Shire of Carnamah
|Area||~2,870 square kilometres, located ~310 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||Carnamah and Eneabba|
|Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 30.7°C (Jan) and 19.7°C (Jul); Inland: 36.6°C (Jan) and 18.5°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 571 mm; Inland: 327 mm (BoM 2020).
|ABS Profile||Carnamah ABS profile|
|Shire Website||Shire of Carnamah|
Around 540 people live in the Shire of Carnamah, with the majority of those people (~400) living in the town of Carnamah itself (ABS 2016).
The population in the Shire of Carnamah remained stable between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, but is projected to decrease by 27% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 14% of residents of the Shire of Carnamah were born overseas and approximately 3.5% 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 Carnamah depends primarily on agriculture and services. Local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats) and livestock (sheep and cattle). Wildflower farming is also a growing industry in the region. Local mineral sands mines once produced 80% of the world’s rutile supply but the mineral extraction industry has declined in recent years (MWDC 2013).
The main land uses in the Shire of Carnamah are agriculture and nature conservation.
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.
White Gums Nature Reserve
The White Gums Nature Reserve covers ~213 ha and is located north east of Eneabba. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Tathra National Park
The Tathra National Park was established in 1971 and covers ~ 5 760 ha and is located between Eneabba and Carnamah. The national park is characterised by low heath on rolling sandplains known for their incredible diversity of endemic wildflowers. This open sandy country is called the ‘kwongan’. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Stockyard Gully National Park
The Stockyard Gully National Park covers ~1 850 and is located primarily in the Shire of Coorow. The park has a several subterranean limestone caves which drain into an underground river system. The park also has abundant native wildflowers. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Lake Logue Nature Reserve
The Lake Logue Nature Reserve covers ~6 732 ha of Lesueur Sandplain and forms part of the Logue-Indoon System, a wetland of national importance in Australia. The reserve was established for the purpose of conserving flora and fauna and supports a population of Priority 4 Heath-like Eremophila Eremophila microtheca. Around 130 invertebrate species and nearly 50 waterbird species have been recorded within the reserve.
Depot Hill Nature Reserve
The Depot Hill Nature Reserve covers ~84 ha and is located north east of Eneabba. , along the Three Springs – Eneabba Road. The reserve was created for the protection of flora and fauna.
Beekeepers Nature Reserve
Beekeepers Nature Reserve extends from Jurien Bay to just south of Dongara, covering ~88 000 ha. A great variety of wildflowers can be seen in the reserve during the season.
The coastline of the shire is dominated by Kockatea Shale, formed in the Triassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks and consisting of shale, minor siltstone and sandstone. Leeman town lies on the Woodada formation, formed during the Mesozoic period from sedimentary and volcanic rocks and consisting of fine to medium grained sandstone interbedded with laminated siltstone. Part of the eastern portion of the Shires lies on the Lesueur Sandstone formation, formed during the Triassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks and made up of quartz sandstone with subordinate granule conglomerate and minor siltstone. The remainder lies on the Eneabba formation and the Cattamarra Coal Measure, both formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The Eneabba formation consists of interbedded red-bed sandstone and siltstone and the Cattamarra Coal Measure consists of siltstone, shale, claystone, coal and sandstone.
Further prominent features are the Coomberdale subgroup,the South West Terrain (part of the Yilgarn Craton) ad the Billeranga subgroup. The Coomberdale subgroup consists of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock and silica minerals and the Yilgarn craton consists of granite. The Billeranga sub-group was formed during the Mesoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rock and consists of sandstone, siltstone, basalt and volcanic sandstone.
Coastal soils are sandy, forming a complex dune system, and include some gravels over limestone outcrops. Saline soils are common in the salt lake systems of the coastal flats and the eastern portion of the shire. The terrain around the salt lake systems of the shire is typically characterised by low dunes and plains. Seasonally wet plains inland are characterised by red calcareous clays. The soils of the middle f the shire are deep, siliceous sands over undulating low hills, gravelly ridges and the occasional remnant dune.
The shire is located within the Lesueur Sandplains (GES02) and Merredin (AVW01) IBRA sub-regions and is characterised by sandy proteaceous heath and York Gum and Jam Wattle woodlands. Patches of Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh can be found in the shire. This is a nationally protected Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) listed as vulnerable under Australia’s national environment law. The plant, animal and micro-organism community is found in the intertidal zone, often associated with estuaries. The plant community consists mainly of salt-tolerant vegetation (halophytes) including grasses, herbs, reeds, sedges and shrubs. The region is also home to patches of the Ferricrete Floristic Community and Plant Assemblages of the Inering System TECs.
The coastline of the Northern Agricultural Region consists mainly of sandy beaches backed by low dunes, valued for recreational, aesthetic and cultural reasons and as storm protection and habitat. Primary dunes, or foreshore dunes, refer to the first system of dunes shoreward of the low water mark. These dunes typically support little vegetation. Secondary dunes, or back dunes, are undulating, sandy ecosystems located further from the water.
The Central West Coast limestone reef system extends from Kalbarri to Perth and supports an extremely high species diversity of seagrasses. Extensive seagrass meadows in protected, near-shore areas of the NAR, provide shelter and nursery habitat for many fish and other marine creatures including Western Rock Lobster. Seagrasses also provides services as primary biomass producers, sources of dissolved oxygen, sediment traps and nutrient cyclers.
Beagle Islands Nature Reserve
The Beagle Islands Nature Reserve was gazetted in 1991 and covers ~45 hectares. The Beagle Islands are a small group of islands located ~15 km from Leeman. They are at the northern end of the Turquoise Coast islands nature reserve group and home to the largest population of Australian Sea Lions in Western Australia.
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 Moore-Hill 288 13,450 3000-35000 The Moore River’s eastern reaches (Moore River East) which originates near Dalwallinu, and northern reaches (Moore River North) commences east of Coorow. The major tributaries are the Coonderoo River and Gingin Brook. The Moore River enters the ocean at Guilderton and the estuary is only open to the ocean for a few weeks each year.
The Lake Logue-Indoon System includes Lake Logue, a 425 ha seasonal freshwater lake, Lake Indoon, a 130 ha semi-permanent brackish lake, and a series of smaller shallow ephemeral wetlands, intermittent creeks and drainage lines. This system is a major feeding stop-over and drought refuge for waterbirds, including the critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea and is listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia.