Sutherland Shire

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Sutherland Shire
New South Wales
Sutherland lga sydney.png
Coordinates 34°02′S 151°03′E / 34.033°S 151.050°E / -34.033; 151.050Coordinates: 34°02′S 151°03′E / 34.033°S 151.050°E / -34.033; 151.050
Population 210,863 (2011)[1] (8th)
 • Density 629.4/km2 (1,630/sq mi)
Area 335 km2 (129.3 sq mi)
Mayor Steve Simpson (Liberal)
Council seat Sutherland
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Website www.sutherland.nsw.gov.au
LGAs around Sutherland Shire:
Bankstown Hurstville / Kogarah Rockdale
Liverpool Sutherland Shire Bate Bay
Campbelltown Wollongong

The Sutherland Shire is a local government area in the southern region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Geographically, it is the area to the south of Botany Bay and the Georges River. The administrative centre of the local government is located in the suburb of Sutherland, with council chambers located in Eton Street. Within the Shire is the birthplace of modern Australia, as it was the first landing site of Captain James Cook, who went ashore onto what is now the suburb of Kurnell on 29 April 1770. It was originally intended to be the site of the first British Settlement, before Sydney Cove was chosen as the location during the First Fleet.[2][dead link] The Sutherland Shire is 26 kilometres (16 mi) south of Sydney central business district, and is bordered by Bankstown, Wollongong, Liverpool, Hurstville and Campbelltown local government areas.

With a population of 210,863 as at the 2011 Census, Sutherland Shire was the second most populous local government area in New South Wales (behind Blacktown), and the eighth largest overall in Australia.

The Sutherland Shire is colloquially known as "The Shire" and it has been characterised through several reality television series.

The Mayor of the Sutherland Shire Council is Cr. Steve Simpson, a member of the Liberal Party.[3]

Suburbs and localities in the local government area[edit]

Suburbs in the Sutherland Shire are:

Localities administered by the Sutherland Shire are:

Demographics[edit]

St Stylianos Greek Orthodox Church, Gymea
Left to right from top: The suburb of Sutherland; Cronulla and beaches; Westfield, Miranda; Kurnell Sand Dunes.

At the 2011 Census, there were 210,863 people in the Sutherland local government area, of these 48.9% were male and 51.1% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.8% of the population. The median age of people in the Sutherland Shire area was 39 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 19.1% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 14.9% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 53.9% were married and 9.9% were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Sutherland Shire area between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 1.63% and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 2.64%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in the Sutherland local government area was significantly lower than the national average;[4] which appears to be a result of limited residential development approval.[citation needed] The median weekly income for residents within the Sutherland Shire area was higher than the national average.

At the 2011 Census, the proportion of residents in the Sutherland local government area who stated their ancestry as Australian or Anglo-Saxon exceeded 72% of all residents (national average was 65.2%). In excess of 65% of all residents in the Sutherland Shire area nominated a religious affiliation with Christianity (including Eastern Orthodoxy) at the 2011 Census, which was significantly higher than the national average of 50.2%. Meanwhile, as at the Census date, compared to the national average, households in the Sutherland local government area had a lower than average proportion (14.7%) where two or more languages are spoken (national average was 20.4%); and a higher proportion (85.2%) where English only was spoken at home (national average was 76.8%).[1][5]

The Shire is known colloquially as the "insular peninsula", reflecting its reputation for insular localism, that also manifests itself in surf culture. It has a high conservative vote and is Sydney's second largest bible belt.[6]

Selected historical census data for Sutherland local government area
Census year 2001[4] 2006[5] 2011[1]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 202,158 205,448 210,863
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 2nd 2nd
% of New South Wales population 3.05%
% of Australian population 1.08% Decrease 1.03% Decrease 0.98%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
Australian 28.9%
English 28.0%
Irish 9.0%
Scottish 6.6%
Italian 3.0%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Greek 1.9% Steady 1.9% Steady 1.9%
Arabic 1.0% Steady 1.0% Decrease 0.9%
Cantonese 1.0% Steady 1.0% Decrease 0.9%
Italian 1.1% Decrease 0.9% Steady 0.9%
Mandarin n/c Increase 0.6% Increase 0.7%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 30.5% Increase 30.6% Increase 31.0%
Anglican 28.7% Decrease 26.9% Decrease 25.8%
No religion 10.8% Increase 12.9% Increase 16.1%
Eastern Orthodox 3.6% Increase 4.1% Increase 4.3%
Uniting Church 5.9% Decrease 5.0% Decrease 4.2%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$601 A$718
% of Australian median income 129.0% 124.4%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,374 A$2,014
% of Australian median income 133.8% 136.0%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,650 A$1,674
% of Australian median income 140.9% 135.7%

Council[edit]

Sutherland Shire Council Administration Building

Current composition and election method[edit]

Sutherland Shire Council is composed of fifteen Councillors elected proportionally as five separate wards, each electing three Councillors. 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:[7]

Party Councillors
  Liberal Party of Australia 9
  Australian Labor Party 3
  Independents 2
  Shire Watch 1
Total 15

The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election by ward, is:[7]

Ward Councillor Party Notes
A Ward   Kevin Schreiber Liberal
  Carol Provan Independent
  Scott Williams Liberal
B Ward   Kent Johns Liberal
  Tracy Cook Liberal
  Phil Blight Labor
C Ward   Hassan Awada Liberal
  Tom Croucher Liberal Deputy Mayor
  Peter Scaysbrook Labor
D Ward   Carmello Pesce Liberal
  Bruce Walton Independent
  Deidree Steinwall Labor
E Ward   Steve Simpson Liberal Mayor
  John Riad Liberal
  Peter Towell Shire Watch

History[edit]

Aboriginal heritage[edit]

The original inhabitants of the Sutherland area were some clans of the Dharawal people. Archaeological work in the Sutherland Shire has revealed evidence for Aboriginal settlement dating back at least 8,500 years. The original coastline around Sydney has retreated about 20 km and that those flooded coastal plains may hold evidence showing occupation of this area going back well beyond the 8,500 years revealed in the 1966 Archaeological exploration.[8][dead link]

Within the Royal National Park, field surveys have revealed many hundreds of Aboriginal rock shelters. In other locations (The Military Area near Holsworthy and Darkes Forrest) there are thousands of sites, camping areas and sacred places. These areas mentioned have not been affected greatly by European occupation and building and may give a clearer example for the quality of life and abundance of resources in Sutherland/Liverpool areas.

Since 1966 when there was an Archaeological dig in Cabbage Tree Basin archaeologists have uncovered parts of an extensive open-air midden or cooking and camp sites. Successive layers of habitation show the diet of the native Aborigines - oysters, mussels, snapper, bream, and Sydney cockle. There is also evidence of seal, dolphin, a range of marsupials, dingo and even whale. Several edge-ground axes have also found.

There are many existing sites where paintings and engravings of great age show changes in art style over thousands of years. Some of these changes can be linked to the extinction of some animals in the area and also with the coming of Europeans to Sutherland. Some have interpreted these changes in style to changes in culture and people which would indicate that there have been a number of changes of communities over time.[9]

European settlement[edit]

Cook landing at Botany Bay

European discovery of what is now Sutherland Shire was made by Lieutenant James Cook, who entered Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. Cook and his party explored around Kurnell Peninsula, and left the bay on 6 May. During their brief stay, a Scottish seaman named Forbes Sutherland died of tuberculosis. In his honour, Cook named the northwest point of the peninsula Point Sutherland.[10][dead link]

The British government needed a new site for transported convicts as they had lost their American colonies following defeat in the American Revolutionary War. Botany Bay was chosen as the new penal settlement and the First Fleet under Governor Arthur Phillip anchored off Kurnell on 18 January 1788. After sending a party to clear land for settlement, Phillip soon realised the area was unsuitable. There was lack of shelter for ships, inadequate water and poor soil. On 24 January, two French ships were sighted off the coast, causing Phillip to raise English colours near Sutherland Point. Governor Phillip sailed north to explore Port Jackson, and eventually settled at Sydney Cove.

The first landowner in Sutherland Shire was James Birnie, a mercantile trader who was granted by promise 700 acres (280 ha) at Kurnell in 1815.[11][dead link] After the completion of official surveying, a large part of what is now Sutherland Shire was proclaimed as the Hundred of Woronora by Governor Richard Bourke in 1835. Title to land was not granted by the Crown until 1856, before which there was practically no settlement. Timber cutting was the primary industry, supplemented by shell gathering in the Port Hacking area.

With the opening of Crown Lands sales in the Shire, Thomas Holt purchased 12,000 acres (4,900 ha). His developmental projects included oyster farms,[12] cattle grazing, and coal mining.[11] The investment which proved profitable however, were his timber leases. He constructed a magnificent manor on the foreshores of Sylvania, called Sutherland House, based on English feudal lines.[13]

Development of transport[edit]

A train in Sutherland circa 1920

The main mode of transport in the area was originally by water. Farmers' ships sailed up the coast into Botany Bay, and up the Georges and Woronora rivers, avoiding the wharfage and custom dues at Port Jackson. The first public road, the Illawarra Road (now called the Old Illawarra Road) to the "Five Islands" (now Wollongong), was constructed between 1842 and 1845 with convict labour. A new southern line of road was completed in 1864, linking up with the Illawarra Road at Engadine. Today this virtually is the line of the Princes Highway, the main north-south thoroughfare through Sutherland Shire.

A railway line was extended from Hurstville in 1884 to develop the rich Illawarra district. The railway brought into being firstly a huge shanty town on the heights of Como, and later developed the area into a holiday centre. Sutherland railway station was opened in 1885, named after John Sutherland, a Minister of Works during the 1870s who had argued most forcefully[citation needed] for the railway.

At this time, the greater part of the Shire was connected only by access tracks. A road soon opened between the railway station and Cronulla Beach, catering mostly to families and fishing parties. This was followed by the Sutherland-Cronulla steam tram service, which was inaugurated in 1911. Not only did the service greatly increase the popularity of the Cronulla beaches, but it was of great advantage to the slowly developing business interests in the Shire.

Increasing motor traffic caused a falling-off of passengers and the passenger service close in 1931. The goods service ceased the following year. The increased traffic with the north led to the opening of the first road bridge into the Sutherland Shire, at Tom Ugly's Point, in 1929. The six-lane Captain Cook Bridge over the Georges River, spanning Rocky Point and Taren Point, was opened in 1965, replacing the completely inadequate ferry service.[14]

Panorama of Caringbah, circa 1920

Residential development[edit]

Cronulla Beach prior to the 1950s
Flats in Miranda

Coastal and river frontage areas, such as Como, Illawong, Cronulla, Illawarra and Yowie Bay, became popular as country retreats. A form of voluntary local government was attempted in 1888, but law and order was still administered by the court at Liverpool until 1905. In that year, the Local Government (Shires) Act 1905 (NSW) provided that the whole of New South Wales be divided into shires. The State Governor, Harry Rawson selected the name, and proclaimed this district "Sutherland, No. 133" on 6 March 1906 and fixed the boundaries. At the time the Shire had 1600 residents, and it was divided into three Ridings.

With only a small rates base, one of the early problems of the Council was the provision of new roads. The construction of the Sutherland-Cronulla tramway by the Railway Commissioner went far in stimulating business activity and driving land sales. The population of the Shire increased from 2,896 in 1911, when the tramway opened, to over 7,500 in 1913. By 1931 the population had exceeded 12,000. It was not until the early 1950s that this district of scattered dwellings, vacant blocks and quiet villages became a suburban area of Sydney. Until this time Sutherland Shire was not considered part of Sydney.

Associated with this growth of population was industrial and commercial development. The Captain Cook Drive from Caringbah to Kurnell was constructed in 1953 in conjunction with the establishment in 1956 of the Australian Oil Refinery at Kurnell. At Lucas Heights, the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (now the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) built its research station complex in 1958.

In terms of residential development, one of the most imaginative homebuilding concepts has been Sylvania Waters. Here, individually designed family homes have been built around a series of man-made canals. The urban release of land in the Menai district, to the west of the Woronora River, commenced in the 1970s.[14]

Contemporary Sutherland Shire[edit]

View of Cronulla from Burraneer

The Sutherland Shire is currently the second most populous local government area in New South Wales, and 8th in Australia overall.

In December 2005, following incidents on Shire beaches culminating in an assault on a lifeguard by youth of Lebanese descent, an anonymous text message, publicised by major media outlets in Australia, that called on people to gather at Cronulla beach on the following Sunday and attack "wogs and lebs". In the days that followed, a series of riots and counter riots broke out in Cronulla and other beachside suburbs in Sydney's east which saw numerous assaults. There was minor property damage and one non-fatal stabbing, although there were many people arrested and extensive national and international media interest.

Geography[edit]

Port Hacking estuary

Under the 1853 proclamation, the western boundary of district was the Woronora River. With the formation of the Sutherland Shire in 1906, the western boundary was extended to take in more agricultural land in an area which is now modern day Menai. In 1919, the Illawong area was also transferred to Sutherland Shire. The Shire now has an area of 370 square kilometres (140 sq mi), of which 173 square kilometres (67 sq mi) is state-designated national parkland.

The northern border of the Shire can be crossed via four bridges: three road bridges (Alfords Point, Sylvania Waters and Taren Point) and one railway bridge (Como). To the west, the Heathcote Road leading out of the Shire passes by the Holsworthy military reserve. To the south, the Princes Highway runs out of Waterfall towards the city of Wollongong. The eastern border is bounded by the Tasman Sea.

On the east the Shire has a varying landscape of rugged sea cliffs and sandy beaches, and swampy bay coasts backed by sand dunes. To the west the surface consists of a broad plateau rising gently to the southwest, and cut into by several deep river gorges.[15]

Geology[edit]

The geology of the Sutherland Shire, whilst sharing characteristics with the North Shore, is very different from the western and central suburbs of Sydney. The oldest rock unit in the Shire is the Illawarra Coal Measures, exposed from drilling at Helensburgh where it is 305 metres (1,001 ft) below sea level. Above the coal-bearing rocks is found the Narrabeen Group, mostly made up of layers of sandstone and characteristic red claystone beds. Overlying the Narrabeen Group is the Hawkesbury Sandstone, the rock unit most characteristic of the Shire. Occasional patches of Ashfield shale overlay the Hawkesbury sandstone. Some time later than the Triassic period - possibly early Tertiary - minor volcanic activity occurred in the region. This took the form of intrusion of a number of dykes of basaltic rock which forced their way up through the sedimentary rocks. Due to the wetting and drying action of the weather the basaltic rock of the dykes has changed to clay.

From the end of the Triassic period to the middle of the Tertiary period, soft material was worn down or removed by wind and running water. In the final stages of this period of erosion the climate was apparently rather wetter and more humid than today's, causing the exposed rocks to change and form laterite soil, which is abundant in the Shire.

River system[edit]

A little later in the Tertiary, tilting occurred south of the Georges River. The slow uplift, taking perhaps several million years, formed the present Woronora Plateau, a surface which rises gently in the south. This process caused the river system in the Shire to flow in steeper watercourses. They then became more active, carving the steep gorges of Woronora, Hacking, Georges Rivers and their tributaries which can be seen today. Waterfalls such as those at Waterfall and Undola also formed during this period. Water supplies within the shire are of two kinds. The main source is the surface supply provided by the Woronora Dam, which is built in the deep gorge of Woronora River. A second source exists in the form of underground water.

During the last ice age, the rivers had to do additional work cutting down through the rocks to reach the lower and more distant ocean, leading to the "valley-in-valley" shape of many of the deep gorges in the Shire. When sea levels rose again, the silt and sand carried by the rivers gradually built up a considerable thickness of sediment. Sediment filled the area between Kurnell (then an island) and Miranda. Sand dunes began to accumulate in the Kurnell area and the mud and sand flats of Quibray and Gunnamatta Bays began to form. The Kurnell sand dunes have provided a cheap source of sand for the southern suburbs of Sydney but in the process of exploitation this area has been robbed of its character and the removal of vegetation has opened the way to erosion.

Royal National Park[edit]

The Premier John Robertson dedicated 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) to "The National Park" (now the Royal National Park), gazetted in 1879, making it the second oldest park of its kind in the world after Yellowstone National Park in America (although there is no public gazette record for Yellowstone until sometime in the 1880s), making a valid claim for The Royal National Park being the oldest in the world. In 1880 the Park was increased to 33,000 acres (13,000 ha). Today it is just under 44,000 acres (18,000 ha). The National Park was given the prefix "Royal" after Queen Elizabeth visited the park in 1954.

Urban Structure[edit]

The Sutherland Shire is predominantly a residential area but also has substantial industrial, commercial and rural areas. The major commercial areas of the Shire are located in the suburbs of Sutherland, Miranda (home to a large Westfield shopping centre, traditionally known as Miranda Fair), Cronulla, Caringbah, Menai and Engadine. Sutherland Shire's old mantra was:

The Sutherland Shire also includes the suburb of Kurnell, close to the first landing site of James Cook, Sydney's oil refinery and Towra Point Nature Reserve, a wetland of international importance. The Sutherland Shire is also where Australia's first and only nuclear facility is based, at Lucas Heights. The reactor, run by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) does not produce electricity but is used for the production of radiopharmaceuticals, for research and irradiation.

The isolated bayside suburbs of Bundeena and Maianbar are situated between the northern edge of the Royal National Park and Port Hacking. They are only accessible through the park or by the ferry from Cronulla.

Facilities[edit]

The Yarrawarrah windmill is a local landmark
Peace Park in Sutherland

Education[edit]

There are now nearly 100 schools in the Shire including the Gymea and Loftus Colleges of Technical and Further Education, a technology high school - Gymea Technology High School, more than twenty secondary schools, preschool centres and schools provided to serve children with special needs.

Health[edit]

The Sutherland Hospital and Kareena Private Hospital are both located at Caringbah and President Private Hospital is located in Kirrawee.

Transport[edit]

The Sutherland Shire is serviced by Transdev NSW bus services and Sydney Trains services on the Illawarra line.

Surf life saving[edit]

There are four surf life saving clubs and one offshore rescue boat located at Cronulla. The clubs and boat provide life saving and first aid services to the many visitors to the Shire's beaches. The four surf clubs from south to north are: Cronulla SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Elouera SLSC and Wanda SLSC. The offshore rescue boat operated by the Cronnulla District Lifesaver Rescue frequently assists in major marine rescues along the Sydney coast.

Culture[edit]

  • The National Rugby League football club, the Cronulla Sharks are the major local professional sports team. They have an average attendance of 12,000-15,000.
  • North Cronulla Surf Life Saving club doubled as a police station in the television series White Collar Blue.
  • Four winners of the worlds biggest triathlon, the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona Hawaii, call the Sutherland Shire home. Greg Welch (1994), Michellie Jones (2006), Chris McCormack (2007 & 2010) and Craig Alexander (2008, 2009 & 2011). A resident of the Sutherland Shire won the race,considered the worlds toughest one day sporting event, for six years running (2006-2011).
  • The 1979 novel, Puberty Blues by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette, is a teen novel about the lives of two girls from the lower middle class of the Sutherland Shire.
  • The 1981 film Puberty Blues and the 2012 TV series Puberty Blues are based on the novel and predominantly filmed around the Sutherland Shire, including Cronulla Beach and the southern campus of Caringbah High School.
  • The television reality shows Sylvania Waters and The Shire follow the lives of residents in the Sutherland Shire.

Economy[edit]

Retail[edit]

Miranda is the retail and commercial centre of the Shire, being home to Westfield Miranda along with two other shopping centres, Kiora Mall and Parkside Plaza. Westfield Miranda, known locally as Miranda Fair, has several department stores and many specialist stores, and was once the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2005, the company claimed that the centre was the fourth largest shopping centre in Sydney.[16]

Southgate is another major shopping complex, located in Sylvania and consisting of a number of supermarkets, a K-Mart and various specialty stores. Cronulla is also a popular retail and commercial centre, with numerous restaurants and cafes and a considerable number of surf stores and other clothing and fashion shops.

Other neighbourhood shopping centres have also developed at Caringbah, Bangor, Illawong, Kareela, Jannali, Yarrawarrah and Menai together with a small centre at Alfords Point. Gymea Shopping Village attracts many people, with a regional arts centre, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, and a cafe and restaurant scene.

Sister cities[edit]

Sutherland Shire maintains sister city relations with the following cities:[17]

There are also two informal relationships:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Sutherland Shire (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.sutherland.nsw.gov.au/ssc/home.nsf/Web+Pages/968960D9346BADD3CA256D56001BAC2A?OpenDocument[dead link]
  3. ^ Trembath, Murray (23 September 2013). "Simpson is the new shire mayor". St George and Sutherland Shire Leader. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Sutherland Shire (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Sutherland Shire (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Redmond, Anthony (2007). "Surfies Versus Westies: Kinship, Mateship and Sexuality in the Cronulla Riots". The Australian Journal of Anthropology (Proquest) 18 (3): 336–351. 
  7. ^ a b "Declaration of the poll". 2012 Local government election results. Sutherland Shire Council. 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.sutherland.nsw.gov.au/ssc/home.nsf/AllDocs/RWPD7F788C8EBBED143CA2575F500013BC6?OpenDocument[dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.ssrguides.org/about.php?sub=areahistory History of the Sutherland Shire - Sutherland Shire Region Guides
  10. ^ http://www.sutherland.nsw.gov.au/ssc/rwpattach.nsf/viewasattachmentPersonal/FactSheet_5_FINAL_20041020.pdf/$file/FactSheet_5_FINAL_20041020.pdf[dead link]
  11. ^ a b http://www.sutherland.nsw.gov.au/ssc/rwpattach.nsf/viewasattachmentPersonal/Old+Study+1+scanned.pdf/$file/Old+Study+1+scanned.pdf[dead link]
  12. ^ Towra Point Nature Reserve
  13. ^ Pollon, Frances, ed. (1990). The Book of Sydney Suburbs. Australia: Angus & Robertson Publishers. ISBN 0-207-14495-8. 
  14. ^ a b "webpage name tba". Sutherland Shire Council. 
  15. ^ http://www.ssrguides.org/about.php?sub=map Location of the Sutherland Shire - Sutherland Shire Region Guides
  16. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). Westfield Holdings Limited. 2005. 
  17. ^ "Sister Cities". About the Shire. Sutherland Shire Council. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 

External links[edit]