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||Morowa 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 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
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
Priority Ecological Communities
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.
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.