Western Australian Regional Development Trust

A statutory advisory body providing advice to the Minister for Regional Development on the operation and application of the Royalties for Regions Fund and other matters referred to it by the Minister.
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The Western Australian Regional Development Trust (Trust) is a statutory advisory body established under the Royalties for Regions Act 2009 (the Act), which provides advice to the Minister for Regional Development on the operation of the Royalties for Regions Fund and any other matters referred to it by the Hon Don Punch, MLA, Minister for Regional Development.

The Trust has an important role in providing advice and recommendations on the allocation of funds from the Royalties for Regions Fund and in the management of the Fund, which was established to promote and facilitate economic, business and social development in regional Western Australia. 

In addition to its monitoring and advisory role, the Trust also works to engage and enhance relationships with key regional stakeholders and influencers to promote greater collaboration and innovation in the delivery of regional development in Western Australia.

The Trust visits the regions and consults widely with individuals, industry and the broader community to raise awareness, increase knowledge and promote sustainable economic development in regional Western Australia.

The Trust formally meets approximately 4 times per year and on other occasions as required.

Trust Membership

The Minister for Regional Development appoints Trust members under section 13 of the Royalties for Regions Act 2009 (the Act) to include:

  • The Chairperson of a Regional Development Commission
  • At least three, but not more than five other people.

The current members of the Trust are:

Professor David Caddy, Chair 

Chair of the WA Regional Development Trust

Appointed as Chair on 1 May 2023 under sections 13(1)(b), 14, 15(1) of the Act.

David has nearly 50 years’ experience in urban and regional planning and from December 1989 until January 2015, was Managing Director of TPG + Place Match, Western Australia’s largest Planning Consultancy. David was then the firm’s Executive Chairman retiring from the firm in March 2018 when he was appointed Chairman of the Western Australian Planning Commission. David has spent the past 40 years at a senior management level specialising in statutory planning, strategic and structure planning, development control, project management and documentation, planning advocacy and formulation and delivery of policy.

David has a broad range of experience incorporating master planned communities, multiple dwelling projects, industrial projects, commercial projects, education and infrastructure projects to urban design analysis and strategic planning and development of planning controls. David held the position of Professor, Urban and Regional Planning at UWA from January 2010 until December 2018 and was appointed to the position of Adjunct Professor in September 2020.

Hon. Tom Stephens OAM JP BA GAICD, Trust Member

Appointed as a Trust Member on 1 August 2019 under sections 13(1)(a) and 15(2) of the Act.

Formerly a member of State Parliament (1982-2013), Tom served as a Minister in both Dr Carmen Lawrence and Dr Geoff Gallop's Governments, where he held the portfolios of Housing and Works, Local Government, Heritage and Regional Development.

Since retiring from the State Parliament, Tom has served on a number of Boards and Committees, drawing on his many years of experience and involvement across regional western Australia generally and with Aboriginal communities in particular. These include the Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation of WA, Lost and Found Opera, MG Aboriginal Corporation, and the Jamukurnu Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation.

Tom is also Chair of the Kimberley Development Commission, a Director of the Pilbara Ports Authority and continues to maintain an active involvement across regional Western Australia.


Paula Hickey, Trust Member

Appointed as a Trust Member on 1 January 2022 under sections 13(1)(b) of the Act.

Paula has extensive experience in providing advice and working directly with executive government at both a State and Federal level for over 20 years. her roles have included Principal Private Secretary and Principal Policy Advisor to several State Government Ministers. During this time Paula gained key strengths in the areas of Local Government and Regional Development, Sport and Recreation, and Agriculture and Food.

After working with Woodside Energy for 10-years, Paula undertook the role of Manager Government Relations at DUG Technology, a West Australian technology company involved in high-performance computing (HPC), before recently retiring.

Paula brings substantial experience of working in government and international relations, the resource sector and operating her own small business, supporting community development in regional and remote communities.


Oral McGuire MAICD, Trust Member

Appointed as a Trust Member on 1 January 2022 under sections 13(1)(b) of the Act.

Oral is a prominent Noongar community leader, entrepreneur, landholder and long-term champion of Aboriginal economic empowerment and capacity building, with specific experience in Noongar traditional land and fire management practices and cultural governance.

Born in Beverly and having grown up in Northam, Oral continues to live and work in the Wheatbelt, and brings strong cultural knowledge, community networks and business experience to the Trust.

Oral is a Director of the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Board member of the Noongar Landholder Enterprise Inc. and Chair of Yaraguia Enterprises Incorporated. he is also Deputy Chair of the Wheatbelt Development Commission.

Oral is a Member of the Australian institute of Company Directors and is the Principal Consultant for Gundi Consulting Pty Ltd, which specialises in facilitating the development of strong relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses.

Annual Reports

Western Australian Regional Development Trust Annual Report 2022 to 2023

Western Australian Regional Development Trust Annual Report 2021 to 2022

Western Australian Regional Development Trust Annual Report 2020 to 2021

Western Australian Regional Development Trust 2020 to 2021 Annual Report Executive Summary

Western Australian Regional Development Trust Annual Report 2019 to 2020

Contact the Western Australian Regional Development Trust

Email:  secretariat@wardt.wa.gov.au
Phone: +61 8 6552 1875
Address: Locked Bag 4, Bentley Delivery Centre  WA  6983