Agricultural Expansion Project
In 2012, the Shire of Manjimup was allocated funding under the State Government's Royalties for Regions SuperTowns program to implement the Agricultural Expansion project, which encompasses the following three components:
The Manjimup community's desire for growth in the agricultural sector was identified and strongly supported by the SuperTown Community Reference Group and the Manjimup Futures community research.
The key economic goal to Enhance the role of Manjimup as a service centre and agricultural production centre was identified in the SuperTown Growth Plan and Economic Development Plan, with council nominating the Agricultural Expansion Project as its highest priority.
The Agricultural Expansion Project is a cross-sector plan with major components aimed at stimulating research, recognition, marketing and investment in agriculture and food, leading to renewed business confidence, product innovation, increased production and a transition towards a value added food economy.
The overall objectives of the project are to:
- reinvigorate confidence and investment in agriculture in the district, thereby increasing population and employment opportunities;
- raise awareness of the quality of Manjimup's agricultural produce to unite producers, gain new markets and command a price premium;
- develop a comprehensive strategy for Manjimup's agriculture and food to guide future actions and investment;
- improve agricultural education - industry linkages to attract and retain young, dynamic farmers; and
- expand the value-added food industry and broaden the industry from primary production to food production and culinary tourism.
Project management and steering committee
The Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) was identified as the lead government agency for the project and Tilwin Westrup from DAFWA is now the Project Manager, overseeing the Strategy and Education components of the project in collaboration with the Shire of Manjimup.
A steering committee comprising the Chief Executive Officer of the Shire of Manjimup, the Chief Executive Officer of the South West Development Commission and the Regional Director from DAFWA's Bunbury Office is responsible for monitoring project performance against the milestones in the funding agreement and reporting back to the Department of Regional Development on progress.