The Shire

About the Shire

The Shire of Ashburton serves communities across a vast region in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The region is known for mining, agriculture and fishing, and for its rugged, ancient landscape.

Ashburton River, Nanutarra      

At nearly half the size of Victoria (105 647 square km), the Shire of Ashburton boasts some of the world's largest open cut mines, largest pastoral leases and cattle stations and a thriving fishing industry all set against a beautiful and ancient arid tropical landscape.

The region's 10,000 residents are employed in a variety of industries including oil, gas, mining, cattle, fishing and tourism. The supporting infrastructure also provides employment and career opportunities.

The Shire's Mission

To contribute to the social, economic and environmental prosperity of the Shire of Ashburton by providing in alliance with others, strong community leadership, advocacy, and cost effective facilities and services.

History of the Shire

The West Pilbara Shire Council was formed in 1972 by an amalgamation of the Shires of Ashburton and Tableland. The Council's first meeting convened at Onslow on June 8, 1972.

The name "Shire of West Pilbara" was later changed to "Shire of Ashburton" on December 18, 1987 one hundred years after the establishment of the former Ashburton Road Board.

The name was changed to provide more identity to our particular region and to discriminate from the Karratha region, which is also referred to as the "West Pilbara".

The Ashburton River runs through the lower portion of the region, and the Shire includes four established townsites: Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Onslow and Pannawonica.

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.

Subsidiary offices are located in Onslow and Paraburdoo, and while Pannawonica does not have a sub-office of the Shire, the Pannawonica Library can respond to most enquiries.

The Council Crest

The original Council Crest was bordered with the Sturt Pea. When the Shire was renamed to Ashburton, the Council changed the design of the Crest by replacing the Sturt Pea with the Ashburton Pea, which is native to the Ashburton area.

The FE symbol represents iron, which is mined in Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Pannawonica. The cattle and sheep represent the stations and pastoral land located within the Shire. The railway symbolises the expansion of the land due to the iron ore industry and the ship refers to the bulk carriers that transport the iron ore to overseas markets. The fish depict the mullet, which translates to 'Pilbara' in traditional Aboriginal language. 


Last updated: 18 October 2017