Growth drivers are key industry activities and are confirmed by objective research
The Growth Drivers identified by the industry sector committees comprise a combination of unique initiatives that will anchor or catalyse the growth of a new industry, or several initiatives within a sector that together will strengthen and diversify the economy. Growth Drivers will result in economic growth faster than business as usual, leveraging the region’s competitive advantage and targeting a growing global market.
There are a total of eleven Growth Drivers structured within the five high Priority Goals for identified Bunbury Geographe. Each of the Growth Drivers will be delivered by a combination of Priority Initiatives and other initiatives, and will be made possible through the effect of Enablers.
PRIORITY GOAL: AGRICULTURE & AGRIBUSINESS
Growth Driver: Premium agriculture and food production
Global food demand is set to rise under the Asian century, urbanisation and climate change megatrends and Bunbury Geographe is well placed to service a boutique, premium food market overseas.
There are a number of factors reinforcing agriculture and food production as a key export opportunity for the region. The region currently exports produce, including to Asia, enjoying a strong reputation for providing safe food that is ‘clean and green’ and fulfils a key customer demand. The region is in similar time zones to Asia, facilitating business communications, and yet is located in the Southern Hemisphere therefore offering counter-seasonal fruit and vegetable goods.
Efficient supply chains together with modern processing and packaging technologies will assist delivery of premium produce in a timely and reliable manner. International freight opportunities may be augmented through the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport upgrade and future containerisation at Bunbury Port.
A key factor to unlocking agricultural production is securing future water supplies, as reflected in the Priority Initiative identified for the driver.
PRIORITY GOAL: BRANDING & LIFESTYLE
Growth Driver: Regional branding and tourism
Bunbury Geographe is well placed to service the rise in regional and international tourism forecast under the Asian century, urbanisation, ageing and climate change megatrends. A wave of baby-boomers from Perth-Peel and an expanding Asian middle class will seek authentic tourism experiences in an environment that continues to be cool and green compared to an increasingly urbanised and drying Perth-Peel.
There is opportunity to grow the tourism industry in Bunbury Geographe to levels seen in the wider South West and in other Australian states. With its waterfront location, Dolphin Discovery Centre, Bunbury CBD and the Geographe Wine Region in the hinterland, Bunbury Geographe has a great deal of potential as a tourism destination. Tourism also offers the opportunity for inclusive growth consistent with our values, including Aboriginal economic development, job intensity and population servicing industries that benefit a broad range of the region’s residents.
Growth Driver: Lifestyle,community and culture
The increasing urbanisation and ageing in Perth-Peel will drive a wave of baby-boomer retirees, active ageing professionals, younger families and youth seeking a high quality lifestyle close to coastal and natural environments, housing affordability and access to services.
Lifestyle and community growth creates jobs and population growth through retail and hospitality activity, construction, education and health. As lifestyle quality and sense of community grow, so does the population and number of service-related jobs.
Greater lifestyle quality increases the likelihood of attracting enterprises reliant on higher skilled workers, which are also less likely to suffer a net negative downturn in total jobs as a consequence of automation over the next few decades. This means that the Growth Driver has important flow-on benefits to most of the other Growth Drivers: tourism, creative industries and even agribusiness, timber and mining and industry.
Growth Driver: Second city policy
A bold, interventionist Second City Policy is proposed to generate a step change in decentralising Western Australia’s economy. This policy will facilitate Bunbury becoming the State’s second major city with the necessary economies of scale and social depth to be a genuine urban alternative to Perth-Peel. The policy responds to the trend in urbanisation in Perth-Peel and facilitates the growth of alternative, diverse lifestyle options and improved housing affordability.
The Second City Policy will direct the decentralising of over 200,000 people from Perth-Peel to generate a regional population of 300,000 and provide a major impetus for the development of Wanju and other towns in the region.
PRIORITY GOAL: TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
Growth Driver: Port and freight transport
The development of Bunbury Port is another key economic opportunity for the region, reducing the costs of international freight and facilitating the growth of mining, agriculture and associated processing. Growing the role of the Port will also support a range of other industries in transport services, engineering, design and construction and subsequent jobs in the wider economy.
The growth of Bunbury Port is already in hand with preparation of a Structure Plan and Strategic Public Environmental Review to pave the way for future development.
Bunbury Port’s operations will complement that of Fremantle, with containerisation to service Perth-Peel’s freight demand, and well connected to road and rail freight routes that eliminate congestion and connect with industrial precincts in the hinterland.
PRIORITY GOAL: HEALTH AND EDUCATION
Growth Driver: Healthy city
Bunbury Geographe is poised to become ‘Australia’s Healthiest City’, prioritising physical and mental health and supporting health based research, education and service professionals. The region will become cycling and walk friendly, with a network of active recreation areas that build on and showcase its outstanding amenity and natural environment values.
As Australia’s healthiest city, Bunbury Geographe will attract and retain a skilled workforce and its pervasive healthy environment will enable a high level of workforce participation and productivity. In addition, the healthy environment will be a strong attractor and support for the generational wave of baby-boomer retirees and lifestyle visitors that are set to move to the South West over the next 20 years, as well as appealing to migrants and investors from overseas who seek an alternative to increasingly intensive urban environments, particularly in Asia.
Growth Driver: Education delivery
Education delivery is both a Growth Enabler and Growth Driver. It is critical to growing and retaining a skilled workforce to support other growth drivers, as well as appealing to migrants from Perth-Peel and internationally, therefore encouraging investment and growth from outside the region. With the Asian century and urbanisation megatrends there will be demand for high quality lifestyle alternatives to intensive urban living. Provision of high quality education services is critical to attracting migrants to Bunbury Geographe rather than another lifestyle region in Australia.
Education delivery can be augmented to integrate the region’s environmental qualities, such as coastal science and biodiversity, while responding to the ageing megatrend through active aging study opportunities. International studies can be attracted through a similar time zone to most of Asia, as well as the lifestyle, affordable accommodation and cultural experience available in the region.
The socialised ‘People’s Place’ CBD provides an opportunity to deliver education services beyond the historic campus model, in line with changing generational expectations. There is also opportunity to link regional education to regional industries set to grow under this Plan, particularly agriculture.
PRIORITY GOAL: EMERGING AND TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES
Growth Driver: Creative industries and the arts
Digital connections are redefining the way Australians work, trade and communicate. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for growth in the creative industries, arts and culture.
Creative industries and the arts have potential to attract a diversity of workers, invariably highly capable and often with skills that are transferable into a range of employment settings. Creative industries extend beyond the arts and cultural sector and include different forms of design, fashion and a range of professional services and manufacturing.
Bunbury Geographe will host an intensively socialised CBD and range of high amenity towns unlike any other region in the State, which can attract creative industries and arts and support the Lifestyle, Community and Culture, Healthy City, and Education Delivery drivers.
Growth Driver: Marine services
The Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront initiative is expected to stimulate growth in marine industries, in addition to supporting the Lifestyle and Community and Regional Branding and Tourism drivers.
Providing space and infrastructure will support boat sales, repairs, maintenance and storage, as well as flow-on effects in accommodation, hospitality and retail. This will leverage under-used waterfront space which sets Bunbury apart from many other coastal towns in the South West.
Addressing unmet demand for boating facilities, as well as catering to expected growth in recreational marine activity, will underpin this Growth Driver. This also creates jobs in manufacturing and other services; two industries with comparatively high job multipliers. A thriving marine industry will also catalyse investment in tourism, residential and retail development. It may also support activity for cruise and naval ship visits, both of which can inject considerable expenditure into the local economy.
Growth Driver: Industry and mining
Mining and mineral processing has underpinned the economic development of the region and will continue to play an important role. The scale of investment in mineral processing to fuel the expanding renewable energy sector (e.g. in silica and lithium) is likely to remain high for some time to come. Development of Bunbury Port, freight routes and access to water resources remain key opportunities to grow and sustain the industry and mining sector.
Growth Driver: Sustainable timber products
The Asian century and urbanisation megatrends will continue to drive demand for sustainable timber products. The timber industry is an important regional employer, particularly wood products manufacturing. Increased local use of timber and wood products in the building industry has the potential to create jobs and there is opportunity to increase export of wood products from the region.
A key prospect for job creation lies in wood products processing, as well as growth of the forestry sector.