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Building Better Regions: Great Southern

More than $850,000 will be invested in Great Southern community projects and events by the Federal Government, Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson announced today.


A total of six projects will receive support from the Community Investments Stream of the Building Better Regions Fund, with a $395,000 grant to the City of Albany heading the list.


Mr Wilson said the grant will support the delivery of Anzac Albany 18, a commemorative program marking the final year of the Centenary of Anzac in the city.


The program will recognise Albany’s historical significance and aim to cement the city’s legacy as an important homeland destination, in addition to promoting local monuments such as the National Anzac Centre.


Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the funding would allow a fitting commemorative and community program to mark the close of what has been a significant period in Albany and the nation’s history.


“The Federal Government has been a major supporter of Anzac Albany and we thank them for this latest contribution towards recognising and commemorating Albany’s strong connection to WWI,” Mayor Wellington said.


Not-for-profit group FORM will receive $280,000 for a PUBLIC Train and Silo project, an initiative to develop a cultural tourism trail to encourage higher visitation across the Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions.


Key parts of the project include the painting of a 54-carriage train, large-scale murals on four wheat silos, and the creation of three short films documenting the initiative.


A $74,000 grant has been allocated to South Coast Natural Resource Management Incorporated to develop a five-year strategy for preserving the environment on WA’s south coast.


The strategy will provide a framework for investment to support sustainable management of agricultural and conservation lands in the region.


Southern Edge Arts Incorporated will receive $57,376 for its RISK Youth Circus Project, which aims to offer mentorship to young Aboriginal people in the Great Southern through the development of a Noongar Circus Troupe, the first of its kind in WA.


The program will incorporate weekly circus skills workshops for youth at risk of disengagement with school and a 12-week public art project increasing emotional literacy around anger and family violence.


The Shire of Katanning has secured $20,000 for a Business Activation Programme incorporating training and promotional activities at the Katanning Hotel Unit Austral Terrace Katanning.

The programme will help to develop a clear direction for the town’s business community through activities including a strategic plan and a desktop review of the local business environment.


Finally, the South West Catchments Council will receive $26,000 to run three conferences for Talkin’ Soil Health 2018, one of which will be held in Katanning.


The event will educate up to 50 landholders to increase knowledge and skills for adopting innovative and sustainable agricultural practices.


Mr Wilson said the overall investment throughout the Great Southern was an excellent result for the region, given only one in three applications Australia-wide was successful.


“I’m really pleased we’re investing so heavily in the region, particularly because these projects are aimed at strengthening their respective communities,” he said.


“We’ve got some large-scale initiatives that will engage the community and deliver a boost to the local economy by increasing tourism opportunities and encouraging people to visit this part of the world.


“But some of the smaller projects will play an equally important role in improving the quality of life and sustainability of the region, and I think we’ll see some tangible social and economic benefits as a result.


“This programme is all about encouraging growth and development in regional communities and we’re investing in initiatives that will help to achieve that.”



I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.