Agriculture & Fishing
The Mid West is one of the largest agricultural regions in WA.
In 2011‑12 the region had approximately 17.8 million hectares allocated to agriculture, shared across an estimated 1,000 establishments. Only the Kimberley region has more agricultural land.
In 2011-12, the industry produced agricultural goods with a total value of $1 billion, making the Mid West the third largest agricultural region by production value in the State. Approximately 79% of the value of agricultural production in the Mid West in 2010-11 was from cropping enterprises (wheat, canola, lupins), with 56% of production from wheat alone ($356 million).
More than half of all agricultural income to the region is derived from wheat production, with recent harvests valued at $432.7 million. The Geraldton Port is Australia’s second largest in terms of wheat export trade. The region’s high quality grain makes it ideal for milling and for use in a wide variety of processed foods. Cereal, lupin and legume crops are also grown here, with a lupin mill east of Geraldton. Vibrant horticulture and aquaculture sectors can be found both on the coast and inland.
By far the most valuable product in the fishing sector is the rock lobster. In a strong year, with the right combination of catch quantity and market price, the rock lobster industry can be worth as much as $165.3 million.
The Geraldton Fisherman’s Co-operative is the largest rock lobster processor in the world, exporting 3,572 tonnes in 2013-14 with a turnover of $237 million. Although the quantity exported was similar to 2012 13, the value was around $50 million greater ($178 million). The Mid West currently exports around 90% of its product via air to China as ‘live’ animals. Small quantities of frozen product were also exported to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Dubai and USA in 2013‑14.
Geraldton is emerging as a significant producer of high end foods through its growing intensive horticultural industries. The quality soils, access to water and application of advanced shade-house technology means a long season of the freshest and cleanest variety of foods, including tomatoes, bitter melon, buffalo spinach, Chinese cabbage, coriander, egg plants, garlic and more.
Horticulture production value in the region is currently $25 million/annum, with 80% derived from vegetables and 20% from fruit. Further development in this area holds great potential for the region.
Pastoral Country Livestock
Geraldton is the gateway to the vast pastoral regions of the North West of WA. As recognised in CSIRO’s report on the Northern Australia Sustainable Yields Project, this mega-region has been identified as a global producer of quality natural livestock for consumption.
Beef and sheep are the region’s predominant livestock disposals. Poultry, pigs and goats are also produced but at much lower levels.
The Mid West has a long history of resource development and is one of the most diverse mining regions in Western Australia. The resources of the region include nickel, gold, oil and gas, mineral sands, copper, zinc and lead concentrate, talc, garnet and iron ore.
In 2012-13 the Mid West was the State’s fourth largest mining region by production value after the Pilbara, Goldfields Esperance and Peel regions. In 2012-13, the Mid West produced mineral products with a total value of approximately $3.0 billion, its highest ever output, representing 3% of the value of the State’s mineral production (excluding petroleum). Existing mining and petroleum operations include oil and gas, mineral sands, base metals, iron ore, gold and nickel, with the expanding magnetite iron ore industry emerging as the region’s primary economic driver.
Gold has consistently been the region’s highest value commodity, reaching its peak in 2012-13 at approximately $925 million. Mid West gold production value has trended upwards since 2005 (which was its lowest level in almost 20 years). Gold produced in the Mid West is principally flown to the Perth mint for refining.
The value of iron ore produced in the region recorded its highest level in 2012-13 at $832 million. The high production value in 2010-11 reflects peak iron ore pricing.
The Mid West has abundant magnetite resources. Based on known Mid West projects (active and prospective) the Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance indicates potential production growth scenarios exceeding.
150 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) in the 2030 horizon.
Copper, lead and zinc
The value of copper, lead and zinc production has doubled in recent years from its low of $373 million in 2010-11 to more than $746 million in 2012-13.
View the Mid West Regional Blueprint sourcing document.
Geraldton is a growing regional city, overlooking the Indian Ocean and supporting an expanding population of 40,448 people. The regional hub of the Mid West, Geraldton looks out to pristine coastline with the mysterious Abrolhos Islands beckoning beyond. With rolling hills to the east and the Chapman and Greenough Rivers framing the city, Geraldton will provide you with truly memorable holiday experiences.
We challenge you to take a fresh look at Geraldton and experience wildflower country, enjoy a growing regional city, be blown away, explore a region rich in history, taste a fresh flavour every day, celebrate culture and custom, discover a scenic outlook, bask in a classic Mediterranean climate and find a great place to drop anchor.
If you want a holiday with city excitement, it’s here. A relaxed country experience? It’s here too. And a beach holiday? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Geraldton’s incredible location lends itself to a host of holiday activities, especially water sports. Windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, fishing, diving and swimming are popular choices for the energetic. While those looking to relax will love lazing on Geraldton’s white sandy beaches, strolling its shorelines or wading in the turquoise shallows.
After your day at the beach, you’ll love all the city attractions. Shopping, cinemas, theatre, restaurants, character pubs and nightlife – yes, this is the holiday you deserve. Art and culture enthusiasts will adore the range of galleries showcasing local talent and Indigenous art. You’ll also revel in the WA Museum Geraldton – a state of the art facility showcasing the region’s rich maritime, natural and cultural histories.
A hill top memorial to the lost sailors of the HMAS Sydney II will tap at the core of your emotions. This stunning memorial overlooks the city and harbour and has people from across the country talking about its beautiful and moving design.
So, if it’s been a while since you’ve visited Geraldton, it’s time to take a fresh look. With an extensive range of accommodation to suit any budget, regular flights and bus services from Perth, everybody can visit Geraldton.
Visit the Geraldton Visitor Centre website for more information.