Shire of Chapman Valley

Area ~440 km north of Perth and covers ~3,965 square kilometres.
Towns Nabawa, Yuna and Nanson
Average Temperature Coastal:  maximum of 34.2°C in February and minimum of 7.4°C in August.
Annual Rainfall Average of 444 mm.
ABS Profile Chapman Valley ABS profile

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Over 1200 people live in the  Shire of Chapman Valley.

The population of the Shire of Chapman Valley is increasing, with a 1.3% increase between 2011 and 2013.

The  Shire of Chapman Valley  has a relatively diverse population, with approximately 20% of residents being born overseas and 80% born in Australia. Approximately 4.5% are of indigenous heritage.

Estimates of the resident populations as at 30 June are released annually for Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The estimates are generally revised 12 months later and final estimates are available after the following census. Visit the ABS website for further details.

The economy of the Shire of Chapman Valley is largely based around agriculture including wheat and sheep farming.

Employment by sector (Service related industryRetail related industry, Agriculture, fishing and forestry, Mining, Manufacturing, Construction, Other) is depicted in the chart below.

The main land uses as shown in the Local Planning Scheme for the Shire of Chapman Valley include: agriculture, reserves, residential, commercial and industrial.

Priority conservation reserves include: Oakajee Nature Reserve, Wokatherra Nature Reserve, Wandana Nature Reserve, East Yuna Nature Reserve.

Nature Reserves

  • Wandana Nature Reserve and Unallocated Crown Land

    Covers and area of approximately 71 000 ha that lies within the South West Botanical Province biodiversity hotspot, and is the only Nature Reserve within the Geraldton Hills subregion of the Geraldton Sandplains bioregion. Combined, the Kalbarri National Park and Wandana Nature Reserve house the 18% of subregional land within the conservation reserve system. For more information please see the City of Greater Geraldton Local Biodiversity Strategy 2013.

  • East Yuna Nature Reserve

    A Nature Reserve located approximately 100 km north east of Geraldton, containing high quality remnant vegetation which provides crucial habitat for rare flora and fauna.

  • Conservation reserves in the NAR

    To view all the reserves in the Northern Agricultural Region, visit the Land use theme page or view the nature reserve map.

The coastline of the Shire of Chapman Valley is dominated by the Cattamarra Coal Measures, which was formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The formation comprises of siltstone, shale, claystone, coal and sandstone.

The geology underlying the area east of the Cattamarra Coal Measures is the Northampton complex. The Northampton complex consists of migmatitic and paragneiss rocks.

The geology to the area east of the Northampton Complex consists of a number of formations including the Tumblagooda Sandstone, Yarragadee Formation, Holmwood Shale and the Cattamarra Coal Measures. The Yarragadee formation was formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rock. The Yarragadee formation consists of fine to coarse grained sandstone with thin interbeds of shale. The Cattamarra was formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The formation comprises of siltstone, shale, claystone, coal and sandstone. The Tumblagooda Sandstone consists of fine to coarse grained red-bed sandstone and minor siltstone. The Holmwood Shale was formed during the Permian period form sedimentary and volcanic rock. The Holmwood Shale consists of grey shale, well-bedded clayey siltstone and interbedded limestone.

The Nangetty formation underlies that the eastern and northern portion of the shire. The Nangetty formation was formed during the Carboniferous-permian period from sedimentary and volcanic rocks, it consists of diamictite, shale and sandstone. The Tumblagooda sandstone underlies small areas within the eastern and northern portion of the Shire.

The soils of the coastline of the Shire of Chapman Valley comprise of deep sandy calcareous soils. The soils types east of the coast line consists of sodic subsoils of red loamy duplexes, sandy duplexes and siliceous coloured sands. The red loamy duplexes are often associated with drainage lines in the area. The soils that underlies the eastern portion of the shire includes red shallow loams with red to brown hardpan soils and deep sandy and sandy earth soils. These soils are associated overlies a undulating plain with numerous dune ridges and breakaway country.

Please go to the below link for more information on soil and geology in the region

Priority Fauna Species

  • East Yuna Nature Reserve

    A Nature Reserve located approximately 100 km north east of Geraldton, containing high quality remnant vegetation which provides crucial habitat for rare flora and fauna.

  • Conservation significant fauna in the Northern Agricultural Region

    For more information about fauna in the NAR visit the fauna theme page, and check out the list of Conservation Significant Fauna.

IBRA Regions

  • Geraldton Hills subregion (Geraldton Sandplains 1)

    The Geraldton Hills is located in the LGAs in the middle portion of the region. This subregion is characterised by sand heaths of emergent Banksia and Cypresses, York Gum woodlands on alluvial plains. Areas of limestone are dominated by proteaceous heath and Acacia scrubs. Low closed Acacia shrublands occupies much of the alluvial plains associated with the Greenough and Irwin Rivers (Desmond and Chant, 2001b).

  • Edel Subregion (Yalgoo1)

    The Edel subregion is located in the northern LGAs in the NAR. This subregion formerly a subregion of the  Geraldton Sandplains, forms a part of the Yalgoo IBRA. It is considered to be unique because it is a transition zone for flora and fauna of the South western and Carnarvon Bioregions. Much of the region is dominated by proteaceous shrubs, Acacia and Casuarina scrub (Desmond and Chant, 2001a).

Threatened Ecological Communities

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Priority Ecological Communities

  • Plant assemblages of the Moresby Range system

    Includes the Melaleuca megacephala and Hakea pycnoneura thicket on stony slopes, Verticordia dominated low heath, and Allocasuarina campestris and Melaleuca uncinata thicket on superficial laterite, on Morseby Range.

    Threats: clearing for infrastructure

    For more information visit the DPaW website.

  • Frankenia pauciflora low open shrublands in swales

    Community occurs on Tamala South grey-brown sand, on mid to lower slopes of Tamala Limestone ridges and some isolated rises on calcareous deep and shallow sands. Taxa include Acacia rostellifera, Stylobasium spathulatum, Frankenia pauciflora, Tetragonia implexicoma, Threlkeldia diffusa, Zygophyllum fruticulosum.

    Threats: grazing, land clearing

    Category (WA) – Priority 1

    For more information visit the DPaW website.

  • Coastal sands dominated by Acacia rostellifera, Eucalyptus oraria and Eucalyptus obtusiflora

    Floristically, this community is similar to other Acacia rostellifera communities but is differentiated on structure, being dominated by mallee eucalypts. The community occurs on limestone ridges, in some swales in the coastal dunes between Cape Burney and Dongara, on the Greenough Alluvial Flats on limestone soil and near Tarcoola Beach. Some very small occurrences have also been recorded on the limestone scarp north of the Buller River.

    Threats: Clearing

    Category (WA) – Priority 1

    For more information visit the DPaW website.

No priority coastal and marine areas have been identified in the Shire of Chapman Valley.

Coastal Assets

  • Primary and Secondary Coastal Dunes

    Primary dunes (from low water mark) and secondary dunes. Valued for recreational, aesthetic and cultural reasons, along with the services provided for storm protection  and habitat.

Marine Assets

  • Seagrass Meadows

    Seagrasses are flowering plants that complete their life cycle submerged in seawater. Western Australia has the world’s highest diversity of seagrasses, with 27 species occurring in shallow waters off the coast. Seagrasses form a vital component of marine ecosystems through their services as primary biomass producers, sources of habitat (including breeding and nursery areas) and dissolved oxygen, sediment traps, and nutrient cycling. Seagrass distribution is determined by a combination of shelter, sediment, turbidity, nutrient, temperature, current and tidal influences.

    Extensive seagrass meadows occur in protected near-shore areas of the NAR, where clear water, low nutrients and sandy sea floors prevail, and are dominated by the long strap-like Ribbonweed or Strapweed (Posidonia spp) and the thin-stemmed Wireweed (Amphibolis spp).

    Seagrass habitats are fragile and susceptible to damage and can take many years to recover from disturbance, such as physical damage/removal and shading due to algal blooms (as a result of increased nutrients), and sedimentation (due to dredging activities and erosion in catchment areas).

    More information on seagrasses in Western Australia can be found in the following publications: Flowers of the Ocean: WA’s Expansive Seagrass MeadowsThe Wonders of Weed Information Sheet; Fisheries Fact Sheet: Seagrasses; Establishing Reference and Monitoring Sites to Assess a Key Indicator of Ecosystem Health (Seagrass Health) on the central west Coast of Western Australia (see references).


Groundwater Areas

  • Gascoyne Groundwater Area

    The Gascoyne Groundwater Area extends north to Kalbarri and bounds the Arrowsmith Groundwater Area east to pastoral country. The largest groundwater aquifer occurs in the Yarragadee Formation, which has an estimated yield of 22.5 million m³/year (NACC, 2005). Groundwater from fractured rock aquifers in the eastern, inland part of the region is predominantly saline and poor yielding. This region of the Gascoyne Groundwater Area falls under the Carnarvon Artesian Basin Allocation Plan.


  • Chapman River

    Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics
    Greenough 80 1,644 3000-35000 Originates east of Yuna and drains the farming areas of the Chapman Valley. The river enters the ocean within the northern suburbs of Geraldton and is only open to the ocean during winter flows.
  • Buller River

    River Length (km) Catchment Key Characteristics
    Buller 10 33.9 The Buller River head waters rises 25 km north of Geraldton and meanders in a southerly directions before discharging into the Indian Ocean approximately 4 km north of Drummonds Cover.


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Birdlife Midwest

Contact: Sally Vigilante

North East Farming Futures

Phone: 08 9964 7022 Website:

Northern Agricultural Catchments Council

Work Geraldton Office 201 Lester Avenue PO Box 7168 Geraldton WA 6530 Work Perenjori Office Corner of Fowler Street and Timmings Street PO Box 95 Perenjori WA 6620 Work Jurien Bay Office 69 Bashford Street PO Box 872 Jurien Bay WA 6516 Phone: (08) 9938 0100 (Geraldton) Phone: (08) 9973 1444 (Perenjori) Phone: (08) 9652 0872 (Jurien Bay) Website: NACC Website

Yuna Farm Improvement Group

Contact: Matt Johnson
Work PO Box 27 Nabawa WA 6532 Australia Cell Phone: 0438950616

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