Rotarian John Smith introduced John Lambrecht to members at the Thursday (29th of October) evening meeting of the Rotary Club of Pinjarra. John is the Pinjarra-based Director of Regional Development Australia- Peel. ( )
Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a national network of Committees made up of local leaders who work with all levels of government, business, and community groups to support the economic development of their regions. RDA Committees have an active and facilitative role in their communities with a clear focus on growing strong and confident regional economies that harness their competitive advantages, seize on economic opportunity, and attract investment.
There are a number areas of focus which enable their work to be directed toward achieving the desired outcomes.
  1. Identify economic development opportunities that leverage private and public sector investment in a Region.
  2. Connect the Region with industry sectors, international trade partners, financial markets, regional entrepreneurs and business leaders to attract investors to explore new opportunities to grow local jobs in the Region.
  3. Develop and maintain positive working relationships with the local government bodies in the Region.
  4. Assist in the delivery of Australian Government programs including public and private sector decentralisation.
  5. Promote and disseminate information on Australian Government policies and grant programs and support community stakeholders in the Region to develop project proposals to access funding.
  6. Provide evidence-based advice to the Australian Government on critical regional development issues and provide information on regional activities and competitive advantages to all levels of government, industry, business, and community sectors.
Collaborating with other RDA Committees, all levels of government, and the private sector, RDA Committees will (from 1st January 2021):
      a) Facilitate regional economic development outcomes, investment, local procurement and jobs.
      b) Promote greater regional awareness of and engagement with Australian Government policies, grant programs and research.
      c) Improve Commonwealth regional policy making by providing intelligence and evidence-based advice to the Australian Government on regional development issues.
      d) Co-ordinate the development of a strategic regional plan, or work with suitable existing regional plans that will align with the Commonwealth’s regional priorities.
The Peel Development Commission (PDC) worked closely with the WA State Government agency with responsibility for developing and broadening the economic base of the region. RDA Peel has endeavoured to implement the Peel Regional Investment Blueprint ( ) which describes the Peel’s vision and provides a roadmap for its achievement.
RDA Peel developed the Peel region’s 2019 Federal Election Commitment Requests document, the first time a coordinated advocacy approach by regional stakeholders was undertaken. Key stakeholders submitted their projects for consideration of inclusion. The final document was distributed to Government and Opposition members during the 2019 election campaign, supported by agency and proponent advocacy.
Projects included in the document that received funding commitments were:
        •Tonkin Highway Extension - $253 million
        •Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation $22 million
        •Dwellingup National Trails Development - $3.465 million
As an example of their work, RDS-Peel's involvement in the Dwellingup National Trails Development has seen the project almost completed, and as a result, the town has started to develop as a destination enthusiasts of "trails tourism". The flow-on effect of the benefits that local Dwellingup businesses are beginning to be experience bodes well for the future sustainability of this activity.
John answered several questions from members before being formally thanked for his interesting talk by Rotarian John Tuckey.