The WA Regional Capitals Alliance (WARCA) has today released its WA Regionalisation Strategy with the aim of engaging all stakeholders in transforming Western Australia.

Chair of WARCA, City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Mr Ian Carpenter, said the alliance was formed in 2011 in a bid to encourage more state planning in regional centres and to address the lack of population growth in regional capitals.

WARCA represents the major regional capital’s city local governments in Western Australia, and the strategy aims to form a platform and basis for future policy discussion and development, to drive debate and discussion on the development of a policy-based approach to significantly change and develop the regional framework for Western Australia.

The alliance began with four founding member cities – Geraldton-Greenough (now the City of Greater Geraldton); Albany, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It was soon joined by a further three regional capitals: the shires of Broome and Roebourne and the Town of Port Hedland that could see the benefits in forming a common alliance to forge a positive relationship with both the State and Commonwealth governments.

Speaking from the Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) Forum in Geelong today, Mr Carpenter said a bipartisan approach was needed to address the significant opportunities to build and develop the State’s regional capitals.

“The regional capitals by their own initiative and funding have progressed significant projects and policy positions and WARCA now calls on all parties to partner and engage with us to transform our State,” he said.

“The alliance is working towards a strategic approach to regional development within Western Australia and nationally. While making the case for regionalisation of future population growth away from the major metropolitan areas, the priority is strategic investment in the infrastructure of regional cities.

“The upcoming election on March 9 provides a clear opportunity for an exciting new future,” Mr Carpenter said.

The Western Australian Regionalisation Strategy can be found here.