The Kimberley’s economy, although relatively small comparative to its scale, is marked by its diversity, potential and the role Indigenous people can play in developing its future.
Home to 36,014 people, the Kimberley supports 15,084 jobs and GRP of 2.78 billion p/a.
The main economic drivers are construction, mining and resources, agriculture, aquaculture, construction, small business, pastoral, and tourism which provides enormous opportunity for regional development.
The Kimberley construction industry is the top contributing sector for gross revenue to the Kimberley $630M per annum and employs 8% of the workforce. 98% of construction businesses are sole traders or have less than 20 employees.
The mining and resources sector generates $506.63M1 or 9.84% GRP predominately from Iron Ore, Mineral Sands, LNG and Oil Fields and Rare Heavy Earth Elements, and the region is a leader in the production of world class diamonds. It employs 644 people or 4.2% of jobs in the region, 16.6% of those people are Indigenous. The sector is on the cusp of significant developments as new and proposed projects are diversifying the extractive mining sector to include mineral sands, nickel, copper, rare earths and crude oil, and the region is well placed to capitalise on increased global demand for clean energy and rare earths. In general, the industry is seeing steady growth with an 18% increase in revenue recorded 2017-2018.
The aquaculture industry contributes $34.4M1 to the GRP. The industry is dominated by pearling and barramundi farming in the west Kimberley, with opportunity for large scale farmed prawns in the east Kimberley. The region’s natural advantage stems from pristine warm waters, macro tidal ecosystem, relative isolation important for biosecurity, predictable warm climate, and access to land and freshwater. However, the industry is still underdeveloped with comparable areas across the nation and world. Opportunity exists to cater to increased domestic and global demand for protein and seafood produce.
The Kimberley pastoral industry is well established and contributes 20% of the GRP employing 530 people. The industry is characterised by rangeland grazing with growing potential for irrigated fodder production to expand productivity. 71% of produce is sold as live export trade – with boxed beef production increasing with recent access to working regional abattoir in West Kimberley. Significant opportunity exists, including a growing global demand for clean, green protein and the potential to value add by integrating irrigated mosaic fodder production.
Small business is integral to the Kimberley economy, there are currently 2,253 businesses operating and 95% are classified as small business, with more than half sole traders or partnerships without employees and 38% employing less than 20 people. The industry contributes a Gross Regional Product of $2.8b in 2018.
The tourism industry represents 10% of gross revenue generated by 500 businesses and directly employs 12% of workforce, with many other indirect flow-on benefits across the region. The Kimberley is an iconic holiday destination, pristine wilderness, and natural environment, along with authentic Indigenous cultural experiences are the main visitor drawcards, attracting 400,000 visitors annually – 91% domestic and 9% international.
Corporate & Community Plans
RDA Kimberley regards the following corporate and community plans of our regional LGA’s and State Government as being extremely important to the identification of social and physical infrastructure priorities for the region, better ensuring the continual growth and development of the Kimberley.
Federal Government Growth Centres
The federally funded Growth Centres are not-for-profit organisations, each led by a board of industry experts. By building capability and collaborative networks, industry sectors will be able to build stronger futures for themselves. Each centre has its own Sector Competitiveness Plan describing:
- The 10-year strategy for the sector
- Identified regulatory reform opportunities
- Industry Knowledge priorities such as skills and research requirements
Investment Advice & Assistance
RDAK connects regional businesses, councils and industry sectors with national and international trade partners, financial markets, and potential investors.
As a small, independent and trusted broker, we pride ourselves on having high quality information on local market opportunities. We collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify economic opportunities and leverage private and public sector investment to the regions and connect regional businesses, councils and industry sectors with international trade partners, financial markets and potential investors.
Contact us today to enquire on services and discuss your needs.