Region allied to Apple Isle

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
RDA South West chairman Duncan Anderson.
Camera IconRDA South West chairman Duncan Anderson.

Regional Development Australia South West has signed an historic agreement with RDA Tasmania to boost economic growth due to the similarity of economies and demographics.

Federal Regional Development Minister Dr John McVeigh signed off on the deal in Canberra last week where Bunbury-based RDA South West and RDA Tasmania agreed to broker collaborative links.

Dr McVeigh said despite the regions being on opposite sides of the country, they had similarities in the range of products they produce.

“The key to this arrangement is that, due to the large distance separating them, the two regions rarely compete in the same markets,” he said. “As a result, those involved in sharing information and ideas would not be undermining their competitive advantage.”

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RDA South West chairman Duncan Anderson said the agreement was the first of its kind in Australia.

“In an environment federally where there is a focus on partnerships and collaboration, for us and Tasmania to be collaborating in this fashion brings very positive national attention to our regions,” he said.

“So nationally our region is seen as a leader in the Regional Development Australia network.

“One of the first industries we are going to focus on is the timber industry. Our methodology is to get our timber leaders in the same room as the Tasmanian leaders and let them come up with good ideas and then we work out how to make it happen.”

Mr Anderson said the agreement would also look into collaboration for the creative and education sectors.

“It will be a case of us saying RDA South West may take the lead on creative industries while RDA Tasmania may take the lead on forestry,” he said. “The main idea is to put the South West on the map in Canberra and having Canberra realise that the South West exists because we have some wonderful things here.”

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