Western Australia Southern Wheat Belt – Disaster Resilience Planning for Australian Agriculture

October 2, 2019

The Western Australian pilot study in the
state’s wheat belt was chosen due to its susceptibility to damage caused by fire events.
Last year, the region experienced one of the largest fires in Western Australian history.
Communities in the states south west battled a fire that burnt over 80,000 hectares, and
was declared a national disaster. Fires on this scale cause substantial and long term
effects on communities and local economies. The Plantagenet and Cranbrook shires, include
vast areas spanning over, with a combined 800,000ha. Agriculture is the region’s major
economic contributor with industries including sheep, cattle, grains, viticulture and horticulture.
In a snap shot the region produces; 25,604 ha of cereals crops and
18,282 ha of non cereals crops Contributing about $39 million of gross output
to the local economy In addition to this the region is home to;
Over 3,500 dairy cattle 45,000 cattle
41,000 sheep About 9,500 pigs
These industries contribute $37 million from livestock slaughter and a combined gross output
of $20 million gross output from livestock products.
The agriculture sector is the largest employer throughout these regions making it critical
for the local communities. The sector contributes over 27% of the Plantagenet and Cranbrook
shires employment opportunities. Improving the resilience of this region will
help stabilise the economy from the impacts of natural disasters, like fires. There are
long term benefits
to be

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