Keston Technologies Services

Katanning Economic Development Strategy


Project overview

The Katanning Economic Development Strategy (KEDS) drew on strategic work undertaken as part of the SuperTowns program define a strategy to harness natural, industry and community resources and opportunities to stimulate sustainable economic activity. To do this, the KEDS examined the economic opportunities and challenges for Katanning within the context of the broader Vision for the community, to identify the directions the town should try to develop its economy, and the strategies that will enable it to do so. The novelty in the study arises from the continuous consideration of economic implications of each dimension of prior work (particularly the Katanning SuperTowns Growth Plan), the identification of key gaps in prior work (and there are a number of significant gaps despite the breadth and depth of that work), and most importantly, the design of a set of complementary economic development strategies that will enable Katanning to achieve its economic and broader Vision.

The KEDS addressed Economic, Sustainability and Societal objectives for the town and its surroundings, recognised the key challenges over the coming decades, including:

  • Population growth and demands on housing, amenities and infrastructure.
  • An aging population.
  • Environmental concerns, including climate change, water shortages and dryland salinity.
  • Globalisation.
  • Tackling social issues associated with Indigenous unemployment.

The objectives of the KEDS were therefore to:

  • Further articulate the economic objectives that follow from strategic work undertaken as part of the SuperTowns program,
  • Understand the opportunities, challenges and risks involved in meeting these objectives,
  • Identify the economic strategies which will maximise the chances of success within the identified constraints, and
  • Translate these findings into guidelines needed to effectively implement the strategies, realise the economic vision for the town and support the wider objectives.



The KEDS was developed through background research and analysis and through consultation with the Shire and industry. The key opportunities, challenges and threats facing the town over the coming decade were examined, together with demographic trends. From this, the strategic and tactical responses required to address these issues were identified.

The study required interactions with a range of stakeholders at various levels and a key issue was ensuring that the study did not simply duplicate prior work, nor replace it, but build on it, integrate it and complement it.


Outcomes achieved

In the process of researching and defining KEDS it has become clear that Katanning faces both great opportunities and significant challenges. However, there is also a set of clear and credible strategies for addressing these challenges, and building an approach based on exploiting the synergies between the opportunities and challenges to maximise the chances of success. The KEDS has provided an important tool to guide town planning towards the:

  • Development of a local economy that builds upon comparative advantages.
  • Support of existing business and industry to compete in an economic environment that extends beyond the geographical borders of the town and is subject to global economic influences.
  • Promotion of sustainable and innovative practices.
  • Provision of infrastructure that meets the current and future needs of industry and community.
  • Creation of an environment that is conducive to business and industry development and attraction.
  • Building of partnerships, business networks and alliances.
  • Promotion and marketing of the town.