In completing this work, RDA South West acknowledges the Noongar people of the South West, our regional partners and stakeholders, and, the collective work of all who have contributed to making the South West of a better place to live.

The Commonwealth’s Regional Investment Framework

Investing in People
Listening to local voices and partnering with communities. Targeted investment in skills, education, training and local leadership capacity.

Investing in Places
Supporting adaptive, accessible, sustainable and liveable regions. Delivering infrastructure where and when it is needed.

Investing in Services
Enhancing connectivity, accessibility and equity of services. Investment including across communications, health, water, and transport.

Investing in Industries and Local Economies Investment to help activate economic and industry growth. Supporting the conditions needed for regional industries to diversify and grow.

Welcome to South West Regional Futures

"Knowing where you are going and having everyone pull in the same direction is a fundamental requirement for business and life generally, but in developing Australia’s regions it is absolutely critical."

Scott Robinson, Chair

Regional Development Australia – South West

Consider that about a fifth of the Australian population produces about two-thirds of the nation’s export earnings, then the importance of the regions is plain to see. It is also clear that those regions which leave their development to chance, will lag behind, lack investment, miss opportunities and make mistakes that could cost jobs at best and long-term damage to the environment at worst.

Doing nothing is not an option, so what is the best path forward?

This piece of apolitical work marries the principles of regional development with opportunity. It identifies South West characteristics, trends shaping our future, priority settings and the principles of regional development to highlight a range of interventions and proposals that would make our region an internationally-recognised region of excellence.

Regional Australia is in the national psyche, but let us hang up the countryman’s Akubra and debunk the myth that cutting edge means doing business in the city.

Instead, let us drive the narrative that progressive and innovative business can, and do, make their homes outside congested urban environs, employing skilled people who enjoy an enviable regional lifestyle.

It is incumbent on us to identify what’s important to our region. We can pursue ambitious but realistic goals, choosing to disregard parochialism and opening our minds to prioritise game-changing opportunities that will have everyone pulling together for the greater benefit of the region.

Executive Summary

South West Regional Futures notes a high degree of alignment between key regional planning and regional development documents, backed by consensus among regional stakeholders.

This website blends existing industry strengths with new opportunities in advanced manufacturing and the digital space. Neither can be separated from community and environment, one acknowledging the importance of liveability and the other underpinning what South West residents love most about their region...

Continue reading the full executive summary

The European calendar has four seasons, while there are six Noongar seasons in Western Australia’s South West. The seasons reflect the weather, plants and food sources.

Image by Frances Andrijich, Koomal Dreaming


December and January

First summer and the traditional burning season as the days warm and rainfall is uncommon. Many of the birds have chicks which will fledge in Birak. Cool breezes come from the South West.


February and March

Second summer. Hottest time of the year. Coastal living and fishing characterises the season. Freshwater foods and seafood made up major parts of the diet during Bunuru. This is also a time of white flowering gums in full bloom.


April and May

The hot weather eases to Autumn and features cooler nights with dew in the mornings. As the season progresses it grows colder and red wildflowers bloom. Food sources include fish, frogs, turtles and root bulbs.


June and July

This is the coldest and wettest season. It is frequented by storms. Traditionally, people moved inland where the catchments have water and rivers run. Food sources change to kangaroos (yongar), emus (waitj) and possums (koomal).


August and September

Late winter and early spring days start to warm while nights are cold and clear. Flowers come to life as this transitional period sees rains and sunshine. Food sources remain grazing animals. Balgas (grass tree) flower stalks emerge.


October and November

A transformational time of the year. Wildflowers and orchids bloom and Australian Christmas trees flower as the days get warmer. Food sources remain kangaroos, emus and possums. Snakes begin to wake up.

RDA South West wishes to thank the young children from the Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School which contributed the six seasons artwork used throughout this website.