A NEW inter-departmental group has been formed by the state government to address the shortage of sand for building and construction work in the South West. The Basic Raw Materials Senior Officers’ Group includes representatives from government departments, the Western Australian Local Government Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, the Civil Contractors Association, and pipeline manufacturer Rocla Pty Ltd. The new body, to report back to government later this year, will identify priority sand locations in areas without native vegetation, as well as working with industry operators to reduce the approvals backlog. Newsmaker: Darren Lomman, founding CEO of Dreamfit Foundation, has been announced as one of 13 new WA Churchill Fellows. The foundation helps people with disabilities to experience a range of recreational pursuits. WA’s Young Australian of the Year 2007 and Citizen of the Year 2006, Mr Lomman has secured $1.5m over five years from UWA and plans to build a fully functional rehabilitation engineering workshop assisting people with disabilities.