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 655 (2011 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 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.

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 biodiversity of rangeland around Morawa has been reduced by land clearing, changed fire regimes, feral pests and weeds, and pastoralism but still remains an important characteristic of the region. The Department of Environment and Conservation (formerly CALM) has undertaken a biodiversity survey of the area encompassing Morawa. Sporadic ranges of hills are separated by large areas of land and many have evolved their own unique endemic species and biological communities. Some of these are associated only with the Banded Ironstone Formation rocks that are targeted for iron ore mining.

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. It is currently (May 2006) trucking haematite fines (<6 millimetres particle size) left over as waste from the 1966–74 Western Mining iron ore operation. When the export to China of these several million tonnes is complete, Midwest Corp plans to exploit further haematite discoveries on their leases (pending environmental assessment and approval). Substantial quantities of magnetite ore are also understood to exist on their holdings. Mount Gibson Mining also holds 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.

The Karara Mining joint venture between Gindalbie Metals and Chinese steel producer, Ansteel, has substantial holdings 85 kilometres (53 mi) east of Morawa. Current 2015 reserves are 1,735 million tonnes of 36% iron. The low-grade magnetite iron ore is processed on site to produce a high-grade concentrate for use in steel making.[4]

Magnetite concentrate from the mine is hauled to Geraldton on a narrow gauge spur off the Mullewa to Northam rail line. The tracks from Karara to the junction at Tilley siding, 3.5 km north of Mullewa, were laid with dual gauge sleepers.[5]

Tourist Information[edit]

Accommodation in Morawa includes the Shire-owned Caravan Park in White Street, the Morawa Motel 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)
Average 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)
Average 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: [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Morawa (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Country elevators". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 6 July 1932. p. 10. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "CBH receival sites" (PDF). 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Summary Resources Statements". Karara Mining Limited. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Karara Iron Ore Project". Gindalbie Metals. West Perth, WA. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "Climate statistics for Morawa airport". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]