The Bunbury Geographe region has an extensive network of government and industry bodies with a role in economic development. In addition, the State Government is in the final stages of negotiating a Native Title Agreement which is focussed on future economic opportunity for Aboriginal people.
The growth planning process has created a more structured dialogue within industry sectors, between local and state government and across the public and private sector, than has occurred in the past. It was identified early in the process that due to the already busy economic development landscape, there was not a desire to create an additional layer of governance, but instead to draw on the existing strengths. A number of these organisations are in a phase of transition, exploring opportunities to collaborate and coordinate their efforts in economic development. To allow that process to unfold naturally, an interim governance structure has been established for the Growth Plan Partnership.
The philosophy of collaborative governance has been used as a foundation of the growth planning process enabling the community, industry and government to co-design the Growth Plan. In line with that philosophy comes the notion of shared funding. In order for all parts of the economy to value the Growth Plan, shared resourcing of its implementation is required.
In its transition phase the Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership will comprise the following members:
- President of the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce & Industries
- Chairman of the Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance
- CEO or delegate of the Southern Ports Authority
- Presidents of the Shires of Capel, Dardanup and Harvey
- Mayor of the City of Bunbury
- CEO of the South West Development Commission
- Chair of Regional Development Australia, South-West
Additional members may be co-opted over time to represent other key sectors such as agriculture, arts and culture and Aboriginal Economic Development Network.
A Terms of Reference has been established to govern the work of the Growth Plan Partnership. In the short term, the local governments will share the role of providing secretariat support for partnership meetings.
The backbone of the growth planning process was through the establishment of sector groups. The key to successful implementation of the Growth Plan is the potential evolution of those groups into industry clusters and the progression of identified initiatives to implementation. In order to support the Growth Plan development process, a Technical Officer has been resourced to:
- provide facilitation and coordination for sector groups to enable them to meet and progress shared initiatives through to implementation;
- connect with existing sector groups (eg Tourism association, Marine services working group, Chamber of Minerals and Energy)
- oversee roll-out of the Regional Brand;
- determine ongoing funding sources for Growth Plan implementation into the future;
- monitor the implementation of the Growth Plan; and
- report to the Growth Plan Partnership on all of the above matters.
- The Technical Officer has budget to access additional support to undertake this task as sector groups further develop.
Supported by the Technical Officer, the Growth Plan Partnership will meet on a quarterly basis (or as required) to ensure implementation is progressing as planned. Over time as sector groups strengthen and member organisations transition, it is intended that the governance structure will be reviewed and amended to complement the changing governance landscape.