Greater Western Sydney

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Greater Western Sydney
New South Wales
Aerial view of greater western Sydney: Smithfield (bottom) to Liverpool (top-right).
Greater Western Sydney Map.gif
Localities around Greater Western Sydney:
Greater Blue Mountains Area Greater Blue Mountains Area Hills District
Northern Suburbs
Greater Blue Mountains Area Greater Western Sydney Inner West
South-western Sydney South-western Sydney Southern Sydney

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is a region of the metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is generally accepted to embrace the north-west, south-west, central-west, and western sub-regions within the Sydney Basin west of the Parramatta CBD. The area encompasses 12 local government areas: Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hills Shire, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Wollondilly.[1]

Covering 5,800 square kilometres (2,200 sq mi) and having an estimated resident population as at 30 June 2008 of 1,665,673, western Sydney has the most multicultural suburbs in the country. The population is predominantly of a working class background, with major employment in the heavy industries and vocational trade.[2]

Opened in 1811, Parramatta Road, which navigates into the heart of greater western Sydney, is one of Sydney's oldest roads and Australia's first highway between two cities – Sydney CBD and Parramatta.[3]


The local government areas which comprise the Greater West together generate more than A$95 billion in Gross Regional Product a year. Greater Western Sydney local government authorities agree on the broad definition of greater western Sydney, but divide the region based on the regional organisations of councils. The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) includes the local government areas of Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Canterbury, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta and Penrith.[4] The Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils (MACROC) includes the local government areas of Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly. In government administration, the region has a Minister for Western Sydney, currently held by the Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP.[5]

Whilst Sydney CBD and the Inner West mostly consist of federation-era homes, the west would usually feature modern, 'McMansion'-type of houses, which are predominantly found in the outer suburbs, starting from the City of Fairfield and Blacktown, such as in, Stanhope Gardens, Kellyville Ridge and Bella Vista to the northwest, Bossley Park. Abbotsbury and Cecil Hills to the greater west, and Hoxton Park, Harrington Park and Oran Park to the southwest.[6]


The Department of Planning & Infrastructure Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney divides Greater Western Sydney into three sub-regions:[7]

Sub-region Local government areas Area Population
(2016 Census)
(2016 Census)
(2016 Census)
Gross Regional Product
km2 sq mi
West Central and North West,[8] Canterbury-Bankstown, Parramatta, Cumberland Council 799 308 ~846,000 ~389,000 ~302,000 A$48.5 billion
West[9] Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith, The Hills 4,608 1,779 ~327,000 ~119,000 ~127,000 A$13.0 billion
South West[10] Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield,
Liverpool, and Wollondilly
3,554 1,372 ~829,000 ~298,000 ~286,000 A$33.5 billion
Totals 8,941 3,452 ~2,002,000 ~806,000 ~715,000 A$95.0 billion


Aerial view of the suburbs surrounding Prospect reservoir (looking to the west).

In 1820s, Peter Cunningham described the country west of Parramatta and Liverpool as "a fine timbered country, perfectly clear of bush, through which you might, generally speaking, drive a gig in all directions, without any impediment in the shape of rocks, scrubs, or close forest". This confirmed earlier accounts by Governor Phillip, who suggested that the trees were "growing at a distance of some twenty to forty feet from each other, and in general entirely free from brushwood..."[11]


Western Sydney experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) with the annual temperatures having an average maximum of 23 °C (73 °F) and a minimum of 12 °C (54 °F), making the region a few degrees warmer than the Sydney CBD. Maximum summer temperatures average at around 28 °C (82 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and winter temperatures are mild; averaging at around 17 °C (63 °F) to 18 °C (64 °F), depending on the location. Autumn and spring are the transitional seasons, with spring showing a larger variation than autumn in terms of temperatures.


Rainfall is almost evenly spread throughout the year, although the first half tends to be wetter, namely February through to June (late summer/early winter). The region is in a rain shadow that's created by the higher coastal highlands which seize the rain from the prevailing south-east winds.[12] The months from July through to December tend to be drier (late winter through to early summers). Thunderstorms are common in late summer and early autumn. Winters are pleasantly cool and relatively sunny (especially August), although east coast lows can bring large amounts of rainfall, especially in June.[13] Most suburbs in the west have an annual precipitation that averages at around 700 to 900 mm (28 to 35 in), in contrast to Sydney CBD's 1,217 mm (48 in).[14]


Western Sydney is much warmer than Sydney city in summer. During this time, daytime temperatures can be 5 °C (9 °F) warmer than the city (in extreme cases the West can even be 10 °C (18 °F) hotter). This is because sea breezes in the City do not penetrate the inland areas. Northwesterlies occasionally bring hot winds from the desert that raise temperatures as high as 40 °C (104 °F). The humidity in the summer is usually in the comfortable range, though some days can be slightly humid (due to the ocean proximity) or very dry (due to the heat from the desert). The far-western suburbs have a Föhn effect that originates from the Great Dividing Range. The lifting of the warm, dry winds originating from the interior over the Blue Mountains forces the air to gradually warm up as it descends into the Sydney basin.[15]


In early autumn, hot days are possible, with temperatures above 38 °C (100 °F) possible in March, but quite rare. April is cooler, with days above 30 °C (86 °F) happening on average only 1.1 times during the month. Days cooler than 20 °C (68 °F) occur more regularly leading into May. In May, days are usually mild, ranging from 17 to 24 °C (63 to 75 °F), but can get quite cold, with maximums of 17 °C (63 °F) or lower starting to occur. Average minimums fall throughout the season, with the first night below 10 °C (50 °F) often occurring in April.


Winter temperatures often show a higher variation in late winter than early winter, with a day or two in August occasionally reaching above 27 °C (81 °F), which is unknown in June and July. Winter nights average 6.9 °C (44.4 °F), although an average of 2.1 nights per year see temperatures fall below 2 °C (36 °F), mostly in July, and an average of only 0.2 nights per year fall below 0 °C (32 °F).[16] These low temperatures often occur when the night sky is clear and the ground can radiate heat back into the atmosphere. Winter nights, though, are typically a few degrees cooler and frost is not uncommon in some areas, especially those in the far west such as Penrith and Richmond.


Spring temperatures are highly variable, with temperatures fluctuating quite often. September will normally see one day reaching above 30 °C (86 °F), and extremely rarely, above 35 °C (95 °F). Cool days in September can occur, occasionally failing to reach 15 °C (59 °F). October and November show high variability, where hot north-westerlies can cause temperatures to rise above 35 °C (95 °F), and even above 40 °C (104 °F) in November, while cool days below 20 °C (68 °F) are also quite common. The average minimum temperature increases throughout the season, September can still have nights falling below 5 °C (41 °F). October and November occasionally have nights falling below 10 °C (50 °F).

Climate data[edit]


Greater west[edit]

Old Government House, Parramatta in the 1790s.





Western Sydney is home to a large number of marginal electorates at both a state and federal level. Western Sydney includes, or partially includes, the NSW Electoral Districts of Penrith, Londonderry, Mulgoa, Camden, Macquarie Fields, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Prospect, Bankstown, Granville, Parramatta, Seven Hills, Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, Riverstone, Mount Druitt, Blacktown, Holsworthy, Bankstown, Auburn, Hawkesbury.

Western Sydney is considered a particularly crucial region in federal politics,[37] and the region's social conservativism has been credited with forming policy on migration and the treatment of asylum seekers by both major political parties.[38] Western Sydney voted 'no' in high margins in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey held in 2017. 12 of the 17 divisions that voted 'no' nationally were from Western Sydney.


The city is also served by several local radio stations, including those from Sydney.

Greater Western Sydney is also served by 5 Sydney television networks, three commercial and two national services:


The region hosts many professional sporting teams in a wide range of codes. The National Rugby League has four teams based in the region; the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers. The region acts as the namesake of the Australian Football League's Greater Western Sydney Giants Australian rules football club. The A-League's Western Sydney Wanderers association football club is also based in this region of Sydney. Greater Sydney Rams now represent the region in the National Rugby Championship. The Sydney Thunder play at the Big Bash League.

The Sydney Olympic Park was built for the 2000 Olympic Games, and has hosted the NRL Grand Final, the Sydney 500 auto race and the Sydney International tennis tournament.


The following organisations are directly involved in economic and other advocacy for this region:

  • The Centre for Western Sydney at the University of Western Sydney (
  • Western Sydney Community Forum (
  • The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (
  • Westir (
  • The Wianamatta Institute (
  • The Western Sydney Conservation Alliance (

Major education facilities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dawson, Natalie. "About Greater Western Sydney". Western Sydney University. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Home – WSROC Region". Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. ^ Broomham, Rosemary (2001), Vital connections: a history of NSW roads from 1788, Hale & Iremonger in association with the Roads and Traffic Authority NSW, p. 25, ISBN 978-0-86806-703-2
  4. ^ "WSROC member councils". Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Macarthur Region". MACROC. 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Sydney's culture of place". Charles Sturt University. 2014. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  7. ^ "PLAN FOR GROWING SYDNEY" (PDF). Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. Department of Planning and Infrastructure (New South Wales). March 2014. ISBN 978-0-7313-3570-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  8. ^ "West Central West Subregion" (PDF). Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. Government of New South Wales. March 2013. ISBN 978-0-7313-3570-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  9. ^ "West Subregion" (PDF). Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. Government of New South Wales. March 2013. ISBN 978-0-7313-3570-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. ^ "South West Subregion" (PDF). Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. Government of New South Wales. March 2013. ISBN 978-0-7313-3570-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  11. ^ Kohen, J., The Impact of Fire: An Historical Perspective, in Australian Plants Online, Society for Growing Australian Plants, September 1996
  12. ^ Bannerman SA and Hazelton PA (1990) Soil Landscapes of the Penrith 1:100 000 Sheet Soil Conservation Service of NSW, Sydney and the accompanying map by Hazelton PA, Bannerman SM and Tille PJ (1989)
  13. ^ "About East Coast Lows". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Sydney heatwave". Daily Liberal. 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  15. ^ Sharples, J.J. Mills, G.A., McRae, R.H.D., Weber, R.O. (2010) Elevated fire danger conditions associated with foehn-like winds in southeastern Australia. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
  16. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations". Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  17. ^ "Climate statistics: PARRAMATTA NORTH (MASONS DRIVE)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Monthly climate statistics". Bureau of Meteorology. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Climate statistics for Prospect Reservoir". Bureau of Meteorology. July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  20. ^ "Climate Statistics: Richmond RAAF (1993–present)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Climate Statistics: Richmond RAAF (1928–1994)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Climate statistics for Camden Airport AWS". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Climate statistics for Holsworthy Control Range". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  24. ^ "Water theme park planned for Sydney". ABC News. 11 September 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  25. ^ "Auburn Botanical Gardens". Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  26. ^ "Nature reserves: Central Gardens". Your facilities. Holroyd City Council. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  27. ^ "Visitor Information – How to Get Here". Sydney Motorsport Park. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  28. ^ "Boothtown Aqueduct Aqueduct Valve House No 1 & 2". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  29. ^ O'Maley, Christine (23 November 2009). "Featherdale beats Opera House to claim major tourism award". Blacktown Advocate. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  30. ^ Westfield Group – Westfield Property Portfolio Archived 12 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ Chalmers, Emma; Martin, Saray (1 August 2010). "World Heritage Committee approves Australian Convict Sites as places of importance". The Courier–Mail. Australia. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  32. ^ Energy, Department of the Environment and (17 April 2018). "National Heritage Places - Old Government House and Government Domain, Parramatta".
  33. ^ Prospect Hill | NSW Environment & Heritage
  34. ^ Herron Todd White Property Advisors: The Month in Review Archived 20 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF), 1 February 2004.
  35. ^ "Bankstown Reservoir (Elevated)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  36. ^ Boulous, Chris (April 20, 2018). "Nothing Bland about our Oak tree". Fairfield City Champion. FAIRFAX REGIONAL MEDIA. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Joyce, Barnaby (8 March 2013). "Labor redefines meaning of "regional" spending to suit Western Sydney campaign". Australian Conservative. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  38. ^ Eltham, Ben (5 March 2013). "There's Something About Western Sydney". New Matilda. Retrieved 21 May 2016.

External links[edit]