Shire of Morawa
|Area||~3,516 square kilometres, located ~390 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||Canna, Gutha, Koolanooka, Merkanooka and Morawa.|
|Average Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
37.4°C (Jan) and 18.7°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019 280 mm (BoM 2020).|
|ABS Profile||Morawa ABS profile|
|Shire Website||Shire of Morawa|
Around 745 people live in the Shire of Morawa, about 70% of whom (532 people) live in the town of Morawa itself (ABS 2016).
The population in the Shire of Morawa decreased by 18% between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, and is projected to decrease by a further ~20% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 8% of residents of the Shire of Morawa were born overseas and approximately 17% are of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent.
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 Morawa depends primarily on broad acre agriculture and the services that support farming in the area. Local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats) and livestock (primarily sheep for wool). Iron ore mining at Koolanooka is considered an important part of the local economy (MWDC 2013) and wildflower tourism is a small but growing area.
The main land use in the Shire of Morawa is agriculture.
Pintharuka and Pintharuka Well Nature Reserves
The Pintharuka Nature Reserve covers ~81 ha and the adjacent Pintharuka Well Nature Reserve covers ~88 ha. Both reserves are located west of Pintharuka and form part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Mount Nunn Nature Reserve
The Mount Nunn Nature Reserve covers ~116 ha and is located south west of Morawa. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Koolanooka and Koolanooka Dam Nature Reserves
The Koolanooka Dam Nature Reserve covers ~460 ha and the nearby Koolanooka Nature Reserve covers an additional ~8 ha. Both reserves are located west of Morawa and both form part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Canna Nature Reserve
The Canna Nature Reserve covers ~333 ha and is a spectacular spot to see wildflowers between July and November.
Bowgada Nature Reserve
The Bowgada Nature Reserve covers ~200 ha of York Gum Eucalyptus laxophleba, Bowgada Acacia linophylla and Mallee scrub. The reserve is part of the Wildflower Way which winds between Geraldton and Dalwallinu.
The mid-western boundary of the shire lies on Wangina sandstone formations, formed in the Permian period from sedimentary and volcanic rocks and comprised of fine to medium grained clayey quartz sandstone, minor conglomerate, shale, siltstone and coal. The south-western portion of the shire lies on the Coomberdale subgroup, formed during the Mesoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rocks and comprised of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock, stromatolitic dolomite rock and silicified dolomite rock. The Billeranga subgroup, formed during the Mesoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rock and comprising of sandstone, siltstone, basalt and volcanic sandstone, forms the eastern scarp of the Coomberdale subgroup.
The remainder of the shire, including the town of Morawa, lies within the Yilgarn craton and the underlying geology is biotite granite formed in the Neoarchean era. The Yilgarn Craton includes the Youanmi terrain which is comprised of rocks rich in magnesium and iron along with sills of gabbro and dolerite. Undulating sandplains intersect with low rocky rises and narrow limestone ridges. Narrow drainage lines connect salt plains and saline lakes. The soils are primarily gravelly loams and deep sandy earth.
The shire is located within the Tallering (YAL01) and Merredin (AVW01) IBRA sub-regions and is characterised by low, open woodlands and proteaceous scrub. Protected Threatened Ecological Communities found in the shire include the Plant Assemblages of the Billeranga System, Plant Assemblages of the Koolanooka System and the Plant Assemblages of the Moonagin System. These plant assemblages are characterised by acacia, eucalypt and allocasuarina scrub and all of three are listed vulnerable under Western Australia’s environment law. The alluvial plains associated with drainage lines are dominated by eucalypts, casuarinas, York Gum and Jam Wattle woodlands. The are several registered Aboriginal heritage sites in Morawa including Koolanooka Spring, Lochada Road Quarry and Monger’s Lake.
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. Groundwater from fractured rock aquifers in the eastern, inland part of the region is predominantly saline, with poor yields.
Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics Greenough 82 1,605 3000-35000 Commences near Arrino, north west of Three Springs. It has no clearly deﬁned ocean outlet, and drains into a subterranean cave system.
Yarra Yarra Lake System
Yarra Yarra Lake is the terminal point for an extensive chain of salt lakes. The major lakes in the system are Monger’s Lake, Lake Goorly, Lake DeCourcy and Yarra Yarra Lake. The Yarra Yarra Lake System covers an area of 119km², is 25km long and 9km wide at its widest point. In wet years the lakes overﬂow along a broad drainage line, terminating in Yarra Yarra Lake.