The 2018 Commonwealth Games will feel another step closer when the Champions 2 Country tour arrives in the South-West today.
Over three days - October 24 to 26 - six Western Australian Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes will visit Collie, Bridgetown, Australind, Bunbury and Busselton. They will stop in at 13 schools and numerous sporting clubs to take part in community activities.
Champions 2 Country presents an opportunity for athletes to share their sporting experiences and provide inspiration on issues including healthy lifestyles, leadership, teamwork, respect, and motivation to achieve goals.
Athletes on the South-West tour are West Coast Fever netballer Ingrid Colyer, track and field Paralympian Brad Scott, Olympic and Commonwealth Games gymnast Olivia Vivian, Olympic and Commonwealth Games hockey players Jayde Taylor and Trent Mitton and Australia's first Olympic medal-winning (gold) sailor Belinda Stowell OAM.
The tour is presented by the Western Australian Olympic Council and the WA Division of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and supported by Sport and Recreation, a division of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Champions 2 Country has been running since 2011.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"Champions 2 Country is an important initiative because these athletes are not only positive role models for their own sport but they are great advocates for being active, no matter your ability or age.
"We hope this tour inspires young regional people to overcome adversity and build resilience, to dream and make their dreams come true and understand the work it takes to get there.
"The tour also highlights the importance of supporting elite athletes because of their ability to inspire and empower others to be active, participate and get involved in the community.
"I'm also thrilled that Ingrid Colyer, Jayde Taylor and Brad Scott hail from the region, and coming back to talk about their journey makes this tour extra special."
Monday, 23 October 2017
The Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program provides $4.2 million over four years to enable regional visitor centres to transition towards financial sustainability. A funding pool of $1.05 million was offered in 2017-18 as part of the third and final round of the grant program.
Projects supported include a new fit-out and touch screen technology at the Bunbury Visitor Centre; development of a new website for the Derby Tourist Bureau; website development, IT upgrades and new signage at the Kalgoorlie Boulder Tourist Centre; and development of a business plan and training at the Geraldton Visitor Centre.
Since the launch of the scheme, more than 100 grants have been provided to regional visitor centres across WA, helping to boost tourism and employment.
For more information including a list of the successful 2017-18 funding recipients, visit http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"Visitor centres are an important part of our tourism industry as they add $117 million into the State's economy and generate more than 900 jobs.
"Research also shows that people spend more time and money in an area when they use a visitor centre, therefore it's vital that we help them become more financially viable.
"Tourism contributed $10 billion to WA's economy in 2016, including $4.7 billion in regional areas, and is a key pillar of the Government's plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Regional visitor centres provide important local knowledge for visitors to WA, whose spending generates job opportunities for local people.
"With a changing tourism environment and the influence of online booking, this program has helped to make significant changes in the way WA regional visitor centres operate."
Monday, 23rd October 2017
Premier Mark McGowan, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Perth MLA John Carey were joined by City of Vincent Mayor Emma Cole at the site - the first visit since the McGowan Labor Government confirmed funding for the project in the State Budget.
With the funding in place, community consultation has since been completed and the tender process for design, documentation and project management is currently underway.
The project will establish a vibrant public space at the corner of Fitzgerald and View streets, to encourage people to the area and attract more foot traffic to local businesses.
It will also provide the opportunity to attract more events to the area, following the lead of the Angove Street Festival.
A working group comprising Mr Carey, Mayor Cole and community group North Perth Local are spearheading the project.
The North Perth Common construction is expected to be completed during the 2018-19 financial year.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This funding will create a beautifully designed urban space that people will want to visit - driving more foot traffic to local businesses.
"We want to build on the lively community that already exists in North Perth and ensure it continues to attract visitors and create more job prospects for the area."
Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
"We know well-managed and comfortable public squares draw people into the area and make them stick around, in turn providing a boost to local businesses and jobs.
"Congratulations to the working group who have committed their valuable time to progress the project to this stage. It's starting to take great shape and I look forward to watching it develop over the next few years."
Comments attributed to Perth MLA John Carey:
"Great cities around the world embrace the idea of a central public space as a meeting place for locals, a place for community and arts and to attract visitors to retail and café strips.
"This is a fantastic initiative which is all about drawing more people to the area, and encouraging them to shop and socialise locally, and in doing so, support local small business."
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Police Minister Michelle Roberts has congratulated the State Graffiti Taskforce which has been recognised with an award at today's Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments and recognise good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
Led by the Western Australia Police Force, the taskforce is a co-ordinated government response aimed at reducing graffiti vandalism.
An independent evaluation found the taskforce had achieved a significant reduction in graffiti offences across WA, improvements in clean-up rates and a reduction in the number of offenders.
Since 2011, police have charged 1,580 vandals with more than 4,300 offences.
The WA Police Graffiti Team have also incorporated a successful proactive approach which includes early intervention strategies to educate and raise awareness to reduce graffiti in the community.
Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
"The annual cost of cleaning up graffiti in Western Australia is estimated at more than
"But aside from the financial cost, there is the social cost - graffiti is unsightly and shows a fundamental disrespect for people's property.
"All Western Australians deserve to feel safe living in communities which are free from graffiti vandalism.
"Partnerships like this one play a key role in reducing the incidences of graffiti vandalism and help restore the community's sense of safety and security.
Nature Play WA has an unlikely new weapon in the battle to get kids away from too much indoor screen time - launching an app to encourage outdoor play, learning and exploring.
The Nature Passport app looks to engage technology-obsessed kids in the kinds of outdoor activities their parents and grandparents enjoyed when they were children.
The app works in such a way that children are encouraged to look up at the world around them outside and engage with nature in creative ways. It also promotes social connections and fun, outdoor family time.
Launched today by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray, the app is a collaboration between Nature Play WA and leading non-profit environmental education centre Islandwood.
Founded in 2010 by the then Department of Sport and Recreation, Nature Play WA has been so successful it has become an independent not-for-profit organisation, and has spawned South Australian and Queensland branches.
The McGowan Government renewed Nature Play WA's funding for a further four years in the 2017-18 State Budget.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"The smart thing about the Nature Passport app is it is not trying to compete with kids' love of technology - it is working with it to get them off the couch and into the great outdoors.
"When many of us were kids, playing outside was normal. Younger generations haven't grown up with unstructured, outdoor play as part of their lives.
"The idea of being shuffled out of the house and told to go find some fun and adventure out in the open is not something a lot of today's kids relate to. The Nature Passport app embraces how technology has changed how kids play nowadays.
"Nature Play WA is a local non-for-profit that has expanded to great success - not only inspiring branches in other States, but working alongside environmental education leader Islandwood."