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.
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
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
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.
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.