Wheatbelt (Western Australia) facts for kids
The Wheatbelt is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. 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 43 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.
- See also: Major roads in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia
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), Great Northern Highway (north-east to ), Great Eastern Highway (east to ), Great Southern Highway (east to , then south to ), Brookton Highway (east-south-east to ), and Albany Highway (south-east to ). 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:
- 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
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.
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Wheatbelt (Western Australia) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.