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The Western Australian Regional Development Trust (the Trust) visited the Pilbara on Friday to experience first-hand the impacts of Royalties for Regions investments and understand local government and community priorities.
Chair of the Trust, Tim Shanahan, said such visits provided an essential insight into the contribution regional development was making towards securing the future of WA, promoting both economic and community development.
Commencing at the new Dampier Community Hub, the Trust heard details on the usage and impact the new facility has had on the community since opening less than 12 months ago.
Pilbara Development Commission Chair Chris Gilmour said the visit was a timely opportunity to revisit previous investments under the Royalties for Regions program.
“The Dampier Community Hub is a great example of the impact that Royalties for Regions investments have had on the everyday lives of people living and working in the Pilbara,” Mr Gilmour said.
Since opening its doors in July 2016, library membership has increased by 44 per cent; previously where there were only 17 child care places available locally, there are now 57 long day care and 22 out of school care placements filled; and the hire facilities have had a strong up-take with more than 400 casual hire hours and 500 permanent hire hours clocked up in nine months.
Additionally, Dampier once again has a permanent, locally-based doctor who has already had 1,320 patient visits since the facility opened.
“These are positive early indicators of the investment outcomes and show that the Dampier community has really embraced this new facility,” Mr Gilmour said.
The group also took the opportunity to tour partially completed Red Earth Arts Precinct and the completed State Government co-location fit-out at The Quarter HQ. They also attended presentations about the Karratha Enterprise Hub, plans for activating tourism in Murujuga National Park, and the proposed Dampier Marina project.
Project partnerships were flagged as key to the success of future investments.
“Our partnerships with local and federal Government, industry and the community to leverage our investments ensure the best possible outcome for the community,” Mr Gilmour said.
“For every $1.00 in Pilbara Cities expenditure, $1.50 of investment has been delivered.”
The visit was part of the Trust’s role as an independent advisory body to the Minister for Regional Development on the allocation of Royalties for Regions funding.