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The regions driving WA's economy

KIMBERLEY

 

THE pastoral industry and irrigated agricultural operations, together with one of the fastest population growth rates in WA, have propelled economic in the north of the State. Mining, particularly at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond operation, and more recently with the exploitation of the Allendale fields by the Kimberley Diamond Company, are leading a new drive by explorers into the region.

Emerging industries include the $161 million aquaculture sector, which built on the traditional Broome-based pearling industry, and the hinterland agricultural and cattle sectors. A strong tourism trade has followed the economic diversity. In 1999, 442,000 domestic visitors spent an estimated $230 million.

 

Population (2001): 32,700.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $737m, down 21.5 per cent on 2000;

proportion of State, 2.7 per cent.

Base metals: $192m.

Diamonds: $499m

Agriculture: $121m (est).

Beef cattle: $53.9m.

Ord River agriculture: $67.5m.

Tourism takings: $26.5m, down 10.1 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 6.9 per cent.

Fishing sector: $5.4m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $56.1m.

 

PILBARA

 

THE Pilbara economic story is one of the development of the iron ore industry since the early 1960s. However, with iron ore firmly established, the focus has shifted to the development of crude oil and natural gas products and downstream processing on the Burrup Peninsula. Since 1999 crude oil and condensate sales have jumped from $2.5 billion to more than $6 billion in 2001. Gas sales of LNG, LPG and natural gas have been just as strong, growing from $2.2 billion in 1999 to around $4 billion in 2001.

The Shire of Roebourne has been the greatest beneficiary. Within its boundaries, the value of mineral and petroleum production has more than doubled from $4.1 billion to $8.8 billion.

Population (2001): 39,676.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $15.4b, up 5.4 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 56.8 per cent.

Base metals: $74m.

Iron Ore: $5,100m.

Crude oil and condensate: $6,003m.

Gas – LNG, LPG and natural: $3,925m.

Agriculture: $20m (est).

Tourism takings: $20.8m, up 10.0 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 5.0 per cent.

Fishing sector: $12.4m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $24.4m.

 

GASCOYNE

 

THE Gascoyne is a minnow in terms of its contribution to the WA economy. For the year 1999-2000 it had an estimated gross regional product of $454 million. Tourism, fishing, mining, horticulture and pastoralism were the main components of the regional economy. In 1999, there were 222,000 domestic visitors contributing an estimated $72 million to the region. The fishing catch added a similar amount to the region, dominated by the prawn trade. Retail turnover was estimated at $71 million while the mining sector was valued at around $70 million.

Population (2001): 10,232.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $85.1m, up 13.5 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 0.3 per cent.

Gypsum: $21m.

Salt: $63.9m.

Agriculture: $51.3m (est).

Carnarvon horticulture: $28.2m.

Pastoral: $23.1m.

Tourism takings: $6.9m, up 10.6 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 1.8 per cent.

Fishing sector: $51.7m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $8.3m.

 

MID-WEST

 

THE Mid-West region has a diverse economy developed around the mining, agricultural and fishing, and tourism sectors. About 43 per cent of the State’s rock lobsters are caught off the Mid-West coast, contributing more than $150 million annually to the region’s economy. But it is the mining sector that continues to drive the region. Minerals and petroleum production in the 2001-02 was valued at $2.11 billion. Nickel and gold miners, buoyed by increasing metal prices, were the two largest contributors.

 

Population (2001): 50,463.

Value of minerals and petroleum: $2.11b, down 0.9 per cent on 2000-01; proportion of State, 7.8 per cent.

Base metals: $95m.

Gold: $803m.

Heavy mineral sands: $323m.

Nickel: $710m.

Agriculture: $561m.

Tourism takings: $11.3m; up 11.5 per cent on 2000-01; proportion of State, 3.0 per cent.

Fishing sector: $153m.

Value of building approvals: $36.3m.

PEEL

 

WITH its close proximity to the Perth metropolitan region, the Peel region has a diverse economy based on mining and mineral processing. Agriculture, including the equine industry, timber production, fishing, construction and tourism, also contribute to Peel’s economic fabric. With its large population base and tourism inflows, the retail sector of the Peel is also significant. In 2000-01 retail turnover was approximately $465 million. An estimated 2.3 million visitors to the Peel during 2000-01 contributed $187 million to the region.

 

Population (2001): 76,734.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $3.88b, up 17.8 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 14.3 per cent.

Alumina: $3,766m.

Coal: $258m.

Gold: $119m.

Heavy mineral sands: $327m.

Agriculture: $96m (est).

Tourism takings: $5.9m, up 1.8 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 1.6 per cent.

Fishing sector: $18.3m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $204.4m.

 

SOUTH WEST

THE South West has experienced strong population growth over the past decade, particularly along the coastal strip between Bunbury and Margaret River.

This has led to an increase in the retail sector, as well as general commerce. The agricultural sector, however, is still an important component. New sectors such as blue gum plantations, viticulture and flowers and fruit provide much of the State’s requirements for these products. The region has around 2,500 agricultural establishments covering more than 1,000,000 hectares.

Tourism plays an important part in the economic fabric with 1.6 million visitors to the South West in 2000 spending an estimated $563 million. 

Gross regional product was estimated at $4.6 million in 2000-01.

Population (2001): 129,925.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $791m, up 14.7 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 2.9 per cent.

Coal: $258m.

Heavy mineral sands: $327m

Agriculture: $473m (est).

Milk production: $128.1m.

Fruit and vegetables: $92.5m.

Grapes: $49.3m.

Tourism takings: $44.6m, up 9.4 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 11.7 per cent.

Fishing sector: $12.4m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $211.6m.

 

GOLDFIELDS

THE Goldfields-Esperance region takes in significant pastoral land but it is the mining sector that dominated the estimated $5.53 billion gross regional product in 2000-01.

Mining, represented by large gold producers, accounted for about 65 per cent of the region’s economy, compared with just 4.3 per cent attributed to the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors.

But it was not just gold driving the figures. The nickel industry, particularly since the emergence of new laterite nickel projects such as Anaconda Nickel Limited, has played a significant role in the development of the region, with about 20 per cent of the region’s yearly output.

Population (2001): 55,255.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $3.6b, up 5.6 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 13.4 per cent.

Base metals: $11.8m.

Gold: $2,139m.

Limestone-limesand: $4.4m.

Nickel: $1,492m.

Agriculture: $300m (est).

Tourism takings: $19.3m, up 3.9 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 5.1 per cent.

Fishing sector: $17.2m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $32.7m.

 

WHEATBELT

UNLIKE much of the State, the Wheatbelt retains strong ties with the agriculture sector. Around a third of the region’s 30,000-plus workforce is involved in the agriculture or forestry and fishing sectors. Around 60 per cent of the State’s crops are planted in the region. While the Wheatbelt accounts for a significant portion of agriculture production, the mining industry was valued at $536 million in 2000-01. Iron ore has come from nowhere two years ago to account for around 20 per cent of mining in the region.

Population (2001): 72,407.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $536m, up 3.8 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 2.0 per cent.

Gold: $164m.

Heavy mineral sands: $258m.

Iron ore: $104m.

Salt: $5.4m.

Agriculture: $2.5b (est).

Tourism takings: $5.1m, down 5.8 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 1.3 per cent.

Fishing sector: $81.8m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $50.3m.

 

 

GREAT SOUTHERN

THE Great Southern is the second largest producer of agricultural commodities in WA. Primary industries such as broadacre cropping, wool, livestock, horticulture and fishing are the mainstay of the economy. Blue gum planting also has become important as agricultural land is converted to plantations. Tourism retains a vital role, with approximately 457,000 visitors in 2001 spending around $131 million.

Population (2001): 53,426.

Value of minerals and petroleum (2001): $3.7m, down 19.9 per cent on 2000; proportion of State, 0.0 per cent.

Agriculture: $624m (est).

Livestock products: $114m.

Crops: $392m.

Livestock: $117m.

Tourism takings: $10.6m, up 7.2 per cent on 1999-00; proportion of State, 2.8 per cent.

Fishing sector: $3.6m.

Value of residential building approvals (2001-02): $55.5m.

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