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WA Wheatbelt A4
Location of the Wheatbelt within Western Australia
Yealering grain receival and storage
Grain receival and storage facility at Yealering
Wheatbelt Versalzungsschaden
Land degradation caused by salinity, near Babakin
Bencubbin-Kellerberrin Road, 2014(2)
Bencubbin–Kellerberrin Road

The Wheatbelt is one of nine regions of Western Australia defined as administrative areas for the state's regional development, and a vernacular term for the area converted to agriculture during colonisation. It partially surrounds the Perth metropolitan area, extending north from Perth to the Mid West region, and east to the Goldfields-Esperance region. It is bordered to the south by the South West and Great Southern regions, and to the west by the Indian Ocean, the Perth metropolitan area, and the Peel region. Altogether, it has an area of 154,862 square kilometres (59,793 sq mi) (including islands).

The region has 42 local government authorities, with an estimated population of 75,000 residents. The Wheatbelt accounts for approximately three per cent of Western Australia's population.


The Wheatbelt encompasses a range of ecosystems and, as a result, there are a range of industries operating in the region.

In the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia there are a number of subdivisions such as the Avon Wheatbelt (AVW), and a further breakdown of Avon Wheatbelt P1 (AW1) and Avon Wheatbelt P2 (AW2), Jarrah Forest, Geraldton Sandplain and Mallee regions.


With a range of climate and economic changes in the region, considerable effort is made by government at all levels to cope with the decline of some communities, and create opportunities for ventures that keep population in the region.


The Wheatbelt once had an extensive railway system, which transported bulk wheat grain. It has been reduced in part, while the main lines are being supported.

Six main highways radiating out from Perth serve the Wheatbelt: Brand Highway (north-west to Geraldton), Great Northern Highway (north-east to Wyndham), Great Eastern Highway (east to Kalgoorlie), Great Southern Highway (east to York, then south to Cranbrook), Brookton Highway (east-south-east to Brookton), and Albany Highway (south-east to Albany). A network of main roads connects towns within the Wheatbelt to each other, the highways, and neighbouring regions, with local roads providing additional links and access to smaller townsites. Roads are often named after the towns they connect.

Sub-regions within the Wheatbelt

There are numerous subdivisions of the Wheatbelt, and in most cases the separation is by local government areas.

Wheatbelt Development Commission

The Wheatbelt Development Commission (WDC) breaks the region up into five sub-regions with five offices:

  • Avon
    • Shire of Beverley
    • Shire of Cunderdin
    • Shire of Dowerin
    • Shire of Goomalling
    • Shire of Koorda
    • Shire of Northam
    • Shire of Quairading
    • Shire of Tammin
    • Shire of Toodyay
    • Shire of Wyalkatchem
    • Shire of York
  • Central Coast, comprising:
    • Shire of Dandaragan - WDC office in Jurien Bay
    • Shire of Gingin
  • Central Midlands, comprising:
  • Central East
  • Wheatbelt South
    • Shire of Brookton
    • Shire of Corrigin
    • Shire of Cuballing
    • Shire of Dumbleyung
    • Shire of Kondinin
    • Shire of Kulin
    • Shire of Lake Grace
    • Shire of Narrogin - WDC office in Narrogin
    • Shire of Pingelly
    • Shire of Wagin
    • Shire of Wandering
    • Shire of West Arthur
    • Shire of Wickepin
    • Shire of Williams

Tourism regions

In some schemes such as one of the Western Australian tourism regions, all of the Wheatbelt is allocated to the larger Australia's Golden Outback as the Wheatbelt and Wave Rock.

However the shires within the Wheatbelt are in tourist terms further divided into internal regions:

  • The eastern Wheatbelt is separated into Wheatbelt North East, Wheatbelt Central and The Open Wheatbelt.

Industry and economy

Near the coast, the region receives relatively high rainfall and mild temperatures, and its 150 kilometres (93 mi) of coastline is a significant tourist area. In contrast, the eastern fringe is very arid, and is mainly used for pastoral farming of sheep. Mining of gold, nickel and iron ore also occurs. The remainder of the region is highly suited to agriculture, and is the source of nearly two thirds of the state's wheat production, half of its wool production, and the majority of its lamb and mutton, oranges, honey, cut flowers and a range of other agricultural and pastoral products.

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