Economic and Business Development
The City of Busselton is located in Western Australia’s south west region, and is the perfect base to explore the internationally renowned Margaret River region.
The Mediterranean style climate offers pleasant summer months and mild winter rainfall. The Region is bordered by the Indian and Southern oceans, with the coastline featuring some of the best surfing beaches in Australia, towering forests, sheltered bays and a well established food and wine scene.
Superb restaurants and a thriving arts community with numerous galleries showcasing the works of talented artisans are spread throughout the region. Other attractions include national parks, beaches, caves, wineries, micro-breweries and eco and cultural tourism sites that have credited the Margaret River Region as the most popular tourist destination outside Perth in Western Australia.
With a resident population of around 38,300 people (2017), the Busselton district has one of the fastest growing populations outside the Perth metropolitan area, experiencing an average annual growth rate of around 4% per annum. Based on the annual population growth achieved by the City over the past ten years, the City's population is expected to reach 53,080 in 2026.
To accommodate Busselton's population growth, there are several major projects recently completed, underway or in the planning phase. These include:
- The Busselton foreshore is being transformed into a first class recreational hub complete with state-or-art skate park, cafes and restaurants, public open space and commercial opportunities for short stay hotel accommodation;
- A major upgrade to the Dunsborough town centre and foreshore, including a planned beachfront cafe;
- The Yallingup Foreshore has been revitalised complete with viewing platforms, an adventure playground and picnic facilities;
- Planning is underway for a new 1000+ capacity multi purpose venue The Busselton Entertainment Arts and Culture Hub;
- Growth of the Vasse community and associated development of schools, shops and sporting facilities;
- A recently upgraded $120m hospital and health campus at Busselton, allowing top quality medical care to be provided close to home;
- New district playing fields supporting regional competitions and sports events;
- Progress of the $72m Busselton Margaret River Airport expansion to accommodate interstate flights and future international service for tourism and freight industries;
- Construction of a new $23m civic and administrative centre to support the growing population;
- A new and growing cruise ship industry utilising new berthing facilities at the Busselton Jetty;
- Plans for two major shopping centre redevelopments enhancing the retail experience for visitors and residents;
- Continued rollout of the NBN across the district, enabling high speed internet access supporting new and existing businesses and residents.
The City of Busselton is planning strategically, to meet the challenges of a fast growing community. A profile of the local economy and its demographic make-up can be downloaded by clicking the link below.
Busselton Local Economy Dashboard: Online Tool
An online dashboard showing a summary of local economic and demographic conditions can be viewed here.
On 9 November 2016, Council adopted a new Economic Development Strategy (2016-2016) and an associated implementation plan to help guide Council and its strategic partners to facilitate local economic development. These documents identify strategies and initiatives which aim to attract inward investment; enhance business retention and expansion; support regional workforce development; identify and advocate for strategic economic infrastructure; and enhance the quality of place, particularly precincts with high tourist visitation. Six Key Focus Areas will be pursued:
Investment Attraction and Marketing: Business attraction (or recruitment) is a means of contributing to the economic vitality of a local area. It is a process of understanding the local economy and identifying gaps for local provision of goods and services by businesses and institutions. It results in a marketing plan aimed at attracting companies and/or institutions that will diversify and build the local economy to match the community’s assets and development goals.
Business Retention and Expansion: Business retention and expansion (BR&E) aims to support businesses that are already operating in the Busselton district, with the aim of growing the local economy from within. Its premise is that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth and economic growth to a region in the form of jobs, increased revenues, and a vibrant local business sector.
Regional Workforce Development: The ability of a community to supply an appropriately skilled labour force can determine the success of existing businesses and influences the attractiveness of the Busselton district for new business and industry investment.
Industry Development: The Busselton district has a relatively diverse industrial base of small-medium enterprises and this has buffered its regional economy somewhat from a national trend of downturns in some regional economies. Resilience of the regional economy also needs to be maintained through support for new industries, and derivative enterprises from established industries.
Strategic Infrastructure: High quality economic infrastructure is a key enabler for industry growth, productivity and the attraction of investment. Access to appropriate infrastructure is also fundamental to ensuring the whole community can contribute to, and share in, the Region’s wealth and quality of life.
Place Making and Activation: Vibrant activity centres are vital for sustainable urban living and are crucial in providing a memorable experience to visitors. Exciting, activated places foster a sense of community and develop a unique, individual character, image and style; evolve and grow with their community and reflect its character, heritage, and future aspirations; nurture small business and local employment; and, facilitate and encourage walking, cycling and public transport usage.
Council also established a new Economic Development Taskforce to help steer an implementation plan and facilitate collaboration between Government, industry and community groups that have a role in local economic development.
Terms of reference for the Taskforce can viewed here
A copy of the Strategy can be downloaded below: