Nats talkfest spruiks region
The Nationals WA party members will descend on Manjimup this week as they hold their 2018 State conference and convention in town.
Official proceedings kick off on Friday, with the Young Nationals AGM, a truffle factory visit and the President’s Sundowner in the evening.
On Saturday, the conference will be held from 8.30am at the Manjimup Town Hall and the event will finish with a gala dinner hosted by Nationals WA Party leader Mia Davies.
Ms Davies said the Nationals existed solely to represent regional communities and the party brought its State Conference to regional towns to showcase the regions to members and supporters.
“It is vital that we continue to support Manjimup and the surrounding communities of the broader inland South West as they are integral to our State’s economic growth and future,” she said.
“Whether it be avocados, truffles, cherries, stone fruit — Manjimup and the Southern Forest region has gained a global reputation for exceptional produce.”
Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman said one of the issues he would raise was ongoing water rights issues.
While he remained supportive of the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme, it was important to him that “local angst” be taken into consideration.
“There is a sentiment that the scheme is potentially in competition for water that could otherwise be available to growers directly,” he said.
“Ensuring the final project funding includes a $300,000 allocation for an independent hydrological study of the Manjimup Brook catchment will provide accurate, science-based information.”
Mr Redman will also bring up possible replacements for Moonya Lodge, as updated aged care facilities would complement the new Wellness and Respite Centre.
He also said another topic of discussion would be establishing a new funding program to replace Royalties for Regions.
“The format of this and how it is funded will make for a good discussion with our colleagues and supporters,” he said.