Mount Augustus and the eastern part of the Gascoyne region are being targeted for development opportunities with the establishment of a taskforce to identify and plan future economic development options for the area.
The area is home to Mount Augustus, which is two-and-a-half times the size of Uluru and the largest rock in the world.
Mt Augustus sits boldly above natural outback features in the Upper Gascoyne Shire of Western Australia, about 450km inland from Carnarvon.
Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne Minister Jon Ford and Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance announced the taskforce today.
Mr Ford described the remote inland area of the Gascoyne as one of the last frontiers to plan for future tourism and agriculture opportunities.
“The Mt Augustus and Gascoyne Outback Development Project will be run by a taskforce which will have the job of planning and implementing the way forward for the area,” Mr Ford said.
“The taskforce will include State and local government and indigenous representatives who will look at inland tourism opportunities that maximise the natural features of Mt Augustus and the Kennedy Ranges.
“It will also look at linking the area with the world-renowned Karijini National Park to the north, the inland Aboriginal community of Burringurrah to the east, the majestical Ningaloo Coast to the west and vast remote features of the Gascoyne Junction area to the south.
“The challenge will be to bundle all this together to establish a once in a life time remote outback tourism and recreation experience for domestic and international travellers.”
A comprehensive analysis of economic development opportunities within the Upper Gascoyne has already been undertaken by Curtin University’s School of Business following broad community consultation and site visits to the area.
Mr Ford said the report identified the potential to further enhance the visitor experience through the provision of a world-class eco-tourism facility and the development of cultural tourism products that would create employment opportunities within the region.
Mr Chance said the establishment of a horticultural venture in the Upper Gascoyne would also provide potential economic and social benefits to the region.
“Provided suitable water supplies, reliable transport networks, viable markets can be secured and costs kept to a minimum, then horticulture presents as a practicable industry for the Mt Augustus area,” he said.
Gascoyne Minister's office - 9213 7200
Agriculture Minister's office - 9213 6700