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Diverse growth for South West

THE South West is WA’s most diverse regional economy. The region’s wealth of attractions, including national parks, forests, beaches and wineries, make it the most popular regional tourist destination for local, interstate and overseas visitors.

The potential for nature-based tourism ventures in the region are being developed through a growing number of sensitively designed ecomuseum modules.

Several major tourism initiatives, including a marina near Busselton, are also being developed.

The region’s hardwood forests, softwood plantations and tree farms are diverse sources for value adding of forestry products.

Activities such as pine milling, medium density fibreboard and veneers and the creation of fine furniture niche markets provide considerable investment opportunities for the industry.

The growth of markets in South East Asia for fresh and processed food is providing commercially viable investment opportunities for the region’s well-established horticulture, dairy, fruit growing, food processing and viticulture industries.

In particular, the wine industry has access to a skilled and experienced workforce, a strong reputation for quality and relatively low entry costs, offering attractive investment potential.

The number of wine producers has increased from 173 in 1990 to 277 in 1996, with an additional 104 wineries and grape growers located outside the region.

The combined capital cost of this industry is enormous, considering establishing a vineyard is estimated at around $50,000 per hectare. Investment in table grapes qualifies for certain taxation benefits.

The alumina, titanium minerals and gas sectors of the mining industry are all set for major expansion in the next few years, leading to additional opportunities in the high-tech fabrication and service industries of the region.

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