Macarthur Regional Organisation of CouncilsEconomic profile
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Macarthur Region

About the area

Location and boundaries

The MACROC (Macarthur Regional Association of Councils) area is located in Sydney’s south-western suburbs, between 30-75 kilometres south of the Sydney CBD. The MACROC area is bounded by Blue Mountains City, Penrith City and Liverpool City in the north, Sutherland Shire and Wollongong City in the east, Wingecarribee Shire in the south, and Upper Lachlan Shire and the Oberon Council area in the west.

Included areas

The MACROC area encompasses the Camden Council area, Campbelltown City and Wollondilly Shire.

Land use

The MACROC area is a rural and growing residential area, with substantial industrial and commercial areas. The MACROC area encompasses a total land area of about 3,100 square kilometres, including national parks, bushland and water catchments. Rural land is used largely for agriculture, including market gardens, orchards, dairy farms, poultry farms and grazing. Coal mining is also a major industry.


The MACROC area is served by the Hume Highway, Camden Airport, and the main southern and Macarthur railway lines.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the early 1800s, with land used mainly for agriculture, particularly wheat farming, sheep grazing and dairy farming. Population was minimal until the 1840s when land was subdivided. Some growth took place in the late 1800s, spurred by the construction of the railway line. Significant development did not occur until the post-war years, aided by the opening of coal mines. Substantial residential and industrial development took place from the 1960s, with rapid growth during the 1970s and 1980s. The population continued to increase from the early 1990s, rising from about 190,000 in 1991 to nearly 245,000 in 2011. Most of the recent growth has been in the south-eastern suburbs of the Camden Council area (Currans Hill, Harrington Park, Mount Annan and Narellan Vale) and in the suburb of Camden Park in Wollondilly Shire. Growth is expected to continue, as existing release areas continue to be developed and new release areas begin development.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the MACROC area were the Dharawal and Gundungurra Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

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