Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative

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The Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative (GFBI) was established to increase horticultural production in the Carnarvon area by providing new land and water resources for irrigation expansion.

The project is funded through the State Government, led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), working collaboratively with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).

Stage Two Land Release - Expressions of Interest now closed

The land release was announced on 25 January 2021. See Ministerial media release: Prime Gascoyne horticultural land on the market.

Project overview

The Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative (GFBI) was established to increase horticultural production in the Carnarvon area by providing new land and water resources for irrigation expansion.

During the course of the project, the GFBI has developed the Northern Borefield by drilling 120 exploration bores, out to the 24km mark and links with a main collector pipeline linking both Stage 1 and Stage 2 production bores.

The project also installed 24km of high voltage open aerial power lines to power the bore pumps in both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 borefields. It consists of 120 cyclone-rated poles, 360 insulators, and around 40km of cabling with 12 transformers.

Existing growers will benefit from access to the new pipeline through:

  • Increased security from additional water supply;
  • Electrification of the entire Northern Borefield removing the need to operate high cost diesel pumps, significantly reducing water pumping costs; and
  • Revision of the Lower Gascoyne Water Allocation Plan allowing an additional 1 Gigalitre (GL) of water from the Southern Borefield to be available for existing growers for irrigation.

Land release and development are the final components of the GFBI project.  DPIRD have now released 400ha of land for intensive horticulture in line with the Shire of Carnarvon’s District Land Use Structure Plan 2017.

The release of new viable land and additional water responds to the ongoing interest from industry and provides an opportunity to expand the local horticultural production area. This is a key opportunity for the Carnarvon horticultural industry to increase production for both the domestic and international markets.

Key achievements

  • Stage 1 land release occurred in December 2018.
  • Water, land and soil investigations were completed, with 4GL of new water sourced and 400ha of additional land for irrigated agriculture was identified.
  • A District Land Use Structure Plan was developed and incorporated into the Shire of Carnarvon’s town planning scheme.
  • The Northern Borefield Stage 2 water collector main has been installed and 4 production bores equipped to extract 1.9GL of water.
  • Electrification of Northern Borefield Stages 1 and 2 (0-24km)
  • Gascoyne catchment management study and sustainable catchment management practices demonstrated.
  • Native Title Agreement reached within the Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation
  • Stage 2 land was released to market in January 2021.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

DPIRD wish to acknowledge the Yinggarda native title holders, and thank them for their advice and support to enable this land release. The agreement will help secure a sustainable economic future for the Yinggarda people and protect culturally significant areas.

The Directors of the Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation made the following remarks of the agreement, “It is good to have Yinggarda people recognised through this significant agreement with the State government and the Western Australian Agriculture Authority. Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC’s involvement in this project with the State is recognition not only of our new corporation and its role in representing Yinggarda people, but also recognition of all Yinggarda people and their native title rights and interests within this area".

Contact information

Georgia Willis
Page last updated: Tuesday, 30 March 2021 - 10:16am