Tuesday, 23 April 2019 Sydney
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Invest in Shire Kojonup by President Cr Ronnie Fleay::

KOJONUP IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

 

Welcome to the Shire of Kojonup!  Yes we are open for business and Kojonup is much more than the gateway to the Great Southern with a number of initiatives planned for 2015 and beyond to support our residents, grow our Shire and provide the infrastructure to support that growth.  We have state of the art sporting facilities, diverse businesses, Aged Care facility, Hospital, large agricultural sector, many historical buildings and artefacts, private and public schools, incredible local talent who provide regular shows at the Memorial Hall, annual Agricultural Show, Polo Cross/Equestrian facilities, and an iconic Visitor and Interpretative Centre that has won numerous awards – a must see attraction!

 

The local community have 3 community service groups with steady membership and raise funds for both the young and elderly in the community as well as international projects.

 

This is an exciting time for Kojonup to be involved in the provision of residential housing, aged care housing, release of building blocks, new childcare facility, upgrade of sporting complex and upgrading the main street just to name a few of the planned initiatives!  All of these initiatives will provide employment and growth for the Shire both short and long term also providing opportunities for investment in land, housing and new businesses.

 

The Shire of Kojonup is located 256kms south of Perth on the Albany Highway, 40 kilometres from Katanning to the east and 150 kilometres north of Albany and is part of the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.

 

The Great Southern region includes 250 kilometres of the southern coastline and extends inland for 200 kilometres. It lies between the South West Region and Goldfields-Esperance Region and is situated to the south of the Wheatbelt. The Great Southern covers approximately 39,000 km2 (including off-shore islands) of diverse landscape, or around 1.5 % of WA’s total area.

 

The estimated resident population of the Great Southern was over 59,000 in 2013.  This constitutes approximately 2.4% of the total population of WA. The principal population centre is the City of Albany, with a population of approximately 36,000 people constituting 61% of the region’s population.

 

As of the 2011 census, the Shire of Kojonup had a population of 1,982, making up over 3.6% of the Great Southern region’s total population and is strategically situated on the Albany Highway. This represents a slight decline in population of 0.76% from 2001 to 2011 where the population in 2011 was 2,145.  This is low compared to the whole of the Great Southern region (0.93%) but any level of population growth in inland regional communities is significant as many similar population centres are experiencing population decline.

 

The Shire of Kojonup has undertaken to arrest this population decline by addressing the needs of the community under its Community Strategic Plan, working with the Great Southern Workforce Development Plan to increase the facilities and incentives in the Shire to address the workforce issues of the Great Southern and provide economic sustainability for the Shire into the future.  The initiatives already undertaken or are underway are listed below:

 

The Western Australian Planning Commission forecast in 2012 that the population of the Great Southern would continue to rise steadily to approximately 70,500 by 2026.  This forecast represents the best estimate of future population size based on current fertility, mortality and migration trends.  That forecast represents an increase in population of 11,500 and we could assume that Kojonup will grow its population accordingly.

 

The Shire of Kojonup is currently working hard to develop a number of initiatives to combat the decline in population by increasing its attractiveness as a place to live and work and ensuring its longevity by increasing the population and the associated economic sustainability of Kojonup and our businesses in the following ways:

 

  1. Constructing a new child-care facility in 2015 to provide infrastructure that supports the recruitment of people and provide families who come to Kojonup with these essential facilities.

 

  1. The Shire has refurbished the Sporting Complex in recent years and are currently finalising a Master Plan to integrate other sporting facilities into the one precinct to upgrade those older facilities and ultimately provide a facility for all residents in one place including a crèche and indoor courts/gym to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.

 

  1. Engaged a Consultant to provide the Shire a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the main street to further increase economic sustainability.  A process of community engagement has occurred and we are awaiting the final plan taking into consideration comments from community and Councillors.

 

  1. Currently in the process of applying for grant funding to upgrade the iconic “Kodja Place” facility within the new main street re-development which would further link this facility to the main street and promote Kojonup as a destination and increasing the economic sustainability of the town to make Kojonup a regional vibrant hub and gateway to the Great Southern.  The Shire has recently completed a Strategic Plan for Kodja Place highlighting the actions for the coming year to in part upgrade the facility and increase promotion to make Kojonup a destination.

 

The Kodja Place is the result of the inspiration and drive of the local community to build a facility incorporating a Visitor Information Centre, Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Centre, Historical Interpretive Museum and a Rose Maze.

 

The most powerful and unique aspect of the Centre is the original branding of “One Story Many Voices” which conveys the Rose Maze’s extensive cultural interpretations of three women (Noongar, English and Italian) and their stories of survival and life experiences in the twentieth century.  Complementing these stories are the Kodj Gallery and the Storyplace displays in which many local Noongar and non-indigenous peoples’ experiences and perspectives are also combined in imaginative and richly layered interpretations.

 

The Kodja Place is the story of the creation and development of Kojonup and the achievements of the different cultures, highlighting how they have worked side by side to develop Kojonup and build a strong community.  It acknowledges the hard times and struggles as well as the joys and everyday ways of our contemporary country life. The land and bush are a key part of the story.

 

  1. The Shire has recently leased a property to a new medical practitioner from Katanning in addition to another medical practitioner who has serviced the Shire for many years.  The old medical centre housing this practitioner is currently under review as to an upgrade or moving to a new facility near the Kojonup Hospital, through a partnership with WA Health.  A decision is yet to be made as to the outcome, however it should be noted that a local resident has donated $500K to ensure that a new medical centre progresses.  This provides long term security for the community in the provision of medical services.

 

  1. The Shire has received grant funding for the construction of 3 new independent living units scheduled to commence in 2015 together with a new CEO house.

 

  1. The Shire has recently applied for significant grant funding to add a further 2 independent living units to the existing 12 units, an additional staff house and the provision of fully serviced building lots for residential development.

 

This project is an essential element to increasing retention of residents in Kojonup through improving capacity to accommodate senior citizens and potentially their families, housing for Shire staff to ensure we have the ability to attract and retain skilled staff to increase productivity, and making available vacant lots for existing and new residents of Kojonup.  Specifically, the project will:

 

  • Contribute to filling gaps in residential options for seniors living in the Shire of Kojonup,

 

  • Allow for older residents to remain in rural towns and continue to contribute to their local communities,

 

  • Integrate Sustainable Development initiatives,

 

  • Provision of staff housing for the Shire to assist in securing professional staff from outside the area,

 

  • Encourage young families to the area and existing young families to stay,

 

  • Provision of vacant building lots for existing and new residents to ensure that the decline in population is arrested and an opportunity for the population to grow,

 

  • Provide a basis for enduring impact for the Shire,

 

  • Compliment the Community Strategic Plan 2013 -2023,

 

  • Achieve the Corporate Business Plan 2013 – 2017 Strategies:
    • 1.4.1.3 – Expand the footpath network to support pedestrian safety,
    • 1.4.2.2 – Improve Town Drainage Infrastructure,
    • 1.5.1.3 – Promote Kojonup as a place to live,
    • 1.5.2.4 – Improve disability access to infrastructure and services,
    • 1.6.2.2 – Identify land suitable for aged care unit development that will attract

private investment and independent living aged care units, and

  • 1.8.1 – Build local economic capacity to generate wealth and provide a variety of

local employment opportunities.

 

Do yourself a favour and log onto www.kojonup.wa.gov.au or even better come and see for yourself as you will be warmly welcomed!