Shire of Morawa

Area ~390 km north of Perth and covers ~3,516 square kilometres.
Towns Morawa, Pintharuka, Canna, Gutha and Koolanooka.
Average Temperature Maximum of 37.2°C in January and minimum of 6.1°C in July.
Annual Rainfall Average of 284 mm (BoM, 2014)
ABS Profile Morowa ABS profile

Click features on the map for more information. View full page map

The total population of the Shire of Morawa  is 906. Morawa is the largest town with approximate population of 590.

The population in the shire has decreased since 2011, representing a total decline of 0.5%.

In the Shire of Morawa, 18.9% of the population are residents who were born overseas, 81.1% were born in Australia and ~9.5% 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.

In the Shire of Morawa approximately 417 residents are employed in the work force. The agriculture industry largely contributes to the economy in the shire. Mining of iron ore is also considered as an important contributor to the economy of the shire (MWDC, 2011). People are also employed in service and retail related industries, as well as mining and agriculture industries.

Employment by sector (Service related industry, Retail 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 Morawa includes rural, urban, industrial, reserve and commercial.

Priority conservation areas includes the Canna Nature Reserve, Doutha Soak Nature Reserve, Mount Nunn Nature Reserve, Dam Nature Reserve and Bowgarder Nature Reserve.

Nature Reserves

  • Koolanooka Dam Nature Reserve

    Covers an area of approximately 460 ha in the Shire of Morawa.

  • 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.

  • Canna Nature Reserve

    Canna Nature Reserve is a C class nature reserve vested in the Shire of Morawa. Situated on the Mullewa-Wubin Rd about halfway between Mullewa and Morawa, it is a great spot to stop off to look at wildflowers between July and November.

The Wangina sandstone formations, underlies middle western boundary of the shire. The Wangina sandstone formation was formed in the Permian period from sedimentary and volcanic rocks. It comprises of fine to medium grained clayey quartz sandstone, minor conglomerate, shale, siltstone and coal. The Coomberdale subgroup, underlies the south western portion of the shire. The Coomberdale subgroup was formed from sedimentary and volcanic rocks during the Mesoproterozoic era. The Coomberdale subgroup comprises of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock, stromatolitic dolomite rock and silicified dolomite rock. The Billeranga subgroup forms the eastern scarp of the Coomberdale subgroup. The Billeranga subgroup was formed during the Mesoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rock, comprising of sandstone, siltstone, basalt and volcanic sandstone.

North of the Coomberdale subgroup is the south western terrain of Yilgarn craton. The area comprises of gneiss rock formed from igneous and metamorphic rocks. The geology underlying immediately east of town of Morawa is described as biotite granite rocks formed from igneous and metamorphic rocks. Underlying the western portion of the shire including the area in and around the town site of Morawa is granite rocks formed in the Neoarchean era. Underlying the south eastern portion of the shire is the Youanmi terrrain which forms a part of the Yilgarn craton. The area comprises of rocks rich in magnesium and iron along with layer sills of gabbro and dolerite.

The Shire of Morawa is characterised by a number of complex landscapes. In the western portion of the shire, comprises of undulating sandplains with occasional soaks and lake beds. Narrow drainage lines to connect the salt plains (soaks). Intersecting the sandplains are numerous low rocky rises and low narrow limestone ridges. The eastern portion of the Shire is characterised by valley flats, narrow drainage line connecting the salt lakes in the shire. Undulating rises and large open depression of the occasional granite outcrop forms the remainder of the landscape. Loamy earth soils underlies much of the shire. The remainder of the shire consists of gravelly loamy soils and deep sandy earth soils.

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

Priority Fauna Species

IBRA Regions

  • Tallering sub-IBRA

    The Tallering sub-IBRA forms part of the Yalgoo IBRA. The Yalgoo IBRA is dominated by red sandy plain of low woodlands to open woodlands of Eucalyptus, Acacias and Callitris (Desmond and Chant, 2001d).

  • Ancient Drainage subregion (Avon Wheatbelt 1)

    The Ancient Drainage subregion occurs in the eastern LGAs of the NAR. This subregion is characterised by Proteaceous scrub occupies much of the lateritic hills and outcrops. The alluvial plains associated with the drainage lines is dominated by eucalypts, Casuarinas, York Gum and Jam wattle woodlands (Beecham, 2001a).

Threatened Ecological Communities

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Priority Ecological Communities

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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.


  • Yarra Yarra and Monger Lakes

    Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics
    Yarra-Yarra and Moore-Hill 350 17,700 >35,000 Yarra Yarra Lake is the terminal point for an extensive chain of salt lakes. The major lakes in the system include Nullewa Lake, Weelhamby Lake, Mongers Lake, Lake Goorly, Lake DeCourey and Lake Hillman.Approximately 42 % of the Yarra Yarra Drainage Basin is in the NAR. Due to the basin’s flat terrain, drainage is generally uncoordinated, with each lake having its own internal drainage system. However, in wet years the lakes overflow along a broad drainage line, ending up in Yarra Yarra Lake. It is uncertain if there is a surface or groundwater connection between Yarra Yarra Lake and the Coonderoo River, a tributary of the Moore River.
  • Arrowsmith River

    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.


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Morawa Farm Improvement Group


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

Yarra Yarra Catchment Management Group

Contact: Peter Syme
Work Perenjori Office Timmings Street Perenjori WA 6620 AustraliaWork Kalannie Office Roche Street Kalannie WA 6468 Australia Website:

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