The Mid West Development Commission has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman today that Greater Geraldton is one of the four regional centres chosen to share in $7.5 million to develop a plan to guide economic growth.
MWDC Chair Murray Criddle said Geraldton’s strategic position between Perth and the growing cities in the North West, and its a symbiotic relationship with region’s hinterland, including inland SuperTown Morawa, made it a front runner.
“As we found in preparing our Mid West Regional Blueprint, there are a number of growth drivers for Geraldton, from its role in servicing and supporting the region’s economic activity, to its connection to external markets via its port, airport, rail and arterial road network, “ Mr Criddle said.
“Geraldton is already connected to the NBN and further investment and developments in telecommunications and broadband facilities could yield significant growth off the back of information and communications technology, with transformation already underway into a creative and innovative regional centre.
“The region’s unique biodiversity, renewable energy resources, aquaculture and geology could provide niche opportunities for investment in higher education and research and development.
“Water resources around Geraldton can support growth in agricultural and horticultural industries.
“Further investment in tourism will unlock unique tourism potential provided by Abrolhos, Kalbarri, biodiversity, geology, outback experiences, conservation areas,” Mr Criddle said.
The Regional Centres Development Plan will assist in addressing three important elements in attracting and retaining people and investment; Health, Education and the revitalisation of the Geraldton Central Business District.
“The creation of a growth plan will help to help leverage regional innovation through public-private collaboration and to ensure a strong and sustainable future for the Mid West,” Mr Criddle said.
“A focus on CBD Revitalisation is extremely important to reflect Geraldton’s position as a major regional centre, “Mr Criddle said.