Regions of Western Australia

Regions of Western Australia

Regionalisations of Western Australia are systems by which Western Australia is divided into distinct geographic regions.

The most commonly known regionalisation is the governmental division of the state into regions for economic development purposes.

Others regionalisations include those made for purposes of land management, such as agriculture or conservation; information gathering, such as statistical or meteorological.

Although most regionalisations were defined for specific purposes and give specific boundaries, many regions will have similar names and extents across different regionalisations. As a result, the names and boundaries of regions can vary in popular usage.

The "Regional Development Commissions Act" regionalisation

The most widely known regionalisation of Western Australia is the one defined by the State Government for purposes of economic development administration. Together, these constitute the whole of mainland Western Australia, with the exception of the Perth metropolitan area which is not contained in a region.

These regions were established by the "Regional Development Commissions Act 1993", which defined their extents and established Regional Development Commissions to promote their economic development. In defining the regions, an attempt was made to capture distinct socio-economic communities. For example, the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia has an economy based heavily on mining, whereas the Wheatbelt region is economically dependent on agriculture.

The regions as determined are:
* Gascoyne
* Goldfields-Esperance
* Great Southern
* Kimberley
* Mid West
* Peel
* Pilbara
* South West
* Wheatbelt

Weather bureau zones

The terms used by the RDCA are also used by BOM - and do not coincide with the boundaries of the Regional Development defined boundaries above.

Political regionalisations

Under Australia's three-tiered system of government, Western Australia is divided into federal electoral divisions (for election to the Australian House of Representatives), state electoral districts (for election to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly), state electoral regions (for election to the Western Australian Legislative Council), and local government areas.

Natural regionalisations

There are a number of regionalisations that purport or attempt to provide a regionalisation based on natural features. The best known of these are the IBRA regions, the World Wildlife Fund's ecoregions, and the "natural regions" of John Stanley Beard, all of which are based on biogeography. Other natural regionalisations included the drainage basins and catchments of river systems, and highly specialised regionalisations dealing with such matters as geology and soil systems.

Land management regionalisations

Regionalisations of Western Australia used for land management and conservation purposes include the natural regionalisations such as IBRA, and also some less natural regionalisations such as Landcare Districts and the Department of Agriculture's "Land-use Zones".

Fisheries management regionalisations

The Department of Fisheries tends to separate the state into four main regions for the purpose of regulating recreational fishing: - Pilbara Kimberley, Gascoyne, WestCoast and South Coast.

Land tenure regionalisations

Much of Western Australia is divided into divisions, Shires and districts for the purposes of identifying land lots.


:"See article: Mining fields in Western Australia"

Under the Mining Act - the hierarchy of Administrative Divisions for mining has in the past been divided into -
* Inspector of Mines - office and Inspectorate
* Mining Registrars - Administrative boundary and office
* State Mining Engineers Inspectorate
* Gold Field District
* Gold or Mineral Field boundary

Since the creation of the Department of Industry and Resources some rationalisation of administration has occurred, however the mineral fields and boundaries remain the same as when established. [ (1981) "Map of Western Australia showing Administrative Divisions and Principal mines and operators ]

Wine regions

"See also West Australian wine regions"The most prominent example is the wine regions, each of which has a trademark that is afforded protection under the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980. Most are listed here :-

* Blackwood Valley
* Geographe
* Great Southern
**Frankland River
**Mount Barker
* Manjimup
* Margaret River
* Peel
* Pemberton
* Perth Hills
* Swan District

Coastal regions

:main|Coastal regions of Western Australia

Western Australia has the longest coastline of any state in Australia, at 10,194 km [ Short, Andrew D (2005)"Beaches of the Western Australian Coast: Eucla to Roeback Bay" ISBN 0-9586504-3-8. page 1 ] The regions can be determined by the underlying geology, and in the case of the Bureau of Meteorology - features such as points and capes are useful indicators of coastal water forecasts. [ [ Western Australian Forecast Areas Map ] ]


Landgate - the latest name for the Land management body of the Western Australian government is currently marketing tourising maps that create "coastal zones" - such as the:
* "Batavia Coast" (incorporating the area of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, and Kalbarri) ["'StreetSmart Touring Map - Batavia Coast Western Australia ISBN 0-7309-2935-3 ]
* "Gascoyne Coast" (Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Denham, Exmouth and the "Coral Coast")
* "Coral Coast" (at the northern end of the Gascoyne Coast)
* Sunset Coast (Perth Metropolitan beachside suburbs from Cottesloe to Yanchep)

Census and ABS

For the purposes of statistical geography, the Australian Bureau of Statistics uses the Australian Standard Geographical Classification, a hierarchical regionalisation that divides Western Australia into statistical divisions, then statistical subdivisions, statistical local areas, and finally, census collection districts.

The ABS has produced "Regional profiles" for the nine ABS Statistical Divisions, and the ten Development Commission regions.

ee also

* List of regions in Australia
* Geography of Western Australia
* Australian Regional Rivalries

External links

* [ The Regional Development Commissions Act 1993] (as amended)
* [ Fisheries - recreational fishing regions]


Further reading

* "Regions Western Australia". Perth, W.A. : Dept. of Commerce and Trade. Issue 1 (Mar./June 1998)-issue 11 (February 2002)
* "Regional futures: challenges and opportunities for Western Australia's regions: a discussion paper" prepared by the Regional Development Council and the Department of Commerce and Trade. Perth, W.A. : The Council, Rev. June 1996.
* "Western Australia: a statistical snapshot of the regions" prepared by the Department of Commerce and Trade for the Regional Development Council. Perth: The Department., 1995.
* "Western Australia tomorrow: population projections for the statistical divisions, planning regions and local government areas of Western Australia." Perth, W.A. : Western Australian Planning Commission, 2000. Population report (Western Australian Planning Commission) ; no. 4. ISBN 0730992225


* "Streetsmart Travellers Atlas of Western Australia" (2006) Department of Land Information and West Australian Newspapers,9th ed. ISBN 1-921048-13-1
* Quality Publishing Australia.(2007) "Roads & tracks Western Australia: campsites directory, roads and tracks, all in one" Jolimont, W.A.,Quality Publishing Australia, 5th ed ISBN 1876723351
* "UBD Western Australia country road atlas" (2005) Macquarie Park, N.S.W.UBD, a division of Universal Publishers, 11th ed ISBN 0-7319-1587-9

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