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.
The region covers an area of 22 492 km², which is approximately one third of the total area of Tasmania.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
In 2011, the estimated resident population of the region was around 109 153 persons or 22% 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.
Since 2001, the region has been experiencing positive population growth, albeit at very modest levels with an increase of 5 000 total residents in the last decade.
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, saw-milling and wood product manufacturing, cement production and mining equipment manufacturing. Manufacturing is the biggest employer in the region, with more than 5,500 residents working in the industry as at the last census.
The region is renowned for its agricultural output, predominantly in dairying, vegetable growing and beef cattle production.
The region is home to unique and diverse environments, including wilderness, rugged mountainous areas, extensive forests, old mining towns, and productive agricultural landscapes. The region contains significant natural and cultural heritage areas including the Tarkine, 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.