What's at Risk?
The Gascoyne region, in WA’s north-west, covers an area of 135,277square kms and stretches along 600 km of the coast and inland a further 500km. It covers the Shark Bay World Heritage Listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Coast, as well as the lesser known but spectacular Kennedy Range National Park and Mount Augustus, the world’s largest isolated rock hills.
Less than 10,000 people live in the region with most concentrated in the key centres of Carnarvon, Denham, Gascoyne Junction and Coral Bay. The major industries are tourism, fishing, horticulture, mining and pastoral with tourism the region’s largest revenue earner.
Carnarvon is a key foodbowl area for WA producing more than $100 million worth of horticultural products every year. But Carnarvon’s horticultural industry and its town water supplies rely on the Gascoyne River alluvial aquifer and continued growth is putting added pressure on the resource.
Investigations are underway to see if the water resources of the Carnarvon Artesian Basin can support irrigated agriculture in other parts of the region.
Onshore gas development
The Gascoyne region overlies the Carnarvon Basin, where the unconventional gas industry is in the early stages of exploration. Click here to see gas tenements and companies in the Gascoyne region. Read more detail about onshore gas exploration inland from and adjacent to, the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area here.