Regional focus: Great Southern
The Great Southern region is located at the southern tip of Western Australia, bounded by the South West region to the west and the Wheatbelt region to the north.
The region's landscape spans from scenic farmland and tall timber forests to the white sandy beaches of the South Coast. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world.
It has ideal climate conditions for a variety of agribusiness activities. The Great Southern region benefits from a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The primary industries are livestock farming, dairy farming and crop growing. It is worth highlighting that it is home to industry giants such as the highly-awarded Great Southern Distilling Company, one of (if not the most) fertile areas for growing wheat and grain in Australia, has programs for sheep farming for international markets, and is Australia’s largest wine region by area.
The state and local governments actively allocate resources for economic development, with opportunities being driven by new iron ore and gold mining developments, and the expansion of industry and irrigated agriculture. The range of government initiatives includes programs such as increasing access to water, sheep farming and tourism. The Great Southern Water Strategy is made up of three main planks: more wastewater recycling, increased stormwater harvesting and sustainable groundwater. As for the sheep industry, the recently completed Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) program included the development of The Sheep Business Centre – a hub for information, research, training and innovation for international markets. The tourism industry benefits from national interest in the high-quality output of produce and scenic surroundings.
The founder of Great Southern Distilling Company, Cameron Syme, said “Customer’s want top quality, Australian-made products with real country provenance” – and this is what the region delivers on. Each area uniquely contributes to the agribusiness sector: the city of Albany, and the Shires of Broomehill, Cranbrook, Denmark, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Pingelly, Plantagenet, Tambellup and Woodanilling. The sum of these communities makes the Great Southern region a thriving place full of variety.