The Gascoyne is in the north-west of WA and region is characterised by its diverse and remote landscapes – from spectacular coastal reefs to rugged outback ranges. There are four local governments in the Gascoyne: Carnarvon; Exmouth; Shark Bay, and; Upper Gascoyne, which cover an area of 135,277 square kilometres. With a population of about 10,000 people, and the majority of this residing in Carnarvon and Exmouth, the region is sparsely populated. The main industries of the region include tourism, mining (salt production), agriculture (horticulture and pastoralism) and fisheries.
The geographic extent of the region is shown on this map.
Gascoyne Regional Planning and Infrastructure Framework
Finalised in 2015, the Gascoyne Regional Planning and Infrastructure Framework was prepared for the Western Australian Planning Commission by the Department of Planning to provide an overall strategic regional context for land-use planning within the Gascoyne region; and to identify a number of priority initiatives required to facilitate comprehensive regional planning in order to guide local planning processes.
Other WAPC Regional Planning
The Western Australian Planning Commission has published a range of plans, policies and other documents relevant to planning for the Gascoyne, including:
- State Planning Policy No.6.3 - Ningaloo Coast
- Ningaloo Coast Regional Strategy Carnarvon to Exmouth
- Shark Bay Regional Strategy
- Exmouth-Learmonth (North West Cape) Structure Plan
- Gascoyne Regional Infrastructure Priorities 2011 Workshop Paper
Local governments are involved in planning for local communities by administering local planning strategies and schemes to ensure appropriate planning controls exist for land use and development.
Local planning strategies establish the planning framework for each local government, and provide the strategic basis for local planning schemes. Local planning schemes contain planning controls such as designation of appropriate land uses, residential densities and development standards.
Layout plans are a type of plan prepared by the Department of Planning specifically for Aboriginal settlements in WA. A layout plan has been prepared for Burringurrah (Mt Augustus), the only Aboriginal settlement in the Gascoyne.
Natural Resource Management Projects
The Western Australian Planning Commission through Strategic Priority Grants from the State NRM office delivered the project Protection of Priority Natural Resources in Strategic Regional Land Use Plans which aimed to improve the protection and enhancement of natural resource areas through the preparation of NRM information. This project funded studies for the Gascoyne region, including:
Central Regions Land Capacity Analysis
The Central Regions Land Capacity Analysis provides a broad overview of the land capacity of settlements in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Goldfields–Esperance regions with respect to forecast population growth. Based on the content of applicable local planning instruments, it examines existing and future land capacity in each local government.
Outputs from this project, which include land-use mapping and associated analysis, are available for each local government area via the above link.