Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative

The Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative (GFBI) was established in 2012 to increase horticultural production in the area, matched with borefield development.

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

Project overview

The GFBI was established in 2012 to increase horticultural production in the Carnarvon area through the provision of new land and water resources for irrigation expansion.

Over the last six years 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 line to poser the bore pumps in both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 borefields. It consists of 120 cyclone-rated poles, about 360 insulators, 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 1GL of water from the southern borefield system to be available for existing growers for irrigation purposes.

Land release and development is the final component of this project.  DPIRD will be releasing up to 300ha of land for intensive horticulture in line with the Shire of Carnarvon’s revised Structure Plan 2017.

The release responds to the ongoing interest for land for horticulture and provides an opportunity to expand the local horticulture industry. This is seen as a key opportunity for the Carnarvon horticultural industry to increase production for both the domestic and international markets.

Land release

The final phase of the GFBI project is to release 300ha of new land to market. A general factsheet on the land release is available in the 'Documents' section titled GFBI Land Release Flyer.

Land will be available to purchase in two stages via an open expression of interest process.

  1. Stage 1 will see the release of two lots totalling 20ha located 8km north east of Carnarvon townsite.
  2. Stage 2 encompasses seven parcels of land over 280ha dispersed to the north and east of the existing plantation area. This land is subject to Native Title and negotiations are currently being held with the relevant NT claimant group.

To register your interest and request an Expression of Interest document for Stage 1 land, please contact

Key achievements

  • Water, land and soil investigations complete, with 4 Gigalitres of new water sourced and 400 hectares of new land for irrigated agriculture identified.
  • Land use structure plan developed and incorporated into the Shire of Carnarvon’s town planning scheme.
  • Northern borefield stage 2 water collector main installed and 4 production bores equipped to extract 1.9GL of water.
  • Electrification of Northern Borefield Stages 1 and 2 (0-24km) complete.
  • Gascoyne catchment management study completed and sustainable catchment management practices demonstrated.
Page last updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - 8:47am