Regions of Western Australia
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.
- 1 The Regional Development Commissions Act regions
- 2 Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) regions
- 3 Political regions
- 4 State government departmental regions
- 5 Natural and land management
- 6 Land tenure
- 7 Wine regions
- 8 Coastal regions
- 9 Census and Australian Bureau of Statistics
- 10 Cross-regional terminology
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
- 14 Further reading
- 15 Maps
The Regional Development Commissions Act regions
The Western Australian system of regions defined by the Government of Western Australia for purposes of economic development administration, which excludes the Perth metropolitan area, is a series of nine regions.
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. 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
The same region names as those used by the Regional Development Commissions Act (RDCA) are incorporated into the system used by BOM, 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 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'|
|07||Southern Interior||Mid West|
|08||Central West||Perth, Peel|
|09||Lower West||South West|
|10||South West||Great Southern|
|11||South East Coastal||Goldfields-Esperance|
|13||Great Southern||Great Southern|
|14||Central Wheat Belt||Wheatbelt|
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 areas|
State government departmental regions
Many government departments maintain systems of regional and district breakdowns of the state for their own internal purposes.
- North Metro
- South Metro
- Northern Agricultural Region
- Rangelands Region
- Southern Agricultural Region
- Central Agricultural Region
- South West Agricultural
- Wheatbelt North
- Wheatbelt South
- Great Southern
- Mid West Gascoyne
- Kwinana Peel
- South West
- South Coast
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.
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.
There are three regions with regional planning schemes, covering only a small part of the state:
- Metropolitan Region Scheme (Perth)
- Peel Region Scheme
- Greater Bunbury Region Scheme
- Mid West Gascoyne
- Great Southern
- Kwinana Peel
- South West
- Lower South West
Natural and land management
There are a number of regionalisations that 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  - 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.
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
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.
Wine regions include:
- Greater Perth
- South Western Australia
Main article: Coastal regions of Western Australia
Western Australia has the longest coastline of any state in Australia, at 10,194 km. 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.
Landgate publishes touring maps that include coastal zones including:
- Batavia Coast (incorporating the area of Dongara, Geraldton, and Kalbarri)
- Gascoyne Coast (Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Denham, Exmouth and the Coral Coast)
- Coral Coast (at the northern end of the Gascoyne Coast)
- Turquoise Coast north of sunset Coast and south of Batavia coast
- Sunset Coast (Perth Metropolitan beachside suburbs from Cottesloe to Yanchep)
Census and Australian Bureau of Statistics
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:
- 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.
In some cases, regions have been grouped into larger areas, to describe a larger area in a single term:
- Arid Western Australia tends to be synonymous with the Eremaean province biological region relatin to plants and dry conditions
- Remote Western Australia – also synonymous with Outback Western Australia – is determined by the distance and separation from the more heavily populated south west region surrounding Perth and its adjacent hinterland, and the subsequent scattered and low density populated areas towards the central east of Western Australia.
- North West Australia similarly crosses the usual regional definitions to designate an area.
- Southwest Australia may also ignore usual regional definitions.
- Nullarbor – a term with multiple meanings – covers between south east Western Australia, and far west South Australia.
- "Regional Development Commissions Act 1993". State Law Publisher, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- 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
- (1981) Map of Western Australia showing Administrative Divisions and Principal mines and operators
- 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.
- T. Stevenson "The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia" pg 589 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ISBN 0-7566-1324-8
- Australian Wine and Brandy corporation - Western Australia
- winepros.com.au, The Oxford Companion to Wine pg 765 Western Australia
- "Western Australia's Wine Regions". Western Australia. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Short, Andrew D (2005)Beaches of the Western Australian Coast: Eucla to Roeback Bay ISBN 0-9586504-3-8. page 1
- Western Australian Forecast Areas Map
- "'StreetSmart Touring Map - Batavia Coast Western Australia ISBN 0-7309-2935-3
- "1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2001". Australian Bureasu of Statistics. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- 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
- 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