Australian Marine Parks

J Clifton, M Olejnik, B Boruff and M Tonts, University of Western Australia Prepared for Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, November 2007.


Executive Summary

This Report identifies the current status of key sectors of economic activity within and adjacent to the North-west Marine Region (also referred to as the NWMR and the Region) of Australia and their linkages to the socio-economic characteristics of communities adjacent to the Region, commenting upon policies at various administrative levels and the likely scenarios of future development.

This underlines the significance of the onshore minerals sector and the offshore oil and gas industry with respect to port and industrial development and the evidence for continued growth, particularly with regard to iron ore extraction and the production of liquefied natural gas.

However, the Report also highlights the significant locational constraints which have restricted diversification of the North West’s industrial base and are likely to continue to do so into the future.

There are a diverse range of tourism, recreational fishing and aquaculture activities which constitute important sources of income and employment to a number of dispersed communities throughout the North West and benefit to a large extent from the relatively undisturbed condition of the natural environment.

The pearling sector is one example of an activity specific to the North-west Marine Region which represents a significant source of income and employment to settlements adjacent to the Region.

Various new and developing industries also offer potential for further diversification of the North West’s economy, although their future rests upon continued external investment in supporting infrastructure.