Regions of Western Australia

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The various regions of Western Australia are determined by a number of systems that divide Western Australia into distinct geographic "regions" for a variety of purposes.

The most common system is the W.A. Government division of the state into regions for economic development purposes, of which there are nine defined regions, however there are a number of other systems, including those made for purposes of land management (such as agriculture and conservation), information gathering (such as statistical and meteorological), and election for political office.

The various different systems were defined for different purposes, and give specific boundaries, but although many of the different systems' regions have similar names, they have different boundaries; the names and boundaries of regions can and do vary between systems.

The Regional Development Commissions Act regions[edit]

The nine Regional Development Commissions Act regions, and Perth

The most widely known[citation needed] W.A. system of regions is the one defined by the Government of Western Australia for purposes of economic development administration, which excludes the Perth metropolitan area.

These nine regions were established by the Regional Development Commissions Act 1993, which defined their extents and established Regional Development Commissions to promote their economic development.[1] 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 nine defined regions are:

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) regions[edit]

The same region names as those used by the Regional Development Commissions Act (RDCA) are incorporated into the system used by BOM,[2] which uses 14 regions, so the boundaries of the two systems do not coincide. In some of the regions, the BOM designates the forecast area regions with a finer level of detail using points of the compass. Regions numbered 8 to 14 are usually known as forecast areas in the South West Land Division; coastal zones for sea forecasts are dealt with in Coastal regions of Western Australia.

BOM
map
number
BOM
region
name
RDCA
region
name
BOM overlap areas RDCA overlap areas notes
01 Kimberley Kimberley South East Kimberley in BOM 'NE Interior' close fit
02 Pilbara Pilbara BOM North Interior in RDCA 'East Pilbara'
03 Gascoyne Gascoyne BOM South and East Gascoyne in RDCA 'Mid West'
04 Goldfields Goldfields-Esperance
05 Eucla Goldfields-Esperance
06 Northern Interior
07 Southern Interior Mid West
08 Central West Perth, Peel
09 Lower West South West
10 South West Great Southern
11 South Coastal Goldfields-Esperance
11 South East Coastal Goldfields-Esperance
13 Great Southern Great Southern
14 Central Wheat Belt Wheatbelt

Political regions[edit]

Under Australia's three-tiered system of government, Western Australia has four political regional schemes:

Federal Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives for election to the Australian House of Representatives
State Electoral Districts for the Western Australian Legislative Assembly
Electoral Regions for the Western Australian Legislative Council
Local
government
Local government areas

State government departmental regions[edit]

Many government departments maintain systems of regional and district breakdowns of the state for their own internal purposes.

Department of Education[3]
  • Goldfields
  • Kimberley
  • Midwest
  • North Metro
  • Pilbara
  • South Metro
  • Southwest
  • Wheatbelt
Department of Agriculture and Food[4]
  • Northern Agricultural Region
  • Rangelands Region
  • Southern Agricultural Region
  • Central Agricultural Region
  • South West Agricultural
Main Roads Western Australia[5]
  • Kimberley
  • Pilbara
  • Gascoyne
  • Mid-West
  • Goldfields-Esperance
  • Wheatbelt North
  • Metropolitan
  • Wheatbelt South
  • Great Southern
  • South-West
Department of Water[6]
  • Kimberley
  • Pilbara
  • Mid West Gascoyne
  • Goldfields
  • Swan-Avon
  • Kwinana Peel
  • South West
  • South Coast
Department of Fisheries[7]

Fisheries tends to separate the state into four main regions for the purpose of regulating recreational fishing:

  • North Coast - Pilbara-Kimberley
  • Gascoyne Coast
  • West Coast
  • South Coast.
For more details on this topic, see Coastal regions of Western Australia.
Department of Mines and Petroleum

The Department produces statistical data based on the Regional Development Commissions Act regionalisation schema

Since the creation of the Department of Industry and Resources some rationalisation of mines administration has occurred, however the mineral fields and boundaries remain the same as when established.[8]

Department of Planning / Western Australian Planning Commission

There are three regions with regional planning schemes, covering only a small part of the state:[9]

  • Metropolitan Region Scheme (Perth)
  • Peel Region Scheme
  • Greater Bunbury Region Scheme

Natural and land management[edit]

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 Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) regions, and the World Wildlife Fund's Ecoregions in Australia, 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.

Administrative regionalisations include Landcare Districts and the Department of Agriculture's "Land-use Zones". However the Department of Agriculture publications - Technical Bulletins [10] - usually titled An inventory and condition report/survey... of a particular region are very specifically focused upon land systems that are based on natural features.

Land tenure[edit]

Western Australia is divided into approximately 90 land districts for cadastral purposes. There are five land divisions in Western Australia, as specified in Schedule 1 of the Land Administration Act 1997.

  • Eastern Land Division
  • Eucla Land Division
  • Kimberley Land Division
  • North-West Land Division
  • South-West Land Division

Wine regions[edit]

Main article: West Australian wine

Australia’s biggest State extends the western third of the continent, although the winemaking regions are almost entirely situated in the south-western tip of the State. It has nine regions, and five nominated subregions for wine under the Geographical indications legislation as determined by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation.[11][12][13]

Wine regions include:[14]

Coastal regions[edit]

Western Australia has the longest coastline of any state in Australia, at 10,194 km.[15] 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.[16]

Landgate publishes touring maps that include coastal zones including:

  • Batavia Coast (incorporating the area of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, and Kalbarri)[17]
  • 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 Australian Bureau of Statistics[edit]

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.

Statistical Divisions include:[18]

  • SD 505 - Perth
  • SD 510 - South West
  • SD 515 - Lower Great Southern
  • SD 520 - Upper Great Southern
  • SD 525 - Midlands
  • SD 530 - South Eastern
  • SD 535 - Central
  • SD 540 - Pilbara
  • SD 545 - Kimberley

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Regional Development Commissions Act 1993". State Law Publisher, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/wa/wa-forecast-map.shtml - noting the changes in 2012 - http://www.bom.gov.au/NexGenFWS/wa/districts.shtml#new-districts-map
  3. ^ http://www.det.wa.edu.au/schoolsonline/district.do
  4. ^ http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_93310.html?s=2048819175
  5. ^ https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/AboutMainRoads/OurRoleRegions/Pages/home.aspx
  6. ^ http://www.water.wa.gov.au/Water+regions/default.aspx
  7. ^ http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Fishing-and-Aquaculture/Recreational-Fishing/Recreational-Fishing-Rules/Pages/default.aspx
  8. ^ (1981) Map of Western Australia showing Administrative Divisions and Principal mines and operators
  9. ^ Department of Planning; Western Australian Planning Commission (22 January 2013). "Region and local planning schemes". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  10. ^ http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_93285.html?s=1392304539
  11. ^ T. Stevenson "The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia" pg 589 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ISBN 0-7566-1324-8
  12. ^ Australian Wine and Brandy corporation - Western Australia
  13. ^ winepros.com.au, The Oxford Companion to Wine pg 765 Western Australia
  14. ^ "Western Australia's Wine Regions". Western Australia. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  15. ^ Short, Andrew D (2005)Beaches of the Western Australian Coast: Eucla to Roeback Bay ISBN 0-9586504-3-8. page 1
  16. ^ Western Australian Forecast Areas Map
  17. ^ "'StreetSmart Touring Map - Batavia Coast Western Australia ISBN 0-7309-2935-3
  18. ^ "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001". Australian Bureasu of Statistics. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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 0-7309-9222-5

Maps[edit]

  • 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 1-876723-35-1
  • 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