Mid West (Western Australia)

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Mid West (Western Australia)
Location of Mid West region in Western Australia.
Mid West
Western Australia
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
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Mid West
Coordinates 28°S114°E / 28°S 114°E / -28; 114 Coordinates: 28°S114°E / 28°S 114°E / -28; 114
Population52,000 (2006 census)
 • Density0.1101/km2 (0.2851/sq mi)
Area472,336 km2 (182,369.9 sq mi)
Time zone WST (UTC+8)
Localities around Mid West:
Gascoyne Pilbara Pilbara
Indian Ocean Mid West Goldfields-Esperance
Wheatbelt Goldfields-Esperance Goldfields-Esperance

The Mid West region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is a sparsely populated region extending from the west coast of Western Australia, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north and south of its administrative centre of Geraldton and inland to 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Wiluna in the Gibson Desert. [1]


It has a total area of 472,336 square kilometres (182,370 sq mi), and a permanent population of about 52,000 people, more than half of those in Geraldton.

Earlier names

The western portion of this region was known earlier as "The Murchison" based on the river of the same name, and the similarly named Goldfield. [2]


The Mid West region has a diversified economy that varies with the geography and climate. Near the coast, annual rainfall of between 400 and 500 millimetres (16 and 20 in) allows intensive agriculture. Further inland, annual rainfall decreases to less than 250 millimetres (10 in), and here the economy is dominated by mining of iron ore, gold, nickel and other mineral resources. Geraldton is an important hub for the tourism industry. [3] The Mid West also has the highest value fishing industry in Western Australia, with Geraldton the hub of the Western Rock Lobster industry. Western Rock Lobster netted almost $234.5 million in revenue for WA in the 2012–13 financial year, making it Australia's most valuable single-species wild capture fishery. [4]

Gross Regional Product for the Mid West in 2013 was AU$6,000,000,000 (AU$6bn). [5]

On 25 August 2015 The Hon. Terry Redman, MLA, Minister for Regional Development, launched the "Mid West Regional Blueprint"; an aspirational growth and development plan created by the Mid West Development Commission for the region. The Blueprint proposes strategies against five priority pillars to drive or reduce barriers to, regional growth and development in the Mid West. The Blueprint strategies are intended to focus on the region's key strengths and the identification of regional opportunities, providing a guide for regional development to 2050. [5]

Space science

Square Kilometre Array

Due to its relative isolation from radio-frequency interference, the Mid West region was selected to host one of two primary radiotelescope locations of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. When fully operational in 2024, this AU$2bn project will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio interferometer instrument; it will generate more data than the current global Internet traffic [6] and be capable of surveying the sky more than ten thousand to a million times faster than what is possible today. [7] The radiotelescope antennae and the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) are located near Boolardy, Western Australia, approximately 315 km northeast of Geraldton, with logistics and science support provided by CSIRO from their facilities in Geraldton. High-capacity optical fibre cables connect the SKA telescope to the MRO support facility in Geraldton and to the Pawsley Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia. [8]

WA Space Centre

Located at Yatharagga, 40 km from Mingenew (100 km SE of Geraldton), the WA Space Centre is an $8,000,000 114 ha satellite park owned and operated by Space Australia, a subsidiary company of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). The park is located in one of several Radio Quiet Zones in the region, [9] making it an ideal location for radioastronomy. The SSC is the largest commercial operator of satellite tracking ground station facilities. The facilities include compounds operated by NASA, The European Space Agency, CSIRO, MOBLAS and VLBI, amongst others.

Local government

The local government areas in the Mid West region are Carnamah, Chapman Valley, Coorow, Cue, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Meekatharra, Mingenew, Morawa, Mount Magnet, Murchison, Northampton, Perenjori, Sandstone, Three Springs, Wiluna, and Yalgoo.

Conservation reserves

In February 2021, the creation of five new conservation parks within the traditional lands of the Badimia people in the Mount Magnet area, covering over 114,000 ha (280,000 acres), was announced by the Government of Western Australia, to be jointly managed between the traditional owners and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' Parks and Wildlife Service. The allocated land includes portions of two former pastoral leases, Lakeside and Burnerbinmah, as well as Crown land at Kirkalocka and White Wells. There are many significant Aboriginal sites of significance as well as other historic sites within the new parks. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

Wiluna, Western Australia Town in Mid West region of Western Australia

Wiluna is a small town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is situated on the edge of the Western Desert at the gateway to the Canning Stock Route and Gunbarrel Highway. It is the service centre of the local area for the local Martu people, the pastoral industry, the Wiluna Gold Mine, and many more people who work on other mines in the area on a "fly-in/fly-out" basis. Wiluna's climate is hot and dry, with an annual rainfall of 258 millimetres (10.2 in). Mean maximum temperatures range from 19 °C (66 °F) in July, to 38 °C (100 °F) in January.

Geraldton City in Western Australia

Geraldton is a coastal city in the Mid West region of the Australian state of Western Australia, 424 kilometres (263 mi) north of the state capital, Perth.

Wheatbelt (Western Australia) Region of Western Australia

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).

Brand Highway Highway in Western Australia

Brand Highway is a 370-kilometre (230 mi) main highway linking the northern outskirts of Perth to Geraldton in Western Australia. Together with North West Coastal Highway, it forms part of the Western Australian coastal link to the Northern Territory. The highway is a part of Australia's Highway 1, and is for the most part a single carriageway with one lane in each direction.

Meekatharra, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Meekatharra is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. Meekatharra is a Yamatji word meaning "place of little water". At the 2016 census, Meekatharra had a population of 708, with 34.0% being of Aboriginal descent.

North West Coastal Highway Highway in Western Australia

North West Coastal Highway is a generally north-south Western Australian highway which links the coastal city of Geraldton with the town of Port Hedland. The 1,300-kilometre-long (808 mi) road, constructed as a sealed two-lane single carriageway, travels through remote and largely arid landscapes. Carnarvon is the only large settlement on the highway, and is an oasis within the harsh surrounding environment. The entire highway is allocated National Route 1, part of Australia's Highway 1, and parts of the highway are included in tourist routes Batavia Coast Tourist Way and Cossack Tourist Way. Economically, North West Coastal Highway is an important link to the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions, supporting the agricultural, pastoral, fishing, and tourism industries, as well as mining and offshore oil and gas production.

Murchison bioregion Bioregion in Western Australia

The Murchison is an interim Australian bioregion located within the Mid West of Western Australia. The bioregion is loosely related to the catchment area of the Murchison River and has an area of 281,205 square kilometres (108,574 sq mi). Traditionally the region is known as The Murchison.

Shire of Murchison Local government area in the Mid West region of Western Australia

The Shire of Murchison covers a large area of the Murchison sub-region of the central part of Western Australia, 300 kilometres (186 mi) northeast of Geraldton. The shire and the older 'Murchison' region and goldfield are now part of the designated Mid West region. It is Australia's second least populated local government area and the only one without a town.

Shire of Carnamah Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Carnamah is a local government area located in the Mid West region of Western Australia, about 310 kilometres (193 mi) north of Perth, the state capital, and about 181 kilometres (112 mi) south of the city of Geraldton. The Shire covers an area of 2,876 square kilometres (1,110 sq mi) and its seat of government is the town of Carnamah.

Shire of Mingenew Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Mingenew is a local government area in the Mid West region of Western Australia, about 110 kilometres (68 mi) southeast of the city of Geraldton and about 370 kilometres (230 mi) north of the state capital, Perth. The Shire covers an area of 1,939 square kilometres (749 sq mi), and its seat of government is the town of Mingenew.

Shire of Morawa Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Morawa is a local government area in the Mid West region of Western Australia, about 170 kilometres (106 mi) east-southeast of the city of Geraldton and about 390 kilometres (242 mi) north of the state capital, Perth. The Shire covers an area of 3,516 square kilometres (1,358 sq mi), and its seat of government is the town of Morawa.

Boolardy Station is a remote former sheep and cattle station in the Mid West (Murchison) region of Western Australia, about 194 km (121 mi) north-north-east of Pindar and 200 km (120 mi) west-south-west of Meekatharra. It is within the Shire of Murchison and situated on pastoral lease no. 3114/406. The area of the lease is 3,467.48 square kilometres (1,338.80 sq mi).

Yamatji is a Wajarri word that has at least three different meanings:

Oakajee Port is a proposed deep water port to be built in the Mid West region of Western Australia, 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of Geraldton, to service the region's growing iron ore industry.

Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder 36 radio telescopes in Murchison Observstory

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is operated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and forms part of the Australia Telescope National Facility. Construction commenced in late 2009 and first light was in October 2012.

Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory Observatory

The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) was established by CSIRO in 2009. It lies in a designated radio quiet zone located near Boolardy Station in the Murchison Shire of Western Australia, about 800 kilometres (500 mi) north of Perth on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

Main Roads Western Australia controls the major roads in the state's Mid West region. There are four main highways through the Mid West: The north-south coastal route of Brand Highway and North West Coastal Highway, the inland alternative Great Northern Highway, and the northern section of Goldfields Highway, which links Meekatharra with Kalgoorlie. A network of main roads connects towns within the Mid West 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.

Mid West newspapers Newspapers published in the Mid West region of Western Australia

This is a list of newspaper titles published in, or for the Mid West region of Western Australia.

Gunniopsis quadrifida, the Sturts pigface, is a plant endemic to Australia that is within the family Aizoaceae. This family consists of a diverse array of species that inhabit arid and/or saline coastal and inland areas, with the plants displaying leaf morphology that is conducive to such harsh environments. Typical features of members of this genus that lie within this family of succulents includes the presence of fleshy-leaves that acts as a water reservoir for the plant with the habit of a smalls shrub.

The Wajarri people, also spelt Wadjari, Wadjarri, Watjarri, and other variations, are an Aboriginal Australian people whose traditional lands are in the Mid West region of Western Australia.


  1. Western Australia. Mid West Development Commission (1996), Mid West developer : news from the Mid West Development Commission, The Commission, retrieved 21 February 2013
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA--THE MURCHISON". The Pictorial Australian . Vol. XXI, no. 8. South Australia. 1 August 1895. p. 6. Retrieved 19 September 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  3. Mid West Travel Association (1981), The Mid West, Western Australia : travellers' and tourist guide (2nd ed.), Midwest Travel Association, retrieved 21 February 2013
  4. "Lobster fishery changes boost stocks and increase profits". abc.net.au. 5 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. Lazarian, Alexander; et al. (2015). Magnetic Fields in Diffuse Media (First ed.). Heidelberg: Springer. p. 11. ISBN   978-3-662-44624-9.
  8. Mid West Development Commission. "Mid West Regional Blueprint" (PDF). Mid West Development Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  9. ACMA. "Radio Quiet Zone Embargo No. 49" (PDF). ACMA.com.au. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  10. Dawson, Stephen (2 February 2021). "Plan for Our Parks milestone as new Mid-West reserves created". Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 August 2021.