The Peel Region may be the smallest geographically of Western Australia’s nine but it’s one of the fastest growing and development leaders have launched a special Investor Chaperone Service to entice new business and investment to the area.
The service is one part of a push by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Peel in collaboration with the Peel Development Commission to capitalise on the region’s many business opportunities. At the forefront of the push is the new Invest Peel website, detailing the exact attributes the region for businesses. And there are many.
RDA director John Lambrecht says factors like Perth’s urbanisation is already putting pressure on industry and business expansion plans there.
Intensive co-operation between all three levels of Government and Peel’s elected members helps put it in an extremely strong position to attract business.
“When viewed in combination with our vision to transform the region’s industry base, the grass roots efforts already being made to attain that, and the availability of relevantly zoned land makes make Peel a prime investment target,” he says.
“When you look at the Peel’s attractors, like affordable high standard housing, access to education and health services combined with the proximity and transport connections to Perth, it’s easy to see why our population growth will continue unabated.
“Our research shows an increased representation in the population of younger people by 2031, driven by these attractors which means new business opportunities expanding or opening up, for example in childcare services.”
Peel is 75kms south of Perth and home to nearly 143,000 people in five regional shires: Boddington, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Waroona and Mandurah, the second fastest growing regional city in Australia.
RDA Peel chairman John Erren says the region has good transport links, a big ready and willing workforce, easy access to Perth markets and an enviable lifestyle that’s helping drive its massive population growth.
He says the chaperone service is aimed at helping potential investors clear any hurdles they feel there may be to investing in the region.
“If someone decides they are interested in moving forward and investing here we, through our chaperones, can be an independent advocate for them,” he explains.
“Depending on the business and its need, a representative from RDA or Peel Development Commission can hold their hand and take them through any red tape or green tape and help overcome any barriers they may see to their development.”
The Invest Peel project is the latest step in the economic development of the region. It produced its Blueprint for Regional Investment in 2015 and a Business Plan which was updated this year. The overarching aim has been to take a greater share of the billions of dollars of foreign investment into Australia annually and bolstering the region by nurturing a thriving industrial and commercial sector.
The Invest Peel website showcases opportunities in several broad growth areas like tourism, agribusiness, healthcare, equine, trails, and the business park. It connects interested business people to chaperones directly by a link on the website. The chaperones are experts in economic development in the region, like Mr Lambrecht, who has decades of expertise in advocating for investment in economic development projects to the Australian Government.
“There are wonderful support mechanisms already in place through organisations such as the Peel CCI and the Australian Government’s Employment Facilitator Program which will be supported by the Investor Chaperone Service,” he says.
“Peel’s sustained high population growth will continue, providing a growing local market but we are looking to develop our traded economy through the improved access to other markets presented by major projects already planned and under way, such as Westport, the WA Food Innovation Centre and Peel Business Park at Nambeelup.
“Even the high growth rate of people in the older demographics presents opportunities across the personal care and health care sectors.”
Mr Erren says the Invest Peel website showcases developments like the Peel Business Park and its opportunities for transport and logistics operators, light industry, food packaging, manufacturing and processing companies. Stage1 is almost fully tenanted and Stage 2 is open for registrations of interest.
“It’s on several major arterial highways – Forrest Highway and Southwest Highway included, so if you’re a food processor you could easily set yourself up there and have easy access to ports, airports, and already available markets in Perth,” Mr Erren says.
‘The poultry industry, like Ingam, still sits in metropolitan Perth and would be an ideal business to move out to the Peel region.
“Basically, we suit any business looking for economical space, access to transport and markets both international and local, and a ready workforce.