Local History

The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku is a unique local government in that its community of interest is contained with the traditional lands of the Ngaanyatjarra people of the Central Desert of Western Australia. The 99-year leases held by the Ngaanyatjarra Land Council on behalf of the traditional owners also form the boundaries of the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku was formed on the 1st July 1993 by the division of the Shire of Wiluna with the eastern area becoming the new Shire. The first local government elections were held in October 1993 and eight Councillors were elected unopposed. The communities, as originally stated in their submission to the Boundaries Commission, are committed to "mainstream" local government and the delivery of services by the Shire rather than any other organisation.

At its formation the Shire assumed responsibility for the limited services previously provided by the old Shire of Wiluna. Since then the Shire has been steadily improving and extending the range of services provided to the communities including ovals, street lights, welfare, TV and radio retransmission, swimming pools and culture. Increasingly the Shire is now undertaking the more conventional Local Government services including health, building, waste services, litter control, rubbish disposal sites, road sealing, sports and recreation, project management and other community-based programs.

Since the establishment of the Shire there have been extensive improvements to the communications, road infrastructure and services provided to the communities within the Shire. The Shire continues to represent and be an advocate for the community at a State and Federal level of government.

Transport Links

The Shire’s main town site Warburton is located on the Gunbarrel Highway and also the Great Central Road. The Great Central Road is also known as the Outback Highway, "Australia’s longest shortcut" which traverses from Laverton in Western Australia, through the Northern Territory and up to Winton in Queensland.

Chart Air fly to Warburton three times per week, Tuesdays from Alice Springs, Thursdays, Fridays and every second Wednesday from Kalgoorlie. There are no commercial bus services to Warburton and physical access to the Shire can be difficult, particularly during the wet season, which can make the gravel roads impassable.

Permission is required by the Ngaanyatjarra Council in Alice Springs to travel on the lands of Ngaanyatjarraku.

Principal Industries

The main industry within the Shire is the provision of Local Government services to the community, followed by employment in the Social Assistance services industry. Services delivered within the Local Government Administration industry include administrative management, waste management, project management, road infrastructure and maintenance, environmental health, building surveyor issues, youth development and sports and recreational services.

Although there are currently no mining or petroleum operations within the Shire, an agreement to mine a Nickel deposit near the community of Wingellina has been signed. Extensive mining and petroleum exploration is also occurring within the Shire.

Warburton community is home to the Tjulyuru Cultural and Civic Centre which hosts a world-renowned Art Gallery featuring paintings and artefacts from Ngaanyatjarra artists, whose work is represented in national and international exhibitions.

Regional Context

The Goldfields-Esperance region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located in the south-eastern corner of Western Australia, and comprises the local government areas of Coolgardie, Kambalda, Dundas, Esperance, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Ngaanyatjarraku and Ravensthorpe.

The Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku is part of the Goldfields Esperance Regional Collaborative Group ("GERCG") which is made up of ten shires across the region, with an approximate population of 60,000 residents and covering an area of 770,488 square kilometres, which is just under a third of the total land mass of Western Australia.

The mining and processing of mineral resources is the primary industry within the region, complemented by the subsequent commercial services. The region also has a strong agricultural industry, as well as a focus on tourism particularly in the southern parts of the region.

The Goldfields-Esperance region faces a variety of challenges with those most relevant to the Shire being:

  • Retaining a skilled workforce with requisite skills: The labour force of the Goldfields-Esperance Region has remained steady but the unemployment rate in the region has increased from 2001-2002 to a high of 6.0 per cent in March 2016. The mining industry is the largest employer in the Goldfields-Esperance Region;
  • Providing infrastructure to a relatively small and geographically diverse population with limited capacity for economies of scale; and
  • Population trends: The estimated resident population of the Goldfields-Esperance Region in 2011 was 60,000. This constitutes 2.6 per cent of the total population of Western Australia. In the decade to June 2009, the region’s population increased at an average annual growth rate of 0.4 per cent. Both fluctuations in population across the region are directly linked to the state of the mining industry (Goldfields-Esperance: A region in profile 2011, Department of Regional Development and Lands WA 2011). The population trend for the Goldfields-Esperance region is expected to increase in line with the Western Australian Planning Commission’s estimate to 65,400 by the year 2031.

Location

The Shire's isolated location 1,542 km from Perth impacts on the cost of virtually every facet of its operations. The Shire's distance from Perth is not a true indicator of remoteness because of the 560 km of gravel road involved from Laverton to Warburton. The Shire is unique today in being so far from bitumen roads.

The estimated population of 1,838 comprises mainly Ngaanyatjarra people and about 195 non-Aboriginal co-ordinators, technicians and public servants.

Rating

The Shire receives ex gratia rates from the community leasehold areas and these will be supplemented by service charges as services are introduced. The rates on the community leasehold areas are based directly on unimproved values issued on the community's two leases. The only true rates that the Shire receives is in respect of mining tenements.

 
 
Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku Statistics  (2006/2007)
Established 1st July 1993
Location Gibson / Great Victoria Deserts
Distance from Perth (Km) 1,542
Area (sq km) 159,948
Western Australia Area (km) 2,525,500
Length of Sealed Roads (km) 38.3 
Length of Unsealed Roads (km)  1487.6
Population 1,838
Number of Electors 917
Number of Dwellings 441
Educational Institutions:

Colleges Warburton
Schools Blackstone, Jameson, Tjirrkarli, Tjukurla, Wanarn, Warburton, Warakurna, Wingellina
Medical Services

Nursing Posts

Health Clinic

Blackstone, Jameson, Patjarr, Tjirrkarli, Tjukurla, Wanarn, Warakurna, Wingellina

Warburton

Nursing homes Wingellina 
Aged Care Facilities Wanarn
Police Stations Warburton and Warakurna
Total Rates  (Mining Tenements) $ 113,533
Total Annual Revenue 2014/15  $ 10,608,780
Number of Employees (FTE)  26
Temperature & Rainfall-recorded since Jan 2006 Warburton (Airfield) Warakurna (Giles Station)
Highest Temperature 16th Feb 07 – 45.5oc 9th Feb 07 – 43.2oc
Lowest Temperature 9th Aug 07 – minus 2.4oc 22nd Jun – 0.8oc

Average Rainfall - recorded in 2006

*See www.bom.gov.au for more information

415.2 mm 257.0 mm
 

Main Communities Population

 
Warburton 720
Tjirrkarli 55
Wanarn 161
Warakurna 194
Tjukurla 94
Wingellina 170
Blackstone 202
Jameson 140
Patjarr 59
Kanpa 43