Nine major projects expected to add significant economic growth to the Carnarvon region

Published on Thursday, 8 September 2022 at 8:39:28 AM

The Shire of Carnarvon has detailed 9 major projects planned for the Gascoyne region over the next 10 years in their latest economic report On Our Horizon. With planned capital spending of over $30 billion across several sectors – including energy, tourism, and horticulture – the projects will create an influx of job opportunities, drive tourism, and diversify the Shire’s economic portfolio.

Projects planned for the energy sector are expected to bring over 8,000 construction and 3,000 operations jobs to the region. Plans include the Gnaraloo Green Energy initiative currently being investigated by Fortescue Future Industries which would develop a renewable energy generation hub with wind turbines, infill solar arrays, and nearby port facilities. The Green Hydrogen Project with Province Resources will supply renewable hydrogen to both export and domestic market.

Tourism initiatives outlined in the report include a $40 million upgrade to the Ningaloo Reef Resort and an $8.6 million accommodation village for resort workers in Coral Bay, and a phased development of accommodation units, caravan park, and camping ground at Babbage Island in Carnarvon with 332 accommodation sites total and resort-style facilities. All tourism projects are expected to create 450 construction jobs and a further 95 hospitality positions.  

Shire President Eddie Smith expressed his support for the planned works, noting the short and long-term benefits for the workforce and the region’s economic diversification. “Our region is on the cusp of a significant period of growth and development,” he said. “We have always been aware of the potential for growth in the Shire and this report outlines the strength in diversity of the planned projects, from energy to tourism to horticulture.

Energy initiatives can be made possible with our region’s favourable climate conditions and will support the Federal Government’s recently announced objective of reaching 82% renewable energy targets in 8 years. All projects align with priorities outlined by both the Australian Government and the State Government and merit their support.”

Additional projects outlined in the report include, but are not limited to:

  • The Gascoyne Food Bowl, enabling the creation of 278 hectares of horticultural land to boost the sector by almost one quarter. Three local fruit and vegetable producers are working collaboratively on developing the land, with the first production output expected later this year.

  • The revitalisation of the Old Justice Precinct into a mixed-use residential, retail, and commercial area known as The Pier.

In addition to job creation and economic benefits, the 9 major projects are expected to attract new population to Carnarvon and surrounding areas. Current estimates have more than 800 workers and their families living within the Shire by 2029. There is expected to be further demand for infrastructure and social services to support the growth in population, including 55 additional childcare places, 6 schoolteachers, 350 dwellings, the addition of 26 flights between Perth and Carnarvon, 5 new hospital beds, 5 police officers, and one General Practitioner and one Nurse. The Shire will be calling on the State Government for support, including investments in housing, retail, and commercial developments.

As the Gascoyne region’s most populous town, the Shire is committed to leveraging opportunities to grow economic development, employment opportunities, and investment in the region. 

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