Waterways of abundance
The Bindjareb people, or river people, were blessed with country that provided them with plentiful flora and fauna to catch and trade. As custodians of the waterways they became very wealthy people due to their expertise in fishing. Bindjareb country was defined by this abundance and when the fish were running, large gatherings of tribes from parts of the South West would travel to share in the fish. These gatherings formed the origin of the term Mandjar, meaning “meeting place”, which still holds true today. Since 1990 Peel has been officially recognised for its unique and globally significant ecology. The region comprises of the Ramsar protected Peel-Yalgorup wetlands, along with twenty-three rivers, streams and creeks.
Sharing Peel’s seafood with the world
Through colonisation, agriculture took new form and the waterways became a hub for enterprise, with the fishing industry at the centre of it. A cannery was established by a colonial entrepreneur and the local mullet became a globally exported food product. By 1880, there were multiple canneries operating in the region with each cannery producing up to 5,000 cans of fish a day.
Industry booms in the water and on land
While the fishing industry was still growing, the forest areas such as Dwellingup and Jarrahdale were established as major timber mill towns for Jarrah, Marri and Blackbutt. By 1960, timber milling had become the third largest income earner for Western Australia. The railway once used for the timber industry is now a tourist attraction being WA’s steepest and most spectacular section of rail.
Becoming a world leader in mineral production
Some years later, a new type of richness was discovered – Bauxite. Mining, alumina refining and aluminium smelting put Peel on the map for another reason besides fishing. Peel became an economic powerhouse, with the region currently hosting the world’s biggest bauxite mine.
Welcoming visitors from far and wide
The 1950s saw the formation of a new economy as people choose to come to the region for recreation. Peel became Western Australia’s tourism playground and reimagined its identity as the “meeting place”. People would fish, explore and relax in Western Australia’s first hotel to pour beer by the tap. In 2019, 3.23 million day-trippers came to Peel to experience the region’s attractions – from wildflowers to wild-caught seafood.
Pioneering the new way to do agribusiness
Just like those before us, Peel is continuing to uncover ways to bring people together, capitalise on natural assets, and innovate. Transform Peel is will be Western Australia’s centre for innovative food production, agribusiness and water science. Strategically located and with a focus on sustainable food and water supplies it is unlike anything else in Western Australia.
Ambitious community that keeps growing
People have always been drawn to the Peel region, and today there is even more reason. Peel’s affordability and lifestyle, coupled with the opportunity to live and work in a thriving economy is a major drawcard for the hundreds of families that move to the region every year. By 2050, Peel is expected to be one of the most populated regions outside of Perth with a projected population of 444,000.