Municipality of Strathfield

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Strathfield Council
New South Wales
Strathfield sydney lga.png
Population40,312 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2,859/km2 (7,405/sq mi)
Established2 June 1885 (1885-06-02)
Area14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
MayorGulian Vaccari (Liberal)
Council seatStrathfield
RegionMetropolitan Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)
WebsiteStrathfield Council
LGAs around Strathfield Council:
Parramatta Canada Bay Canada Bay
Cumberland Strathfield Council Burwood
Canterbury-Bankstown Canterbury-Bankstown Burwood

The Strathfield Council is a local government area located in the inner west region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Strathfield Council was incorporated in 1885. The Council area originally included the suburbs of Redmire, Homebush and Druitt Town.[citation needed] The name "Strathfield" was adopted as the name of the new council upon incorporation. In 1886, the suburb of Redmire was renamed Strathfield, as was the railway station. The area of Druitt Town became known as Strathfield South in the early 1890s. Only Homebush survives as an original location name. Since that time, Strathfield has become an important multicultural centre (for Korean, Chinese and Sri Lankan minority populations).

Strathfield Council currently comprises an area of 14.1 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi) and as at the 2016 census had an estimated 40,312 residents.[1] The Council area is made up of residential neighbourhoods and town centres, with significant local heritage, open space, lifestyle amenities, public and private schools and access to tertiary institutions such as a campus of Australian Catholic University and the University of Sydney and TAFE Sydney Institute.

The Mayor of Strathfield Municipal Council is Cr. Gulian Vaccari, a member of the Liberal Party. The Deputy Mayor is Cr. Matthew Blackmore [2]

Suburbs and localities in the local government area[edit]

The Strathfield local government area comprises:


Overseas-born birthplaces based on 2001 Australian Census data for the Strathfield local government area.

At the 2016 census there were 40,312 people in the Strathfield local government area, of these 50.7 per cent were male and 49.3 per cent were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.3 per cent of the population; significantly below the NSW and Australian averages of 2.9 and 2.8 per cent respectively. The median age of people in the Strathfield local government area was 32 years; significantly lower than the national median of 38 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 18.7 per cent of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 15.7 per cent of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 48.1 per cent were married and 11.7 per cent were either divorced or separated.[1]

Population growth in the Strathfield local government area between the 2001 census and the 2006 census was 15.14 per cent; while in the subsequent five years to the 2011 census, population growth was 10.02 per cent. At the 2016 census, the population in the Municipality increased by 14.56 per cent. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same period, being 8.8 per cent, population growth in Strathfield local government area was significantly higher than the national average.[1][3][4][5] The median weekly income for residents within the Municipality of Strathfield was on par with the national average.

Historical census data for Strathfield local government area
Census year 2001[3] 2006[4] 2011[5] 2016[1]
Population Estimated residents on census night 27,777 Increase 31,983 Increase 35,188 Increase 40,312
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 55th Increase 53rd
% of New South Wales population 0.51% Increase 0.54%
% of Australian population 0.15% Increase 0.16% Steady 0.16% Increase 0.17%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Chinese (excludes SARs and Taiwan) 9.3% Increase 17.8%
Indian 8.0% Increase 11.1%
South Korean 7.5% Increase 7.9%
English 7.7%
Australian 39.8% Decrease 7.5%
top responses
(other than English)
Mandarin 4.2% Increase 6.4% Increase 8.0% Increase 10.0%
Korean 7.0% Increase 8.4% Increase 8.9% Decrease 8.8%
Cantonese 8.7% Decrease 8.4% Decrease 8.0% Decrease 7.0%
Tamil 6.4% Decrease 5.8% Decrease 5.3% Increase 5.6%
Arabic 5.8% Steady 5.8% Decrease 5.7% Decrease 5.0%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 34.0% Decrease 30.7% Decrease 27.5% Decrease 23.0%
No religion, so described 10.2% Increase 12.3% Increase 15.0% Increase 21.6%
Hinduism 9.0% Increase 10.3% Increase 13.2% Increase 16.4%
Buddhism n/c Increase 6.4% Increase 6.8% Decrease 5.7%
Not stated n/c n/c n/c 9.3%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$458 A$558 Data
to be
% of Australian median income 98.3% 96.7%
Family income Median weekly family income A$458 A$1,595
% of Australian median income 106.4% 107.7%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,256 A$1,421
% of Australian median income 107.3% 115.2%

Current composition and election method[edit]

Strathfield Municipal Council Chambers, located in Strathfield.

Strathfield Municipal Council is composed of seven councillors elected proportionally as one entire ward. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected bi-annually by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 9 September 2017, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[6]

Party Councillors
  Liberal Party of Australia 3
  Australian Labor Party 2
  Independents 1
  1 Total 7

The current Council, elected in 2017, in order of election, is:

Councillor[6] Party Notes
  Gulian Vaccari Liberal Mayor 2012–2013, 2017–date
  Karen Pensabene Labor
  Nella Hall Independent Deputy Mayor 2017–2018
  Antoine Doueihi Liberal
  Maryanne Duggan Labor
  Stephanie Kokkolis Liberal Deputy Mayor 2016–2017
  Matthew Blackmore Independent Deputy Mayor 2018-date


Strathfield Saye Plaque

Strathfield Council was proclaimed on 2 June 1885 by the NSW Governor, Sir Augustus Loftus. The Council was incorporated following petitions by residents of the Redmire area to form local government. This move was opposed by residents of Homebush and Druitt Town, possibly fearing the dominance of the more affluent and politically connected residents of Redmire. Despite counter petitions, the Municipality was incorporated in 1885.[7]

Strathfield Council built the current Council Chambers in 1887. Between 1885 and 1887 the Council operated from various private homes in Strathfield, pending the building of a permanent Council Chambers.[citation needed]

The Strathfield Council area has expanded in geography and population over time and now includes the suburbs of Strathfield, Homebush and Homebush West, Flemington, Greenacre, Strathfield South, Chullora (part) and Belfield (part).


Throughout its history, there have been movements to amalgamate local councils in the Sydney area: the first major 'threat' was with the 'royal commission for a greater Sydney (1913)', known as 'The Greater Sydney Movement'. The Royal Commission brought together Sidney Webb,[citation needed] a British politician and John Fitzgerald,[8] an Australian politician, who, amongst others, believed that Sydney should be merged into a single local government area. In 1947 Homebush and Strathfield councils merged and part of Enfield was added in 1949.[citation needed]

In 1992, a section of the northern part of the Municipality was transferred to the Auburn Council area. In return, the area of and between Boundary Creek and the railway line, occupied by the former Ford factory building, was transferred from Auburn to Strathfield Council.

A 2015 review of local government boundaries by the NSW Government Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal recommended that the Strathfield Municipal Council merge with adjoining councils. The government proposed a merger of the Burwood, Canada Bay, and Strathfield Councils to form a new council with an area of 41 square kilometres (16 sq mi) and support a population of approximately 163,000.[9] On 6 May Strathfield Council commenced legal action in the NSW Land and Environment Court against the proposed amalgamation.[10] After the Court heard that there were legal flaws in the report from the NSW Government appointed delegate who examined the proposal for merging the councils, the NSW Government withdrew from the case and the merger proposal stalled.[11] In July 2017, the Berejiklian government decided to abandon the forced merger of the Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay local government areas, along with several other proposed forced mergers.[12]

Controversy in 2004[edit]

On 20 December 2004, Strathfield council's mayor, Alfred Tsang stepped down over allegations of corruption. Pictures had been published in The Australian of him accepting a wad of $100 bills from a developer, Michael Saklawi. However, it was not clear why the money was given to him, though it was alleged that he was talking to Mr Saklawi about the redevelopment of an 800 square metres (8,600 sq ft) council-owned carpark.[13] Tsang had previously released a statement that "Councils need to take leadership roles in this area, we simply cannot continue to support unsustainable development, for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the future environment, we need to make changes now."[14] According to The Australian Tsang was heard to have said that "Basically, we get it for nothing,..... I am making Strathfield a better place ... I am doing it for the area."[13] Strathfield council soon afterwards released a press statement that it "will not and does not" tolerate misconduct.[15][16] The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is currently investigating whether claims developers were given inside information about land rezoning proposals put to Strathfield Council have any substance and the pictures taken by The Australian were handed to them for further investigation.[17][18]

According to The Sydney Morning Herald "behind the Strathfield saga is a ferocious battle among developers for sites.[19] These developers are not from the big end of town; they are locals – many are Lebanese – who regard the inner west as their development playground." She has alleged that more corruption may be revealed as the new year progresses.[19]

Heritage listings[edit]

The Municipality of Strathfield has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Council facilities[edit]


The Council operates two libraries: the Central Library in Homebush and a Branch library in Strathfield South. The central library, located in Homebush, was demolished in 2002 and a new library was built and opened in 2004. The Branch Library in Strathfield South was rebuilt and opened in 2008.[24]

Dutton Centre[edit]

The former South Strathfield Bowling Club was bought by Strathfield Council and renovated with a grant of $495,00 from the Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care. The building was opened on 3 December 2012 and named in honour of Eve Dutton who was the first female Mayor of Strathfield.[25] It houses Strathfield/Homebush Meals on Wheels and Inner West Community Transport.[26]


The population of Strathfield is made up of a number of ethnic groups, and about 48% of the population born overseas. As a result, there are a number of services for newly arrived immigrants and overseas students who live in the area. Two such organisations are the Russian Ethnic Community Council of NSW Inc (RECNSW), and the Sydney Tamil Resource Centre Inc (STRC). RECNSW provides access to information and referral to mainstream services to recent immigrants of Russian and Russian speaking background and disseminates information to remote and offshore areas on a number of issues.[clarification needed][27] STRC provides resources to Tamil immigrants.

In the 1990s, a large number of South Korean migrants settled in Strathfield. Strathfield now has a large number of shops selling Korean food and cultural items.[citation needed] As indicated in the 2011 census. Korean is now the second most spoken language (to English) in Strathfield municipality.

Strathfield also has a number of community centres, including a Rotary club, Latvian theatre, Lantern Club, and libraries. The local Rotary club provides support to the community and has a number of projects in the area,[28] as well as a Musical Society (part of Rotary?), which normally produces two shows a year in the Latvian Theatre in Strathfield. Their main social activity is rehearsing twice weekly and they present seven performances of their musical production over two weekends. Strathfield Lantern Club Voluntary is located in Strathfield and provides fundraising organisation for raising funds specifically for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in North Rocks.

The lyrics of the song by Radio Birdman, Murder City Nights refers to Woodward Road, Strathfield:[29]

Cruising down Woodward gotta find me some action
Looking for a lover with a power reaction.


The Strathfield Council area is located at 33°52'10" North, 151°5'59" West (33.8717, 151.0899). It covers a total area of approximately 14.1 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi) and includes the suburbs of Strathfield, Strathfield South, Homebush, Homebush West, Greenacre, Flemington and part of Belfield.[30] Homebush Bay Drive bounds Strathfield Council to the north, Powells Creek, The Boulevarde and Coronation Parade bounds it to the east, Punchbowl Road and Juno Parade form the southern border and Roberts Road, Chullora rail yards, Rookwood Cemetery and the Sydney Olympic Park Rail line bound the Municipality to the west.

For NSW state elections, the Municipality of Strathfield is divided between the Strathfield, Lakemba and Auburn electorates and for Federal elections it is in the electorates of Reid and Watson.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Strathfield (A)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "Councillors".
  3. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Strathfield (A)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Strathfield (A)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Strathfield (A)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 3 November 2012. Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ a b "Strathfield - Councillor Contest". NSW Local Council Elections 2017. NSW Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  7. ^ Jones, Cathy. "Incorporation of Strathfield Council". Strathfield Council. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Biography - John Daniel (Jack) Fitzgerald - Australian Dictionary of Biography".
  9. ^ "Merger proposal: Burwood Council, City of Canada Bay Council, Strathfield Council" (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2016. p. 7. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Strathfield Council commences legal action" (Press release). Strathfield Council. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  11. ^ Raper, Ashleigh (31 May 2016). "NSW council amalgamations: Strathfield, Burwood and Canada Bay merger stopped". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  12. ^ Blumer, Clare; Chettle, Nicole (27 July 2017). "NSW council amalgamations: Mayors fight to claw back court dollars after backflip on merger". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  13. ^ a b,5744,11737987%255E601,00.html. Archived from the original on 23 November 2005. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ [1] Archived 10 November 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Tsang, Alfred (2004). "Message from the Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Alfred Tsang". Strathfield Council. Archived from the original on 10 November 2004.
  16. ^ "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 December 2004.
  17. ^ Sexton, Jennifer (20 December 2004). "Video cash mayor steps down". The Australian.
  18. ^ "Mayor stands down over cash wad claim". The Australian. 20 December 2004.
  19. ^ a b Davies, Anne (21 December 2004). "Design rules for developments won't block out ground-floor corruption". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  20. ^ "Homebush Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01170. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  21. ^ "St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church (former)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H00508. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Strathfield rail underbridges (flyover)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01055. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Strathfield Railway Station group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01252. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  24. ^ Strathfield Council – Library Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  25. ^ New home for Meals on Wheels Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  26. ^ Inner West a Community Transport Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Information & Referral". Archived from the original on 15 June 2004.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]