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The 1998 Western Australian Year Book is a contemporary reference book detailing the political, legal, economic, social and environmental framework of WA. It has been extensively revised and includes many interesting feature articles These include:
The South West Statistical Division of Western Australia covers an area of 28,584 square kilometres. The Division comprises the Dale, Preston, Vasse and Blackwood Statistical Subdivisions.
The Statistical Subdivision of Dale includes the Local Government Areas of Boddington, Mandurah, Murray and Waroona; Preston includes the City of Bunbury and the Shires of Capel, Collie, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup and Harvey; Vasse comprises the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and the Shire of Busselton; Blackwood includes the Shires of Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Manjimup and Nannup.
The South West is characterised by beautiful forests, rivers and stunning, often remote coastline. The Bibbulmun Track which runs 650 kilometres from Kalamunda to Walpole crosses through much of the Division. The track takes in some of the most scenic sections of Karri forest. Karri grows only in parts of the south west of Western Australia where the annual rainfall exceeds 1,000mm.
Mandurah was settled early in the 1830s; the rest of the South West was settled soon after. Its economy has been dominated principally by the timber and agricultural industries. The South West forests are now increasingly valued for their natural beauty as well as a timber resource. Tourism is expected to continue to be a significant industry in the region's economy.
Grapevines were planted first in the Margaret River area in 1967. Since that time the wine industry has grown and many wineries and vineyards in the region have gained a reputation for their award winning produce, rivalling other wine growing areas of both this state and Australia. In recent times Pemberton has also become a successful wine growing area.
An increased number of bed and breakfast establishments, cafes and restaurants offer a wide variety of accommodation and food, from the elegant to the basic.
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