Geography

The Local Government Area of Strathfield has a total area of approximately 14.1 square kilometres. Strathfield Council is located in Sydney’s Inner West about 10.5 kilometres from the city centre and half way between Parramatta and the city. The Strathfield Local Government Area includes the suburbs of Strathfield (postcode 2135), Strathfield South (2136), Homebush (2140), Homebush West (2140), part of Belfield (2191) and part of Greenacre (2190). Sydney Markets is also located within Strathfield Local Government Area and has its own postcode, 2129.

Homebush Bay Drive bounds the Local Government Area to the north, Powells Creek, The Boulevarde and Coronation Parade to the east, Punchbowl Road and Juno Parade in the south and Roberts Road, Chullora rail yards, Rookwood Cemetery and the Sydney Olympic Park rail line to the west.

Strathfield has a number of commercial centres. The major commercial centre is the Strathfield Town Centre adjacent to Strathfield Station, with commercial areas also located at Homebush, Homebush West, Sydney Markets, Strathfield South and Cave Road.

Strathfield Station, one of the largest and busiest railway stations in NSW lies in the heart of the Local Government Area and services an average of 10,000 commuters per day. Strathfield’s main waterways are: (1) Saleyards and Powells Creek, in the north of the LGA, which flow to join the Parramatta River at Homebush Bay and (2) Coxs Creek and the Cooks River, which flow to the southeast to Botany Bay.

Demography

The estimated resident population as at 30 June 2015 is 40,000 persons. Since 2001, the population of Strathfield has increased by over 12,000 people.

Council services its residential population but also workers, students and visitors to Strathfield through various programs and operations.   Council subscribes to an online demographic profile, which provides a host of information (in tabular form) about Strathfield’s community at http://profile.id.com.au/strathfield/home as well as a social atlas (visual form) at http://atlas.id.com.au/strathfield

It is estimated that by 2031, Strathfield’s population will number 50,900 people based on estimated in Council’s Local Environmental Plan. However, new housing targets in Homebush indicate future population may increase to 80,000 in the same timeframe. The areas of highest population increase are  in the transport corridors of Homebush, Homebush West and Strathfield Town Centre due to building of new units on land rezoned for medium to high-rise development.

Since World War II, Strathfield has become highly multicultural. After WWII, Strathfield was a destination for many European emigrants and refugees, especially Russian.  In more recent times, residents born in China, India and Korea are residing in Strathfield. The most recent Census in 2011 indicated that over 60% of the population was born in countries other than Australia.  Outside of those born in Australia, the main countries of birth are China, Korea (South), India, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. Nearly 60% of residents speak a language other than English, though most residents speak more than one language. Languages other than English spoken at home include Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tamil and Arabic. 71% are Australian citizens.

According to Census 2011, Strathfield’s largest age groups are young people aged 18 to 24 years (12.1%) likely to be attending tertiary education and young workforce aged 25-24 years (20.1%). The median age of Strathfield residents is 33 years.

Family households are the predominant household structure in Strathfield LGA.  The average household size is 2.9 persons.

The Strathfield community is highly educated, particularly in comparison to NSW and Australian averages.  Census 2011 reports 23% of the population are studying at university or tertiary institution and another 7% are studying at a technical or further education institution. 86% of all residential dwellings are connected to the internet and 76% of these have broadband connected.

History

The indigenous people of Strathfield are the Wangal clan of the Darug tribe, though little remains of the former Aboriginal history of this area.

The first European land grants to free settlers commenced in 1793 in the District of Liberty Plains, partly located within the current Strathfield LGA. Other grants followed, including 1808 grant of 230 hectares to James Wilshire, which was later known as the Redmire Estate. Redmire was the original European name of the suburb of Strathfield. Other significant grants in the early 1800s were made to D’Arcy Wentworth (Homebush North), John Fleming (Homebush West) and Father John Therry (Village of St Anne’s).

Subdivision of land for residential purposes commenced from late 1860s. The oldest surviving residences are built in late 1870s and located in Strathfield: ‘Fairholm’ in Cotswold Rd and ‘Llandillo’ The Boulevarde. Establishment of the railway is important to Strathfield’s development. Railway stations were built in 1855 (Homebush), 1877 (Redmire, later Strathfield) and Flemington (1884). Strathfield Council was incorporated on 2 June 1885, including the suburbs of Redmire, Homebush and Druitt Town (now Strathfield South). The name Strathfield was derived from a local home called ‘Strathfield’, originally built for the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Walter Renny in 1868. George Hardie was the first Mayor. The current Council Chambers were designed by architect John Sulman and built in 1887.

Strathfield Council has expanded its boundaries over time. Extensions include: incorporation of Flemington area (1892), amalgamation with Homebush Council (1947), incorporation of west ward of Enfield Council (1949) and adjustments at the northwest boundary with Auburn Council (1992).

Built Form

Strathfield Local Government Area contains a number of recognisable architectural styles from each period of Strathfield’s residential development commencing c.1870s. These include Victorian, Colonial Georgian, Queen Anne, Federation, Californian Bungalow, Spanish Mission, Tudoresque, Interwar, Post War II, Contemporary and Modern. Significant and rare examples of these architectural styles are protected by statutory heritage listing.

In 1920, Strathfield Council was the first Council to proclaim most of the Council area as a residential district. The proclamation excluded any trades, industries, shops, hotels and residential flats. This proclamation largely stayed in place until 1969 when the Strathfield Planning Scheme Ordinance (SPSO) was adopted. Since 1969, a significant number of residential flat developments have been built, particularly around the commercial centres of Strathfield, Homebush and Homebush West. Since  the 1990s several high-rise residential developments were constructed in and around the Strathfield town centre, a trend which continues to meet State Government objectives for population and housing growth for metropolitan Sydney.

Geographical Characteristics

The landform of Strathfield LGA rises from the low-lying areas to Liverpool Road, which runs along a substantial ridge, and divides the watersheds between the Parramatta and the Cooks River catchments. Strathfield has a number of waterways including Saleyards and Powells Creek which flow into the Parramatta River at Homebush Bay and Coxs Creek and the Cooks River, which flow to the southeast to Botany Bay.    

The predominant rock of the area is Ashfield Shale, a unit of the Wianamatta Group of shales. The Wianamatta Group overlies the Hawkesbury Sandstone and represents the most recent of Sydney’s sedimentary rocks. The soils are predominantly heavy clays, derived from the underlying shale.

Flora and Fauna

Urbanisation and land clearing have significantly reduced natural bushland areas in Strathfield.  The remaining bushland areas are fragmented thereby reducing the viability of habitat to support populations of native fauna. The main greenspace types in Strathfield LGA are confined largely to urban parks and reserves which include bush remnants, revegetated parkland, open parkland, urban neighbourhood parks and wetlands. Cox’s Creek Bushland Reserve contains the threatened ecological community of Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, which formerly existed across most of the non-tidal areas prior to clearing for rural and urban development. Revegetated parkland sites consist of mostly native tree, shrub and ground cover species planted in blocks or strips along the upper Cooks River and at Mason Park. Open parkland sites are dominated by open grassed and paved surfaces with some areas of indigenous and exotic vegetation. These are located within residential and industrial areas of the Strathfield LGA. A remnant wetland complex of she-oaks, mangroves and saltmarsh fringe the mudflats, debris islands, and shallow open water at the Mason Park Wetlands.

Indigenous people

The indigenous people of Strathfield are the Wangal clan of the Darug tribe, though little remains of the former Aboriginal history of this area as any visible relics of indigenous occupation such as open campsites, axe grinding grooves and scarred trees are likely to have been removed as the Strathfield district was urbanised from the 1800s.   

Residential Development 

Strathfield LGA is primarily residential with 33.4% of total land area occupied by residential property. Residential property ranges from free standing homes and retirement living to medium to high density units and townhouses, over 42% of dwellings in Strathfield is units and 8% villa or townhouse. There is a wide variety of housing styles ranging from Victorian and Federation period homes to newer architectural styles.

Strathfield has one of Sydney’s best performing housing markets and features a wide variety of housing styles ranging from historic period homes to cutting edge architectural styles incorporating the latest innovations in design and energy efficiency.

Transport

Strathfield LGA is known for its major transport systems.  Trains and buses (public/private) service Strathfield LGA including Strathfield, Homebush and Flemington Rail stations.  Strathfield is one of the largest stations in Sydney and is part of a network which features metro, regional, freight, country and state rail connections.  Strathfield is also serviced by public and private transport systems including buses and taxis.  Public transport is provided by and/or regulated by State Government.

The road network in Strathfield LGA includes local and state roads.  State roads include the M4 Motorway, Parramatta Road, Liverpool Road, The Boulevarde, Centenary Drive, Homebush Bay Drive and Roberts Road.  Council is generally responsible for local roads, while State Government is responsible for State roads including motorways. 

Footpaths and cycleways are mainly provided and serviced by Strathfield Council.  Strathfield has extensive local walkways though streets and parks as well as the Bay to Bay Cycleway, which passes through many different council areas.

Education

Strathfield is also known as the educational centre of the Inner West.  There are a large number of well regarded public and private schools and a university which service all levels of education at all ages.  Community information services are provided through local libraries, community and educational organisations. Strathfield has two public libraries at Homebush and High Street Strathfield, which provide access to books and digital materials, internet services as well as activities and meeting facilities. 

Business and retail

Strathfield is an important location for business and has the highest amount of developed and undeveloped employment land in the Inner West. Over 20% of land is industrial and railway land.   In the 2009-2010 year, it was estimated that there were nearly 20,000 jobs across industries in the Strathfield LGA as well as over 4,300 businesses. During 2009-2010 the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Strathfield LGA was over $3000 million and the largest industries include manufacturing, electricity gas, water and waste services, wholesale trade, retail trade, transport, postal and warehousing and education and training. 

Council subscribes to an online economic profile which provides a host of demographic and economic information about the local economy at http://www.economicprofile.com.au/strathfield

There are a number of shopping and town centre precincts in Strathfield.  Services range from the larger Strathfield Town Centre to smaller village centres of Homebush, Homebush West, Strathfield South and Cave Road as well as Sydney Markets, suppliers of produce through the State. Shopping centres are generally located near transport interchanges in Strathfield.  Shops provide a range of services and food (including restaurants and cafes) to the local community and are operated by private business. Shopping centres including cafes and restaurants provide opportunities for people to meet and socialise. 

Parks and recreation

Strathfield is also known for its many parks, open spaces and recreational facilities.  9% of Strathfield’s land is dedicated to parks and open space.  Strathfield has more parks per capita than any other Council area in the Inner West, ranging from the major parks such as Strathfield Park, Airey Park and Mason Parks to small neighbourhood parks and open spaces.  The Bay to Bay walk and cycleway connects Strathfield from south to north along the Cooks River and Powells Creek.

Parks and recreational facilities are managed by Council. Parks provide a range of services including playgrounds, sporting facilities, amenities and open areas for sport, leisure, event and social gatherings. 

Strathfield borders Sydney Olympic Park, site of Sydney’s finest sporting and entertainment facilities.  A wide range of sports facilities are available in and near Strathfield including sportsgrounds, regional facilities (Sydney Olympic Park as an example), golf courses, tennis centres, bowling alleys and gyms.