Shire of Three Springs
|Area||~2,657 square kilometres, located ~310 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||Arrino and Three Springs|
|Average Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
36.6°C (Jan) and 18.5°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019 346 mm (BoM 2020).|
|ABS Profile||Three Springs ABS profile|
|Shire Website||Shire of Three Springs|
Around 610 people live in the Shire of Three Springs, about 60% of whom (381 people) live in the town of Three Springs itself (ABS 2016).
The population in the Shire of Three Springs decreased by 3% between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, and is projected to decrease by a further 27% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 15% of residents of the Shire of Three Springs were born overseas and approximately 8% 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 Three Springs depends primarily on agriculture and the services that support farming in the area. Local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats), wildflowers and livestock (pigs, cattle, sheep). Mining is an important part of the local economy with Imerys S.A., a French industrial minerals company, operating the world’s second largest talc mine in Three Springs.
The main land use in the Shire of Three Springs is agriculture.
Yarra Yarra Lake Conservation Park and Nature Reserve
The Yarra Yarra Lake Conservation Park covers ~14 315 ha and the adjacent Yarra Yarra Lakes Nature Reserve covers an additional ~1 847 ha. Both reserves protect the extensive Yarra Yarra salt lakes system and surrounding vegetation. The reserves form part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Wotto Nature Reserve
The Wotto Nature Reserve covers ~4 885 ha and is located south of Kadathinni. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Wilson Nature Reserve
The Wilson Nature Reserve covers ~1 409 ha and is located west of Arrino. The reserve is a good spot for orchids, including Bee Orchids.
Sweetman Nature Reserve
The Sweetman Nature Reserve covers ~83 ha and is located west of Three Springs.
Kadathinni Nature Reserve
The Kadathinni Nature Reserve covers ~34 ha and is located north of Kalathinnie. The reserve was established to protect native flora and fauna and forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Dookanooka Nature Reserve
The Dookanooka Nature Reserve covers ~397 ha and is located north of Kalathinnie. The reserve was established to protect native flora and fauna and forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
The western portion of the shire is located on the Yarragadee formation which consists of fine to coarse grained sandstone interbedded with shale and was formed during the Jurassic period from sedimentary and volcanic rock. The eastern scarp of the Yarragadee is dominated by the Otorowiri formation, which was formed during the Cretaceous period from sedimentary and volcanic rock interbedded with siltstone, shale and sandstone. The Parmelia group lies east of the Otorowiri formation, was formed during the Mesozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rock and consists of sandstone and siliciclastic sediments. Underlying geology east of the Parmelia group is the Yandanooka Group, formed during the Neoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rocks and consisting of siltstone with abundant volcanic fragments and sandstone. The Nangetty formation underlies the town site of Three Springs and was formed during the carboniferous- permian period from sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The Nangetty formation consists of diamicitite, shale and sandstone.
The eastern portion of the shire is dominated by the Coomberdale subgroup. The Coomberdale subgroup comprises of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock and silica minerals. The Billeranga subgroup forms the western scarp of the Coomberdale subgroup and was formed during the mesoproterozoic era from volcanic and sedimentary rock. The Billeranga subgroup consists of sandstone, siltstone, basalt and volcanic sand. Lying east the Coomberdale subgroup is Gneiss which forms a part of the south west terrain of the Yilgarn Craton.
The landscape is undulating with low hills and dunes. Soils are predominately deep siliceous sands. Calcareous loamy soils overlies hill slopes formed below breakaways. The soils underlying the eastern portion of the shire are calcareous loamy soils and deep siliceous sandy soils associated with low hills and rocky outcrops. The eastern portion of the shire is characterised by saline lake systems and alluvial plains.
The shire is located within the Lesueur Sandplains (GES2) and Merredin Ancient Drainage Basin (AVW01) IBRA sub-regions and is characterised by proteaceous heath. The endangered plant assemblages of the organic mound springs of the Three Springs area are endemic to the shire. This habitat is recognised as Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) protected in Western Australia. The mound springs are characterised by continuous discharge of into raised peat wetlands and provide stable, permanently moist microhabitats supporting diverse plants and invertebrates. Moisture loving plants found in the mound springs include moonah Melaleuca preissiana, river gum Eucaluptus camaldulensis, endangered white myrtle Hypocalymma angustifolium, sheath twigrush Baumea vaginalis and other sedges. Patches of the vulnerable Ferricrete Floristic Community and Plant Assemblages of the Inering System TECs are also found in the shire.
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.
Arrowsmith Groundwater Area
The Arrowsmith Groundwater Area covers approximately 10,300 km2 and produces ~151 million m3 of available groundwater per year. The largest aquifers occur in the Yarragadee and Parmelia formations and recharge primarily from rainfall recharge. The Superﬁcial formation is an important resource near the coast. Water quality is variable. The Allanooka borefield, 50km south of Geraldton, supplies the integrated water scheme for Geraldton and Dongara/Port Denison.
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.