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Image: Our Role
Our Role

Our overriding approach at the Commission is to enable. By fostering the growth and development of traditional and new industries, supporting the improvement of regional quality of life, normalising regional living standards and engaging meaningfully with Aboriginal people to improve socioeconomic outcomes, the Commission aims to link with overall state-wide regional development and create a prosperous WA economy.

The Commission’s focus is to increase the opportunities for investment attraction and serve as a single window to provide the local knowledge, data and connections required to make beneficial investment decisions. The Commission also provides a base from which local project proponents, industry and regional stakeholders can connect with other State Government agencies and potential investment partners. Through connection, collaboration and facilitation, the Commission gives those looking to invest in the region access to boundless opportunities. This is essential to overall regional development and progress, creating a region that is a desirable place in which to live, work and visit.

Successful regional development

The Mid West region is one of the most diverse economies in regional WA; rich in natural resources, where the mining, gas, agriculture and aquaculture sectors are flourishing and blending seamlessly with highly prospective, sustainable technologies such as wind, solar and hydrogen.
Geraldton is the largest city north of Perth, housing the majority of the region’s population, public services and businesses. The city provides an important ‘hub and spoke’ role to support communities and industries throughout the region. Geraldton is a growing port city that attracts the largest number of visitors along the thriving Australia’s Coral Coast tourism region.
Diverse biomes throughout the Mid West from rangelands, broadacre farms, breakaway country, rural townships and the rich Indian Ocean enable boundless opportunities and unique frontiers for industry development and growth across a broad range of sectors, including energy, agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, space, mining and manufacturing.
Successful development of these opportunities requires alignment, coordination and collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, at both a regional and state-wide level. The role and approach of MWDC is to enable all tiers of government, community and industry to connect, understand, support and facilitate investment and development. By providing a basis for better decision making, we enable more progressive and productive regional outcomes.
The Commission, as part of the State’s Regional Development Portfolio, works closely with the other eight Regional Development Commissions, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and our partners across Government to progress strategic initiatives for regional WA. Working closely with key stakeholders in the Mid West region, the Commission will both unlock opportunities at a local level and contribute to improved regional outcomes across WA.
The Commission was established to enable investment and improve quality of life across the Mid West. We connect, collaborate with and facilitate our many stakeholders and partners, to realise our region’s boundless opportunities.

Image: Regional Liveability
Regional Liveability

Making our region a good place to live is critical for the wellbeing of regional residents, and underpins labour market and community resilience.

The Commission recognises that a high level of liveability and connectivity is critical to ensure the Mid West region is competitive as an investment and lifestyle destination.
The Commission is focused on working with the responsible State and Federal Government departments and regional stakeholders to improve access to education and health services, maximise opportunities, and enhance quality of life.
In order to build key sector capacity and to cater for community and regional growth, the Commission continues to play a lead role working across industry and government to deliver greater housing choice.

Regional housing:

Geraldton Housing Development Forum

The Commission hosted the Geraldton Housing Development Forum in June 2023 starting an ongoing discussion with builders, developers, landholders and other key Government and private sector stakeholders in an effort to address and improve ongoing and future efforts to address worker housing shortages.

The Forum provided attendees with information about State and Commonwealth funding opportunities, initiatives for the construction sector and an opportunity to participate in facilitated workshops which aimed to establish a clear understanding of the constraints, challenges and opportunities for Geraldton housing supply.

Key findings from the workshop identified the need for:

  • Addressing the housing need that is being created by significant project-driven population growth;
  • The development of a Housing Plan for Geraldton and formation of a Housing Advisory Group made up of key local stakeholders;
  • Streamlined and improved investment attraction, facilitation and approval processes for investors and developers;
  • Support for innovative and non-traditional options for housing;
  • Major project proponents to partner with local builders and developers to build housing to support their workforces; and
  • Interventions by government that will enable positive outcomes for Geraldton and the wider Mid West.

Registration of Proposed Solutions

The current and future shortage of housing in Geraldton and the wider Mid West is impacted by the growing population to support projects such as the Geraldton Port Maximisation (PMax) project, CBH infrastructure upgrades, Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment, infrastructure, and major project development in the Arrowsmith and Oakajee areas.

This growth, and the need to attract and retain population, underlines the importance of supporting and enhancing liveability in the Mid West.

The Registration of Proposed Solutions (ROPS) process announced at the Geraldton Housing Development Forum is an enabling tool providing an opportunity for developers, builders, housing providers and industry proponents to submit a range of potential solutions and housing options to help improve Geraldton’s liveability.

Submissions will provide an important indication of market interest and positive solutions to the housing challenges currently experienced, and guide the next steps for a preferred solution. 

North Midlands Housing

The Commission supported a Curtin University study into the North Midlands housing market ‘Exploring challenges for housing supply and affordability in the Mid West’.

The project identified local housing issues (cost, stock available and quality of housing) experienced in the North Midlands subregion and untapped opportunities from a stakeholder perspective.

Stakeholder engagement and data analysis outcomes in the report provided possible directions for local housing policy development and housing delivery mechanisms that could contribute to building resilience and increasing liveability in the North Midlands subregion.

Leveraging planned infrastructure delivery and mining projects linked to renewable energy was identified as a major opportunity to address emerging housing issues through:

  • Working together through mechanisms such as the North Midlands Executive Group and Arrowsmith Development Hub;
  • Inclusion of housing in planning processes for major infrastructure delivery;
  • Ensuring hard and soft social infrastructure services can meet the needs of the community; and
  • Increased communication and collaboration between all stakeholders involved.

Report outcomes will be utilised in future discussions with local government and major project proponents in the Arrowsmith group to enable potential funding and or support for housing in the North Midlands.

Murchison Housing

The Commission funded an options report to assess the numerous challenges facing delivery of housing in the Murchison subregion, and propose interventions to help address short and long term housing shortages.

Collaboration was identified as a major opportunity in addressing housing challenges through the pooling of resources and knowledge to attract funding support and deliver housing.

Temporary and transient worker housing is also highlighted as a core opportunity with a focus on development that maximises social and community benefits.

Each area of focus has associated actions to address both short and long term housing issues with a mix of advocacy, stakeholder engagement, policy work and housing delivery as the focus.

The housing options report for the Murchison subregion will be used as a guide for future housing discussions.

Regional Drought Resilience Planning:

Mid West pilot region

Western Australia has a history of drought and drying climate, and it is vital that effective, community identified solutions are developed to mitigate its effects.

Drought is a feature of current and future climate change impacts.

The Future Drought Fund (FDF) set up by the Australian Government invests $100 million annually into projects across Australia to strengthen regional drought resilience.

The Regional Drought Resilience Planning (RDRP) Program is one of eight foundational programs under the FDF and was delivered in three pilot regions (Mid West, Wheatbelt and Great Southern) in partnership with the WA State Government.

The program supported regional organisations, local government, communities and industry to partner to develop Regional Drought Resilience Plans.

The Commission partnered with NACC NRM, DPIRD and three local governments (Greater Geraldton, Chapman Valley and Northampton) to develop its plan, to identify and guide actions to build the pilot areas’ resilience to future droughts, with a focus on agriculture and allied industries.

A detailed Drought Vulnerability Assessment (DVA) was undertaken to explore aspects of exposure, sensitivity, impact and adaptive capacity and how these affect vulnerability and resilience to drought in the region.

Developing the DVA involved regional organisations, local government, academic professionals, community, industry and other key drought stakeholders coming together to share and consolidate experience, scientific data, local knowledge and expertise.

With the added contribution of technical and project advisory groups, the DVA formed the foundation for the Plan.

The Commission has completed the Regional Drought Resilience Pilot Plan for the Northern Wheatbelt of the Mid West region. The Plan was reviewed by CSIRO on behalf of Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for consideration and implementation funding.

Mid West (North Midlands) plan

The North Midlands RDRP Plan will include the Shires of; Carnamah, Coorow, Irwin, Mingenew, Morawa, Perenjori, Three Springs. For more information visit 


Regional Migrant Employment Program

The Commission provided funding support for the Regional Migrant Employment Program (RMEP) pilot established in Morawa in 2022 by not-for-profit organisation United in Diversity (UID).

The RMEP pilot was designed to establish a training, recruitment and retention service employing migrants and refugees in entry- and mid-level positions in the town of Morawa for a period of six months.

The primary goal was to help migrants gain employment, and also to create community connections with the aim of retaining the migrants in Morawa.

Following the successful pilot, which saw four migrant workers employed, further funding support was provided to extend and consolidate the program, and enhance cultural development by:

  • Building further capacity of the Morawa community to provide support to migrants.
  • Continuing engagement between potential employees, employers, stakeholders and the community.
  • Exploring the opportunity to lease a café in Morawa for operation by Kitchen of Diversity, a social enterprise of UID.
  • Consolidation of cultural development through a one-on-one mentoring program established to assist and support migrant workers to settle into Morawa.

The funding support ensures UID can continue to provide community, employer and migrant support for the duration of the program. The Commission participates in the Tandem Diversity and Inclusion Working Group which provides support for community mentors and assistance for migrant workers settling in Morawa.

Regional Coordinating Committee

The Geraldton Mid West Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) was formed following Regional Skills Summits held in 2021.

The RCC comprises representatives from the Commission, Central Regional TAFE, Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, City of Greater Geraldton, Department of Training and Workforce Development and other community stakeholders.

The RCC is guided by an action plan and provides quarterly progress reports to the Minister for Education and Training.

Priority action areas are implemented through current and new initiatives in partnership with key stakeholders. The priority areas and implementation initiatives include:

  • PRIORITY ACTION 1 Maximising the benefits of fee-free courses and job expos to support underrepresented groups (such as Aboriginal people, young people and women) in a range of existing industry areas.
  • PRIORITY ACTION 2 Identifying new/emerging skills needs and leveraging any potential opportunities of emerging industries.
  • PRIORITY ACTION 3 Supporting skilled migrants, particularly onshore migrants that are already living in the region, to access training and employment opportunities.

The Commission is collaborating with Regional Development Australia to develop a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) for the Mid West and Gascoyne regions (to address Priority Action 3 above), and produce a DAMA business case for submission to the Australian Government.

Designated Area Migration Agreement

Creative Industries:

Creative Industries

The Mid West’s creative industries are important to both the liveability and economy of our region.

The Commission regularly liaises with organisations and artists in relation to their planned programs and, where possible, provides support and advocacy.

This may be through letters of support for their funding applications, introductions, or through the REDS Grants which are available annually.

The Commission has provided advice to Frolic Opera and Yamaji Art in their development of Yamaji Calisto, an Italian-Yamaji opera with accompanying dance elements in the Mid West.

This project received $79,440 in State Government funding for creative development workshops.

Through a partnership between social enterprises Euphorium Creative, Pollinators Inc and developer ADA Capital, with investment from the State Government through a Regional Economic Development (RED) Grant, a plan to transform the old Blue Heelers tavern site in Geraldton’s West End was instigated as a new hub for creative industries.

The Commission is supporting the Pilbara Development Commission’s Leverage Fund submission for the Aboriginal Visual Art Industry Investment Package, which aligns with our commitment to Aboriginal economic development.

Lotterywest has since approved funding to the amount of $327,000.

This project aims to transform the Western Australian Aboriginal visual arts sector through an international market development plan, commercial analysis, an infrastructure and resourcing assessment and a business case to support the first WA Aboriginal Visual Arts Industry Investment Package.

The Mid West remains committed to being a film-friendly region and we continue to attract interesting projects from screen industry producers.

The Commission works closely with Screenwest to generate positive social and economic outcomes for the region with productions accessing the WA Screen Fund (formerly WA Regional Film Fund).

Resulting activity this year included hosting a showing of ‘Aussie Gold Hunters’ from season 8, which included filming in the Murchison.

The Commission also provided advice and contacts for Feisty Dame Productions to support their application to Screenwest for the filming of ‘Invisible Boys’ by author Holden Sheppard - in Geraldton where his story is set.

The Commission will continue to provide support and advice for producers, artists and organisations to maximise economic impacts, employment and community benefits from the creative industries in the Mid West.

Image: Past Achievements
Past Achievements