Shire of Three Springs

Area ~310 km north of Perth and covers ~2,657 square kilometres.
Towns Arrino and Three Springs
Average Temperature Western: maximum of 36.4°C in February and minimum of 8.9°C in July.
Eastern: maximum of 36.1°C in January and minimum of 7.2°C in August.
Annual Rainfall  Average rainfall of 380.6 mm (BoM, 2015).
ABS Profile Three Springs ABS profile

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The total population of the Shire of Three Springs is 632. Three Springs is the largest town with an approximate population of 395.

The population in the shire a decreased since 2011, with a decline of 0.2%.

In the Shire of Three Springs, 22% of residents were born overseas, 78% were born in Australia and approximately 5.9% of the population 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 Three Springs is broadly based on agriculture including wheat, sheep farming and intensive farming including emerging cattle, pigs and wildflower.  Mining is also important contributor to the economy.

In the Shire of Three Springs approximately 250 residents are employed in the work force. People are employed in service and retail related industries, as well as agriculture and mining industry.

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 Three Springs includes agriculture, residential, industrial and commercial.

Priority conservation areas includes the Wilson Nature Reserve, Sweetman Nature Reserve, Yarra Yarra Lakes Nature Reserve and Wotto Nature Reserve

Nature Reserves

Yarragadee formation underlies the western portion of the Shire of Three Springs and was formed during the Jurassic period from sedimentary and volcanic rock. The Yarragadee formation consists of fine to coarse grained sandstone with thin interbeds of shale. The Otorowiri formation forms the eastern scarp of the Yarragadee formation, which was formed during the Cretaceous period from sedimentary and volcanic rock. The Otorowiri formation consists of siltstone, shale and sandstone. The Parmelia group lies east of the Otorowiri formation and was formed during the Mesozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rock. The Parmelia group consists of sandstone and siliciclastic sediments. Underlying geology east of the Parmelia group is the Yandanooka Group which was formed during the Neoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The Yandanooka Group consists 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 and Gneiss. The Coomberdale subgroup comprises of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock and silica minerals. The Billeranga subgroup forms the western scarp of the Coomberdale subgroup. The Billeranga subgroup 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 soils underlying the western portion of the shire are predominately deep siliceous sandy soils often associated with an undulating landscape of a dune system and low hilly terrain. 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. These soil types are often associated with low hills and rocky outcrops. Areas of the eastern portion of the shire is characterised by lake systems, these soils are typically classed as Saline and salt lake, which are overlies an alluvial plain.

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

Priority Fauna Species

IBRA Regions

  • Lesueur Sandplains (Geraldton Sandplains 2)

    The Geraldton Hills is located in the LGAs in the middle portion of the region. This subregion is characterised by Proteaceous scrub heath dominates the undulating sandplain lying over the Permian and Cretaceous strata. Outwash plains associated with the drainage lines are dominated by York Gum and Jam woodlands. The lateritic mesas, sandplains, coastal sandplains and limestone are rich in shrub-heaths (Desmond and Chant, 2001c).

  • 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

  • Assemblages of Organic Mound Springs of the Three Springs Area

    The Mound Springs (Three Springs Area) community is State listed as Endangered, and occurs within the Geraldton Sandplains IBRA Bioregion. The habitat of this community is described in Interim Recovery Plan No. 196 (pg 2) as being characterised by the continuous discharge of groundwater in raised areas of peat – providing a stable, permanently moist series of microhabitats, supporting a rich and healthy fauna, including invertebrate insects. Moisture loving species of flora are supported, including an overstorey of Melaleuca preissiana, Eucaluptus camaldulensis and/or E. rudis, a shrub layer of Hypocalymma angustifolium and Acacia saligna over Baumea vaginalis and other sedges.

    The maintenance of hydrological processes (quality and quantity of water) is essential in supporting this community, and the mounds have been threatened by disturbance due to clearing and conversion to farm water points among other processes.

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.

  • Arrowsmith Groundwater Area

    The Arrowsmith Groundwater Area spans approximately 10,300 km2 of land and currently has a total groundwater availability of around 151 million m3/year. The largest groundwater aquifers occur in the Yarragadee and Parmelia formations that together receive over 80 per cent of the total direct rainfall recharge, although the quality is variable. The Superficial formation is an important resource near the coast, and similarly to the deeper aquifers, the quality and quantity of the groundwater is variable.

    For information on the allocation plan click here.


  • 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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Birdlife Midwest

Contact: Sally Vigilante

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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