News and updates

Landmark decision to allow carbon farming on pastoral lands

The State Government will back carbon farming on pastoral leases for the first time in WA's history, allowing pastoralists to build resilience to climate change and improve pastoral productivity. The decision follows the State Government's previous in-principle support for Human Induced Regeneration (HIR) carbon farming, which led to the registration of 43 projects through the national Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). HIR projects support the regeneration of native vegetation through managing cattle grazing, which sequesters carbon and allows pastoralists to earn carbon credits. The 43 carbon farming projects have contracted more than five million tonnes of carbon abatement via the Commonwealth Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide approximately $70 million to pastoralists. A further 15 million tonnes are expected to be sold directly to major greenhouse gas emitters who need to purchase carbon offsets. The Minister for Lands has been given authority to provide State eligible interest holder consent to individual projects that meet the approved assessment requirements. The decision follows extensive consultation with the mining industry, pastoralists and Aboriginal representative bodies. Final consent from the State Government will be subject to measures aimed at enabling the growth of the carbon farming industry, promoting co-existence with the mining and resource sector and protecting native title rights and interests, including:
  • A rolling five-year review of HIR carbon farming implementation, with input from stakeholders;
  • Pastoralist must demonstrate engagement with registered native title body corporates;
  • Mining leases, State Agreement areas and pending mining/general purpose/miscellaneous licences to be excluded from carbon project areas;
  • State Government to compensate for loss of carbon production as a result of low impact mining/exploration activities;
  • Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to develop guidance addressing Native Vegetation Clearing Permits in carbon estimations areas.
Photo courtesy: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development DPC media statement: Landmark decision to allow carbon farming on pastoral lands

State Government to build a new artificial reef off Carnarvon

Recreational fishers and visitors to Carnarvon will soon be able to enjoy a unique and easily accessible fishing experience close to shore, with the construction of a new artificial reef. The project has received $300,000 in funding from the State Government through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund. The location of the nearshore reef will be determined through consultation with the recreational fishing sector, with a requirement that the reef be accessible for families using small boats. The public consultation and tender process for the design and construction of the Carnarvon reef will be will commence in mid-2020, in consultation with Recfishwest. The Carnarvon reef will be the eighth purpose-built artificial reef in Western Australian waters, with reefs already in place at Bunbury, Dunsborough, Rottnest Island, Mandurah, Exmouth, Esperance and another coming in 2020 to the metropolitan area. Photo courtesy: Recfishwest DPC media statement: Government to build a new artificial reef off Carnarvon

Carnarvon Residential Aged Care Facility

Tenders for Carnarvon Residential Aged Care Facility are now open. If you are interested in subcontracting on this exciting project, WA Country Health Services are keen to engage local businesses! For more information refer to the Carnarvon Residential Aged Care Facility tender on the Tenders WA website. If you would like to know more about Tenders WA, contact Local Content Adviser for the Gascoyne, Jill Dwyer, on 9941 7000. Local Content Advisers assist the State Government to deliver on its 2017 election commitment to boost local content in State Government jobs and contracts. The State Government is committed to building community sustainability and economic diversity by creating jobs in regional Western Australia. DPC media statement: Tender to build Carnarvon aged and palliative care centre released

Land development opportunities in the Gascoyne

From time to time the State government releases land in the Gascoyne region to facilitate private investment and create new job opportunities. Investment by developing strategic locations can substantially contribute to the State’s objectives such as regional prosperity, a liveable environment and a strong economy. The Commission is interested to talk to investors about co-investment opportunities where there are clear public benefits associated with the development of the land. For more information contact Tym Duncanson, Acting Chief Executive on 9941 7000.

Current land opportunities

Commercial/tourism development site

The Carnarvon Justice Precinct at 85 Olivia Terrace has an area of 7422sqm and comprises the old police station, courthouse and two government residences. The land overlooks the Carnarvon Fascine and has road frontage on to Robinson Street in heart of town. An opportunity exists to acquire and develop what has been claimed to be the best commercial/tourism development site in Carnarvon. The land is zoned for commercial use allowing many development opportunities. For more information refer to the State’s agent Ray White Carnarvon.

Service station development opportunity

The only suitably zoned land for a service station within Coral Bay town site is for sale. Once built it will be the only facility servicing the local community and visitors, with the nearest current alternative being Minilya, 98km to the south or Exmouth, 153km to the north. 45 Banksia Drive in on the southern edge of Coral Bay town site and on the road to the marina. The settlement of Coral Bay is located approximately 1200km north of Perth within the Shire of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne Region. It is situated at the southern end of the Ningaloo reef, a World Heritage listed area. For more information refer to the State’s agent Ray White Carnarvon.

Intensive horticulture development opportunity

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is offering approximately 20 hectares of unserviced and undeveloped land zoned ‘Intensive Horticulture’, for development. The land, on two separate titles, is located on Bibbawarra Road in the north plantations area, approximately 8km from the Carnarvon town centre.
  • Area 4 - Lot 51 on Deposited Plan 41505 approximately 11.39ha
  • Area 5 - Lot 116 on Deposited Plan 202367 approximately 8.59ha
Both lots have a water allocation available through Gascoyne Water Cooperative. The land is available through expression of interest (EOI) sale. EOI documentation and further information can be obtained by emailing gfbilandreleasestage1@dpird.wa.gov.au.

$1.25 million for job-creating projects in the Gascoyne

Nine projects across the Gascoyne that drive job opportunities, support tourism and build local arts and food experiences will share in $1.25 million through Round 2 of the State Government's Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program. The State Government has committed $28.8 million over five years towards the RED Grants program to support projects that will directly benefit regional communities and drive economic development in the regions. Tidal Moon will receive $250,000 to support the Tidal Moon Sea Cucumbers project, which aims to develop a viable commercial sea cucumber business while maintaining cultural heritage and environmental stewardship in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, Mulgana (Shark Bay), Bayungu (Coral Bay/Exmouth) and Thalanyji (Onslow). The funding will be used to assist in harvesting and drying wild sea cucumber. Ngala Children's Services has been awarded $150,000 to construct a new day care complex in the heart of Denham, providing flexible, modern, safe and multipurpose childcare for children up to five years old. Mandalay Holiday Resort will receive $125,000 to increase the capacity and quality of caravanning and camping experiences available in Denham and the greater Shark Bay area. This involves the expansion of the Denham Seaside Caravan Park including an additional 55 powered caravan and camping sites, and introducing modern communal ablutions, games room and campers' kitchen facility. Other projects supported include funding for glamping at Bullara Station, a project to develop better tourist facilities at Mt Augustus, and an expansion of Bumbak's Preserves and Ice-creams in Carnarvon. DPC media statement: $1.25 million for job-creating projects in the Gascoyne

Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Cultural Centre re-opens

Gwoonwardu Mia - the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnarvon - officially re-opened today, following a $2.5 million commitment by the State Government. The centre first opened in 2005 but was closed in 2015 due to concerns about management and financial issues. The State Government has worked to reopen the centre to celebrate the region's Aboriginal heritage and culture and drive Aboriginal business development and tourism opportunities in the Gascoyne. The State Government commitment provides an initial three years of operating funding, with the Western Australian Museum tasked with reopening and managing the Centre. The Museum is working in partnership with local Aboriginal communities to put the Centre on a pathway to sustainability. The Centre consists of conference rooms for hire, a café, gallery shop, an Emerging Art Centre facility, outdoor performance space, ethnobotanical gardens and grounds based on the region's plants and how they are used by local Aboriginal people, and a permanent interpretive exhibition which previously won a prestigious Museums and Galleries National Award. 'Burlganyja Wanggaya: Old People Talking - Listen, Learn and Respect' is an award-winning exhibition which shares the stories of the Gascoyne's Aboriginal people in their own words, using text, images, audio and film. DPC media statement: Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Cultural Centre re-opens

Exmouth named Top Tourism Town

The resort town of Exmouth has been named the winner of the 2019 GWN7 Top Tourism Town Award at the WA Regional Tourism Conference. Exmouth claimed the Gold Medal in the Top Tourism Town category, with Albany claiming Silver and Esperance taking out Bronze. Exmouth will receive a $25,000 airtime package to promote the town on the regional television network GWN7. Now in its 30th year, the awards program is a major highlight of the State’s tourism calendar, with prizes eagerly coveted by towns and cities across Western Australia. Visitor Centres enter the awards on behalf of their destination, and entrants are required to submit a short video, itinerary and editorial article which is reviewed by a panel of industry judges. Public voting was introduced to the Awards program this year for the first time, with more than 8000 people having their say on their Top Tourism Town. The public praised Exmouth for its “warm weather, the beaches, the gorges, the wildlife, the snorkelling and generally great family fun”. The awards are run by Visitor Centres WA and supported by GWN7, Vanguard Press, Tourism WA and RAC Parks and Resorts.

Research boost supporting Carnarvon horticulture

The State Government is investing $1.4 million in new programs and upgrades at the Carnarvon Research Facility to support a sustainable, profitable and diverse horticultural industry in the Gascoyne. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Carnarvon Research Facility has been underutilised for years, despite Carnarvon horticulture's significant contribution to the region's economy. The new investment will deliver a research program focused on protected cropping, best practice management and improved biosecurity. New smart technology including remote crop, weather and irrigation monitoring sensors will be demonstrated and a web-based interface is being developed to make the information available to growers and researchers in the region. Recruitment is underway for new horticultural staff to further build capacity through partnerships with local consultants and experienced researchers from both Western Australia and across Australia. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the new investment today at the Gascoyne Food Festival in Carnarvon. The Gascoyne Food Festival, an initiative of the Gascoyne Food Council, runs from 7 August to 7 September, with food-focused events held in Carnarvon, Dirk Hartog Island, Red Bluff, Exmouth, Wooramel and Mount Augustus. DPC media statement: Research boost supporting Carnarvon horticulture

WA Museum to reopen Carnarvon cultural centre

Carnarvon's Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre will officially reopen later this year under the management of the Western Australian Museum, following a $2.5 million funding commitment by the State Government. The Western Australian Museum has this week taken over general management of the centre, providing opportunities for Aboriginal business development and tourism in the Gascoyne, and celebrating the region's Aboriginal heritage. Funding will support the Museum to repair, reopen and operate the centre for an initial period of three years. The reopened centre's operation proposes an art and retail area, venue and conference facilities for hire and an indigenous interpretative space. A café within the centre has been identified as a potential sub-lease arrangement. Ahead of the centre's official opening, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan presented local NAIDOC awards recognising the outstanding contributions of Aboriginal people and officially closed Carnarvon's NAIDOC Week celebrations in the venue's outdoor space. DPC media statement: WA Museum to reopen Carnarvon cultural centre

Round two RED Grants now open

The State Government is continuing its investment in community-driven projects to create jobs and boost economic growth across regional Western Australia, today opening round two of the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program. The State Government has committed $28.8 million over five years towards the RED Grants program for projects that will directly benefit regional communities. Round one investment totalled $6.38 million in 70 projects for initiatives including tourism expansion, Aboriginal training, new industry development and agricultural diversification. Up to $250,000 is available for individual projects that promote sustainable jobs, partnerships, productivity, skills and capability, as well as stimulate new investment in industry diversification. Applications for round two are now open and close on September 13, 2019. More information about the RED Grants program, including guidelines and application details are available from our RED Grants page. DPC media statement: Round two RED Grants now open