Gascoyne Pastoral Industry


Credit: Ben Teo Photography

Pastoralism has had a long tradition in the Gascoyne region, with the introduction of sheep farming to the region in 1876.

Modern pastoralists have diversified mostly into beef, with sheep and goat livestock production continuing at a lower level today.

In 2015, there were 80 active pastoral leases in the Gascoyne region, with an average lease size of 149,405 ha. In the same

year total gross value for livestock disposals was $22 million, representing 2 per cent of Western Australia’s total gross value and 27 per cent of the region’s income.

Pastoral properties in the Gascoyne are quite geographically isolated, which means that businesses are largely self-sufficient. The main market options are supplying stock for live export or for slaughter.

Some of the region’s pastoralists have branched into agri-tourism, showing adaptability and willingness for innovation to diversify their businesses.

Industry growth is reliant on developing rich relationships with supply chain businesses to optimise returns. These supply chain relationships can be one-sided for the producer, with limited information coming back to the producer to inform decisions and adapt production practices.

Future growth will involve better sharing of information across value chains and developing influential relationships and partnerships with:

  • Governments
  • Selected industry groups (e.g. Gascoyne Catchment Group, Rangelands NRM)
  • Major businesses invested in domestic/overseas value chains and
  • Other primary industries in the region.