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Pilbara Electorate Profile (2021)

About the Pilbara Electorate

Map showing the boundaries of the Pilbara electorate for the 2021 election

PDF version of the Pilbara electorate map

PDF version of the Mining and Pastoral Region electorate map

Area (sq km): 292,570
Number of Electors: 23,272
Source: 2019 Final Distribution Report, Western Australian Electoral Distribution Commission.

Origin of the Name:
Pilbara - Name derived from Pilbara Creek, a name first recorded in 1888. Sometimes refered to as being an Aboriginal name for the mullet (fish), but the source of this information is not known, and another more likely meaning in the Kariyarra language is ‘dry-dried out’ (source; Manny Lockyer of South Hedland and Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre).
Pilbara Creek, and sometimes Pilburra Creek is referred to a number of times in the “West Australian” 1/1/1888 to 16/8/1888, and the “Pilbara Goldfield” was proclaimed in the Government Gazette 1/10/1888. Beasley’s survey was in October 1888. There was no official change from the Pibarra spelling to the Pilbara spelling, it gradually coming in between 1905 and 1910. However, the reason for the change of spelling appears almost certainly to have been the adoption of “Rules for the Spelling of Native Geographical Names” by the Department of Lands and Surveys. The Department widely circulated a booklet on these rules in 1901. The rules were produced by the Royal Geographical Society in England, and adopted by the Foreign & Colonial Office, Admiralty etc. The double “R” spelling would have meant a pronunciation like Pinjarra, that is, the vowel is lengthened, whereas the single “R” shortened the vowel. It is presumed the current spelling identifies the correct pronunciation.
Source: Western Australia. Department of Land Administration. Names and Places.

Suburbs and Towns within the Electorate:
Balla Balla; Baynton; Boodarie; Bulgarra; Burrup; Cooya Pooya; Cossack; Dampier; De Grey; Gap Ridge; Indee; Jigalong; Karratha; Karratha Industrial Est; Maitland; Marble Bar; Mardie; Millars Well; Newman; Nickol; Nullagine; Pardoo; Pegs Creek; Pippingarra; Point Samson; Port Hedland; Redbank; Roebourne; Sherlock; South Hedland; Stove Hill; Strelley; Telfer; Wallareenya; Wedgefield; Whim Creek; Wickham
* = Suburb/Town split between more than one Electorate.
Source: Western Australian Electoral Commission.

Legislative Council Region:
Mining and Pastoral

Local Governments within the Electorate:
Shire of East Pilbara
Town of Port Headland
City of Karratha

Government: Baler Primary School; Baynton West Primary School; Cassia Education Support Centre; Cassia Primary School; Dampier Primary School; Hedland Senior High School; Jigalong Remote Community School; Karratha Primary School; Karratha Senior High School; Marble Bar Primary School; Millars Well Primary School; Newman Primary School; Newman Senior High School; Nullagine Primary School; Pegs Creek Primary School; Port Hedland Primary School; Port Hedland School Of The Air; Roebourne District High School; South Hedland Primary School; South Newman Primary School; Tambrey Primary School; Wickham Primary School; Yandeyarra Remote Community School.

Other: Parnngurr Community School; Rawa Community School Aboriginal Corporation; St Cecilia's Catholic Primary School; St Luke's College; St Paul's Primary School; Strelley Community School.

Local Newspapers:
  • Pilbara News
  • North West Telegraph

Books about Pilbara
  • W Owen: Cossack gold - the chronicles of an early Goldfields warden (216p. Hesperian Press, 1984)
  • Kathy de la Rue: Pearl shell and pastures - the story of Cossack and Roebourne and their place in the history of the North West, from earliest explorations to 1910 (134p. Cossack Project Committee, 1979)
  • D Gordon: the West Pilbara - sail and teams to bulk carriers and bitumen (149p. Hesperian Press, 2004)
  • Noel Olive: Enough is enough - a history of the Pilbara mob (300p. Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2007)
  • Keith Smith: The great challenge - the saga of Yampi (230p. K R Smith, 1979)
  • Nancy Taylor: A saga of the north west - Yeera-muk-a-doo, an authentic history of the first settlement of North West Australia told through the Withnell and Hancock families, 1861-1890 (254p. Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1980)
  • Eloise Sharp: Some ghosts, some not (225p. Hesperian Press, 2011)
  • Bert Wells: The wild Pilbara - iron country and its natural wonders (96p. Jaycees Community Foundation, 1982)
  • Kathleen Mallett: To the bar bonded - a history of early Marble Bar (334p. Hesperian Press, 1992)
  • Hugh Edwards: Gold dust and iron mountains, Marble Bar and beyond, the story of the Eastern Pilbara (267p. Hugh Edwards, 1993)
  • W Charnley: What happened at Braeside (21p. Hesperian Press, 2010)
  • Tish Lees: Lonely for my land - tales of Karratha Station and the nor' west (402p. Sid Harta Publications, 2010)
  • Jennie Hardie: Nor'westers of the Pilbara Breed (264p. Shire of Port Hedland, 1981)

Statistical Profile of the Pilbara Electorate


Information about the 2021 State General Election
Information about Previous Elections

Current Member

Kevin Michel (ALP)

Kevin has been a Labor member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly since the 2017 state election, representing Pilbara.

Kevin was born in Golden Rock, India, and migrated to Australia in 1990. He studied at colleges in India, as well as RMIT and South East Metropolitan College of TAFE. He ran an air conditioning business in Karratha before entering politics

Contact details and Speeches



Successive Members for the Pilbara Electorate

Constituency created under the Redistribution of Seats 2007

Name Party Term
Thomas (Tom) Gregory Stephens Australian Labor Party 2008 - 2013
Brendon John Grylls National Party 2013 - 2017
Kevin Joseph Jude Michel Australian Labor Party 2017 -

Black, David & Valerie Prescott. Election Statistics: Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, WA: Parliament of Western Australia Electoral Commission, 1997.
Parliament of Western Australia, Members (website)