Mid West makes its variety pay

THE Mid West region is truly a big slice of WA. Covering 470,000 square hectares, from the coast into the farming wheatbelt, through the pastoral hinterland to the mining centres in the east, it comprises almost one fifth of the state.

Geraldton, the principal port for the region, is about four hours’ drive north of Perth.

Rich in natural resources, including minerals and marine life, and with a strong agricultural and manufacturing base, the Mid West offers many opportunities for a diverse range of investment.

The Mid West is considered the state’s premier commercial fishing region with exports of rock lobster to Asia and North America and commercial catches of scallops, snapper, cod and shark made in the area.

The region’s access to South East Asia and its ability to take advantage of the climate, extensive reserves of ground water, diverse landscape and soils has seen the rapid development of horticulture and floriculture.

Goats, essential oils and agroforestry also offer opportunities for the future in the Mid West.

New varieties of pulses and legumes are being trialled successfully in the region and offer potential for downstream processing of grains grown in the area.

Additional oportunities exist for industrial development in regional centres.

More than 80 per cent of the Narngulu Industrial Park has been taken up by industries including plants for processing of mineral sands, garnet and attapulgite, a tannery and a range of general support industries.

A proposed heavy industrial park located 20 kilometres north of Geraldton is intended to develop and expand the potential of the chemical, shipbuilding, manufacturing and mineral processing industries.

The Oakajee industry estate will also incorporate a deep water port facility.

The potential for downstream processing of minerals is very strong with two major iron and steel projects currently well advanced in their planning.

A vibrant tourism industry exists within the region and the rapidly expanding areas of Kalbarri and Geraldton lend themselves to commercial development in accommodation and resort facilities.

The potential for sustainable nature-based tourism ventures are clear and opportunities to expand in this niche market have also been identified.

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