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Indigenous housing, childcare and renewable energy will be the priority for Regional Development Australia Goldfields Esperance, according to new chairperson Julia Shadlow-Bath.

Ms Shadlow-Bath, who was appointed chair of the board last month, said planning for the social needs of the community would be the cornerstone of the agency’s work over the next year.

“The fact is we are living now in a vastly different world than we were even five years ago; a global world,” Ms Shadlow-Bath said.

“What’s going on in South Africa and Africa in terms of mining is having a direct correlation on what is going on in the Goldfields. And what is great is as a region we are not just surviving we are still thriving.

“It’s just that the message we are getting from external sources is things aren’t so great in other places.

“So we need to capture this moment while we are still doing well and we need to be smart about how we take those next steps forward.”