Heading into a new year and new decade, I have a real sense of optimism about the region including the prospects of local businesses.
The South West is home to capable businesses and skilled workers.
And I am pleased to report that this is being recognised through the number of local businesses securing state government contracts.
We had a terrific year in 2019, with the state government's strong commitment to ensuring local content in major projects recognised with millions of dollars in work going to our businesses in the South West.
This has meant more jobs for local people.
And you can see the fingerprints of local businesses on projects close to home such as Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront or further south on the Margaret River HEART project.
I expect 2020 will be another good year for local businesses wanting to win state government work on major projects.
At the Commission, we are committed to ensuring local businesses get that opportunity.
We have our local content adviser on the ground and holding events to connect businesses with each other, and we are running a pilot program to help businesses equip themselves to apply for those state government contracts and grants.
2020 marks the beginning of a new decade.
And here at the South West Development Commission, we are laying a strong foundation for the years ahead.
We are in the process of creating a new strategic plan.
This is a significant planning document that sets the priorities of the Commission and plays an important role in informing the direction of the region.
Importantly, it will build on the great work already underway.
In the few months that I have been at the Commission, I have been fortunate to meet so many people across the South West who care as passionately about the region as our team does.
I am excited about working with you this year - and beyond - as we achieve great things for the region together.
South West Development Commission chief executive officer Mellisa Teede.