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Round two RED Grants now open

11 Jul 2019 4:48 PM - Applications for round two of the Regional Economic Development Grants program now open

The State Government is continuing its investment in community-driven projects to create jobs and boost economic growth across regional Western Australia, today opening round two of the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program. 

The State Government has committed $28.8 million over five years towards the RED Grants program for projects that will directly benefit regional communities. 

Round one investment totalled $6.38 million in 70 projects for initiatives including tourism expansion, Aboriginal training, new industry development and agricultural diversification. 

 Up to $250,000 is available for individual projects that promote sustainable jobs, partnerships, productivity, skills and capability, as well as stimulate new investment in industry diversification.

Applications for round two are now open and close on September 13, 2019. 

More information about the program, including guidelines and application details are available via the RED Grants page.

Full media statement: Round two RED Grants now open

Premier officially opens Iluka Resources’ Cataby mine

21 Jun 2019 3:03 PM - The project, worth approximately $270 million, will sustain around 600 ongoing jobs across three Iluka sites during the 13-year life of the mine including 150 in Geraldton
Premier Mark McGowan officially opens Iluka's Cataby mine

Premier Mark McGowan today officially opened Iluka Resources' Cataby mine in the Shire of Dandaragan.

The project, worth approximately $270 million, created 600 jobs during its construction phase and will sustain around 600 ongoing jobs across three Iluka sites during the 13-year life of the mine.

This includes 240 jobs at Cataby, 200 in Capel and 150 in Geraldton.Western Australia is the mineral processing hub of Iluka's Australian operations.

Overall, Iluka's mining, processing, rehabilitation and corporate activities employ approximately 800 WA workers.

Iluka expects average annual production from Cataby to be 200,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile (from 370,000 tonnes of ilmenite), 50,000 tonnes of zircon and 30,000 tonnes of rutile.

Synthetic rutile is an upgraded ilmenite product with increased titanium dioxide content.

Through its processing facilities at Capel, Iluka has the capacity to produce around 320,000 tonnes of synthetic rutile per annum.

The company's Narngulu mineral separation plant at Geraldton processes heavy mineral concentrate from Cataby and South Australia to produce rutile and zircon.

These mineral sands products are used in a range of industrial and household applications, including pigment, ceramics, titanium metal, water and air purification systems and fibre optics.

Full media statement: Premier officially opens Iluka Resources’ Cataby mine

Wiluna-Meekatharra Road upgrade to support local jobs

16 May 2019 4:37 PM - Pilot project to seal 4km from Wiluna to connect to an existing sealed section

A $1 million allocation will kick-start a pilot project that could evolve into a rolling program to seal the entirety of Wiluna-Meekatharra Road while creating ongoing work for locals.

The Wiluna-Meekatharra Road provides an important east-west transport link between the Northern Goldfields and the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions.

The initial allocation of $1 million would help seal the first four kilometres between the Wiluna town site and an existing 10 kilometre asphalted section of the road.

If successful, the stakeholders would investigate the viability of creating a rolling program to seal further sections of the road.

Currently, 125km out of 180km of road between the towns of Wiluna and Meekatharra remains unsealed.

MWDC Chair Todd West said the Commission has had a longstanding priority to upgrading the ‘Goldfields Highway’.

“Sealing the highway will provide better freight efficiency advantages, safer passing opportunities and reduce road closures at floodways following rainfall,” he said.

“The Goldfields Highway is the last remaining unsealed section of the State Highway network, so this pilot is integral to kick-starting an important piece of infrastructure for the region.”

Full media statement: Wiluna-Meekatharra Road upgrade to support local jobs

State Budget delivers increased funding for national parks and reserves

30 Apr 2019 4:32 PM - $10 million will be invested over the next two years to establish visitor operations and infrastructure at the proposed Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park

The State Government is investing $10 million over the next two years to establish visitor operations and infrastructure at the proposed Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park.

This will include the creation of jetties, installation of signage and paths, and the expansion and upgrades to the airstrip.

A further $3.8 million will be spread over the four-year budget period for the ongoing management of the islands.

Known for its rich biodiversity and historic shipwrecks, the Abrolhos Islands and their surrounding coral reef communities form one of the world's most important seabird nesting areas.

It is also WA’s single largest western rock lobster fishery.

MWDC Chair Todd West said tourism infrastructure to support the development of the Abrolhos Islands has been a longstanding regional priority in the Commission’s tourism development strategy.

“We have seen fantastic growth in international visitation and a trend towards exploring our unique natural environment,” Mr West said.

“Easy access to the Abrolhos Islands represents a huge drawcard with a diverse range of experiences on offer.”

Full media statement: State Budget delivers increased funding for national parks and reserves

$7 million to boost growth of the Mid-West aquaculture industry

17 Apr 2019 4:29 PM - $7 million commitment to build and operate a state-of-the-art marine finfish nursery in Geraldton
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly yesterday announced the State Government has committed $7 million over the next three years to help fast-track the growth of the Mid West aquaculture industry and create thousands of regional jobs in Western Australia.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will oversee the construction of a state-of-the-art marine finfish nursery facility at the Batavia Coast Maritime Institute in Geraldton to breed yellowtail kingfish.

The juvenile kingfish will be supplied to existing and new commercial operators within the Mid West Aquaculture Development Zone to grow in open water farms using sea cages.

This initiative will help kick-start the industry to achieve its growth potential, create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and attract future capital investment.

Full media statement: $7 million to boost growth of the Mid-West aquaculture industry

Mid-West projects to receive more than $750,000 in grant funding

16 Apr 2019 4:21 PM - Eight Mid-West projects to receive more than $750,000 in Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants
RED Grants Round 1 recipients

More than $750,000 in grant funding for the Mid West region was announced today through the State Government's Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program.

The projects receiving funding will help to drive new tourism experiences and agricultural opportunities.

Among the recipients are Abrolhos Island Oysters and Australian Pearling Company, who will receive $250,000 to assist with water and nutrient monitoring at the Abrolhos Islands site in order to obtain accreditation and classification as a harvest area for human consumption.

Rock oyster aquaculture is new in WA and this project provides the opportunity to explore potential growth and share learnings with other growers to help build the industry.

Dongara-based distillery Illegal Tender Run Co will receive a grant of $137,000 to expand operations and help make Dongara a food and beverage tourism destination.

The company aims to more than double its production, increase venue capacity and provide local employment opportunities. The distillery will also explore future opportunities to develop ‘ready to drink’ products for China.

Full media statement: Mid-West projects to receive more than $750,000 in grant funding

New Geraldton Jobs and Skills Centre to boost opportunities for Mid-West region

26 Feb 2019 4:11 PM - New Jobs and Skills Centre will offer free training information and career development services
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery

Central Regional TAFE's Geraldton Jobs and Skills Centre was officially launched by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery yesterday. MWDC was represented at the launch by CEO, Gavin Treasure.

The Geraldton JSC is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, students and career changers, supporting the employment and workforce needs of the Mid West region.Jobs and Skills Centres offer free training information and career development services to the local community.

Western Australians can access practical information and advice on training, employment and apprenticeship opportunities from a skilled team of careers professionals with industry partnerships and direct links into work.

The centre will provide local businesses and employers with business and workforce development advice to create employment, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.

Outreach services will be provided throughout the Mid West and Gascoyne regions, from Exmouth in the north, to Wiluna in the east and Cervantes in the south.

An additional drop-in centre will also be available to clients in Carnarvon at the Central Regional TAFE campus.

Full media statement: New Geraldton Jobs and Skills Centre to boost opportunities for Mid-West region

Australia designs local infrastructure for world's largest telescope

26 Feb 2019 4:16 PM - A team of Australian engineers and scientists has designed the local infrastructure for the SKA taking the billion-dollar global project one step closer to reality
An artist’s impression of the future Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in Australia. ©SKA Organisation

A team of Australian engineers and scientists has finalised local infrastructure designs for the world's largest radio telescope – the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) – a significant milestone for the billion-dollar global project.

The SKA Infrastructure Australia consortium, led by CSIRO, has designed everything from supercomputing facilities, buildings, site monitoring and roads, to the power and data fibre distribution that will be needed to host the instrument at CSIRO's Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO).

MWDC previously funded $10 million towards a hybrid solar power station to support the MRO.The project will include extensive solar photovoltaic array with short and long-term energy storage technologies able to provide over 50% of the MRO’s power needs from renewable sources.

SKA precursors; the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murchison Widefield Array are already making scientific headlines, with the discovery of 20 new fast radio bursts during 2018 alone, nearly doubling the known number of these mysterious ‘flashes’ from deep space detected worldwide since 2007.

The SKA will explore the Universe in unprecedented detail, doing so hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

Full media statement: Australia designs local infrastructure for world's largest telescope

Coastal radar upgrade to make WA’s weather service nation’s best

25 Jan 2019 4:08 PM - $4.6 million to upgrade Western Australia's coastal radar network to Doppler capability

State Government has committed $4.6 million to upgrade the Bureau of Meteorology's Geraldton and Albany facilities to Doppler capability.

The improvements will generate valuable data on rainfall intensity and wind speed and direction, updated every six minutes on the Bureau's and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's websites.

The enhanced radar service, together with the department's network of 175 weather stations, will enable agribusinesses to make more informed, data driven decisions while also providing crucial information to emergency services.

Full media statement: Coastal radar upgrade to make WA’s weather service nation’s best

Regional New Industries Fund driving innovation

17 Dec 2018 3:48 PM - $270 000 grant for a cross-region project to trial various oyster species to determine the optimum species and gear for each location
Mike Bowley, Gavin Treasure, Justin MacDonald and MWDC Chair Todd West

A new project has been awarded Regional New Industries Fund (RNIF) funding, as part of the State Government's commitment to support and accelerate new and emerging businesses that create jobs in the regions through innovation.

The Aquaculture Council of WA will use a $270 000 grant for a cross-region project, Rock Oyster Cluster, which will bring together proponents currently exploring rock oyster aquaculture feasibility in WA and trial various oyster species to determine the optimum species and gear for each location.

Full media statement: Regional New Industries Fund driving innovation

Mid-West a frontrunner in new hydrogen economy

12 Dec 2018 3:32 PM - Geraldton forum looks at renewable hydrogen opportunities
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan

Following the State’s highly successful Renewable Hydrogen Conference in August this year, MWDC hosted the Mid West Hydrogen Workshop yesterday, examining opportunities to attract clean hydrogen projects to the Mid West region.

Hydrogen, when produced using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, is a clean energy option and carbon free fuel that is gaining increasing global interest.

The forum brought together gas, mining, transport, electricity, infrastructure and government sectors to discuss developments in renewable hydrogen and options for encouraging local or national organisations to look to the Mid West to locate hydrogen pilot projects.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan opened the workshop and said regional Western Australia has incredible potential for renewable energy industries, with its large-scale solar and wind resources and strong export capability.

Full media statement: Mid-West a frontrunner in new hydrogen economy

Dongara boatbuilder to deliver new Transperth ferry

22 Dec 2018 4:00 PM - $2.6 million ferry project awarded to WA boatbuilder Dongara Marine
Photo: Tourism WA

A regional Western Australian boatbuilding company has been selected to deliver the next generation Transperth ferry.

The $2.6 million project, awarded to Dongara Marine, will deliver the third ferry in the Transperth fleet, after the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith and the MV Phillip Pendal.

The ferry will be built at Dongara Marine's Port Denison facility and, during peak construction, will create three additional local jobs, including one apprentice.

The contract is a huge win for the Mid West region and should also deliver positive regional benefits to subcontractors and suppliers.

MWDC has a strong commitment to diversifying the region's economic base, growing business, retaining, attracting and developing skilled people and maximising local jobs.

To support this focus, our local content advisor Gary Savill aims to maximise the participation of regional industry in contract opportunities.

Gary is available to provide an advisory and referral service to local businesses.

Full media statement: WA boatbuilder to deliver new Transperth ferry