For more than five years the SW Blueprint guided the region, noting priorities and investment potential. A new era sees that work revisited in the form of this SW Regional Futures document, driven by the Commonwealth’s Regional Development Australia – South West and a three-year Strategic Regional Plan produced by the WA Government’s South West Development Commission.

The two pieces of work complement each other, both being mindful of regional data and the opportunities that abound in a rapidly changing world.

With substantial input from the region’s 12 local governments, SW Regional Futures challenges readers to meet the years ahead with courage and confront both what will be exciting and what could pose a threat.

Some of the ideas might seem provocative but they are based on genuine opportunity, comparative advantage and they have an eye on our changing world.

The first part of this work will note overall regional data and then we will move to future themes. This will provide a framework for discussion which will be enlivened by commentary on global megatrends, futurism and arguably a little speculation.

Regional Futures will explore several areas of opportunity and will dare to dream what might be.

1.1 South West Locator

The South West is one of Western Australia’s nine recognised regions located outside the Perth metropolitan area. Fronting the Indian and Southern Oceans, covering 24,000km2 and including 12 local government areas, the South West is the most populous and economically diverse of WA’s regions.