Jon Ford

Jon Ford

Minister for Employment Protection; Regional Development; Fisheries; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Planning underway for new development taskforce

    21/08/2007 4:05 PM

    Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance and Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne Minister Jon Ford met today to discuss the future of the inland Gascoyne region with members of the Mt Augustus and Gascoyne Outback Development Taskforce.

    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 taskforce was endorsed by Cabinet and includes the following members:
    • Gascoyne Development Commission chief executive officer Stephen Yule;
    • Department of Agriculture and Food Manager Policy, NRM & Industry Development - Rangelands Mark Lewis;
    • Department of Environment and Conservation Midwest Regional Manager Kelly Gillen;
    • Tourism WA, Gascoyne Regional Manager Mike Flood;
    • Department of Planning and Infrastructure Manager, State Land Service, Midwest Gascoyne Steve Burgess;
    • Burringurrah Aboriginal Corporation, Community Elder Charlie Snowball; and
    • Shire of Upper Gascoyne, Councillor Don Hammerquist.
    Mr Ford said he was looking forward to the taskforce mapping out future tourism and agriculture opportunities in the region.

    “The Mt Augustus and Gascoyne Outback Development Project will be run by a taskforce which has the job of planning and implementing the way forward for the area,” Mr Ford said.

    “The challenge will be to bundle all this together to establish a remote outback tourism and recreation experience that domestic and international travellers won’t soon forget.”

    The taskforce will further explore and develop options identified by Curtin University’s School of Business for economic development opportunities within the Upper Gascoyne.

    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 and viable markets can be secured, and costs kept to a minimum, then horticulture can become a practicable industry for the Mt Augustus area,” he said.

    Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne Minister's office - 9213 7200
    Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 9213 6700