Renee Rooney, DWC Chair - 19 September 2018

 

Last month DWC held its annual public meeting in Westport to present its 2018 Annual Report. On behalf of the entire DWC team, I would like to thank the community members who came along to find out more about DWC’s annual performance, and to gain further insight into the many areas of work DWC undertakes. It was a great opportunity to answer directly a range of questions attendees had, either during the formal part of the meeting, or over a cuppa afterwards.

It can be a challenge to tell the story behind the numbers that appear in any annual report. We will keep improving the details of our story so Coasters continue to gain a greater insight into the work DWC does and how this translates into the annual report. Hearing directly from the horse’s mouth in a way that we can all understand is also of real benefit.

Our Annual Report revealed nine commercial finance distributions totalling $2.6 million. This was from 11 applications. Over the last five years DWC has approved 80 per cent of the applications it has received. Our aim now is to increase the number of applications we receive.

DWC also invested over $1m in other economic development projects and continues to provide $1.2 million to the district councils each year. The Report showed operating expenses were consistent with previous years at $2.4 million, plus we re-invested in the growth of the base fund from which we derive our income, and which we must also protect for the benefit of future generations.

The Report did draw some criticism, as it has in previous years. DWC accepts that there is no keeping everyone happy but there is, of course, a story behind the numbers, and DWC is committed to communicating better what we do and how we do it.

You may recall that a little over 12 months ago there were major changes around the DWC Trustee table. Our new line-up has self-reviewed and set new objectives that will make the organisation more accountable to our community. We have challenged ourselves to become a new customer-facing organisation, and enabling West Coast businesses to grow and thrive has been put at the centre of all we do.

The region needs to be attractive for people to live, work, play, invest and raise their families. Actions do speak louder than words and Coasters want to see DWC make sound investments and distributions for the economic benefit of our Region. We expect our community to hold us accountable when they give us our report card in 12 months’ time.