Municipality of Strathfield

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This article is about the local government area. For the suburb, see Strathfield, New South Wales.
Strathfield Council
New South Wales
Strathfield sydney lga.png
Coordinates 33°52′18″S 151°5′24″E / 33.87167°S 151.09000°E / -33.87167; 151.09000Coordinates: 33°52′18″S 151°5′24″E / 33.87167°S 151.09000°E / -33.87167; 151.09000
Population 38,358 (2013)[1]
 • Density 2,617.8/km2 (6,780/sq mi)
Established 1885
Area 14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
Mayor Daniel Bott(Labor)
Council seat Strathfield
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Website www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au
LGAs around Strathfield Council:
Parramatta Canada Bay
Auburn Strathfield Council Burwood
Bankstown Canterbury

Strathfield Council is a local government area of the Inner West of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Strathfield Council was incorporated in 1885. The Council area originally included the suburbs of Redmire, Homebush and Druitt Town. The name "Strathfield" was adopted as the name of the new council upon incorporation. In 1886, the suburb of Redmire was renamed Strathfield, as did the railway station. The area of Druitt Town became known as Strathfield South in the early 1890s. Only Homebush survives as an original location name. Since that time, Strathfield has become an important multicultural centre (for Korean, Chinese and Sri Lankan minority populations).

Strathfield Council today comprises over 14.1 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi) of land and has circa 38,500 residents and is made up of quality residential neighbourhoods and vibrant town centres, with significant local heritage, open space, lifestyle amenities, a highly educated, professional and diverse local workforce, leading public and private schools and access to tertiary institutions such as the Australian Catholic University, the University of Sydney and TAFE Sydney Institute.

The Mayor of Strathfield Municipal Council is Cr. Daniel Bott, a member of the Labor Party.

Suburbs and localities in the local government area[edit]

The Strathfield Local Government Area comprises:

Demographics[edit]

Overseas-born birthplaces based on 2001 Australian Census data for the Strathfield local government area.

At the 2011 Census, there were 35,188 people in the Strathfield local government area, of these 50.2% were male and 49.8% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.3% of the population. The median age of people in the Strathfield Local Government Area was 33 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 16.3% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 12.0% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 52.3% were married and 7.0% were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Strathfield Local Government Area between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 15.14%; while in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 10.02%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in Strathfield local government area was significantly higher than the national average.[2] The median weekly income for residents within the Municipality of Strathfield was on par with the national average,[1][3]

Historical census data for Strathfield local government area
Census year 2001[2] 2006[3] 2011[1]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 27,777 31,983 35,188
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales
% of New South Wales population 0.51%
% of Australian population 0.15% Increase 0.16% Steady 0.16%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
Australian 39.8%
Chinese (excludes SARs and Taiwan) 9.3%
Indian 8.0%
South Korean 7.5%
Sri Lankan 4.0%
Vietnamese 2.0%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Korean 7.0% Increase 8.4% Increase 8.9%
Cantonese 8.7% Decrease 8.4% Decrease 8.0%
Mandarin 4.2% Increase 6.4% Increase 8.0%
Arabic 5.8% Steady 5.8% Decrease 5.7%
Tamil 6.4% Decrease 5.8% Decrease 5.3%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 34.0% Decrease 30.7% Decrease 27.5%
No religion 10.2% Increase 12.3% Increase 15.0%
Hinduism 9.0% Increase 10.3% Increase 13.2%
Buddhism n/c Increase 6.4% Increase 6.8%
Anglican 9.4% Decrease 7.0% Decrease 5.3%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$458 A$558
% of Australian median income 98.3% 96.7%
Family income Median weekly family income A$458 A$1,595
% of Australian median income 106.4% 107.7%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,256 A$1,421
% of Australian median income 107.3% 115.2%

Council[edit]

Strathfield Municipality sign, Parramatta Road, Homebush.

In 2004 the then Mayor of the Municipality of Strathfield, Alfred Tsang, stepped down after he was caught on film accepting money from a property developer. This resulted in an inquiry by the ICAC, which found against Tsang, former Councillor John Abi-Saab and other associates.[4][5][6][7]

Amalgamations[edit]

Traditionally, Strathfield Council has fought amalgamation of their area with other councils, though additional land has been added to the Council since 1885 such as annexure of the unincorporated area of Flemington in 1892, merger with the west ward of the abolished Enfield Council in 1949 and merger with the Municipality of Homebush in May 1947.[citation needed] However, Strathfield Council strenuously objected to a push to amalgamate the councils into one mega-council, known as The Greater Sydney Movement, that happened from the early part of the 1890s till the later half of the 1930s.

In 1983 it was recommended by the State Boundaries Commission that Strathfield be amalgamated into Burwood, however a great deal of uproar greeted this plan and after the then mayor, Clarrie Edwards, spoke in well attended public meetings the state government abandoned the plan due to a great deal of opposition from residents of the area. In 1999 another proposal was made to merge the Municipality of Burwood with Strathfield Council. However, the residents of Strathfield did not support this proposal and the merger never proceeded. A proposal was lodged by Auburn Council for a boundary change, which had the effect of a takeover of Strathfield Council. This was heavily objected to by residents of Strathfield and did not proceed.[citation needed]

Throughout its history, there have been movements to amalgamate local councils in the Sydney area: the first major 'threat' was with the 'royal commission for a greater Sydney (1913)', known as 'The Greater Sydney Movement'. The Royal Commission brought together British Politician Sidney Webb[citation needed] and Australian Politician John Fitzgerald,[8] amongst others, who believed that Sydney should be merged into a single local government area. This was extremely unpopular with both residents and many councils, including Strathfield council, and though bills were raised in State parliament in 1912, 1927 and 1931 they failed to gather any real support and the attempt to force amalgamation failed.[citation needed] In 1947 Homebush and Strathfield councils merged and part of Enfield was added in 1949.

In 1974 two reports, one by J.C. Barnett and the other from the State Boundaries Commission, recommended that Ashfield, Drummoyne, Burwood and Concord should amalgamate with Strathfield. This was energetically opposed by residents and council alderman and this amalgamation also did not come to fruition.[citation needed]

In 1992, a section of the northern part of the Municipality was transferred to the Auburn Council area. In return, the area of and between Boundary Creek and the railway line, occupied by the former Ford factory building, was transferred from Auburn to Strathfield Council.

Current composition and election method[edit]

Strathfield Municipal Council Chambers, located in Strathfield.

Strathfield Municipal Council is composed of seven Councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[9]

The current Council as at September 3, 2013 are:

Cr Daniel Bott - Mayor

Cr Sang Ok - Deputy Mayor

Cr Raj Datta

Cr Stephanie Kokkolis

Cr Helen McLucas

Cr Andrew Soulos

Cr Gulian Vaccari

See also: List of mayors of Strathfield

History[edit]

Strathfield Saye Plaque

Strathfield Council was proclaimed on 2 June 1885 by the NSW Governor, Sir Augustus Loftus. The Council was incorporated following petitions by residents of the Redmire area to form local government. This move was opposed by residents of Homebush and Druitt Town, possibly fearing the dominance of the more affluent and politically connected residents of Redmire. Despite counter petitions, the Municipality was incorporated in 1885.[10]

Strathfield Council built the current Council Chambers in 1887. Between 1885 and 1887 the Council operated from various private homes in Strathfield, pending the building of a permanent Council Chambers. Until 1923, when the current Strathfield Town Hall was built, the Council Chambers building was used between meetings of Council as a community hall.

The Strathfield Council area has expanded in geography and population over time and now includes the suburbs of Strathfield, Homebush and Homebush West, Flemington, Greenacre, Strathfield South, Chullora (part) and Belfield (part).

Alleged corruption[edit]

On 20 December 2004, Strathfield council's mayor, Alfred Tsang stepped down over allegations of corruption. Pictures had been published in The Australian of him accepting a wad of $100 bills from a developer, Michael Saklawi. However, it was not clear why the money was given to him, though it was alleged that he was talking to Mr Saklawi about the redevelopment of an 800 m2 council-owned carpark.[11] Mr Tsang had previously released a statement that "Councils need to take leadership roles in this area, we simply cannot continue to support unsustainable development, for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the future environment, we need to make changes now."[12] According to the Australian he was heard to have said that "Basically, we get it for nothing," Mr Tsang says. "I am making Strathfield a better place ... I am doing it for the area."[11] Strathfield council soon afterwards released a press statement that it "will not and does not" tolerate misconduct.[13][14] The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating whether claims developers were given inside information about land rezoning proposals put to Strathfield Council have any substance and the pictures taken by The Australian were handed to them for further investigation.[15][16]

According to Anne Davies, who reports for The Sydney Morning Herald, "behind the Strathfield saga is a ferocious battle among developers for sites.[17] These developers are not from the big end of town; they are locals – many are Lebanese – who regard the inner west as their development playground." She has alleged that more corruption may be revealed as the new year progresses. (Davies, SMH, pg. 4). As the inquiry has progressed, former Mayor John Abi-Saab has also been investigated.

Culture[edit]

The population of Strathfield is made up of a number of ethnic groups, and about 48% of the population born overseas. As a result there are a number of services for newly arrived immigrants and overseas students who live in the area. Two such organisations are the Russian Ethnic Community Council of NSW Inc (RECNSW), and the Sydney Tamil Resource Centre Inc (STRC). RECNSW provides access to information and referral to mainstream services to recent immigrants of Russian and Russian speaking background and disseminates information to remote and offshore areas on a number of issues.[clarification needed][18] STRC provides resources to Tamil immigrants.

In the 1990s, a large number of South Korean migrants settled in Strathfield Strathfield now has a large number of shops selling Korean food and cultural items.

Strathfield also has a number of community centres, including a Rotary club, Latvian theatre, Lantern Club, and libraries. The local Rotary club provides support to the community and has a number of projects in the area,[19] as well as a Musical Society (part of Rotary?), which normally produces two shows a year in the Latvian Theatre in Strathfield. Their main social activity is rehearsing twice weekly and they present seven performances of their musical production over two weekends. Strathfield Lantern Club Voluntary is located in Strathfield and provides fundraising organisation for raising funds specifically for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in North Rocks.

The Council operates two libraries: the Central Library in Homebush and a Branch library in Strathfield South. The central library, located in Homebush, was demolished in 2002 and a new library was built and opened in 2004. The Branch Library in Strathfield South was rebuilt and opened in 2008.[citation needed]

Strathfield has made its own unique contribution to pop. Strathfield was home during part of the 1960s to The BeeGees (Redmyre Road) and several Australian indie rock and indie pop bands have emerged from Strathfield including Prince Vlad & the Gargoyle Impalers, Lunatic Fringe, The Upbeat, Women of Troy member Paul O'Reilly, and The Mexican Spitfires. Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens also lived in Carrington Avenue, Strathfield for a number of years in the 1990s.[citation needed]

The lyrics of the song by Radio Birdman, Murder City Nights refers to Woodward Road, Strathfield:[20]

Cruising down Woodward gotta find me some action
Looking for a lover with a power reaction.

Strathfield has also been home to a number of famous sporting identities including cricketers Bobby Simpson and Alan Davidson and three Prime Ministers, Frank Forde, Billy Hughes and George Reid.

Geography[edit]

The Strathfield Council area is located at 33°52'10" North, 151°5'59" West (33.8717, 151.0899). It covers a total area of approximately 14.1 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi) and includes the suburbs of Strathfield, Strathfield South, Homebush, Homebush West, Greenacre, Flemington and part of Belfield[21] (in Australia, a local government area, incorporates many suburbs into its area). Homebush Bay Drive bounds Strathfield Council to the north, Powells Creek, The Boulevarde and Coronation Parade bounds it to the east, Punchbowl Road and Juno Parade form the southern border and Roberts Road, Chullora rail yards, Rookwood Cemetery and the Sydney Olympic Park Rail line bound the Municipality to the west.

For NSW state elections, the Municipality of Strathfield is divided between the Strathfield, Drummoyne and Canterbury electorates and for Federal elections it is in the electorates of Reid and Watson.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Strathfield (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Strathfield (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Strathfield (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2004. 
  5. ^ Sexton, Jennifer (20 December 2004). "Video cash mayor steps down". The Australian. 
  6. ^ Sexton, Jennifer (5 February 2005). "Machinations and the mayor". The Australian. 
  7. ^ "Strathfield pair resign". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 March 2005. 
  8. ^ http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080534b.htm
  9. ^ "Strathfield Municipal Council: Summary of First Preference and Group Votes for each Candidate". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Jones, Cathy. "Incorporation of Strathfield Council". Strathfield Council. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11737987%255E601,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ Tsang, Alfred (2004). Message from the Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Alfred Tsang
  14. ^ "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2004. 
  15. ^ Sexton, Jennifer (20 December 2004). Video cash mayor steps down. The Australian.
  16. ^ Mayor stands down over cash wad claim (20 December 2004). The Australian.
  17. ^ Davies, Anne (21 December 2004). Design rules for developments won't block out ground-floor corruption. Sydney Morning Herald.
  18. ^ http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/36693/20040615/www.russiansinaustralia.org.au/RECC_documents/Info_serv.htm
  19. ^ http://www.rotarnet.com.au/strathfield
  20. ^ http://www.suburbguide.com.au/post/strathfield?l=sydney-inner-west
  21. ^ http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/dlg_Regions.asp?regiontype=2&slacode=7100&region=SI

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]