Diversification must leverage existing strengths in resources, primary industries, and tourism, and seek to develop and support new industries and careers.


A major function of the GSDC is to promote the growth, strengthening and diversification of the Great Southern economy.

A strong, complex and diverse economic base for a region creates stability, variety in employment opportunities, and greater ability to absorb shocks. Our aim here is leverage the Great Southern’s unique comparative advantages and well-established industries to grow sustainable jobs, expand existing industry, and grow new industry.


To promote economic development, diversification, and innovation, our projects encompass a broad range of areas including:

  • Growth and diversification of new businesses and local industry innovation
  • Great Southern brand assets – culture, history, nature, produce
  • VET, tertiary and international education
  • Trade and export of Great Southern products
  • Industrial precinct activation
  • Skills, knowledge and career pathway development
  • Job creation and skills diversification
  • Grant funding opportunities
  • Local suppliers for government contracts
  • Digital access and inclusion infrastructure.
Related industries


Great Southern aquaculture took a step change in 2017 with the opening of the Albany Shellfish Hatchery. The hatchery supplies shellfish spat to aquaculture operations around Western Australia’s coastline, and to operations elsewhere in Australia.

Construction and Manufacturing

Steady construction activity takes place on domestic and commercial premises and in civil construction. Machinery manufacturers provide many agriculture-related products and a range of other items for industry and consumers. Agricultural processing in the Great Southern through facilities such as WAMMCO, Beaufort River and Fletchers, is a major employer and contributor to the manufacturing economy.

Premium Foods

Productive land and generally reliable growing conditions support premium food producers in the region. Wagyu beef, truffles, seafood, dairy products, organic foods, pantry products and more attract attention for their quality and provenance.

Primary Production

Broadacre farming and livestock are the backbone of the Great Southern economy. The regional economy also features plantation timber and associated products. Primary production feeds into the rest of the regional economy such as manufacturing and freight services.

Retail and Hospitality

Major retail stores, general shopping and specialty services provide a significant number of jobs in the region. The region’s hospitality offerings have grown in number and quality in recent years with numerous award-winning venues available from high end restaurants to boutique hotels and everything in between. The hospitality sector has a steady employment base year-round, with seasonal peaks.

Screen Production

Film production in the Great Southern jumped up a notch in 2016 with the production of Simon Baker’s Breath, based on the novel by Tim Winton. Breath was released in 2018, and kicked off a flurry of filmmaking. We support filmmaking both for its direct economic input to the region and for its projection of our attractions onto screens before international audiences.


Internationally recognised ecotourism assets and natural attractions in the Great Southern are unmatched in regional Western Australia for their scale, diversity and accessibility. Noongar cultural experiences, the built heritage of Western Australia’s oldest European settlement and award-winning contemporary facilities complement the attractions of the natural environment. The Great Southern, and specifically Albany’s rich Anzac heritage is yet another unique pull factor bringing tourists from all over, while the ability to see orcas in their natural environment off Bremer Bay, is a rising attraction in the nature-based tourism space.

Wine and Other Beverages

The Great Southern wine region is the largest in mainland Australia, and encompasses the subregions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup. It produces 25 percent of Western Australia’s wine output.