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Sydney ( ) is the largest city in Australia, and the state capital of New South Walesmarker. Sydney has a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.34 million and an area of approximately 12,000 square kilometres. Its inhabitants are called Sydneysiders, and Sydney is often called "the Harbour City". It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants to Australia.

The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Covemarker by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet. The city is built on hills surrounding Sydney Harbourmarker – an inlet of the Tasman Seamarker on Australia's south-east coast. It is home to the iconic Sydney Opera Housemarker, Harbour Bridgemarker and its beaches. The metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and contains many bays, rivers and inlets.

The city is home to many prominent parks, such as Hyde Parkmarker, Royal Botanical Gardensmarker and national parks. This is a major factor, along with Sydney Harbourmarker that has led to the city’s reputation as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Sydney is considered an alpha+ world city, as listed by the Loughborough Universitymarker group's 2008 inventory, is ranked 16th among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2008 Global Cities Index and is an international centre for commerce, arts, fashion, culture, entertainment, education and tourism. According to the Mercer cost of living survey, Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city, and the 66th most expensive in the world. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting and The Economist.

Sydney is a significant international financial centre and has been ranked 14th within the top 50 global financial cities as surveyed by the Mastercard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index (2007), and 1st within Australia. Sydney is also an international fashion and creative industry hub and is Australia's fashion capital.

Sydney has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, 2000 Summer Olympics and the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney Airportmarker.


Radio carbon dating suggests that the Sydney region has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years. The traditional Indigenous inhabitants of Sydney Cove are the Cadigal people, whose land once stretched from south of Port Jackson to Petersham. While estimates of the population numbers prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 remains contentious, approximately 4,000–8,000 Aboriginal people lived in the Sydney region prior to contact with British settlers. The British called the Indigenous people the "Eora", because being asked where they came from, these people would answer: "Eora", meaning "here", or "from this place" in their language. There were three language groups in the Sydney region, which were divided into dialects spoken by smaller clans. The principal languages were Darug (the Cadigal, original inhabitants of the City of Sydney, spoke a coastal dialect of Darug), Dharawal and Guringai. Each clan had a territory, the location of said territory determined the resources available. Although urbanisation has destroyed much evidence of these settlements (such as shell middens), a number of Sydney rock engravings, carvings and rock art remain visible in the Hawkesbury sandstone of the Sydney basin.

In 1770, British sea Captain Lieutenant James Cook landed in Botany Baymarker on the Kurnell Peninsulamarker. It is here that Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal community known as the Gweagal. Under instruction from the British government, a convict settlement was founded by Arthur Phillip, who arrived at Botany Baymarker with a fleet of 11 ships on 18 January 1788. This site was soon determined to be unsuitable for habitation, owing to poor soil and a lack of reliable fresh water. Phillip subsequently founded the colony one inlet further up the coast, at Sydney Covemarker on Port Jackson on 26 January 1788. He named it after the British Home Secretary, Thomas Townshend, Lord Sydney, in recognition of Sydney's role in issuing the charter authorising Phillip to establish a colony. The original name was intended to be Albion until Phillip decided upon Sydney.

In April 1789 a disease, thought to be smallpox, killed an estimated 500 to 1000 Aboriginal people between Broken Baymarker and Botany Bay. There was violent resistance to British settlement, notably by the warrior Pemulwuy in the area around Botany Bay, and conflicts were common in the area surrounding the Hawkesbury Rivermarker. By 1820 there were only a few hundred Aborigines and Governor Macquarie had begun initiatives to 'civilise, Christianise and educate' the Aborigines by removing them from their clans. Macquarie's tenure as Governor of New South Wales was a period when Sydney was improved from its basic beginnings. Roads, bridges, wharves and public buildings were constructed by British and Irish convicts, and by 1822 the town had banks, markets, well-established thoroughfares and an organised constabulary. The 1830s and 1840s were periods of urban development, including the development of the first suburbs, as the town grew rapidly when ships began arriving from Britain and Ireland with immigrants looking to start a new life in a new country. On 20 July 1842 the municipal council of Sydney was incorporated and the town was declared the first city in Australia, with John Hosking the first elected mayor. The first of several Australian gold rushes started in 1851, and the port of Sydney has since seen many waves of people arriving from around the world.

Rapid suburban development began in the last quarter of the 19th century with the advent of steam powered tramways and railways. With industrialisation Sydney expanded rapidly, and by the early 20th century it had a population well of more than a million. The Great Depression hit Sydney badly. One of the highlights of the Depression era, however, was the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridgemarker in 1932. There has traditionally been a rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne since the gold rushes of the 1850s made the capital of Victoriamarker Australia's largest and richest city. Sydney overtook Melbourne in population in the early years of the 20th century, and has remained the largest city in Australia since this time. During the 1970s and 1980s Sydney's CBD with the Reserve Bankmarker and Australian Stock Exchange clearly surpassed Melbourne as the nation's financial capital. Throughout the 20th century, especially in the decades immediately following World War II, Sydney continued to expand as large numbers of European and later Asian immigrants populated the metropolitan area.



Sydney's urban area is in a coastal basin, which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the East, the Blue Mountainsmarker to the West, the Hawkesbury River to the North and the Royal National Parkmarker to the South. It lies on a submergent coastline, where the ocean level has risen to flood deep river valleys (ria) carved in the hawkesbury sandstone. Port Jackson, better known as Sydney Harbour, is one such ria and is the largest natural harbour in the world. The Sydney area is not affected by significant earthquakes.

The urban area has around 70 harbour and ocean beaches, including the famous Bondi Beachmarker. Sydney's urban area covers as at 2001. The Sydney Statistical Division, used for census data, is the unofficial metropolitan area and covers . This area includes the Central Coastmarker, the Blue Mountainsmarker, and national parks and other unurbanised land. This makes Sydney the third largest urban agglomeration in the world behind Brasília (14,400 km2) and Tokyo (13,500 km2).

Geographically, Sydney lies over two regions: the Cumberland Plain, a relatively flat region lying to the south and west of the harbour, and the Hornsby Plateau, a sandstone plateau lying mainly to the north of the harbour and dissected by steep valleys. The parts of the city with the oldest European development are located in the flat areas south of the harbour. The North Shore was slower to develop because of its hilly topography and lack of access across the harbour. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932 and linked the North Shore to the rest of the city.


Sydney has a temperate climate with warm summers and cool winters, and rainfall spread throughout the year. The weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean, and more extreme temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs. The warmest month is January, with an average air temperature range at Observatory Hillmarker of . An average of 14.6 days a year have temperatures of more than . The maximum recorded temperature was on 14 January 1939 at the end of a four-day heatwave across Australia.

In winter, temperatures rarely drop below in coastal areas. The coldest month is July, with an average range of . The lowest recorded minimum at Observatory Hill was . Rainfall is fairly evenly divided between summer and winter, but is slightly higher during the first half of the year, when easterly winds dominate.

The average annual rainfall, with moderate to low variability, is , falling on an average 138 days a year. Snowfall was last reported in the Sydney City area in 1836. However, a July 2008 fall of graupel, or soft hail, mistaken by many for snow, has raised the possibility that the 1836 event was not snow, either.

The city is not affected by cyclones. The El Niño Southern Oscillation plays an important role in determining Sydney's weather patterns: drought and bushfire on the one hand, and storms and flooding on the other, associated with the opposite phases of the oscillation. Many areas of the city bordering bushland have experienced bushfires, notably in 1994 and 2001–02 — these tend to occur during the spring and summer. The city is also prone to severe hail storms and wind storms. One such storm was the 1999 hailstormmarker, which severely damaged Sydney's eastern and city suburbs. The storm produced massive hailstones of at least in diameter and resulting in insurance losses of around A$1.7 billion in less than five hours.

The city is prone to flash flooding from rain caused by East Coast Lows (a low pressure depression which deepens off the state usually in winter and early spring which can bring significant damage by heavy rain, cyclonic winds and huge swells). The most notable event was the great Sydney flood which occurred on 6 August 1986 and dumped a record on the city in 24 hours. This caused major traffic problems and damage in many parts of the metropolitan area.

The Bureau of Meteorology has reported that 2002 through 2005 were the warmest summers in Sydney since records began in 1859. 2004 saw an average daily maximum temperature of 23.39 °C, 2005 of 23.35 °C, 2002 of 22.91 °C, and 2003 of 22.65 °C. The average daily maximum between 1859 and 2004 was . For the first nine months of 2006 the mean temperature was ; the warmest year previously was 2004 with . Since November 2003, there have been only two months in which the average daily maximum was below average: March 2005 (about 1 °C below average) and June 2006 (0.7 °C below average).

The summer of 2007–08 proved to be one of the coolest on record. The Bureau of Meteorology reported that it was the coolest summer in 11 years, the wettest summer in six years, and one of only three summers in recorded history to lack a maximum temperature above .

Urban structure

Sydney's central business district (CBD) extends southwards for about from Sydney Cove to the area around Central stationmarker. The Sydney CBD is bounded on the east side by a chain of parkland, and the west by Darling Harbourmarker, a tourist and nightlife precinct.

Although the CBD dominated the city's business and cultural life in the early days, other business/cultural districts have developed in a radial pattern since World War II. As a result, the proportion of white-collar jobs located in the CBD declined from more than 60 per cent at the end of World War II to less than 30 per cent in 2004.

Together with the commercial district of North Sydney, joined to the CBD by the Harbour Bridge, the most significant outer business districts are Parramattamarker in the central-west, Penrithmarker in the west, Bondi Junctionmarker in the east, Liverpoolmarker in the southwest, Chatswoodmarker to the north, and Hurstvillemarker to the south.

The extensive area covered by urban Sydney is formally divided into 642 suburbs (for addressing and postal purposes), and administered as 40 local government areas. There is no metropolitan-wide government, but the Government of New South Wales and its agencies have extensive responsibilities in providing metropolitan services.

The City of Sydneymarker itself covers a fairly small area comprising the central business district and its neighbouring inner-city suburbs. In addition, regional descriptions are used informally to conveniently describe larger sections of the urban area. These includeEastern Suburbs,Hills District,Inner West,Canterbury-Bankstown,Greater Western Sydney,Northern Beaches,Northern Suburbs,North Shore,St George,Southern Sydney,South-western Sydney,Sutherland Shiremarker andWestern Sydney. However, many suburbs are not conveniently covered by any of these categories.


The largest economic sectors in Sydney, as measured by the number of people employed, include property and business services, retail, manufacturing, and health and community services. Since the 1980s, jobs have moved from manufacturing to the services and information sectors. Sydney provides approximately 25 percent of the country's total GDP.

The Australian Securities Exchange and the Reserve Bank of Australiamarker are located in Sydney, as are the headquarters of 90 banks and more than half of Australia's top companies, and the regional headquarters for around 500 multinational corporations. Of the ten largest corporations in Australia by revenue, four have headquarters in Sydney: Caltex Australia, the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and Woolworths. Of the 54 authorised deposit-taking banks in Australia, 44 are based in Sydney including nine of the 11 foreign subsidiary banks in Australia and all of the 29 local branches of foreign banks. Major authorised foreign banks in Sydney include Citigroup, UBS Australia, Mizuho Corporate Bank, HSBC Bank Australia and Deutsche Bank.

Shopping locations in the central business district include the Queen Victoria Buildingmarker, the pedestrian mall on Pitt Street, and international luxury boutiques in the quieter, northern end of Castlereagh St. Oxford Streetmarker in Paddingtonmarker and Crown Street, Woollahramarker are home to boutiques selling more niche products, and the main streets of Newtownmarker and Enmoremarker cater more towards students and alternative lifestyles.

Sydney received 7.8 million domestic visitors and 2.5 million international visitors in 2004. In 2007, the (then) Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma established Events New South Wales to "market Sydney and NSW as a leading global events destination". Fox Studios Australiamarker has large film studios in the city.

The city has the highest median household income of any major city in Australia (US$42,559 PPP). As of 2004, the unemployment rate in Sydney was 4.9 percent. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide cost of living survey, Sydney is the sixteenth most expensive city in the world, while a UBS survey ranks Sydney as 15th in the world in terms of net earnings. As of September 2009, Sydney has the highest median house price of any Australian capital city at $569,000, and a median unit price of $400,000. Sydney also has the highest median rent prices of any Australian city at $450 a week.

The Sydney Region accounts for 12 percent (approximately $1 billion per annum) of the total agricultural production, by value, of NSW. Sydney provides 55% of NSW's flower production and 58% of its turf production, as well as 44% of state's nurseries.In 1994-1995 Sydney produced 44% of New South Wales' poultry meat and 48% of the state's eggs.


The 10 largest overseas born populations
Country of Birth Population (2006)
United Kingdommarker 175,166
People's Republic of Chinamarker 109,142
New Zealandmarker 81,064
Vietnammarker 62,144
Lebanonmarker 54,502
Indiamarker 52,975
Philippinesmarker 52,087
Italymarker 44,563
Hong Kongmarker 36,866
South Koreamarker 32,124

population by year
1800 3,000
1820 12,000
1851 39,000
1871 200,000 (Gold Rush)
1901 500,000
1925 1,000,000
1962 2,000,000
2001 3,366,542
2006 4,119,190
2008 4,399,722
2050 5,100,000 (Projected)
The 2006 census reported 4,119,190 residents in the Sydney Statistical Division, of which 3,641,422 lived in Sydney's urban area. Inner Sydney was the most densely populated place in Australia with 4,023 persons per square kilometre.

In the 2006 census, the most common self-described ancestries identified for Sydney residents were Australian, English, Irish, Scottish and Chinese. The Census also recorded that two per cent of Sydney's population identified as being of Indigenous origin and 31.7 per cent were born overseas. The Asian Australian population was 16.9 per cent. The three major sources of immigrants are the United Kingdom, China and New Zealand, followed by Vietnam, Lebanon, India, Italy and the Philippines.

residents are native speakers of English; many have a second language, the most common being Arabic (predominately Lebanese Arabic), Chinese languages (mostly Cantonese and Mandarin), and Greek. Sydney has the seventh-largest percentage of foreign-born population in the world. Immigrants account for 75 percent of Sydney's annual population growth.

The median age of Sydney residents is 34; 12 per cent of the population is over 65 years old. 15.2 per cent of Sydney residents have educational attainment equal to at least a bachelor's degree, In the 2006 census, 64 per cent of the Sydney residents identified themselves as Christians, 14.1 per cent had no religion, 10.4 per cent left the question blank, 3.9 per cent were Muslims, 3.7 per cent were Buddhists, 1.7 per cent were Hindus and 0.9 per cent were Jewish.


Sydney hosts many different festivals and some of Australia's largest social and cultural events. These include the Sydney Festival, Australia's largest arts festival which is a celebration involving both indoor and free outdoor performances throughout January; the Biennale of Sydney, established in 1973; the Big Day Out, a travelling rock-music festival which originated in Sydney; the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Grasmarker along Oxford Streetmarker; the Sydney Film Festival and many other smaller film festivals such as the short film Tropfest and Flickerfest.

Australia's premier prize for portraiture, the Archibald Prize is organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is held every year at Sydney Olympic Park, the final of Australian Idol takes place on the steps of the Opera House, and Australian Fashion Week takes place in April/May and September. Sydney's New Year's Eve and Australia Day celebrations are the largest in Australia.

A survey based on tracking the frequency of words and phrases in the media, cited Sydney as number 9 on a list of the world's top fashion cities in 2009. The city is the site of the world renowned Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, which occurs biannually, and is home to many of Australia's premier fashion houses. Most international designers have a major presence in Sydney.

Entertainment and performing arts

Sydney has a wide variety of cultural institutions. Sydney's iconic Opera House has five halls, including a large concert hall and opera and drama theatres; it is the home of Opera Australia—the third-busiest opera company in the world, and the Sydney Symphony. Other venues include the Sydney Town Hallmarker, City Recital Hallmarker, the State Theatremarker, the Theatre Royal, Sydneymarker, the Sydney Theatre and the Wharf Theatre.

The Sydney Dance Company was under the leadership of Graeme Murphy during the late 20th century. The Sydney Theatre Company has a regular roster of local plays, such as noted playwright David Williamson, classics and international playwrights.

In 2007, New Theatre marker celebrated 75 years of continuous production in Sydney. Other important theatre companies in Sydney include Company B and Griffin Theatre Company. From the 1940s through to the 1970s the Sydney Push, a group of authors and political activists whose members included Germaine Greer, influenced the city's cultural life.
The National Institute of Dramatic Art, based in Kensingtonmarker, boasts internationally famous alumni such as Mel Gibson, Judy Davis, Baz Luhrmann and Cate Blanchett. Sydney's role in the film industry has increased since the opening of Fox Studios Australiamarker in 1998.

Prominent films which have been filmed in the city include Moulin Rouge!, Mission: Impossible II, Star Wars episodes II and III, Superman Returns, Dark City, Son of the Mask, Stealth, Dil Chahta Hai, Happy Feet, Australia and The Matrix. Films using Sydney as a setting include Finding Nemo, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, Our Lips Are Sealed, Independence Day and Dirty Deeds. Many Bollywood movies have also been filmed in Sydney including Singh Is Kinng, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Chak De India, Heyy Babyy. As of 2006, over 229 films have been set in, or featured Sydney.

Sydney's most popular nightspots include Kings Crossmarker, Oxford Streetmarker, Darling Harbourmarker, Circular Quaymarker and The Rocks, which all contain various bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Star City Casinomarker, is Sydney's only casino and is situated around Darling Harbour. There are many traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants in inner-city areas such as Newtownmarker, Balmainmarker and Leichhardtmarker. Sydney's main live music hubs include areas such as Newtownmarker and Annandalemarker, which nurtured acts such as AC/DC, Bliss n Eso, Midnight Oil and INXS. Other popular nightspots tend to be spread throughout the city in areas such as Bondimarker, Manlymarker, Cronullamarker and Parramattamarker.


In the year ending March 2008, Sydney received 2.7 million international visitors. The most well-known attractions include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other attractions include Royal Botanical Gardensmarker, Luna Parkmarker, some 40 beaches and Sydney Towermarker.

Sydney also has several popular museums such as, the Australian Museummarker (natural history and anthropology), the Powerhouse Museummarker (science, technology and design), the Art Gallery of New South Walesmarker, the Museum of Contemporary Artmarker and the Australian National Maritime Museummarker.

Sport and outdoor activities

Sydney is well-endowed with open spaces and access to waterways, and has many natural areas, even in the city centre. Within the CBD are the Chinese Garden of Friendshipmarker, Hyde Parkmarker, The Domainmarker and the Royal Botanic Gardensmarker. The metropolitan area contains several national parks, including the Royal National Parkmarker, the second oldest national park in the world and several parks in Sydney's far west which are part of the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains Area.

Sport is an important part of Sydney's culture. The most popular sport in Sydney is rugby league. The NSWRFL (today known as the NRL) began in Sydney in the 1908 season and is the largest and most prestigious domestic rugby league competition in the Southern Hemispheremarker. The city is home to nine of the sixteen teams currently in the National Rugby League competition: the Canterbury Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks, Manly Sea Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, South Sydney Rabbitohs, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers.

Cricket is the most popular summer sport in Sydney. The Ashes Series between Australia and England is widely popular among the people. As the state capital, Sydney is the home of the NSW Blues cricket team in the Sheffield Shield cricket competition. Sydney Cricket Groundmarker and ANZ Stadiummarker here host cricket matches. This city has also hosted 1992 Cricket World Cup and will also host the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Sydney Cricket Groundmarker is at present the only test venue in the city. Plans are going on to accommodate ANZ Stadiummarker as an international cricket venue for Australia.

Sydney is the only city other than Brisbane to have an elite presence in the 4 major football codes of Australia - rugby league, football , rugby union and AFL. Football is represented by Sydney FC in the A-League, whilst the second tier competitions NSWPL and NSW Super League provide many players to the A-League. Sydney also hosts major football events of the national team, the Socceroos, most notably the World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay in 2005. Rugby Union is represented by the NSW Waratahs in the elite Southern Hemisphere Super 14 competition. The Suburban rugby competition is the Shute Shield which provides many Super 14 players. High profile Wallabies games are held in Sydney such as the Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations matches, British and Irish Lions games, and most notably the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup against England.

Sydney also has an Australian Football League (AFL) team called the Sydney Swans, a woman's netball team (Swifts), a baseball team (Patriots), a field hockey team (Waratahs), two ice hockey teams (Penrith Bears & Sydney Ice Dogs) and a WNBL team (Sydney Uni Flames).

The NSW Blues rugby league team in the annual Rugby League State of Origin series. Large sporting events such as the NRL Grand Final and Bledisloe Cup games are regularly held at the ANZ Stadiummarker, the main stadium for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Other events in Sydney include the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Golden Slipper horse race, and the City to Surf race. Prominent sporting venues in Sydney include the Sydney Cricket Groundmarker or SCG, ANZ Stadiummarker, The Sydney Football Stadiummarker, Eastern Creek Racewaymarker, Royal Randwickmarker and Rosehill Gardens Racecoursemarker.


Sydney has two main daily newspapers. The Sydney Morning Herald is the oldest extant newspaper in Australia, having been published regularly since 1831. The Herald's competitor, The Daily Telegraph, is a News Corporation-owned tabloid. Both papers have tabloid counterparts published on Sunday, The Sun-Herald and the Sunday Telegraph, respectively.
The three commercial television networks (Seven, Nine, Ten), as well as the government national broadcast services (ABCmarker and SBS) are headquartered in Sydney. Also a community television station, TVS, broadcasts in the Sydney area. Historically, the networks have been based in the northern suburbs, but the last decade has seen several move to the inner city. Nine has kept its headquarters north of the harbour, in Willoughbymarker. Ten has its studios in a redeveloped section of the inner-city suburb of Pyrmontmarker, and Seven also has headquarters in Pyrmont, production studios at Eppingmarker as well as a purpose-built news studio in Martin Placemarker in the CBD.

The ABC has a large headquarters and production facility in the inner-city suburb of Ultimomarker and SBS has its studios at Artarmonmarker. Foxtel and Optus both supply pay-TV over their cable services to most parts of the urban area.

The five free-to-air networks have provided digital television transmissions in Sydney since January 2000. Additional services recently introduced include the ABC's second channel ABC2 (Channel 22), SBS's world news service SBS2 (Channel 33), an on-air program guide (Channel 4), a news, sport, and weather items channel (Channel 41), ChannelNSW: Government and Public Information (Channel 45), now defunct, Australian Christian Channel (Channel 46), MacquarieBank TV (Channel 47), SportsTAB (Channel 48), Expo Home Shopping (Channel 49), and Federal parliamentary broadcasts (Channel 401 to 408).

Many AM and FM government, commercial and community radio services broadcast in the Sydney area. The local ABC radio station is 702 ABC Sydney (formerly 2BL). The talkback radio genre is dominated by the perennial rivals 2GB and 2UE. Popular Music radio stations include Triple M, 2Day FMmarker and Nova 96.9, which generally target people under 40. In the older end of the music radio market, Vega 95.3 and Mix 106.5marker target the 25–54 age group, while WS-FMmarker targets the 40–54 age group with their Classic Hits format mostly focusing on the 70s and 80s. Triple J (ABC), 2SER and FBi Radio provide a more independent, local and alternative sound. There are also a number of community stations broadcasting to a particular language group or local area.

On 1 July 2009, DAB+ Digital Radio officially started. ABC and commercial radios provide full programing.


Sydney's Local Government Areas
from the limited role of the Cumberland County Council from 1945–1964, there has never been an overall governing body for the Sydney metropolitan area; instead, the metropolitan area is divided into local government areas (LGAs). These areas have elected councils which are responsible for functions delegated to them by the New South Wales State Government, such as planning and garbage collection.

The City of Sydney includes the central business area and some adjoining inner suburbs, and has in recent years been expanded through amalgamation with adjoining local government areas, such as South Sydney. It is led by the elected Lord Mayor of Sydney and a council. The Lord Mayor, however, is sometimes treated as a representative of the whole city, for example during the Olympics.

Most citywide government activities are controlled by the state government. These include public transport, main roads, traffic control, policing, education above preschool level, and planning of major infrastructure projects. Because a large proportion of the New South Wales population lives in Sydney, state governments have traditionally been reluctant to allow the development of citywide governmental bodies, which would tend to rival the state government. For this reason, Sydney has always been a focus for the politics of both state and federal parliaments. For example, the boundaries of the City of Sydney LGA have been significantly altered by state governments on at least four occasions since 1945, with expected advantageous effect to the governing party in the New South Wales Parliament at the time.

The 38 LGAs commonly described as making up Sydney are:

The classification of which councils make up Sydney varies. The Local Government Association of New South Wales considers all LGAs lying entirely in Cumberland County as part of its 'Metro' group, which excludes Camden (classed in its 'Country' group). The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines a Sydney Statistical Division (the population figures of which are used in this article) that includes all of the above councils as well as Wollondilly, the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Gosford and Wyong.


Sydney is home to some of Australia's most prominent educational institutions. The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is Australia's oldest university. There are five other public universities located in Sydney: the University of Technology, Sydney, Macquarie Universitymarker, the University of New South Walesmarker, the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic Universitymarker (two out of six campuses). Other universities which operate secondary campuses in Sydney include the University of Notre Dame Australia and the University of Wollongongmarker.

There are four multi-campus government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes in Sydney, which provide vocational training at a tertiary level: the Sydney Institute of Technology, Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, Western Sydney Institute of TAFE and South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE.

Sydney has public, denominational and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and special schools are administered by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. There are four state-administered education areas in Sydney, that together co-ordinate 919 schools. Of the 30 selective high schools in the state, 25 are in Sydney.


Health systems

The Government of New South Wales operates the public hospitals in the Sydney metropolitan region. Management of these hospitals and other specialist health facilities is coordinated by four Area Health Services: Sydney South West (SSWAHS), Sydney West (SWAHS), Northern Sydney and Central Coast (NSCCAHS) and the South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra (SESIAHS) Area Health Services. There are also a number of private hospitals in the city, many of which are aligned with religious organisations.


Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads and motorways. The most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the Sydney Orbital Network. Sydney is also served by extensive train, taxi, bus and ferry networks.

Sydney trains are run by CityRail, a state-run corporation. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the central business district. In the years following the 2000 Olympics, CityRail's performance declined significantly. In 2005, CityRail introduced a revised timetable and employed more drivers. A large infrastructure project, the Clearways project, is scheduled to be completed by 2010.In 2007 a report found Cityrail performed poorly compared to many metro services from other world cities.

Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, Metro Light Rail, running from Central Stationmarker to Lilyfieldmarker along a former goods train line. The Metro Monorail runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbourmarker. Sydney was once served by an extensive tram network, which was progressively closed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Most parts of the metropolitan area are served by buses, many of which follow the pre-1961 tram routes. In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly. In the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Construction of a network of rapid bus transitways in areas not previously well served by public transport began in 1999, and the first of these, the Liverpool–Parramatta Rapid Bus Transitway, opened in February 2003. State government-owned Sydney Ferries runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta Rivermarker.

Sydney Airportmarker, in the suburb of Mascotmarker, is Sydney's main airport, and is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world. The smaller Bankstown Airportmarker mainly serves private and general aviation. There is a light aviation airfield at Camdenmarker. RAAF Base Richmondmarker lies to the north-west of the city.

The question of the need for a Second Sydney Airport has raised much controversy. A 2003 study found that Sydney Airport can manage as Sydney's sole international airport for 20 years, with a significant increase in airport traffic predicted. The resulting expansion of the airport would have a substantial impact on the community, including additional aircraft noise affecting residents. Land has been acquired at Badgerys Creekmarker for a second airport, the site acting as a focal point of political argument.


Water storage and supply for Sydney is managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, which is an agency of the NSW Government that sells bulk water to Sydney Water and other agencies. Water in the Sydney catchment is chiefly stored in dams in the Upper Nepean Scheme, the Blue Mountains, Woronora Dammarker, Warragamba Dammarker and the Shoalhaven Scheme. Historically low water levels in the catchment have led to water use restrictions and the NSW government is investigating alternative water supply options, including grey water recycling and the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at Kurnell. As of May 2009, the plant was 80% completed, and was due to start suppling fresh water to Sydney at the end of the year. Sydney Water also collects the wastewater and sewage produced by the city.

Four companies supply natural gas and electricity to Sydney: Energy Australia, AGL, Integral Energy and Origin Energy. The natural gas supply for the city is sourced from the cooper basin in South Australia. Numerous telecommunications companies operate in Sydney providing terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services.

See also


External links

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