Kimberley (Western Australia) - Economy

Economy

The town of Broome has a flourishing pearling industry which operates around the Kimberley coast. Some of the major farmers are Paspaley Pearls, Clipper Pearls, Broome Pearls and the Willie Creek Pearl Farm.

One third of the world's annual production of diamonds is mined at the Argyle and the Ellendale diamond mines. Oil is extracted from the Blina oil field and gas is expected to be taken from offshore sources soon. Zinc and lead were mined at the Pillara and Cadjebut mines near Fitzroy Crossing with Nickel still being mined at Sallay Mallay near Halls Creek. Derby is the nearest export base for shipping these metals.

Traditionally, the economy depended on pastoral leases - with most of the region covered by the leases.

More recently agriculture has been focused on the Ord River Irrigation Area near Kununurra. Irrigation was also trialled in the West Kimberley by way of the now defunct Camballin Irrigation Scheme. There are also fruit growers in Broome and in other areas in the West Kimberley. Beef cattle are grown in the Kimberley and exported live. Wyndham features the last remaining meatworks in the Kimberley - there were formerly works at Broome and Derby but financial constraints have caused these to be closed.

Barramundi are bred in Lake Argyle; and Broome features a fully equipped Aquaculture Park near the port which is tenanted by amongst others Paspaley Pearls and Broome TAFE. The Kimberley also has a thriving fishing industry.

Some of Australia's most prominent indigenous artists and art centres are in or adjacent to the Kimberley region. Artists such as Paddy Bedford and Freddy Timms have an international profile, and there are a number of Aboriginal-owned and controlled art centres and companies that assist artists, arrange exhibitions and sell works. The art centres in the region are also organised through the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists. Issues have been raised regarding the exploitation of indigenous artists by businesses and individuals, including in the Kimberley, which were canvassed in an Australian Senate parliamentary committee report.

Read more about this topic:  Kimberley (Western Australia)

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