July 2014 - E-Newsletter

Leonora and Hopetoun first cabs off the rank for Goldfields Revitalisation Funding

The towns of Hopetoun and Leonora are the first Goldfields-Esperance towns to benefit from the $186M Royalties for Regions Goldfields Revitalisation Fund. A $7.2M project to build a Regional Office and Administration Centre in Leonora will go ahead following approval of $4.62M funding while the Shire of Ravensthorpe will receive $2M towards the construction of a $4.5M new Community Centre at Hopetoun scheduled to open in 2016. 
Architect's drawing of the Northern Goldfields Regional Office and Administration Centre
"The Leonora project will benefit the whole Northern Goldfields Community" Chairman of GEDC, Jon Price, said. "In the past delivery of services to the region has been hampered by lack of suitable office accommodation. The proposed development, auspiced by the Shire of Leonora,  will provide a co-located, fully supported office space for a range of locally based and visiting government, non government and non profit service providers who deliver health and social services in the Northern Goldfields region. The centre, geographically located in Leonora,  will also benefit the communities of Leinster, Laverton, Menzies and Wiluna.

The Hopetoun Community Centre will provide for a wide range of community activities and also house the Community Resource Centre which provides a town library,  visitors' centre and links to Centrelink, Medicare and employment services.

Esperance development going in leaps and bounds

The recent regional sitting of State Cabinet in Esperance could be described as the “cherry on the cake” for the local community who had  the opportunity to meet with Ministers and saw Premier Colin Barnett officially open the James Street Precinct stage  of the Waterfront Project. The past couple of years have seen a multitude of new initiatives and projects which are transforming the town; from the selection of Esperance as a SuperTown, which generated major strategic  planning documents, to the completion of the Port Access corridor, not to mention tangible progress in the development of the Port, the Health Campus and a facelift for the Foreshore.

A couple of months ago  Yilgarn Esperance Solutions (YES) Limited were chosen to design, build and operate the new Esperance Port Multi User Iron Ore Facility proposed for the port, which will result in doubling the port’s iron ore export capacity from about 11 million to 20 million tons per annum. Tenders were also called for the  Esperance Health Campus redevelopment. Construction is expected to start mid-year and will involve extensive site works and upgrades to the access road and essential services before starting on a new front entrance and Emergency Department. 
New look foreshore with Whale Tail sculpture
The James Street Precinct is a key area on the Waterfront, providing easy beach access close to the town centre. It features picnic shelters, a shade shelter, seating with ocean views, landscaped lawns and flowerbeds, beach access and Esperance’s newest and magnificent piece of public art, the Whale Tail sculpture, designed and constructed by local artists.  Work is continuing on the project with expected completion in September 2014. 

Royalties for Region has been a prime catalyst for these developments, providing $15.6M to the $23.8M Waterfront project and  $18.8M to the 31.3M Health Campus redevelopment.

Goldfields Esperance Businesses urged to get involved

Goldfields-Esperance business owners and managers are strongly encouraged to share their views on doing business in regional Western Australia by participating in the Business in the Regions 2014 Survey. The survey seeks to identify the characteristics and experiences of regional businesses and ask them  to reflect on their quality of life, the advantages and disadvantages associated with running a regional business and their plans and intentions.

The results of the current "Business in the Regions 2014 Survey", open to all regional businesses in Western Australia until 31st July 2014,  will be a major tool to inform funding decisions for the State Government Royalties for Region Program.

This is the first Business in the Regions survey and the Department of Regional Development aims to conduct it every three years. All businesses located in regional Western Australia are eligible to partaicipate in  the survey, which will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. 

The survey is available on line on  and will remain open until 31 July 2014.

Lucky Day in Laverton with Agency Expo

Memorable Friday the 13th  June was a good day for the inaugural Laverton Agency Expo. The event was held to promote

Jane Waterton (Hope Community Services), Dave Pau (GETS), Pip McCahon and Sarah Fletcher (GEDC), Chris Boase (Anglo Gold) Georgina AShwin Bonney (GETS)

 the services available across the district. Community and agencies met an exchanged ideas on how to help one another to service and to care for the community.

Police, Workforce Development, SMYL, Hope/Drug Arm, CCI Apprenticeship Solutions, Laverton Leonora Cross Cultural Association, the Goldfields Education Region Education Department, Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission, Goldfields Education Mining Industry Alliance (GEMIA) Inc., and the Laverton Shire participated with information stalls and activities.

In addition to community members, students from Laverton, Cosmo Newberry, Mount Margaret and Menzies learnt about the work of the agencies and participated in activities.

Recent Employers' Breakfast a success

Encouraging employers to consider a workplace student, trainee or apprentice was the aim of the Employers Breakfast held June 20, at the Overland Hotel, Kalgoorlie. Around seventy  employers, educators and community who attended the breakfast gained valuable information from discussions, literature, and presentations that showcased the pathways and benefits of training and developing apprentices and school based trainees in the Goldfields. Invitation to Employer's breakfast
From next year,  vocational education at secondary school gains a greater importance with changes that require a student to achieve an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or a minimum Certificate II in training programs in order to graduate in 2016. The role of employers in providing workplace experience, offering school based traineeships, and other workplace involvement to students will be even more critical to student achievement and ultimately to building a strong regionally based future workforce.
Participation in vocational employment and training is significant in the Goldfields-Esperance Region. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics available on the GEDC website show that over half the population in both Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Esperance, and the combined Goldfields-Esperance region held a vocational  Certificate  or Diploma as their highest level of education in the 2011 Census.  

 With strong response from ‘new to student’ businesses indicating an interest in further information, the Employer Breakfast is expected to be an annual event held not only in Kalgoorlie-Boulder but around the region.

Regional Arts Summit preparations in full swing

Preparations are well in train for the forthcoming Regional Arts Australia Summit to be held in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on 16-19 October 2014. Part Conference, part Festival, the Regional Arts Australia Summit is an eighteen year long story, happening every two years in regional host towns. The Summit is expected to attract up to 700 delegates to the Goldfields from Western Australia, interstate and overseas. arts on the edge poster

Keynote speakers at the October event include Brian Ritchie, curator of Mona Foma, Lindy Hume, artistic director at Opera Queensland, Genevieve Grieves, lead curator of Bunjilaka, and the founders of Papermoon and Cemeti Arthouse from Indonesia. 

Outstanding performances, strategic leadership discussions and master classes have been organised by Artistic Director Ben Fox who will present innovative theatre, dance, music, visual arts, writing, film and digital media with a focus on fresh ideas and best practice.
The program highlights and registration were launched on 2 May and for the first time the event was a national event, live streamed over the net, broadcast from Kalgoorlie-Boulder and was followed by many hundreds of people around Australia.

Registrations are now open on  http://www.raasummit.com.au/early-bird-registrations/

Ageing in the Bush

Goldfields-Esperance aged care practitioners and providers had the opportunity to participate in state wide ranging consultation held in June as part of the Ageing in the Bush project. 

The project is a collaborative initiative let by the Regional Development Council, with involvement from the Department of Regional Development, WA Country Health Service and all nine Development Commissions in the State. It aims to develop a holistic regional solution to assist ageing residents to remain in their communities for as long as possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        older couple on foreshore
During their visit to the Goldfields, the consultants conducted a workshop in Kalgoorlie, with video link to Esperance, held private meetings with stakeholders and made on site visits gathering useful information to compile an accurate profile of the current situation regarding aged care in the region. 

The project is state-wide and it is expected that the final report will provide:

  • a description of the key whole of State regional issues, impediments and opportunities for ageing in the community
  • a region by region overview of aged care services, infrastructure and governance models
  • identification of possible models for regional WA and
  • an Action Plan that identifies strategies to address the major whole of state isues and impediments to ageing in the bush.

Arts and Culture trail a step closer

Planning for an Arts and Culture Trail for the Goldfields-Esperance region has moved one  step 
forward with the selection of a consultant to prepare a comprehensive project plan. 
Scaddan Pioneer Park murals
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 in the North-East and include Hopetoun, Esperance, Norseman, Coolgardie, Kambalda, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies, Laverton, Leonora and small communities in between.

It is proposed that the trail include art galleries, public art, museums, cultural and heritage sites, cultural events, arts and creative groups. The aim would be to raise awareness of what currently exists, attract new visitors to the region and encourage existing visitors to extend their stay thus providing good economic outcomes for the region. At this early stage, brochures, a website and phone apps have been put forward as indispensable tools for the trail.

The consultant will be travelling in the region in the coming weeks, seeking input from the local community and deliver  a project plan before the end of the year.

GEDC CEO steps down

Norman Baker, who was appointed Acting CEO of the GEDC by the Public Sector Commissioner at the end of February, announced two weeks ago that, for personal reasons, he was unable to continue in his position. Mr Baker was originally appointed to the position until a permanent CEO was recruited. The current freeze on recruitment in the Public Service delayed the process and unfortunately Mr Baker is unable to continue until a permanent CEO has been selected.
During his short term as Acting CEO Mr Baker proved himself an excellent leader for the organisation. He will be missed by Board and staff and his departure is a loss to the GEDC and the region.

Manager of Policy and Projects, Janice Kendall will be acting in the position until an Acting CEO is appointed.