New RDA board chief

A new role as Regional Development Australia – Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) chief executive officer is a homecoming for former assistant valuer-general Dion Dorward.A NEW role as Regional Development Australia – Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) chief executive officer is a homecoming for former assistant valuer-general Dion Dorward.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Dorward, who grew up in Tumby Bay and spent his early working life in Port Lincoln, said he was glad to return to home soil.

The Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association will undertake a review into the function of RDAWEP, whether both the Port Lincoln and Whyalla offices are needed and how money is spent, after the state government withdrew $3 million in funding for the state’s RDA boards last year, but Mr Dorward is committed to keeping a presence in both cities.

The board recently secured funding from the commonwealth, state and local governments.

Mr Dorward said while funding cuts were unfortunate, the board continued to work effectively.

“It’s no different to what’s happening in all areas of government and business,” he said.

“It’s a tough economy cycle in terms of attracting funding to any business and we’ve all got to be very efficient in what we do and ensure we’re not duplicating efforts.

“The board and I are very committed to maintaining an office presence in Whyalla and Port Lincoln.

“My philosophy of management is we are one team.”

Mr Dorward has worked in a range of fields including tourism, property and government, and even spent time as a deckhand on a tuna boat in his early career.

He said his long involvement with the region would give him a head start in forming ties with local industry and government.

“The common thread is that nearly all the work I’ve undertaken has been connected to Eyre Peninsula,” he said.

“My former job managing nine Land Services Group offices around the state kept me well and truly in touch with the region.

“The range of my experience sets me up to have a good base of understand for the challenges and opportunities that the Eyre Peninsula community and business confront every day.

“It’s fantastic to be back on Eyre Peninsula at a time when the seasons are being so kind to our industries, which are the backbone of the state’s economy.”

Mr Dorward will be looking into how the board can assist the agricultural and seafood sectors in terms of improving wharf and loading facilities, as well as building on the Eyre Peninsula – Australia’s Seafood Frontier brand.

He said the new Port Lincoln airport, achieved with RDAWEP assistance, would be key to boosting the region’s tourism.

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