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The Cradle Coast region is situated on the North West and West Coast of Tasmania and comprises the nine local Government areas of Latrobe, Devonport City, Kentish, Central Coast, Burnie City, Waratah-Wynyard, West Coast, Circular Head and King Island Councils.

In 2001, the estimated resident population of the region was around 106 820 persons or 22.6% of the total population of Tasmania. The social and demographic issues confronting the region have changed significantly over the last 50 years. The region experienced steady population growth after World War II until the 1990s when, like the rest of Tasmania, it experienced an overall population decline between 1996 and 2001. The decline in population is largely attributed to structural changes in the mining, manufacturing and forestry industries.The region is showing signs of recovering and is now experiencing positive population growth.

The mainstays of the Cradle Coast region’s economy are agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, mining, retail and tourism. Manufacturing has for many years been a vitally important activity in the region, and includes activities such as dairy product manufacturing, vegetable processing, textile product manufacturing, saw-milling and wood product manufacturing, paper manufacturing, cement production and mining equipment manufacturing.

The region is renowned for its agriculture production. In 2000–01, the value of agricultural commodities produced in the region was $315M, predominantly from dairying, vegetable growing and beef cattle production.

Tourism is an important industry for the Cradle Coast region. Just under half of all visitors to Tasmania in 2001–02 traveled within the region, the majority of whom stayed overnight.

The region is renowned for its unique and diverse environment, including pristine wilderness, rugged mountainous areas, extensive forests, untouched coastlines, old mining towns, and productive agricultural landscapes. The region contains significant natural and cultural heritage areas including the Arthur – Pieman Conservation Area, Narawntapu National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which includes Cradle Mountain and the Franklin and Gordon Rivers.

More than 75% of the region’s population is concentrated in the towns and cities along the coastal strip between Wynyard and Latrobe, with Burnie and Devonport forming the two major centres in the region. The West Coast and King Island are considered remote and have a lower proportion of the region’s population but contribute significantly to its overall economy.

 

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