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WA has enjoyed many economic benefits from the mining boom, but no state or region can afford to rely on past successes. Nor should the prospects for WA’s continued economic growth rely on a narrow concentration of economic strengths within a few industry sectors. Constant transformation and re-invention is necessary for continued prosperity.

WA should of course pursue lucrative mining opportunities, including lithium and other rare earths. But a broader industrial and regional strategy would enable WA to capture a range of related opportunities, offer a wider diversity of industries, support sustained and inclusive growth, as well as promote a more resilient State economy.

Diversification can be challenging, but we know strategies that build on existing strengths and expertise are more likely to succeed. Smart specialisation is one such strategy.

Smart specialisation is a policy approach used around the world to promote sustained and inclusive growth, by supporting a region’s strengths and diversifycation into related industries.

This report analyses the existing strengths and assets of WA’s regions and identify future industries that could diversify and strengthen every regional economy across WA.

The report recommends a closer examination of each industry to identify barriers to development, including supply chains, industry networks, infrastructure requirements and skill shortages.

Rather than 'picking winners', smart specialisation strategies are effective because they seek logical policy responses to resolve identified issues so that sectors can flourish by enabling the entry of new businesses or the expansion of existing businesses.

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Focus on Industry Series, No. 4