Progress Association Leads the Way

Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2019 at 3:51:44 PM


Many regional towns face the challenge of attracting and retaining essential service providers such as electricians, mechanics and plumbers. This shortage of skilled tradespeople often results in long delays and additional costs for residents and businesses who have to look further afield to source the services they require.

Wongan Hills Progress Association identified this problem a while back and their members have been working tirelessly at promoting our Shire and encouraging qualified trades to move to the area. One of the ways the Association helps new businesses to integrate seamlessly is through a mentorship program between established businesses and new market entrants. By providing a support network for new business, the Association hopes to encourage more service providers to the area. “We recognise that it is often daunting for any business operator to enter into a new market environment, and if together we can find solutions by providing a support base, we think we’re on to a good thing” said Progress Association Vice President Stuart Boekeman.

The Association recently engaged long-time resident and business owner Paul Follett to mentor our newest arrivals. The family plumbing business established in 1951 by Paul’s father enjoyed extensive support for many years and extended into the time when Paul took over the reins in 2001. Looking to retire and enjoy life a bit more, Paul is delighted to be able to foster the goodwill his business has enjoyed over the years to help the new recruits. Brothers Glen and Brett Murphy have operated Aquasonic Plumbing and Gas in Perth for the past nine years and bring with them a wealth of experience. Paul’s role will be to provide support to the new operation through his extensive knowledge of the market. Wongan Hills will welcome the two brothers and their families early next year. In the interim, the brothers are already open for business and regularly travel from Perth to service the area.

Acting Shire Chief Executive Officer Alan Hart commented on this initiative by saying “The Progress Association should be commended on their efforts to attract service providers to our Shire, and we trust our residents will in turn support any new business investing in our future stability and growth. It is also encouraging to learn of the number of trainee programs being offered by local businesses and we look forward to working with them in developing the skills base of our community”.

The Wongan Hills Progress Association can be reached via eMail on

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