Wollondilly Shire CouncilEconomic profile
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Wollondilly Shire

About the area

Name origin

Wollondilly is named from an Aboriginal word meaning 'a place where spirits dwell' or 'water trickling over rocks'.

Location and boundaries

Wollondilly Shire is located at the south-western fringe of the Sydney metropolitan area, about 75 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. Wollondilly Shire is bounded by Blue Mountains and Penrith Cities in the north, Liverpool City, the Camden Council area and Campbelltown and Wollongong Cities in the east, Wingecarribee Shire in the south, and the Goulburn Mulwaree and Oberon Council areas in the west.

Included areas

Wollondilly Shire includes the townships and rural localities of Appin, Bargo (part), Belimbla Park, Brownlow Hill, Buxton, Camden Park, Cataract (part), Cawdor (part), Couridjah, Darkes Forest (part), Douglas Park, Glenmore, Lakesland, Maldon, Menangle, Mount Hunter, Mowbray Park, Nattai, Oakdale, Orangeville, Pheasants Nest, Picton, Razorback, Silverdale, Tahmoor, The Oaks, Theresa Park, Thirlmere, Wallacia (part), Warragamba, Werombi, Wilton and Yanderra.

Land use

Wollondilly Shire is predominantly a national park and rural area, with urban areas in fifteen towns and villages. Two-thirds of the population live in the urban centres, and one-third in the rural areas. There are five large towns, the largest of which is Tahmoor. Picton is the administrative centre of the Shire. The Shire encompasses a land area of nearly 2,600 square kilometres, of which about 90% is national park, bushland, water catchment or rural land, including gorges, ranges and plains. Most of the rural land is used for agricultural purposes, including market gardens, orchards, dairy farms, poultry farms and grazing. Coal mining is also a major industry.

Transport

Wollondilly Shire is served by the Hume Highway and the main southern railway line, with stations at Bargo, Douglas Park, Menangle, Picton and Tahmoor.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the early 1800s, although the area was explored in 1795 when white settlers followed the First Fleet's straying cattle. Appin was one of the first townships established, developing from the 1810s. Some growth took place from the 1860s through to the 1880s, spurred by the opening of the railway line, the building of Cataract Dam and the establishment of silver mining. Towns and villages developed on travel routes, especially around railway stations. Some growth took place in the late 1910s, following the construction of a two track railway deviation (through Bargo and Tahmoor). The most significant development occurred during the post-war years, aided by the opening of coal mines in Appin and Tahmoor in the 1960s and 1970s. Growth continued, although at a slower rate, from the 1980s. The population of the Shire increased from 30,000 in 1991 to over 42,000 in 2011. The population is expected to continue to increase, especially around the existing urban areas of Appin, Bargo, Picton, Silverdale, Tahmoor, Thirlmere, Warragamba and Wilton.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Wollondilly area were the Gundangurra Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

Wollondilly Shire labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into Wollondilly Shire to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.

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