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Powering the State’s economic development

IT is impossible to look past the contribution the regions have made to the WA economy over many years.

In 1999-2000, regional WA added more than $20 billion to the State’s economy. Just 27 per cent of the population supplied over 33 per cent of the State’s gross domestic product and almost 75 per cent of its exports.

Once the domain of the pastoral industry, it is now the mineral and energy sector that takes the mantle as the dominant industry.

In 2001, the total value of production by the resource sector was $26.8 billion.

The WA Government also benefited substantially, collecting more than $1.2 billion in royalties from the sector. The North-West Shelf Oil and Gas Project partners paid in excess of $1.25 billion to the State and Federal governments in royalties and excise.

Overall, the resource sector is responsible for almost 60 per cent of investment in the State.

Coming a distant second, agricultural produce from the regions contributed $4.4 billion in 2000-01.

Yet agricultural producers are relatively well off, which explains strong demand for farm equipment and services. The gross value of agricultural production is expected to jump 15 per cent in 2001-02 to a record $5 billion.

Grain, boosted by good prices and strong rains, added $2.7 billion, wool more than $500 million and meat sales an additional $550 million, horticulture $500 million, live animal exports $350 million and the dairy sector $150 million.

But it is the mineral and energy sector that is the maker of the buoyant economic condition of this State and is the engine for investment

The Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources estimates that about $30 billion in major projects are planned for WA.

These include the $1.4 billion expansion of the North-West Shelf Project, due for completion in 2004, the $380 million Boddington gold mine expansion, the $630 West Angles development by Robe River and Newcrest’s proposed $1 billion Telfer gold mine expansion.

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