Impact Publications : MiceBTN_62
MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2016 • Page 33 tive organisations. Tourism development is critically important to the economy in regional Western Australia. Tourism also is important because of the number of jobs it generates - approx- imately 94,000 - many of which are in regional areas. RfR and Tourism WA have partnered to deliver the A$80 million (over eight years) Regional Events Program (REP) to ensure the regions attract and develop major events that will generate significant benefit for regional communities. Administered by Tourism WA, the REP has seen significant elevation of regional events across the State generating national and international promotion of regional Western Australia. Some of the more notable REP events sponsored by RfR are: • Club Marine Geographe Bay Race- week; • SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim; • Nannup Music Festival; • Boyup Brook Country Music Festival; • Mandurah Crab Fest; • Act-Belong- Commit Dwelling up 100. What has been the total funding for tourism projects to date? Tourism WA has been able to sponsor more than 250 regional events in Western Australia since 2011 and to date, a total of A$99.9 million from the RfR program has been spent in this area. RfR and Tourism WA have also partnered on strategic initia- tives to grow Western Australia’s regional tourism sector (see below). how many staff work exclusively for rfr? Where are they located? There are currently 156 Perth-based staff members within the Department of Regional Development tasked with admin- istering the Royalties for Regions program. The department works in partnership with the following authorities and agencies to ensure regional Western Australia con- tinues to be an attractive place to live, visit work and invest: • Regional Development Commissions (located in the nine regions); • Regional Development Council; • Western Australian Regional Develop- ment Trust; • Government agencies; • Private sector & community partners. What major projects would be familiar names in Wa? A diversified economic base enables further State government investment in initiatives that build a strengthened econo- my and a better quality of life for regional residents. To achieve that, RfR is investing in pro- jects in addition to tourism such as hous- ing, education, culture and recreation to ensure regional Western Australia remains a desirable place to live, work and invest. The below is a list of some of RfR major investments that have been made at a state wide and regional level. Royalties for Regions’ WA-wide initiatives: regional Mobile telecommunications project - a$40 million Regional Western Australia now has the best-ever mobile and internet coverage, thanks to the completion of the Regional Mobile Telecommunications Project. Since 2012, new mobile communica- tions infrastructure at 113 sites across nine regions has boosted mobile and internet reception across 95,000 square kilometres. Due to the success of the Regional Mobile Telecommunications Project, a further A$45 million has been invested in the Regional Telecommunications Projects to install another 80 telecommunications towers in small regional communities. southern inland health initiative – a$500m Aims to improve regional medical ser- vices over five years by: - Improving GP services and 24 hour emergency response; - Providing major upgrades and en- hancements to hospitals; - Implementing the Primary Health Care Demonstration program; - Refurbishing small hospitals and nurs- ing posts; - Telehealth technology, including equip- ment upgrades; - Residential aged care and dementia investment programs. The investment addresses gaps in health care across southern Western Austral- ia, providing adequate health care for residents and increasing liveability in the State’s Southern regions. regional blueprints - a$334 million Each of Western Australia’s nine regions now has access to a A$334 million fund for creating major economic, social and community development projects through their Regional Investment Blueprints. The Blueprints are for investment plans and outline transformative strategies, priority actions and investment opportunities. seizing the opportunity in agriculture - a$300 million STOA initiative to grow the agrifood industry by attracting new investment, diversifying export markets and building capacity and capability within the sector. The initiative is helping the agriculture sector to seize the opportunity of rising iNTERviEW Continued next page minister redman with Aussie movie star Simon Baker at the announcement last year that Baker’s directorial debut Breath will be filmed in Denmark, on the beach in Gracetown.