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), working collaboratively with the Department of Lands and Department of Environment and Regulation (DWER).

Project overview

The Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative (GFBI) was established in 2012 to increase horticultural production in the Carnarvon area by providing 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 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 1Gigalitre (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 will be releasing up to 300ha 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 hortoicultural production area. This is a key opportunity for the Carnarvon to increase production for both the domestic and international markets.

This project will provide direct public benefit to the Carnarvon community, the Gascoyne region and to the Western Australian and national economies.

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.

The announcment of new suitable land for sustainable horticulture development in Carnarvon will be available to purchase via an open process through a Call for Expression of Interest.

  1. Stage 1 land release commenced in December 2018.
  2. Stage 2 encompasses land over the north and east of the existing plantation areas along the Gascoyne River. This land is subject to Native Title negotiations.

Key achievements

  • Stage 1 land release occurred in December 2018.
  • Water, land and soil investigations are complete, 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) has been completed.
  • Gascoyne catchment management study has been completed and sustainable catchment management practices demonstrated.

For further information on the land releases or other project related queries please contact Natalie.Moore2@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Page last updated: Monday, 6 May 2019 - 12:18pm