Size: 24,000 square kilometres (9,266 square miles)
Commercial centres: Bunbury
Climate: Mediterranean with pleasant summers and winter rainfall
Location: South west corner
Edith Cowan University; South Regional TAFE (Bunbury)
Renowned for its wine regions, fine food, stunning beaches, forests, underground cave systems, rivers and wetlands and national parks.
Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport
The South West has a broad economic base, with mining, manufacturing, construction, tourism, agriculture and timber processing key elements.
Mining and minerals form the region’s largest industry sector, including the extraction of coal, mineral sands, spodumene, tantalum and tin. Manufacturing includes that of timber products, food and beverage enterprises. The region holds fertile soils for agriculture which includes dairy, beef, sheep, viticulture and horticulture.
Tourism is also a significant industry. The Margaret River region is an internationally recognised brand which helps attract 86% of overseas tourist visitation to the South West.
Agriculture & Food Industry
Meat & Livestock
The South West region is Western Australia's leading supplier of beef cattle. Processing of prime beef for export occurs at a large abattoir near Harvey. The region also exports exotic meats including deer, emu, ostrich and goats which are bred in the South West.
Milk from the region is primarily processed as fluid milk for the domestic market. A small manufacturing industry processes surplus milk into butter, cheese, dried milk powder, cream, long life milk, yoghurts, desserts and other products for domestic and export markets.
Most vegetables are sold to the Perth market, but increasingly a share is exported to South East Asia. Varieties include potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onions, cauliflowers, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, lettuce, capsicum, chillies, zucchini and cabbage.
Orchard fruits and grapes (used for winemaking) dominate production in the region. Varieties include table and wine grapes, apples, oranges, plums, prunes, pears, avocados, nashi pears, nectarines, peaches, cherries, apricots, kiwifruit and berries.
Aquaculture & Seafood
Fishing is smaller than other industries in the South West, but is still an important contributor both commercially and as a recreational pursuit. Commercial fleets operate out of Augusta, Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Walpole and Windy Harbour. Species caught off the South West coast include shark, mullet, whiting, herring, dhufish, snapper and lobster.
Freshwater species including marron, yabbies, silver perch and trout are farmed inland. Marron is mostly farmed in purpose-built, semi-intensive pond systems in the lower South West.
Premium Food & Beverages
Viticulture production in the South West had an estimated value of $58.3 million in 2012, with 47,603 tonnes of grapes crushed. The Margaret River wine region is well known for its premium varieties, producing 75% of the region's wine. However, wine is also produced in the Geographe, Pemberton and Blackwood Valley areas.