A STRATEGY that aims to guide growth and development of the Great Southern region was unveiled in Albany last week by Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.
The Great Southern Regional Investment Blueprint identifies seven project areas that will help the region achieve its vision to be a sought-after location based on economic opportunity and lifestyle.
Mr Redman said primary production would continue to be the backbone of the Great Southern economy for decades to come, but the blueprint also identified tourism, tertiary education and engagement in the digital economy as opportunities for growth.
"The strategic approach of the blueprint is already informing investment and decision-making by public and private entities, and over the decades ahead will lead to investment in economic infrastructure that will support growth," he said.
"A total of $35 million of priority projects identified in the blueprint are now under way in the Great Southern, supported by almost $15 million in Royalties for Regions funding."
The launch of the blueprint coincided with an event marking the first stage of a student accommodation project in Albany.
The $3 million project in the Norman House precinct on Stirling Terrace is supported by $1.17 million in Royalties for Regions funding through the Growing Our South initiative.
"Construction of dedicated and affordable student accommodation facilities is a project identified in the Great Southern Regional Investment Blueprint," the Minister said.
"This project, by the Great Southern Community Housing Association, will encourage more international and domestic students to attend tertiary and vocational institutions in the region."
Each of the nine development commissions across Western Australia have been tasked with putting together a Regional Investment Blueprint based on their development aspirations and forecasted population growth.
The regional blueprint initiative is supported by a $362 million investment through the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.