“It takes a whole village to raise a child” – we hear this a lot from those in the education sector. This belief also rings true in achieving positive outcomes and success through working collaboratively and in partnerships.
I also believe “it takes the whole West Coast to raise the region”, and celebrating success is a good place to start.
Think about some of our local sporting heroes who do us and our Region so proud. There are many who make the headlines and, rightly so, we celebrate their individual or team success. Through their achievements they are waving the West Coast flag, and we all know there is something special about coming from the West Coast.
A provenance story is powerful. Our region is rich with food products made in our untamed natural wilderness environment -- butter, milk and yoghurt powders, aubergines, honey, salami, bacon and smallgoods, cookies, ales and spirits to name a few.
People and food are just two parts of our West Coast provenance story. There are many other chapters made up of our industries, and our provenance story puts our region on the map nationally, and in some cases internationally.
So, what more can we do to raise our region - to keep moving forward, untap our potential and build on our successes to raise our economic profile and to make sure the West Coast is the best place to live, work and enjoy life?
Working collaboratively is a good place to start, to figure out our destination, how we’re going to get there, and agreeing on the steps along the way. Working together as a team, not battling each other, is the key to achieving great results.
Members of our community want improvement for our region, and there is a strong view from central government that they want the same. This has been signalled through the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) that our region can tap in to. What makes this more exciting is that the West Coast has been identified as a “surge” region, meaning the West Coast is eligible for early Investment for qualifying projects.
The Provincial Growth Fund is possibly a once in a generation opportunity. This is our time as a region to aim high in order to benefit through co-investment and partnerships with central government, private enterprise and other organisations. West Coast community and business leaders are currently working together to identify, prioritise and develop proposals to put forward for consideration.
As a region, we must stand together, hold up and celebrate our successes, raise the bar to achieve greater success and challenge ourselves to identify new opportunities for success. There has never been a greater need or a better time for us to step outside the box, take a look and put our hand up.
Chair - Development West Coast