Blacktown City Council

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Blacktown City Council
New South Wales
Blacktown lga sydney.png
Coordinates33°46′S 150°55′E / 33.767°S 150.917°E / -33.767; 150.917Coordinates: 33°46′S 150°55′E / 33.767°S 150.917°E / -33.767; 150.917
Population
 • Density1,364.77/km2 (3,534.7/sq mi)
Established6 March 1906 (Shire)
17 June 1961 (Municipality)
9 March 1979 (City)
Area246.9 km2 (95.3 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
MayorTony Bleasdale
Council seatCivic Centre, Blacktown
RegionWestern Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal division(s)
Logo of Blacktown City Council.svg
WebsiteBlacktown City Council
LGAs around Blacktown City Council:
Penrith Hawkesbury The Hills Shire
Penrith Blacktown City Council Parramatta
Penrith Fairfield Cumberland

Blacktown City Council is a local government area in Western Sydney, situated on the Cumberland Plain, approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of the Sydney central business district, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Established in 1906 as the Blacktown Shire and becoming the Municipality of Blacktown in 1961 before gaining city status in 1979, the City occupies an area of 246.9 square kilometres (95.3 sq mi) and has a population of 366,534, making it the second most populous local government area in Sydney.[3]

The Mayor of the Blacktown City Council is Cr. Tony Bleasdale, OAM, a member of the Australian Labor Party, who was elected on 9 October 2019 following the resignation of Stephen Bali, MP.

Suburbs and localities of the City of Blacktown[edit]

These are the suburbs and localities in the local government area:

History[edit]

The first road from Prospect to Richmond became known as the "Black Town Road" and in 1860 the Railway Department gave the name of "Black Town Road Station" to the railway station at the junction of the railway and the Black Town Road, with the name shortening to "Blacktown" by 1862. The Blacktown area was first incorporated on 6 March 1906 as the "Shire of Blacktown" alongside 132 other new shires across the state as a result of the passing of the Local Government (Shires) Act, 1905.[4] The first five-member temporary council was appointed on 15 May 1906 and first met on 20 June in the Rooty Hill School of Arts.[5][6][7][8] The Blacktown Shire became the "Municipality of Blacktown" on 17 June 1961 and was granted city status on 9 March 1979, becoming the "City of Blacktown".[9][10][11]

Blacktown Council Chambers and Civic Centre[edit]

Blacktown Civic Centre, Flushcombe Road, Blacktown, has been the council seat since 1961.

In 1937 Blacktown council discussed the need for new Council Chambers, with the present arrangements seen as inadequate and unable to accommodate growing staff needs.[12] In August 1938, the council discussed two schemes from architect Leslie J. Buckland for the new council chambers, with the scheme that created a new wing facing Flushcombe Road while retaining the old council chambers for other uses being the most favoured.[13] Designed in the modernist Inter-war Functionalist style by Buckland and constructed by J. H. Abbey of Epping at a cost of £7,000, the Council Chambers were officially opened on 29 July 1939 by the Minister for Public Works and Local Government, Eric Spooner.[14][15][16][17]

By the early 1960s, Blacktown Council resolved to develop a new council seat and 'civic centre' and an International style design by Parramatta architects, Leslie J. Buckland & Druce (George Harley, project architect), for a multi-storey administration building, a performance hall, library and basement parking was accepted at a cost of £500,000. Built of concrete and brick, with decorative facade panels and glass curtain walling, the Civic Centre was constructed by S. J. Wood & Co Lty Ltd, with A. S. Nicholson as the consulting engineer.[18]

The foundation stone for the Civic Centre was laid by Premier of NSW, Bob Heffron, on 17 June 1961, on the same occasion marking the change of Blacktown from a Shire to a Municipality.[19][20] The Civic Centre was officially opened on 25 October 1965 by the Minister for Local Government and Highways, Pat Morton, with the Mayor, Alfred Ashley-Brown, declaring "It is my sincere wish we will as a council cherish the heritage which brings us here tonight - that this chamber will be a place wherein good government within our sphere of responsibility will be made manifest, and that all decisions which are made shall be for the good of the people of the Municipality of Blacktown".[21] On 10 April 1967, the old 1939 Council Chambers were transformed into the first Blacktown Municipal Library, which was later demolished and became the Max Webber Library from 1980.[22]

In 1984, with the Civic Centre being overcrowded and suffering from lack of space, the Council approved significant extensions to the Civic Centre at a cost of $2,781,550 that added 2,000 square metres of office floor space and enabled the consolidation of all Council departments in a single location. The extensions were constructed by McNamara Constructions Pty Limited.[23]

Blacktown City Libraries[edit]

In 1947, Blacktown Shire Council formally adopted the Act 1939/ {{{4}}} (NSW), which had been passed to encourage (including financial subsidies) local governments to establish free public libraries, but no further action was taken due to a lack of finance.[22][24] However its was not until the 1960s, with the significant growth in the area's population, the Council identified a clear need for a library service, and when the Civic Centre opened in 1965, Council appointed the first Chief Librarian in 1966 and resolved to establish the first library in the old 1939 Council Chambers building on the opposite side of Flushcombe Road.[22] The first Blacktown Municipal Library was officially opened on 10 April 1967.[25]

The Blacktown City Libraries service expanded with the opening of Library Branches at Lalor Park (1968), Mount Druitt (1977) and Riverstone (1978). In 1979, Blacktown council commissioned a new Blacktown branch library, with the old library and 1939 Council Chambers building demolished and replaced by a new building designed by architects Allen Jack & Cottier, and constructed by R. W. Tims (Builders) Pty Ltd.[22] On 31 October 1979, Council resolved to name this new library after the Town Clerk of Blacktown, Max Webber, and the Max Webber Library was officially opened by the Deputy Premier Jack Ferguson on 8 March 1980.[22] A new branch library in Stanhope Gardens was officially opened on 7 August 2009, and was also named after a former Town Clerk as the Dennis Johnson Branch Library.[26]

Demographics[edit]

At the 2016 census, there were 336,962 people resident in the Blacktown local government area, of these 49.7 per cent were male and 50.3 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 2.8 per cent of the population, roughly equal to the NSW and Australian averages of 2.9 and 2.8 per cent respectively. The median age of people in the City of Blacktown was 33 years, which was significantly lower than the national median of 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 22.8 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 9.0-10.3 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 52.3 per cent were married and 9.9 per cent were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the City of Blacktown between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 6.47 per cent; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, population growth was 10.82 per cent. At the 2016 census, the population in the local government area increased by 11.91 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same period, being 8.8 per cent, population growth in Blacktown local government area was in excess of 35% more than the national average.[27] The median weekly income for residents within the City of Blacktown was generally on par with the national average.[28][29]

At the 2016 census, the proportion of residents in the Blacktown local government area who stated their ancestry as Filipino, was in excess of six times the national average. The proportion of residents who stated a religious affiliation with Hinduism was in excess of three times the national average; the proportion of Catholics was 33 per cent above the national average; and the proportion of residents with no religion about half the national average. Meanwhile, as at the census date, the area was linguistically diverse, with Tagalog, Hindi, Punjabi, or Filipino languages spoken in households, and ranged from five times to eight times the national averages. Pacific Island languages such as Samoan and Tongan were also noticeable in the area.[1]

Selected historical census data for Blacktown local government area
Census year 2001[30] 2006[29] 2011[28] 2016[1]
Population Estimated residents on census night 255,195 Increase 271,709 Increase 301,099 Increase 336,962
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 1st Decrease 2nd
% of New South Wales population 3.88% Increase 4.41% Decrease 4.35% Increase 4.50%
% of Australian population 1.36% Increase 1.37% Increase 1.40% Increase 1.44%
Cultural and language diversity
Ancestry,
top responses
Australian 30.0% Decrease 29.6% Decrease 25.5% Decrease 17.8%
English 24.8% Decrease 21.5% Increase 21.7% Decrease 16.2%
Indian 3.7% Increase 5.2% Increase 7.3% Increase 8.9%
Filipino 6.7% Increase 7.7% Increase 8.6% Decrease 7.0%
Irish 6.7% Decrease 5.4% Increase 5.7% Decrease 4.4%
Language,
top responses
(other than English)
Tagalog 5.1% Decrease 3.6% Increase 4.0% Steady 4.0%
Hindi 1.8% Increase 2.6% Increase 3.6% Increase 4.0%
Punjabi 0.8% Increase 1.1% Increase 2.3% Increase 3.6%
Arabic 2.9% Increase 3.2% Steady 3.2% Decrease 3.0%
Filipino n/c Increase 2.1% Steady 2.1% Decrease 1.9%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 36.3% Decrease 34.8% Decrease 33.3% Decrease 29.2%
No religion, so described 8.4% Increase 9.6% Increase 10.7% Increase 15.0%
Anglican 19.6% Decrease 17.1% Decrease 14.9% Decrease 13.3%
Hinduism 2.3% Increase 3.7% Increase 5.8% Increase 8.5%
Not stated 7.6%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$473 Decrease A$565 A$672
% of Australian median income 101.5% Decrease 97.9% 101.5%
Family income Median weekly family income A$1,105 Increase A$1,492 A$1,817
% of Australian median income 107.6% Decrease 100.7% 104.8%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,188 Increase A$1,388 A$1,711
% of Australian median income 101.5% Increase 112.4% 119%

Council[edit]

Current composition and election method[edit]

Blacktown City 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 and since 2016 has served a two-year term. The Mayor from 2014 to 2019, Stephen Bali was required to stand down from Council as a Mayor and Councillor by October 2019, due to the Local Government Amendment (Members of Parliament) Act, 2012 which requires state members of parliament to relinquish local government offices no more than two years after their election. With Bali's resignation on 9 October 2019, Cr Tony Bleasdale was elected Mayor.[31]

The most recent election was held on 4 December 2021, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[32][33][34][35][36]

Party Councillors
Australian Labor Party 10
Independents 5
Total 15

The current Council, elected in 2021, in order of election by ward, is:

Ward Councillor Party Notes
Ward 1[32] Moninder Singh Labor
Jess Diaz Independent
Christopher Quilkey Labor
Ward 2[33] Michael Stubley Independent
Julie Griffiths Labor Deputy Mayor 2019–present
Kushpinder Kaur Labor
Ward 3[34] Allan Green Independent
Susai Benjamin Labor
Kathie Collins, OAM Labor
Ward 4[35] Carol Israel Labor
Bob Fitzgerald Labor
Peter Camilleri Independent Ward 5 Councillor (Liberal) 2016–2021.
Ward 5[36] Tony Bleasdale, OAM Labor Mayor 2019–present
Brad Bunting Labor
Livingston Chettipally Independent

Office-holders[edit]

Shire Presidents and Mayors[edit]

Shire President Party Term Notes
  Richard Joseph Sherlock (Chairman) Independent 20 June 1906 – 10 December 1906 [37]
  Thomas Willmot Independent 10 December 1906 – 2 February 1910 [38][39][40][41][42]
  Richard Joseph Sherlock Independent 2 February 1910 – 9 February 1911 [43][44][45]
  Thomas Willmot Independent 9 February 1911 – 4 February 1914 [46][47][48]
  George Best Independent 4 February 1914 – 1 March 1915 [49]
  Adam Thomson Pringle Independent 1 March 1915 – 9 February 1916 [50]
  John Henry Smith Angus Independent 9 February 1916 – 10 February 1920 [51][52][53][54]
  John Charles Page Independent 10 February 1920 – 14 December 1920 [55]
  George Alfred Lalor Independent 14 December 1920 – 12 December 1922 [56][57]
  Arthur Moorehead Independent 12 December 1922 – 21 December 1926 [58][59][60][61][62]
  William Thomas Cable Independent 21 December 1926 – December 1927 [63]
  George Alfred Lalor Independent December 1927 – December 1928
  Arthur Leonard Francis Independent December 1928 – December 1930
  John McMurtrie Independent December 1930 – December 1932
  John Charles Page Independent December 1932 – December 1934
  Arthur Leonard Francis Independent December 1934 – 8 December 1938
  Thomas Russell Stone Independent 8 December 1938 – 13 December 1945 [64][65][66][67][68][69][70]
  John Alexander Fyall Independent 13 December 1945 – 20 December 1950 [71][72][73][74][75]
John Sidney Bromfield 20 December 1950 – December 1956 [76]
Wally Payne December 1956 – December 1957
George Alexander Dryden December 1957 – December 1958 [77]
Gordon Archibald Baker December 1958 – December 1959
  Alfred Ashley-Brown Labor December 1959 – 17 June 1961
Mayor Party Term Notes
  Alfred Ashley-Brown Labor 17 June 1961 – December 1965
Victor John Corcoran December 1965 – December 1966
Hilton Robinson Independent December 1966 – December 1967
  Alfred Ashley-Brown Labor December 1967 – December 1968
Victor John Corcoran December 1968 – 10 December 1969
Col Holden 10 December 1969 – 2 December 1970
  Alfred Ashley-Brown Labor 2 December 1970 – September 1971
Peter Richard Stone September 1971 – September 1974
  George Nicolaidis, OAM Independent September 1974 – September 1976 [78][79][80]
Peter James Shinnick September 1976 – September 1977
  John Aquilina Labor September 1977 – September 1981 [81]
James Patrick Lynch September 1981 – September 1985
Leo Kelly September 1985 – September 1987 [82]
  Russ Dickens, OAM Independent September 1987 – September 1988 [83][84]
  Bob Sinclair Independent September 1988 – September 1990
  Leo Kelly Labor September 1990 – September 1991 [82]
Jim Anderson September 1991 – 5 April 1995 [85]
Charlie Lowles 5 April 1995 – 20 September 1995 [86]
Michael Corbin 20 September 1995 – September 1996
Charlie Lowles September 1996 – September 1999 [86]
Alan Pendleton September 1999 – 14 April 2004 [87]
Leo Kelly, OAM 14 April 2004 – September 2008 [88][82]
Charlie Lowles, OAM September 2008 – September 2010 [86][89]
Alan Pendleton, OAM September 2010 – 26 September 2012 [87]
  Len Robinson Liberal 26 September 2012 – 17 September 2014 [90][91]
  Stephen Bali Labor 17 September 2014 – 9 October 2019 [92]
  Tony Bleasdale, OAM 9 October 2019 – present [31]

Shire/Town Clerks and General Managers[edit]

Name Term Notes
Matthew W. Hawkings (Interim) 20 June 1906 – 31 December 1906 [93]
Hugh Reid 1 January 1907 – 1 February 1914 [94][95]
George Davis 1 February 1914 – March 1916 [96]
Eric H. Croxon 28 March 1916 – May 1920 [97]
T. B. Webster 24 May 1920 – 30 May 1922 [98]
George Nixon Stewart 30 May 1922 – 12 September 1943 [99][100][101]
Herbert K. Pollack 29 May 1944 – 1959 [102]
W. A. C. Dale 1959–1969 [93]
Max Webber 1969–1984 [93]
Dennis G. Johnson 1984–1996 [93]
Terry McCormack 1996–2000 [93]
Ian Reynolds 2000–2005 [93]
Ron Moore 2005 – 17 April 2013 [103]
Kerry Robinson, OAM July 2013 – present

Coat of arms[edit]

After becoming a city in 1979, the Council resolved to investigate and if possible obtain a coat of arms, making a request to the Chester Herald of Arms, Hubert Chesshyre. With the design completed by March 1981, Council resolved to adopt the Coat of Arms at its meeting on 1 April 1981.[104][105]

Coat of arms of Blacktown City Council
Coat of Arms of Blacktown (NSW), granted 1981.jpg
Crest
Upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Sable A Kookaburra proper supporting with its dexter claw a Boomerang Gold
Escutcheon
Per chevron Sable and Or in chief two sprigs of Sunshine wattle (Acacia discolor) and issuant in base the head of an Australian Aborigine Sable.
Supporters
Dexter a large Grey Kangaroo and sinister a Chestnut Trotting Horse proper
Motto
"PROGRESS"

Heritage listings[edit]

The City of Blacktown has a number of heritage-listed sites, including those on the New South Wales State Heritage Register:

Sister cities[edit]

Blacktown City Council has sister city relations with the following cities:[114]

References[edit]

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