Economic development in its broadest sense can be defined as increasing an area’s level of income and capital and distributing that wealth throughout the community through local expenditure and job creation.

Local government plays a pivotal role in economic development through local engagement and leadership with community and business stakeholders, advocating and promoting business investment and employment growth and facilitating and coordinating development and investment. Ultimately, this activity creates and sustains local employment opportunities enhancing community well-being and quality of life.

The Shire's commitment to economic development acts to support growth outcomes with a key focus on agriculture, tourism, mining and key business outcomes in support industries to our community.

Economic Development Strategy

Economic Development Plan

SWEK Prospectus

Economic Growth

Vision: The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley has a high performing economy underpinned by a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and investment.

Economic development enhances prosperity and improves the quality of life across the whole community and is achieved via a range of value-adding initiatives and services that foster and support a sustainable and prosperous business environment.

The following plans identify some of the known areas for future growth: 

Kununurra Development Opportunities

Ord Irrigation Future Expansion

Population Growth

Vision: EAST KIMBERLEY @ 25K, A Shire population of 25,000 residents by 2041

The East Kimberley at 25,000 (EK@25k) outlines a growth pathway for the Shire of Wyndham–East Kimberley to reach a population of 25,000 people.

The aspiration for the Shire is for future population growth at around 4.0 per cent per annum which will take the Shire to a population of 25,000 residents by 2041.

The final report includes an analysis of the population demographics, a profile of the local economy including the main economic drivers, growth pressures the Shire is or will experience, high, medium and low growth scenarios, the identification of infrastructure required to enable/meet the growth scenarios and a program for delivery for each growth scenario based on identified cause-and-effect “demand triggers” and “tipping points”.

The East Kimberley at 25,000

Growing Tourism

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley recognises the significance of the tourism industry to the East Kimberley economy and will work with industry to grow tourism in the Shire. 

East Kimberley Tourism Plan

The East Kimberley Tourism Plan guides the sustainable regional growth of tourism to 2022. The Plan builds on existing strategies and is designed to assist the Shire in policy development, planning and financial decision making. Where appropriate, the Tourism Plan aligns with broader regional tourism.

A concept that is fundamental to this Plan is that tourism "destination" development involves creating positive experiences for visitors based on attractions, activities, events and services, and includes management of the destination's assets in addition to marketing activities.

The development of this Plan included secondary research, primary research of visitors and consultation with industry and regional stakeholders which led to the development of the strategic goal:

  • To increase the value of tourism to the East Kimberley from $100.5M in 2013 to $130M by 2022.

The East Kimberley has considerable natural tourism assets and iconic experiences but significant effort is still required in product development, improving the marketing capacity of the local tourism industry and improving access to the region for visitors. The East Kimberley Tourism Plan focusses on addressing these fundamental aspects of tourism as a means of stimulating tourism growth in the region.

On this basis, there are four (4) strategic objectives identified to achieve the goal:

  1. Targeting growth markets (target segments, including business);
  2. Improving access (making it easier to get to the region);
  3. Building the value of tourism (both visitor and resident perspectives); and
  4. Developing products, services and events to meet the needs and expectations of target market segments.

The region attracts around 115,000  visitors per annum, of which around 45%  are caravan and campers, and 36% are business and fly/drive visitors. Access issues addressed in this plan include overcoming current limitations to air transport/connecting flights; improving road conditions and impacts of seasonality on access to attractions; and overcoming the lack of transport options around Kununurra for visitors.

East Kimberley Tourism Plan

Supporting Local Business

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley is committed to maximising opportunities for the economic development of business and industry in the Shire. 

The Shire has a put in place a Regional Price Preference Policy to help support local businesses. The purpose of this policy is to promote and support local businesses and the community by giving preferential consideration to Regional Businesses when considering the provision of goods and services via tender and quotation. 

Regional Price Preference Policy

East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry

A member organisation that organises and promotes the common interests of the business community. 

For more information, visit or call 0401 058 937

Kimberley Small Business Support  

Kimberley Small Business Support based in Kununurra can assist with a range of services relating to business issues.

For more information visit: or call 1300 339 641

Small Business Development Corporation

The SBDC provides free advice for small businesses in Western Australia

for more information visit: or call 13 12 49


Morrgul is a Kimberley based not for profit organisation offering business development and ongoing business support to Aboriginal people of the Kimberley. Morrgul services are provided at no cost to anyone who has the ability and motivation to start their own business.

For more information visit: or call (08) 9193 5570

East Kimberley Marketing Group

The East Kimberley Marketing Group was formed as a result of industry forums held in Kununurra during late 2013 and early 2014 when tourism operators came together to try and work out the best way of giving tourism a boost in the region. 

C/- PO Box 1477, Kununurra WA 6743

Insight into our economy

The Shire now has access to individual economic and community profiles for the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley through REMPLAN who develop economic modelling and planning systems. Each link below features information and statistics on our local economy and the community:

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There is a range of information about our Shire that provides a profile of the local community and economy.

The information is designed for use by Council, business, potential investors, organisations, researchers, community groups and the general public interested in the make-up of the community.

Economic Profile

The Shire economy is built upon a wide and diversifying base. Pastoralism has historically taken up much of the land area. The imprint of this activity is seen across the landscape and in the pattern of landholdings. Our economy has four main industries, Agriculture, Mining, Tourism and Support Services.

Agriculture covers a wide range of economic activity including; Pastoralism, Horticulture, Aquaculture and Forestry.   The Ord River covers an area of 28,000ha of high quality irrigated farm land.  With a further potential farm land that can be developed.

Mining also provides a significant contribution to the economy of the area.

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Community Profile

The Community Profile presents Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data in user-friendly tables and charts, with commentary that enables analysis of the characteristics of the local community, changes that have occurred over time and comparisons with other areas.

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