natural connected prosperous
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is well known for its natural beauty. Its rugged coastline, scenic forests, national parks, caves and world class surf have long been popular with seasonal visitors and holiday makers.
The Margaret River area is within the traditional lands of the Wardandi Nyungars. The Wardandi are the traditional custodians of the area generally between Bunbury and Cape Leeuwin and have a strong connection to the sea. Since the 1970s the region has developed into an internationally renowned wine producing region which has changed the once primarily agricultural region into a tourism hotspot. For local residents however, this region holds a deeper meaning with each of the settlements in the Shire possessing their own unique identity based on history, cultural heritage and a strong sense of shared community values.
The Shire’s population of 12,219 (ABS Census ERP data 2011) is dispersed across a network of distinct townships. Margaret River, Augusta and Cowaramup are the major centres in the Shire with other townships consisting of Karridale, Witchcliffe, Prevelly/Gnarabup and Gracetown. The population has been increasing at an average annual rate of 1.9% during 2006 to 2011.
The Margaret River region has an enviable position in view of its existing brand and its competitive position in wine, tourism, food production, agriculture and creative industries. In particular, its high level of amenity is very attractive to future residents.
The northern Shire boundary is 250kms from Perth and extends for approximately 60 kilometres north to south and 62 kilometres from the west coast to the eastern boundary of our neighbour, the Shire of Nannup. The Shire has an area of 2,240 square kilometres and an extensive coastline with 120kilometres of beaches, bays and rocky points.
The natural and cultural landscape offerings provide a key drawcard for people to visit. With its rugged coast, fishing, surfing, galleries, vineyards and forests, the area is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international markets. The coast is a major attraction for residents and tourists, and there has been considerable pressure exerted on this area for residential and recreation uses. Large numbers of surfers and beach users have led to the degradation of some sections of coastal areas and population growth, in recent years, has also placed ongoing pressure to develop this part of the Shire. As the coastline is potentially an unstable landform, urban development is now being accommodated in more inland locations including Margaret River, Cowaramup and Witchcliffe.
The Shire has a high level of annual rainfall and quality soils that supports agriculture and primary production remaining as a major contributor to the local economy. Viticulture and associated tourism represent defining characteristics within the Margaret River region Shire and are complementary to other elements including creative arts, food and wine production.
As with any area catering to thousands of tourists each year, the Shire has a significant accommodation and hospitality sector. Agriculture in the Shire includes the major industries of viticulture and wine production, dairy and beef cattle, sheep and horticulture. It is developing a more diverse economy which has traditionally been based on agriculture, predominantly dairying, beef and timber. The Shire’s dairy industry supplies local, interstateand export markets with quality dairy produce.
There are more than 1,000 square kilometres of forest in the Shire including Scott National Park. The Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park includes the Boranup Karri Forest between Caves Road and the coast where karri trees reach 60 metres in height and dominate the landscape.
The south-west of Western Australia is Australia’s only internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot and one of only thirty four hotspots of biodiversity in the world. The Busselton-Augusta region has also been independently identified as one of fifteen national biodiversity hotspots within Australia. Biodiversity hotspots are designated to acknowledge the exceptional concentration and diversity of species in these areas in these areas as well as the high degree of species that occur nowhere else. Just as importantly, they highlight threats to this biodiversity as a result of significant loss of habitat in these areas.
The local profile of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is available under Publications.
PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285
41 Wallcliffe Road
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