Morawa, Western Australia

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Morawa
Western Australia
Morawa is located in Western Australia
Morawa
Morawa
Coordinates 29°12′40″S 116°0′32″E / 29.21111°S 116.00889°E / -29.21111; 116.00889Coordinates: 29°12′40″S 116°0′32″E / 29.21111°S 116.00889°E / -29.21111; 116.00889
Population 597 (2006 Census)[1]
Established 1913
Postcode(s) 6623
Elevation 274 m (899 ft)
Location
  • 371 km (231 mi) North of Perth
  • 180 km (112 mi) East South East of Geraldton
  • 114 km (71 mi) East of Dongara
LGA(s) Shire of Morawa
State electorate(s) Moore
Federal Division(s) Durack
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.4 °C
81 °F
12.4 °C
54 °F
332.8 mm
13.1 in

Morawa is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is located within the Shire of Morawa, approximately 370 kilometres (230 mi) north of the state capital Perth, on the railway line between Wongan Hills and Mullewa.

History[edit]

The name Morawa is an Indigenous Australian name; it probably derives from the Morowar, the local dialect's word for the dalgite. The name was first used on maps of the area in 1910, in reference to a rock hole. When the railway was being planned in 1913, it was decided to locate a siding at the location, and the name Morawa was chosen for it. The Lands Department then decided to establish a townsite there, and Morawa was gazetted in September 1913. In 1921 the Railways Department decided that Morawa was too similar to Mullewa and requested a name change. In response, the town's name was changed to Merkanooka in January 1922. However the Railway Department, which had pressed for the name change in the first place, did not rename the siding, and in June the town's name reverted to Morawa at the request of the townspeople.

Most of the farmland around Morawa was given to returned servicemen after the First World War under the provisions of the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts which spurred the growth of the town.

In 1932 the Wheat Pool of Western Australia announced that the town would have two grain elevators, each fitted with an engine, installed at the railway siding.[2]

Population growth in Morawa has been fairly stable since the 1990s, without much increase, possibly due to more people, young people, moving out to the Perth metropolitan area. Farms had been amalgamating for a number of years for economic reasons and the larger farms required fewer staff.

Like much of the Wheatbelt area of Western Australia, the town is in a period of drought.

Farming[edit]

Morawa is primarily a farming town. The area supports a range of farming activities including wheat, sheep, cattle and sandalwood. The town is a receival site for Cooperative Bulk Handling.[3]

Biodiversity[edit]

The rangeland area around Morawa has biodiversity. This has been reduced by land clearing, changed fire regimes, feral pests and weeds, pastoralism and mining but still remains an important characteristic of the region. The Department of Environment and Conservation (formerly CALM) is currently undergoing a biodiversity survey of the Yilgarn, a geological area encompassing Morawa. Some of the biodiversity values are concentrated on the ranges. These sporadic ranges have been separated by large areas of land for millennia and many have evolved their own unique endemic species and communities. Some of these are associated only with the BIF (Banded Ironstone Formation) rocks that are targeted by iron ore mining companies.

Mining[edit]

5.1 million tonnes of haematite iron ore was taken from the Koolanooka Hills mine between 1966 and 1974.

Due to renewed international demand for iron ore, and dramatic increases in prices being paid, the iron ore deposits around Morawa have attracted interest from junior mining companies such as Midwest Corp., Mount Gibson Mining, Gindalbie Metals and Red River Resources. Midwest Corp has spent several million dollars on infrastructure including roadworks to, and weighbridge facilities at, Koolanooka Mine. They are currently (May 2006) road-training haematite fines (<6 millimetres particle size) left over as waste from the 1966 - 1974 Western Mining iron ore operation. When the removal (to China) of these several million tonnes is complete, Midwest Corp plan to exploit further haematite discoveries on their lease (pending environmental assessment and approval).

Substantial quantities of magnetite ore are also understood to exist on their holdings. Mount Gibson Mining also hold mining tenements at Koolanooka South, with reserves of magnetite ore. Magnetite mining operations would require the construction of a concentrator plant and either a rail link or magnetite slurry pipeline from Morawa to the port of Geraldton or to a new port to be built at Oakajee (north of Geraldton). Red River Resources hold tenements just 20 km south of Koolanooka at its Feral Prospect. They have currently identified 5 zones of iron enrichment in BIF ranging in strike length from 100m-500m.

Gindalbie Metals Ltd. has substantial holdings at Karara 85 kilometres (53 mi) east of Morawa. They claim to have 1 billion tonnes of magnetite ore as well as significant haematite reserves. They have had an Aboriginal heritage listing over the mine area lifted and are currently undergoing environmental assessment, hoping to gain approval and commence production by June 2007.

Morawa is just south of Tilley siding, where the proposed rail line to Karara junctions off the Mullewa to Northam railline.

Tourist Information[edit]

Accommodation in Morawa includes the Shire-owned Caravan Park in White Street, the Morawa Motor Hotel on Manning Road, Everlastings guest homes on Evans Street and the Morawa Marian Convent Bed and Breakfast in Davis Street. The famous miniature John Hawes Presbytery is located opposite the Bed and Breakfast. A former Western Australian Premier, Carmen Lawrence, attended the Morawa Convent School. One of her classrooms is now a B&B en-suite unit.

Climate[edit]

Morawa features a semi-arid climate with hot dry summers and mild to cool, slightly wetter winters.

Climate data for Morawa airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.0
(116.6)
47.2
(117)
43.0
(109.4)
37.9
(100.2)
35.0
(95)
28.0
(82.4)
26.7
(80.1)
32.4
(90.3)
36.2
(97.2)
39.6
(103.3)
43.7
(110.7)
46.8
(116.2)
47.2
(117)
Average high °C (°F) 37.2
(99)
36.6
(97.9)
33.2
(91.8)
28.8
(83.8)
24.2
(75.6)
20.1
(68.2)
18.5
(65.3)
20.0
(68)
22.8
(73)
28.0
(82.4)
32.0
(89.6)
35.2
(95.4)
28.0
(82.4)
Average low °C (°F) 19.6
(67.3)
20.2
(68.4)
17.9
(64.2)
14.3
(57.7)
10.7
(51.3)
7.4
(45.3)
6.1
(43)
6.2
(43.2)
7.3
(45.1)
10.7
(51.3)
14.3
(57.7)
17.2
(63)
12.7
(54.9)
Record low °C (°F) 11.0
(51.8)
11.3
(52.3)
8.7
(47.7)
5.0
(41)
2.4
(36.3)
−1.9
(28.6)
−1.1
(30)
−0.2
(31.6)
0.8
(33.4)
2.5
(36.5)
4.4
(39.9)
7.0
(44.6)
−1.9
(28.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 25.1
(0.988)
22.5
(0.886)
15.7
(0.618)
14.0
(0.551)
39.8
(1.567)
37.7
(1.484)
46.1
(1.815)
32.4
(1.276)
25.0
(0.984)
8.3
(0.327)
7.9
(0.311)
13.8
(0.543)
291.4
(11.472)
Avg. precipitation days 2.4 2.9 2.7 3.1 6.8 10.4 13.3 10.4 7.0 3.5 2.5 2.5 67.5
Source: [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Morawa (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Country elevators". The West Australian (Perth, Western Australia: National Library of Australia). 6 July 1932. p. 10. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "CBH receival sites". 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Climate statistics for Morawa airport". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]