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The Great Southern Development Authority was converted to the Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC) through the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993. It is one of nine regional development commissions established through this Act to facilitate economic and social development in Western Australia's regions.
Under its enabling legislation, the Great Southern Development Commission is charged with planning, promoting and coordinating the regional development of the Great Southern Region.
As part of a series of Machinery of Government changes effective from 1 July 2017, staff of the Great Southern Development Commission were transferred to the new Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.