Greater Western Sydney facts for kids

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Greater Western Sydney
New South Wales
Greater Western Sydney Map.gif
Localities around Greater Western Sydney:
Greater Blue Mountains Area Greater Blue Mountains Area Northern Suburbs
Greater Blue Mountains Area Greater Western Sydney Western Sydney
South-western Sydney South-western Sydney Southern Sydney

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is the region of the metropolitan area of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that is generally accepted to embrace the northwest, southwest, central west, and western sub-regions of greater metropolitan Sydney. The University of Western Sydney defines greater western Sydney as comprising 14 local government areas; namely located within the Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, The Hills Shire and Wollondilly.

In government administration, the region has a Minister for Western Sydney, currently held by the Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP.

The population is predominantly of a working class background, with major employment in the heavy industries and vocational trade. The fourteen local government areas which comprise the Greater West together generate more than A$95 billion in Gross Regional Product a year, making its economy the third largest in Australia behind the Sydney CBD and Melbourne.

Sub-regions

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. The Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils (MACROC) includes the local government areas of Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly.

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

Sub-region Local government areas Area Population
(2011 Census)
Employment
(2011 Census)
Housing
(2011 Census)
Gross Regional Product
(FY2010/2011)
km2 sq mi
West Central and North West, Canterbury-Bankstown, Parramatta 799 308 ~846,000 ~389,000 ~302,000 A$48.5 billion
West Blacktown, Hawkesbury, Penrith, The Hills 4,608 1,779 ~327,000 ~119,000 ~127,000 A$13.0 billion
South West 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

Geography

Aerial view of Eastern Creek, Greystanes, Horsley Park, Pemulwuy, Prospect and Wetherill Park
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..."

Climate

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.

Precipitation

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. 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. 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).

Summer

Western Sydney is much warmer than Sydney city in summer. During this time, daytime temperatures can be 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the city (in extreme cases the West can even be 10 degrees 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).

Autumn

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 occur more regularly leading into May. In May, days are usually mild, ranging from the high teens to the low-mid 20's, but can get quite cold, with maximums of 17 °C 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

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). 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.

Spring

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

Landmarks

Major tourist attractions in Western Sydney include the Blue Mountains and Sydney Olympic Park. The Western Sydney Parklands, a major urban parkland stretching through many local government areas in Western Sydney, also contains many attractions such as picnic areas and lookouts, Calmsley Hill Farm, Blacktown Olympic Park, Eastern Creek Raceway, and, most notably, the Nurragingy reserve (features picnic areas and a Chinese garden). Other major recreation include Auburn Botanical Gardens. Large shopping malls include Westfield Penrith, Westfield Parramatta, Westfield Liverpool and Westpoint Blacktown.

Parramatta has also become a major centre in Sydney, often being referred to as the second CBD of Sydney.

Major education facilities

  • Western Sydney University
  • Western Sydney Institute of TAFE
  • University of Sydney - Cumberland Campus

Greater Western Sydney Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.