The GLSC has responsibilities in relation to lands that extend from Wiluna (on the edge of the Great Central Desert), to Esperance on Australia’s southern coast. The GLSC also has responsibilities over the sea adjacent to its south coast boundary, extending to the edge of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The GLSC’s land area is bigger than Texas, the Australian state of Victoria, and England. It takes nearly ten hours to drive across.
Gold mining is centred around the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which is also where the GLSC is headquartered. The Golden Mile, which runs alongside the town, is dotted with headframes and excavations. Life hangs on the water supply which is piped 600km from Perth. In summer, when temperatures often hit 45 degrees centigrade, residents commonly have their use of water restricted.
As its name suggests, gold is the biggest industry in the Goldfields region. Gold exploration takes in wide areas of land and as such is most likely to have an impact with traditional land owners. There is also a large nickel mining industry in the region.
Some pastoral operations fall within the GLSC’s boundaries. While it is possible to run sheep or cattle on some country, the low rainfall and hot conditions means that these pastoral pursuits also require large areas.
There are several other smaller towns within the GLSC’s boundaries, such as Esperance, Laverton, Leonora and Norseman. Most of these have been built to house workers in the mining and pastoral industries.
Given the size of the GLSC’s region, and the diversity of industries, it is little surprise that the region’s Aboriginal people, who take their
identity from the land, are also diverse. There are broad deviations in language and custom.