The Gascoyne Master Plan
The Gascoyne agricultural industry is of critical importance to the State’s economy and is a major source of regional employment and productivity.
The Gascoyne Master Plan project is a Royalties for Regions funded Water for Food project, led by the Department of Water and Department of Agriculture and Food WA that builds on existing development models and strategic assessments to create a long-term framework for growth and investment in the region.
The Carnarvon agricultural district is situated on the Gascoyne River delta and supplies approximately 60 per cent of Perth’s winter fruit and vegetables with a current value of $80 million annual production. The district also has an important pastoral sector with a gross value of $25 to $35 million a year.
The Master Plan process will focus on lifting productivity in the existing irrigation footprint and consider local challenges and opportunities for irrigation, infrastructure, water security, land release, local food processing and value adding.
The Gascoyne Master Plan will build on the work and recommendations of the Carnarvon Ministerial Advisory Committee and the Government’s response to these recommendations, and will align with the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative and Gascoyne Development Commission’s Gascoyne Regional Development Blueprint.
A Community Reference Group will oversee the development of the Master Plan and will include representatives from State and local government, industry, businesses, grower groups, freight and logistics, banking and the education and training sectors.
Middle Gascoyne water investigations
The Water for Food Gascoyne Master Plan project draws on the previous Water for Food Middle Gascoyne project, which investigated the scale and quality of water resources of the alluvial aquifer system upstream of the Carnarvon horticultural district.
Initial findings from airborne electromagnetic surveys (AEM) and onground monitoring in the Middle Gascoyne area revealed different geology to the areas below Rocky Pool and limited options for accessing water of the same quality found in the lower Gascoyne.
The funding originally allocated to this project has been reinvested in the Gascoyne Master Plan project to support the growth of the lower Gascoyne irrigation area. The findings from these investigations will be released shortly.