain challenges for us in the future.

On behalf of all of us at the GEDC, I would like to wish all of you the Compliments of the Season and look forward to another productive year in 2016.

Kathleen Day Playgroup revamped Kalgoorlie Mayor, John Bowler, Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan and GEDC Senior Project Officer,Michele Campbell with some of the Kathleen Day Playgroup children


The completion of upgrades to the Kathleen Day Playgroup was a joyous occasion for many young children and their parents who attended a thank you barbeque organised to thank all those who made these major improvements come to fruition. 

The Play, Grow, Develop revitalisation project received funds from the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Lotterywest and the Royalties for Regions Community Chest Fund,  managed by the GEDC,  for renovations which included a new kitchen, floor coverings, new toys and equipment, a toy shed and shade for the outdoor seating area.

Project Manager, Kate Mills thanked all funding bodies and praised the local trades people and volunteers whose contribution was invaluable to the project. She said that about 95 families use the playgroup on a weekly basis, ranging from babies to kindergarten aged children. The official launch of the signage for the project was attended by Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor, John Bowler, the Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan MLA and GEDC Senior Project Officer, Michele Campbell.

Yarning space makes young people welcome 

The official launch of a "Yarning space" in November celebrated the completion of upgrades to the Hope Community Services building, housing the Headspace program, which will enhance and promote the mental health well-being and social inclusion of young people in the  Kalgoorlie region.  
                                                                                            From left to right, artist Dawn Ranger, Wendy Duncan, MLA, Debra Zanella, CEO of Hope Community Services with Dawn's granddaugher Janella Beck
Headspace Kalgoorlie, which has been running for less than a year, is a program led by Hope Community Services and assisted by key organisations experienced in the delivery of mental health, primary health, social welfare and vocational services for young people.  

Chair of Headspace, Member for Kalgoorlie Wendy Duncan said it was "imperative to provide culturally appropriate areas for youth to discuss issues of concern". She added that Headspace was proving to be "invaluable to young people of all backgrounds, providing a non-judgmental and safe place for them to find out about bullying, family planning, teen pregnancy, mental health issues and drug and alcohol support". She added that the next phase of the campaign would look more specifically at "issues commonly faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait young people, such as stress and pressure, family and relationships, racism, drugs and alcohol"

The yarning space was built with a  $33,255 grant from the Royalties for Regions Regional Grants Scheme., 

"Destination WA" features Goldfields region

The attraction of the Goldfields as a tourist destination was boosted last month when "Absolute Gold Special" featured on the popular TV program, Destination WA., screened on Sundays on Channel 9. The production of this episode started in mid- 2015 when a film crew travelled through the Goldfields to film stories about the region.
    Chair of GTNA Mandy Reidy and Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan
"Absolute Gold Special" features eight three minute clips  including An American President and his gold  ,filmed in Gwalia, Outback Gateway and Australian Explorers  in Laverton, Edge of the Desert” – Gateway to the Canning Stock Route and Gunbarrel Highway  in Wiluna, Ghost Towns and the International Installation - Inside Australia  , in Menzies. A Step Back in Time where the Goldrush started   features Coolgardie while The Tale of Two Cities and the ever elusive Nugget  was filmed in Kalgoorlie-Boulder as were clips about The Beaten Track Brewery and Recreation Hotel.

Absolute Gold Special was telecast on 13 November and a large local audience viewed the episode at a special function in Kalgoorlie. A $20,000 Royalties for Regions Community Chest Fund grant to the Golden Tourism Network Association contributed to the completion of this project, which will be an invaluable asset in the promotion of tourism in the region. 

Flicks at the Beach now a fundraising option

Esperance groups now have the opportunity to hire a large cinema system able to be used in or outdoors at various locations.  Funded by Royalties for Regions Community Chest Fund (CCF), the 9m x 5m inflatable screen and projection equipment are available from Festival of the Wind (FOTW).  
                                                                                                 Tim Currie, Shire of Esperance, Katie Witt, FOTW, Kris Starcevich, GEDC, Lachlan Burn, Big Screen Productions, Kate Rowe, FOTW, Caitlin Jackson FOTW
Purchased last August, the equipment was successfully put to the test during the Festival of the Wind Festival in October and will be used for Flickerfest.  FTOW, currently the only organisation in the Esperance area to offer screenings that would not be shown in mainstream cinemas, has a long term goal to expand film screenings throughout the year.

The equipment is also available to the general public.  "Any interested groups are welcome to hire the equipment", said Katie Will, Secretary of the Festival of the Wind Committee. "it is perfect for schools or community groups for fundraising, and the options are numerous from drive-in to movies on the beach or the farm".

Festival of the Wind received a grant of $15,000 towards the project.

Community Chest Fund supports dance projects

A dance classes initiative in Hopetoun and a contemporary dance performance in Kalgoorlie-Boulder were completed successfully this year with assistance from the Community Chest Fund.

The Hopetoun Dance Group, formed as a sub-group of the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, has just finished its first From left to right Layla Kemp (5 years), Winter Hillier (3 years) and Isla Hillier (4 years) from the Jazz Ballet class. (Photo courtesy of Dene Bingham Photography) year of dance classes. It was an amazing year with over 150 children enrolling in disciplines such as Jazz Ballet, Hip Hop and Acrobatics. On Monday 14 December the Group held its first end of year concert at the new Community Centre and 45 children performed routines in front of over 100 family members and supporters. "The performance was a triumph for all the students, as most have never performed on stage", said Kristin Lanham, one of the Group's coordinators, "the excitement back stage and the smiles on the children's faces was magic and a true indicator of how much the children love what the Hopetoun Dance Group brings to the community."

The Hopetoun Dance Group is a not for profit organisation and the R4R Community Chest Grant assisted with travel and accommodation costs for the teacher. Without this assistance and that of other sponsors such as the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, First  Quantum Minerals, Hopetoun Primary School, School of Bop and Little Barrens Early Learning Centre, bringing dance to Hopetoun would not have been possible, according to Beck Hillier, second main coordinator for the project.    
Commissioned by Ausdance WA, the performance of Silent Volumes at the Goldfields Arts Centre in November, attracted an enthusiastic audience. A part of the Future Landings program, which supports and produces contemporary dance in regional communities, Silent Volumes was described by dance artist and choreographer Paare Randall as an inspiring journey centred on the "discovery, exploration and unearthing of the sounds of the land and people."

The project was split into two phases, research and develop and production. The Community Chest funding assisted with the production.

What's down the track

Close to 300 people attended the " What's Down the Track Forum", which was held at the new Goldfields Institute of GEDC Chair Tony Crook and CEO Shayne Flanagan at the Forum Technology Convention Centre in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, at the end of October. The forum is a joint venture between the Chamber of Minerals & Energy of WA and the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce & Industry with the support of the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission.

Thirty short briefings by business, industry and goverment leaders gave delegates first hand information on the changes happening in the wider Goldfields region. The  mining and resources industry was well represented as were the energy, communication,  transport and services sectors. For the first time the Forum featured an exhibition space with 21 booths, giving an opportunity for delegates to find out about various products and services available in the region.

Big trucks down the street for St Barbara Parade

Residents of Kalgoorlie-Boulder continued to show their support for the St Barbara Festival last week. The traditional evening candle light ceremony to remember miners who lost their lives in the mines was well attended and a solid crowd of a few thousand people assembled in Hannan Street to watch the traditional parade of large mining vehicles and community floats.Road train down Hannan Street

While a fierce storm the previous day prevented the large 793 Haul truck to participate in the festivities, many large pieces of machinery such as the smaller 777 haul truck,  a 992 wheel loader, underground truck, water cart, road train, drilling rig and many more paraded down the street to the cheers of residents and visitors alike.

Named after the patron saint of miners, St Barbara, the Festival was established 16 years ago and remains one of the highlights of the Goldfields events calendar.

Regional Office and Administration Centre in Leonora is on target

Shire CEO, Mr. Jim Epis, expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the $7.2 million project so far, whilst acknowledging that the completion of the building is now estimated to be the end of August 2016.Construction site

It was originally planned that the roof would be on the building by Christmas, but that goal cannot be met. ‘We did have a couple of weeks delay with preparing and actioning the Tender process, which of course impacted on the commencement date for construction’ Mr. Epis said.

Mr. Epis took the opportunity to acknowledge, on behalf of the Northern Goldfields region, the  significant funding support allocated to this project through Royalties for Regions Goldfields-Esperance Revitalisation Fund, Lotterywest, Community Resource Centre funding and the GEDC. The Shire of Leonora has also made a substantial investment in the Project.
“We look forward to this project enabling significant improvements to vital health and social service delivery into the Northern Goldfields region, as well as enhancing many community activities and opportunities within our town’, Mr. Epis declared.

Save date for  Over the Horizon 2016

The Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be holding its 8th annual business and industry forum Over the Horizon, on Thursday 10 March 2016.OTH Logo

This forum is designed to promote what is happening in Esperance and the South East region to businesses, members of the public and potential investors – amongst other key stakeholders. Over the Horizon is the only event of its calibre held within the Esperance region. Along with GEDC, other sponsors have already been confirmed, and speakers are lined up to deliver another high quality, informative and relevant event in 2016.
For more information please contact the Esperance Chamber of Commerce: