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REGIONAL SNAPSHOT

Goldfields-Esperance region

Area: 771,276 sq km

GDP 1990/00 (est): $4.7 billion

GDP per capita: $80,443

Population (2000): 58,926

Per cent of total State pop: 3.1 per cent

Pop growth rate: 1.3 per cent/annum

Largest centre: Kalgoorlie/Boulder: 32,042 people

The mining sector contributes almost three-quarters of the Gross Domestic Product of the region and supports a wide variety of general business activities. These include businesses in transport, engineering, equipment and labour hire, consultancy services, laboratories, drilling and contracting, communications and waste disposal.

Gascoyne

Area: 136,100 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $454 million

GDP per capita: $46,580

Population (2000): 9,755

Per cent of total State pop: 0.7 per cent

Largest centre: Carnarvon 6,219

The Gascoyne has a diverse economic base with activity in tourism, fishing, mining, horticulture and pastoralism. Tourism has become in recent years one of the largest components to the region, contributing an estimated $72 million to the economy. Fishing added a further $73 million to the economy, as did the mining sector. Horticulture centred around Carnarvon and the agriculture sector was valued at $51 million.

Pilbara

Area: 505,000 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $15 billion

GDP per capita: $95,796

Population (2000): 40,429

Per cent of total State pop: 2.1 per cent

Largest centre: Roebourne: 14,320

With a strong offshore and on-shore mineral and resource focus, the Pilbara has grown significantly since the area was first developed during the 1960s under the government of Sir Charles Court. The region has an unemployment rate well below the State average. Mining and petroleum industries accounted for $11.7 billion in 1999/00. With the LNG deal sealed with China last week, a further $25 billion in orders over the next quarter century has been created. Agriculture played a significant part toward the region with production valued at $28 million in 1998-99.

South West

Area: 23,970 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $4.1 billion

GDP per capita: $32,609

Population (2000): 126,889

Per cent of total State pop: 6.7 per cent

Largest centre: Bunbury 28,779

Like most of WA, it is the resource sector that is the largest contributor to the regional development. Downstream mineral extraction, processing and manufacturing industries have been developed with total revenue amounting to around $1.4 billion. Coal production was valued at $271 million in 1999-2000 and mineral sands mining adding a similar amount to the economy. Agricultural production was estimated at $467 million with a quarter flowing from dairy production. Population growth rates are forecast to continue to outstrip the rest of the state. By 2010 the region is expected to have a population of almost 200,000.

Great Southern

Area: 38,917 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $1.5 billion

GDP per capita: $27,876

Population (2000): 52,128

Per cent of total State pop: 2.8 per cent

Largest centre (2000): Albany 29,873

The inland and agricultural shires of the region are experiencing economic and demographic declines, while the City of Albany and the Shires of Denmark and Plantagenet are growing on the back of a surge in baby boomers moving to the coastal regions. In 1981 the 35 to 50-year age group made up 16.6 per cent of the regional population. Today the group accounts for about 25 per cent of the population. Agriculture remains the mainstay of the region. In 1998-99 agricultural production was $560 million. Mining production was valued at less than $3 million in 1999-00, while the value of the plantation industry is estimated to be around $300 million.

Kimberley

Area: 421,451 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $1.1 billion

GDP per capita: $37,828

Population (2000): 30,539

Largest centre (2000): Broome 11,571

The Kimberley boasts the fastest population growth in WA. It is forecast to continue growing by around 4 per cent a year. The population is unique in that almost 50 per cent of the population is comprised of aboriginals which are dispersed through around 100 communities. The economy is supported by growth in the Ord River Irrigation Area near Kununurra. The regional contributed around $67 million in 1999-00 to the gross domestic product. In 1998-99, there were 191 agricultural establishments in the Kimberley covering 24 million hectares. Mineral and petroleum however, accounts for close to half of the GDP, In 1999-00 it was valued at $891 million on the back of $700 million from the Argyle Diamond mine.

Mid-West

Area: 470,000 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $2.5 billion

GDP per capita: $51,413

Population (2000): 50,498

Per cent of State pop: 2.7 per cent

Largest centre (2000): Geraldton 19,510

The Mid-West’s population has remained almost stagnant over the past decade as Geraldton numbers, which accounts for over 60 per cent of the population, falls backward. The region is the second largest producer of gold in the State accounting for revenue of $604 million. The total value of production from the mining sector was estimated to be $1.6 billion in 1999-00. Agricultural commodities added a further $561 million and fishing another $176 million.

Wheatbelt

Area: 154,862 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $2.7 billion

Population (2000): 72,596

Per cent of State pop: 3.9 per cent

Largest region (2000): Avon 24,377

Agriculture plays a big part in the economic and social fabric of the Wheat Belt. Total agricultural production was valued at $1.8 billion in 1998-99. Wheat alone accounts for around $1 billion a year. The mining industry also was invaluable. In 1999-00 production was valued at $509 million, comprised mainly of gold and mineral sands production. The fishing sector, dominated by the Rock Lobster industry was valued at more than $110 million a year and the emerging tourism industry added an equal amount to the gross domestic product of the region.

Peel

Area: 5,500 sq km

GDP 1999/00 (est): $2 billion

GDP per capita: $28,765

Population (2000): 72,455

Per cent of State pop: 3.8 per cent

Largest centre (2000): Mandurah 49,420

The Peel region like the rest of regional WA has a strong focus on mineral extraction and processing. Dominated by the large reserves of bauxite, the region supplies feedstock for 21 per cent of the world’s alumina. Output from the mining activities were valued at $1.7 billion in 1999-00 of which alumina production accounted for $1.6 billion. Agriculture output was valued at $81 million. The equine industry has a unique presence in the region contributing some $75 million to the economy. While the forestry industry was valued at $7.8 million with 152,000 tonnes harvested in 1999-00.

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