Shire of Ashburton
|Shire of Ashburton|
Location in Western Australia
|Population||13,026 (2016 census)|
|• Density||0.123297/km2 (0.319339/sq mi)|
|Area||105,647 km2 (40,790.5 sq mi)|
|Council seat||Tom Price|
|State electorate(s)||North West Central|
|Website||Shire of Ashburton|
The Shire of Ashburton is one of the four local government areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, covering an area of 105,647 square kilometres (40,791 sq mi). It is named after the Ashburton River.
The shire's administration centre is in the town of Tom Price. It had a population of about 13,000 as at the 2016 Census, most of whom live in the mining towns or in nearby mining camps. Most of the land is taken up by pastoral leases or protected areas (including the Karijini National Park). Other than agriculture, industries important to Ashburton include mining, oil, natural gas, fishing, and tourism.
The Shire has its origins in two early road districts: Ashburton (1887), based in Onslow, and Tableland (1896), based in the Hamersley Range. Both became shires on 1 July 1961 under the Local Government Act 1960.
On 27 May 1972 the two merged to form the Shire of West Pilbara, which was renamed the Shire of Ashburton in December 1987.
The name was changed to provide more identity to the particular region and to discriminate from the Newman region, which is also referred to as the "West Pilbara".
It was decided to move the administration office from Onslow to the more centrally located town of Tom Price in January 1990, when the Shire's administration office was officially opened in Poinciana Street.
The Shire is divided into 6 Wards, 9 Councillors in total.
- Tom Price (3 Councillors)
- Paraburdoo (2 Councillors)
- Ashburton (1 Councillor)
- Onslow (1 Councillor)
- Pannawonica (1 Councillor)
- Tableland (1 Councillor)
- (1993) Ashburton Shire - brief history, named Shire of Ashburton 18 Dec. 1987 with the main offices in Tom Price, crest described Shire of Ashburton directory, 1993, p. 13