Shire of Ashburton

The Shire of Ashburton is one of the four local government areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, covering an area of 105,647 square kilometres (40,791 sq mi). It is named after the Ashburton River.

Shire of Ashburton
Western Australia
Ashburton LGA WA.png
Location in Western Australia
Population13,026 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density0.123297/km2 (0.319339/sq mi)
Area105,647 km2 (40,790.5 sq mi)
Shire PresidentKerry White
Council seatTom Price
State electorate(s)North West Central
Federal division(s)Durack
Logo of Shire of Ashburton.svg
WebsiteShire of Ashburton
LGAs around Shire of Ashburton:
Indian Ocean Karratha Port Hedland
Exmouth Shire of Ashburton East Pilbara
Carnarvon Upper Gascoyne Meekatharra

The shire's administration centre is in the town of Tom Price. It had a population of about 13,000 as at the 2016 Census, most of whom live in the mining towns or in nearby mining camps. Most of the land is taken up by pastoral leases or protected areas (including the Karijini National Park). Other than agriculture, industries important to Ashburton include mining, oil, natural gas, fishing, and tourism.


It was established on 27 May 1972 as the Shire of West Pilbara, formed by the amalgamation of the original Shire of Ashburton and the Shire of Tableland.[2] The new shire was described at the time as "the largest workable shire in Australia". It was originally based at Onslow, with a second office at Wittenoom.[3]

It originally had nine members divided into six wards, but by 1977 had one councillor for each of the five towns in the shire (Onslow, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo, Tom Price, Wittenoom) and four members for the rural areas of the shire.[3]

It was renamed the Shire of Ashburton on 18 December 1987.[2] The name was changed to provide more identity to the particular region and to discriminate from the Newman region, which is also referred to as the "West Pilbara".[citation needed]

It was decided to move the administration office from Onslow to the more centrally located town of Tom Price in January 1990, when the Shire's administration office was officially opened in Poinciana Street.[citation needed]


The Shire is divided into 6 Wards, 9 Councillors in total.

  • Tom Price (3 Councillors)
  • Paraburdoo (2 Councillors)
  • Ashburton (1 Councillor)
  • Onslow (1 Councillor)
  • Pannawonica (1 Councillor)
  • Tableland (1 Councillor)


Heritage-listed placesEdit

As of 2021, 84 places are heritage-listed in the Shire of Ashburton,[4] of which six are on the State Register of Heritage Places, among them Nanutarra Station and Peedamulla Homestead.[5]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Ashburton (S)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 November 2017.  
  2. ^ a b "Municipality Boundary Amendments Register" (PDF). Western Australian Electoral Distribution Commission. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "FIVE YEARS OF GROWTH FOR BIGGEST SHIRE". Hamersley News. Western Australia. 2 June 1977. p. 10. Retrieved 12 January 2020 – via Trove.
  4. ^ "Shire of Ashburton Heritage Places". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Shire of Ashburton State Register of Heritage Places". Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 12 March 2021.

Further readingEdit

  • (1993) Ashburton Shire - brief history, named Shire of Ashburton 18 Dec. 1987 with the main offices in Tom Price, crest described Shire of Ashburton directory, 1993, p. 13

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 22°41′38″S 117°47′42″E / 22.694°S 117.795°E / -22.694; 117.795