Agriculture is one of the main economic drivers of the region with the main focus being sheep, high protein hard wheat, barley and other cereals. Production is carried out in arid and semi arid conditions with dry land farming techniques being succesfully applied. The product output varies from year to year, as it is totally seasonally dependant. The Australian Bureau of Statistics in 1993 indicated that $29,994,000 of gross value product was harvested within the District Council of Elliston.
The waters adjacent to Elliston provide productive fishing grounds for the Southern Rock Lobster. Large numbers of vessels operate in these waters and in harvesting the Rock Lobster vessels utilise the offshore islands and sheltered bays for anchorage overnight.
The Western Abalone Licence Sector is operated by 22 licensed abalone divers. These divers work extensively from the Elliston / Anxious Bay area in accessing the productive grounds of Anxious Bay, Flinders Island, Sheringa Beach and Talia Caves. In excess of $12 million per annum of abalone are exported / harvested from the Elliston District to Japan and South East Asia. The boat ramps in the district account for over 70% of the abalone exports from the Eyre Peninsula.
Potential of New Industries
The aquaculture industry on Eyre Peninsula in recent years has grown dramatically and the Elliston District within its150 kilometres of pristine coastline is excited about the prospoects of encouraging aquaculture to its District.
Wind Farm - Power Generation
The Elliston Windfarm at Tungketta Hill is in the development stages at present but is an exciting opportunity for the District.
The Flinders Island Diamond Mine is located 35 kilometres offshore from Elliston and is in the exploratory stage but indications are positive.
Coal - Power Generation
A $2 billion Coal Power Generation Plant at Lock is proposed and is in the feasibility stage of design.
Anxious Bay Marina
Another potential for the region is a marina at Anxious Bay. At present the exisitng industries that earn their income from the sea are unable to stay in the District, as there are inadequate mooring facilities.