The Wheatbelt region is situated in the south west of Western Australia and comprises an area of 154,862 square kilometres, extending out to the north, east and south east of the Perth metropolitan area.
The region is home to approximately 73, 817 people (projected June 2012 Population, ABS). The population is spread over approximately 160 towns and smaller settlements within 43 Local Government Areas.
The Wheatbelt is a large and diverse region encompassing a range of environments, social and economic characteristics. Opportunities and constraints differ greatly across the region, especially when comparing the high growth peri-urban and coastal communities with the broadacre farm land in the east and south of the region.
There are no major cities in the Wheatbelt. Northam is the largest regional centre with an estimated resident population of 6,580 (ABS, 2011). The clear division of the Wheatbelt in to sub-regions makes it unique to other regions in Western Australia as with no one dominant regional centre the infrastructure and service provision models that work in other areas are not suitable for this context.
The Wheatbelt is so called because of its extensive agricultural industry. The region is the primary producer of cereal crops in the state and contributes other agricultural products such as canola, olives, vegetables, wine grapes, honey, citrus fruits and livestock. Whilst agriculture remains the dominant industry, the economy of the region is also supported by mining, commerce, retail, manufacturing, fishing and tourism.