Casula, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
View of Casula Powerhouse and Casula Train Station from Jamison Park, Buckland Road
|Population||14,696 (2011 census)|
|Location||35 km (22 mi) south-west of Sydney|
|LGA(s)||City of Liverpool|
|State electorate(s)||Macquarie Fields, Holsworthy|
Casula is the first suburb immediately south of Liverpool on the Hume Highway and the Main Southern Railway between Sydney and Melbourne. Casula consists of undulating, gently rolling land, with elevations across the suburb being mostly between 30 and 70 metres above sea level. The Georges River forms the eastern boundary of the suburb, and its western bank is paralleled by a relatively steep escarpment.
The original inhabitants of the Casula area were the Tharawal or "Dharawal" people of the greater Eora nation. 'Tharawal' is the indigenous terminology that refers to the country and people who belong to Greater Southern and South-Western Sydney. The Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) extends through Liverpool, Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly Local Government Areas (LGA's). The totem animal for Tharawal country is the Superb Lyre Bird (Menura novaehollandiae).
Casula was first settled by agriculturalists in the nineteenth century, among them Richard Guise, who named his farm "Casula". The area became dominated by poultry farming, market gardening and fruit growing. Another notable farm was Glenfield Farm, which dates from circa 1817. Situated in Leacocks Lane, it originally belonged to Charles Throsby, a member of the Legislative Council and an explorer. The farm is the oldest continuously worked farm in Australia and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
During the First World War, a large Australian Imperial Forces recruitment and training reserve was located in Casula - a fact reflected by the name of one of its major residential streets, "Reserve Road". This camp became briefly notorious in 1916 when a large mob of soldiers rebelled against the strict training regimen, marched on nearby Liverpool, ransacked and looted several pubs, hijacked several trains to Central Station in Sydney and continued their drunken rioting, resulting in the Military Police shooting dead one rioter.
In 1918, Walter Ingham Sr. bought 42 acres (170,000 m2) of bush land in Casula as a gift to 18-year-old son, Walter. On his death in 1953, his sons Jack and Bob took over the small chicken breeding operation and built it into the largest producer of chickens and turkeys in Australia. Inghams Enterprises is now headquartered in Liverpool.
Casula Post Office opened on 1 February 1924 and closed in 1979. A Liverpool South office was renamed Cross Roads in 1964 and Casula Mall in 1990 and remains open.
Being heavily farmed, the area did not become suburbanised until the late 1950s. Much of the acreage in the central and southern portions were subdivided and developed over the next few decades but even now there are pockets of undeveloped land.
Cumberland Plain Woodland
The ecological community that once covered vast areas (125,000 Ha) of South-western Sydney, including Casula is known as the Cumberland Plain Woodland. The Cumberland Plain Woodland is listed as an endangered ecological community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The greatest threats to the Cumberland Plain Woodland include land clearing for agriculture and urban expansion and the introduction of noxious weed species.
Cumberland Plain Woodland is formed above soils derived from Wianamatta shale of the Sydney Basin Geological group. The vegetation is characterised as an open woodland composed of canopy species: Forest Grey Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Grey Box (Eucalyptus moluccana), Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) and Narrow-leafed ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra) The understory is primarily composed of Blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa), Acacia implexa, indigofera australis, Hardenbergia violacea and Dodonaea viscosa ssp cuneata. Native grasses such as kangaroo grass (Themeda australis) and weeping meadow grass (Microlaena stipoides) can also be found in the understory.
Leacock Regional Park
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) Leacock Regional park is home to one of the last remaining stands of Cumberland Plain Woodland. It is also home to the critically endangered Cumberland Plain Land Snail (Meridolum corneovirens). The ridge line at the top of the park offers views to the Holsworthy bush land. The bellbird walking track takes you through the remnant stand of Cumberland Plain Woodland and can be linked to a track along the Georges River where a lookout can be found by the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. The 'Weaving Garden' bush regeneration group are currently bush regenerating within the reserve.
The Casula Powerhouse, which is situated next to Casula railway station, was a former 1950s power station. It reopened in 1994 as an arts centre housing many culturally diverse exhibitions from artists living in the South West Region of Sydney. Past projects includes Viet Nam Voices, Cybercultures, Shanghai Star, and Belonging. The centre closed in July 2006 to undergo significant renovations. The new centre opened on 5 April 2008 and counts a 326 seat theatre, new exhibition spaces, artist studios and residencies among its facilities.
Casula Mall was opened in 1986, consisting of a K mart discount department store, a Coles supermarket and approximately forty specialty shops. The Crossroads Homemaker Centre is situated at the southern end of Casula, containing Bunnings Warehouse hardware, numerous bedding and furniture stores, electrical stores such as Bing Lee and The Good Guys.
Casula is bordered on the north and west by the M5 South Western Motorway, with continuous freeway-standard highway to central Sydney and the North Shore. The Hume Highway cuts through the centre of Casula.
Casula railway station is on the Airport, Inner West & South Line of the Sydney Trains network, but not all trains stop there. Relatively frequent bus services link Casula to the major commercial and retail centre of Liverpool and Liverpool railway station.
Casula Primary School was opened on De Meyrick Avenue in 1959, Casula High School was commissioned in 1973 and All Saints Catholic Senior College was founded in 1987.
Casula is notable for its variable demographics and mixture of socio-economic levels existing side by side. The central and southern areas consist mainly of privately owned houses (including the locally famous Mexican-style ranch mansion on Old Kurrajong Road owned by the Ingham family, Australia's most famous frozen chicken magnates).
According to the 2011 census, Casula had a population of 14,696, which was substantially families. The number of single-person households 16.3% was well below the national average 24.3%, while the number of couples with children 56.9% was well above average 44.6%.
In Casula, 52.7% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were Fiji 3.8%, India 2.4%, Lebanon 2.3%, Iraq 2.3% and Philippines 2.1%. 43.6% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic 10.5%, Hindi 4.8%, Italian 3.0%, Greek 2.7% and Spanish 2.6%. The most common responses for religion in Casula were Catholic 32.3%, Islam 13.1%, Anglican 9.6%, Eastern Orthodox 8.3% and No Religion 6.7% 
An annual athletic competition held for all persons who have resided in Casula. The winner of the 3 race series is awarded the Casula Cup. Previous winners include Geoff Wood and Michael Brewster.
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