City of Canterbury (New South Wales)

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This article is about the Australian local government area. For the Sydney suburb, see Canterbury, New South Wales. For other uses, see Canterbury (disambiguation).
City of Canterbury
New South Wales
Canterbury lga sydney.png
Coordinates 33°55′S 151°06′E / 33.917°S 151.100°E / -33.917; 151.100Coordinates: 33°55′S 151°06′E / 33.917°S 151.100°E / -33.917; 151.100
Population 146,314 (2012)[1]
 • Density 4,303.45/km2 (11,145.9/sq mi)
Abolished 12 May 2016 (2016-05-12)
Area 34 km2 (13.1 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Mayor Brian Robson (Labor)
Council seat Campsie
Region Metropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
Website City of Canterbury
LGAs around City of Canterbury:
Strathfield Burwood Ashfield
Bankstown City of Canterbury Marrickville
Bankstown Hurstville Rockdale

The City of Canterbury was a local government area in the south–west region of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The City of Canterbury was primarily residential and light industrial in character. The city was home to over 130 nationalities, with a majority of its residents being born overseas. Hence Canterbury calls itself "the City of Cultural Diversity." The City was previously called the Municipality of Canterbury.

The last Mayor of the City of Canterbury Council was Cr. Brian Robson, a member of the Labor Party, until 12 May 2016 when the City was amalgamated with the City of Bankstown, forming Canterbury-Bankstown Council.

Suburbs in the local government area[edit]

Suburbs in the former City of Canterbury were:

Localities in the former City of Canterbury were:

  • Harcourt
  • McCallums Hill


At the 2011 Census, there were 137,454 people in the Canterbury local government area, with an equal proportion of male and female residents. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.6% of the population. The median age of people in the City of Canterbury was 35 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 20.0% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.5% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 52.9% were married and 10.8% were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the City of Canterbury between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 0.02%; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 5.76%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in Canterbury local government area was approximately half the national average.[2] The median weekly income for residents within the City of Canterbury is significantly lower than the national average.[1][3]

Selected historical census data for Canterbury local government area
Census year 2001[2] 2006[3] 2011[1]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 129,935 129,963 137,454
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales
% of New South Wales population 1.99%
% of Australian population 0.69% Decrease 0.65% Decrease 0.64%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Chinese 11.6%
Australian 9.7%
Lebanese 9.5%
Greek 9.5%
English 8.9%
top responses
(other than English)
Arabic 12.2% Decrease 10.1% Increase 13.2%
Greek 11.1% Decrease 10.4% Decrease 9.8%
Mandarin 1.7% Increase 2.7% Increase 5.6%
Cantonese 2.7% Increase 3.3% Increase 5.5%
Vietnamese n/c Increase 2.2% Increase 3.8%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 43.4% Decrease 41.7% Decrease 25.6%
Islam 5.1% Steady 5.1% Increase 16.6%
Eastern Orthodox 15.8% Decrease 13.4% Increase 13.6%
No religion 11.1% Increase 13.4% Decrease 12.5%
Buddhism n/c n/c Increase 6.1%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$366 A$430
% of Australian median income 78.5% 74.5%
Family income Median weekly family income A$839 A$1,149
% of Australian median income 81.7% 77.6%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,007 A$1,029
% of Australian median income 86.0% 83.4%


City of Canterbury Council Chambers, Beamish Street, Campsie.

Former composition and election method[edit]

Canterbury City Council was composed of ten Councillors, including the Mayor, elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor was directly elected while the nine other Councillors were elected proportionally as three separate wards, each electing three Councillors. The most recent and last election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council, prior to its abolition, was as follows:[4][5][6][7]

Party Councillors
  Australian Labor Party 6
  Liberal Party of Australia 3
  The Greens 1
Total 10

The last Council, elected in 2012 until its abolition in 2016, in order of election by ward, was:

Ward Councillor Party Notes
Mayor[4]   Brian Robson Labor Mayor
Central Ward[5]   Mark Adler Labor
  Ken Nam Liberal
  Fadwa Kebbea Labor
East Ward[6]   Con Vasiliades Liberal
  Esta Paschalidis-Chilas Labor
  Linda Eisler The Greens
West Ward[7]   Karl Saleh Labor Deputy Mayor
  Michael Hawatt Liberal
  Pierre Azzi Labor


A 2015 review of local government boundaries by the NSW Government Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal recommended that the City of Canterbury merge with the City of Bankstown to form a new council with an area of 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) and support a population of approximately 351,000.[8] Following an independent review, on 12 May 2016 the Minister for Local Government announced that the merger with the City of Bankstown would proceed with immediate effect, creating a new council with an area of 72 square kilometres (28 sq mi).[9]


Campsie Early Childhood Centre
Artwork near City of Canterbury Council Chambers

The city area is roughly enclosed by three waterways. The original village of Canterbury Vale was situated on the Cooks River. The upper parts of the river define the northern limits of the city. A major tributary, Wolli Creek forms part of the southern border of the city. The western limit of the city is defined by Salt Pan Creek. The short canal, Cup and Saucer Creek flows within the city area.

Physically the land is slightly hilly, although it is regarded as part of the Cumberland Plain. The underlying rock is sandstone.


Notable citizens[edit]

The following notable people were born or lived in the area:



The South Western Motorway passes through the city, with exits at Belmore Road, Kingsgrove Road, King Georges Road and Bexley Road. The section west of King Georges Road was finished in 1993 and the remainder completed in 2002. The Motorway connects Sydney to the South West of the state, Canberra and Victoria.

King Georges Road is part of major arterial ring system. The route connects the north of Sydney with Wollongong and the South Coast.

Canterbury Road is another arterial route, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long. The road connects the inner west suburbs of Sydney with Bankstown and suburbs further to the south-west, however its role in the metropolitan system was largely superseded by the completion of the M5 Motorway.

The city is responsible for a network of secondary roads and minor roads, constructed of bitumen with concrete guttering. This network is complete and rarely extended.


The area is served by the Bankstown line of the Sydney Trains network. The line was opened in 1895 and electrified in 1926. Additional tracks were laid for goods traffic. Within the city are the stations of Hurlstone Park, Canterbury, Campsie, Belmore, Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl. An eighth station, Narwee, is on the Airport, Inner West & South Line.

Sister cities[edit]

Canterbury is home to the largest Korean born population in Australia.[citation needed]

  • South Korea Eunpyong-gu, a municipal district within Seoul, South Korea. A special friendship garden in Loft Gardens at Campsie commemorates the relationship.
  • Greece Patras, Greece.


Canterbury Town Hall

Indigenous Australians lived in this area for thousand of years. In 1770, the land along the Cooks River was explored by officers from HM Bark Endeavour.

In 1793, the area's first land grant was made to the chaplain of the First Fleet, the Reverend Richard Johnson, and given the name Canterbury Vale. Residential development began picking up in the area during the 1880s. A leading developer at this time was Frederick Gibbes, a Member of Parliament for the seat of Newtown, who was also involved in property ventures in Rockdale and in his electorate.

A railway was completed in 1895 encouraging further suburban development which led to the area becoming heavily populated.

After much petitioning of the State Government by local residents, the Municipality of Canterbury was proclaimed on 17 March 1879. A Town Hall was opened in 1889 in Canterbury. However, over time, Campsie became a more important centre and the city administration moved there in 1962.


  1. ^ a b c d Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Canterbury (C)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Canterbury (C)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Canterbury (C)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Canterbury City Council - Mayoral Election". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Canterbury City Council - Central Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Canterbury City Council - East Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Canterbury City Council - West Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Merger proposal: Bankstown City Council, Canterbury City Council" (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2016. p. 7. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Canterbury-Bankstown Council". Stronger Councils. Government of New South Wales. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 

External links[edit]