Sydney, New South Wales
|Population||8,609 (2016 census)|
|Location||13 km (8 mi) west of Sydney CBD|
|LGA(s)||Municipality of Strathfield, Cumberland Council|
Homebush West is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Homebush West is located 13 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Municipality of Strathfield, with a small unpopulated strip in the northwest in Cumberland Council. The suburb is commonly referred to as Flemington, even in official contexts. This was the old name of the suburb before the establishment of Sydney Markets in 1975. Subsequently, "Flemington" was confined to the area occupied by the markets, whereas the residential part of the suburb was renamed "Homebush West", after the suburb of Homebush immediately to the east. Both the railway station and various organisations and businesses in the suburb still carry the name "Flemington". Homebush Bay was formerly a separate suburbs to the north.
The area was called Flemington by John Fleming, who was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) here in 1806.
A loosely defined area in the vicinity had earlier been called "Liberty Plains", because it was granted to the first free settlers "Liberty Plains" survives as the name of the Parish of Liberty Plains, a cadastral unit for land titles. Homebush West is at the eastern extremity of the Parish of Liberty Plaints - neighbouring Homebush is in the Parish of Concord. The neighbouring suburb of Homebush is named after a nearby estate called "Home Bush", around today's Sydney Olympic Park, established in the 1800s by the colony's then assistant surgeon D'arcy Wentworth. According to local government historian Michael Jones, "Wentworth is popularly credited with having called the area after his 'home in the bush', although Homebush is also a place in Kent." Wentworth's estate did not include the village of "Homebush" south of the railway: the name came to the village indirectly, via Homebush railway station, built in 1855 and named after Wentworth's estate further to the north.
The part of the Fleming estate south of the railway was acquired by the Underwood Estate and subdivided in 1882, with streets laid out in a grid pattern that survives to this day. The streets in the grid are named after various locations in southern England, such as Richmond, Henley, Hampstead, Exeter, Tavistock and Eastbourne.
North of the railway, the bush was turned into paddocks and from 1883 was the site of a cattle saleyard, relocated from North Homebush, further east.
In 1892, Strathfield Municipality expanded west, taking in a large area including the part of Flemington south of the railway, after which homes in this part of the suburb became listed in directories under "Strathfield". The part of the suburb north of the railway was incorporated into the Municipality of Homebush (which also covered the part of modern-day Homebush north of the railway), which was eventually incorporated into Strathfield Municipality in 1947.
In the early 1970s, the Sydney Markets were built at Flemington to relieve the Paddy's Markets at Haymarket, in the city. Since the establishment of Sydney Markets at Flemington in 1975, the residential part of the suburb, south of the railway line became known as Homebush West.
The Chinese community in Sydney has long had a strong presence in the market gardening sector in Sydney as well as the fruit and vegetable trade, which resulted in the development of a Chinatown at Haymarket. A number of these trading firms owned by members of the Chinese community developed into international conglomerates operating across the Asia-Pacific. When the markets, together with these trading firms, moved to Flemington, it brought a large ethnically Chinese presence to Homebush West in the form of Chinese grocery stores, restaurants and Chinese-speaking doctors and pharmacists to service the market traders and their customers. The move of the markets coincided with the start of the wave of Vietnamese migration to Australia in the 1970s. Many of these immigrants also moved into the market garden trade. With a concentration of Chinese, Vietnamese-Chinese and Vietnamese businesses, Homebush West village centre acquired a cosmopolitan character with a southeast Asian flavour which it has retained to this day.
Ford factory site
West of Flemington markets, separated from the rest of the suburb by the A3 arterial road and the railway, the Ford car factory was built in 1935 and closed in 1994. The residential area around the factory site were originally mostly built for Ford employees. The Ford factory site was part of the Borough of Rookwood, which became the Municipality of Lidcombe, which merged in turn into Auburn Council. In 1992, this area was transferred to Strathfield Council in exchange for an area to the north that was transferred to Auburn Council, in anticipation of the development of Sydney Olympic Park. A small, unpopulated strip of land in the northwest of the suburb immediately to the north of the Ford factory site, which lies between Parramatta Road and the M4 motorway, remained in Auburn Council and (after the abolition of Auburn Council) is now in Cumberland Council.
Homebush West is divided into five areas by the railway, the A3 arterial road, Parramatta Road and the M4 motorway, each with a distinctive pattern of land use.
Flemington village (souteast)
In the original, residential part of the suburb located south of the railway, the Flemington village centre is composed of a cluster of shops located on The Crescent and nearby Henley Road, beside Flemington railway station. The village is home to a variety of Asian restaurants and business reflecting the ethnic makeups of the suburb's residents as well as the large workforce involved in the fresh food trade at Flemington markets. Chinese, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Indian, Malaysian and Nepalese restaurants, businesses and food stores are found across the suburb. The village is now largely made up of low-to-medium rise apartment buildings, except for a small number of detached houses close to the boundaries with Homebush and Strathfield.
The Flemington markets occupy the whole area north of the railway, south of Parramatta Road and east of the A3, and is serviced by a commercial complex called the Sydney Markets Plaza, which includes banks and a supermarket. Officially, the locality of "Flemington" refers only to the market complex and related facilities. This area has its own postcode, 2129, separate from the 2140 postcode used by the rest of the suburb.
Welfare Street area
Further north, a small part of the suburb lies between Parramatta Road and the M4 motorway. This area is largely industrial, with a small residential area around Welfare Street, which was originally housing built for state abattoir employees. The houses were inherited by the Olympic Park Authority, which controversially sold them in 2014 to private owners. The houses on Welfare Street form a heritage conservation area, but are cut off from all other residential areas and are increasingly surrounded by industrial construction.
Courallie Avenue area
The part of the suburb west of the A3 road and north of the railway, which was for many years the site of the Ford factory, is largely industrial, with a small residential area on Courallie Avenue which was originally housing built for Ford employees. A recent redevelopment of the industrial area has resulted in a large estate with almost 2000 residents sharing just six street numbers on Courallie Avenue.
Arthur Street industrial area
The part of the suburb west of the A3 road and south of the railway is now almost entirely industrial. The headquarters of the large Australian retailer, Harvey Norman, is located in this area.
Although not technically part of the suburb, the DFO Homebush factory outlet shopping centre is located just to the north of the suburb.
The local school is Homebush West Public School servicing K-6. St Dominics Primary School closed in 2006.
Places of Worship
- St Dominic's Catholic Church
- St Columba Anglican Church (closed in 1999, used later as Inner West Baptist Church, heritage-listed by Strathfield Council)
- St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
- Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Hindu Temple
At the 2016 census, there were 8,609 residents in Homebush West. 21.9% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were India 17.1%, China 17.1%, Nepal 5.6%, Korea, South Korea 5.0% and Sri Lanka 3.5%. The most common reported ancestries were Chinese 25.5%, Indian 17.4%, English 5.9%, Nepalese 5.6% and Korean 5.2%. 15.9% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 16.5%, Cantonese 8.6%, Tamil 6.4%, Nepali 6.0% and Korean 5.8%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 25.7% and Hinduism 24.4%.
The following were either born or have lived at some time in the suburb of Homebush West:
- Greg Haddrick (born 1960), screenwriter and television producer
- Ron Haddrick AM MBE (1929–2020), theatre, television, film and voice actor
- Bryan Palmer (1899–1990), Rugby Union player and coach of the Wallabies
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Homebush West (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Australian Suburb Guide: Sydney Inner West Archived 26 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Centres and corridors — Inner West" (PDF). NSW Department of Planning. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
- Jones, Michael (1985). Oasis in the West: Strathfield's first hundred years. North Sydney: Allen & Unwin Australia. ISBN 0-86861-407-6, pg 15
- Strathfield Heritage - Homebush West and Flemington
- "Homebush Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment & Heritage. H01170. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 124
- Unsung food suburbs: Homebush West, Sydney
- Flemington Shops
- Powell, R., "Homebush houses on Welfare Street sold after tenants strong-armed out", Sydney Morning Herald, 23 December 2014
- Jones, C., "WELFARE STREET HOMEBUSH WEST HERITAGE PRECINCT", Strathfield Heritage
- Nine, "Heritage home residents trapped by surrounding construction", A Current Affair
- Turner-Cohen, A., "2000 Sydney residents outraged over having to share the same postal address" News.com.au, 17 June 2021
- Former St Columba’s Church Homebush West Strathfield Heritage
- Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Hindu Temple
- LEADING MAN — IN ART AND LIFE Retrieved 14 February 2020
- Jack Pollard Syd (1994). "Palmer, George Thomas Bryan (1899 - 1990)". Australian Rugby - The Game and the Players. p. 456.
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