Department still on cards: MacTiernan

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

Regional Development and Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan says her portfolios already have a strong presence in the region but moving either of her departments to the South West could still be a possibility.

Ms MacTiernan said both her departments already employed a number of people throughout the South West and in Bunbury in particular.

“Our department is undergoing a lot of change and as you know we actually have around 70 people all up in Bunbury already,” she said.

“The second largest division of agriculture is down here in Bunbury and obviously we have the South West Development Commission, which is now part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

“So we do have a sizeable presence here.”

Ms MacTiernan said a number of options would be considered in terms of relocating a Government department to the South West, but it would have to provide a service that would benefit the region.

“As we said during that budget process, we are going to be really assessing across Government,” she said.

“We have a machinery of Government process that is really looking at, with a particular focus on Bunbury, what is the mix of services that we should be offering down here.

“Not just in my department, but across Government.”

Ms MacTiernan previously said a planning committee would be established to identify the best location for a proposed Government department in Bunbury.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan used the Regional Cabinet Meeting to request a Government department be set up in Bunbury to stimulate local jobs and the economy.

However, he expected the move to happen in the second term of the Government’s tenure.

Mr Brennan said he had written to Premier Mark McGowan with the request.

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