City of Bankstown

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The City of Bankstown is a local government area in the south-west region of Sydney, Australia, centred on the suburb of Bankstown.

In 2006, the NSW government released a planning strategy for Metropolitan Sydney, known as the City of Cities plan for Sydney. The plan identified Bankstown as a 'major centre' for the south west Sydney region. Bankstown Airport was also identified as a 'specialist centre' and the Hume Highway as part of a potential transport corridor.[1][2][3] Under the most recent Draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney released in 2013, the NSW Government has reaffirmed Bankstown as a major centre, and Bankstown Airport as a specialised centre.[4]

The Mayor of the City of Bankstown Council is Clr Khal Asfour, a member of the Labor Party.

Suburbs of the City of Bankstown

These are the suburbs and localities in the local government area:


At the 2011 Census, there were 182,352 people in the Bankstown local government area, of these 49.3% were male and 50.7% were female. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 0.8% of the population. The median age of people in the City of Bankstown was 35 years, which is slightly lower than the national median of 37 years. Children aged 0 – 14 years made up 21.7% of the population and people aged 65 years and over made up 13.7% of the population. Of people in the area aged 15 years and over, 52.1% were married and 11.0% were either divorced or separated.[5]

Population growth in the City of Bankstown between the 2001 Census and the 2006 Census was 3.43%; and in the subsequent five years to the 2011 Census, population growth was 6.96%. When compared with total population growth of Australia for the same periods, being 5.78% and 8.32% respectively, population growth in Bankstown local government area was approximately 75% of the national average.[6] The median weekly income for residents within the City of Bankstown was slightly lower than the national average.[5][7]

At the 2011 Census, the proportion of residents in the Bankstown local government area who stated their ancestry as Lebanese, was in excess of eight times the national average. The proportion of residents who stated an affiliation with Islam was in excess of eleven times the national average. Meanwhile, as at the Census date, the area was linguistically diverse, with Arabic or Vietnamese languages spoken in 30% of households, both languages approximately seven times the national averages.[5]

Selected historical census data for Bankstown local government area
Census year 2001[6] 2006[7] 2011[5]
Population Estimated residents on Census night 164,841 170,489 182,352
LGA rank in terms of size within New South Wales 6th
% of New South Wales population 2.64%
% of Australian population 0.88% Decrease 0.86% Decrease 0.85%
Cultural and language diversity
top responses
Australian 15.2%
Lebanese 14.9%
English 12.5%
Vietnamese 7.2%
Chinese 6.3%
top responses
(other than English)
Arabic 13.6% Increase 19.3% Increase 21.2%
Vietnamese 7.2% Increase 8.3% Increase 9.1%
Greek 4.1% Decrease 3.8% Decrease 3.6%
Cantonese 3.0% Increase 3.2% Steady 3.2%
Mandarin n/c Increase 1.9% Increase 2.3%
Religious affiliation
Religious affiliation,
top responses
Catholic 31.1% Decrease 29.6% Decrease 28.0%
Islam 11.9% Increase 15.2% Increase 19.1%
Anglican 15.5% Decrease 12.5% Decrease 10.2%
Eastern Orthodox 8.7% Decrease 8.6% Decrease 8.5%
No Religion 6.3% Increase 7.1% Increase 8.3%
Median weekly incomes
Personal income Median weekly personal income A$372 A$428
% of Australian median income 79.8% 74.2%
Family income Median weekly family income A$926 A$1,228
% of Australian median income 90.2% 82.9%
Household income Median weekly household income A$1,069 A$1,091
% of Australian median income 91.3% 88.4%


Council chambers of the Bankstown City Council
Facade of Bankstown Town Hall
Bankstown CBD

Current composition and election method

Bankstown City Council is composed of twelve Councillors elected proportionally as four separate wards, each electing three Councillors. All Councillors are elected for a fixed four-year term of office. The Mayor is elected by the Councillors at the first meeting of the Council. The most recent election was held on 8 September 2012, and the makeup of the Council is as follows:[8][9][10][11]

Party Councillors
  Australian Labor Party 7
  Liberal Party of Australia 4
  Independent 1
Total 12

The current Council, elected in 2012, in order of election by ward, is:

Ward Councillor Party Notes
East Ward[8]   Khal Asfour Mayor   Naji Najjar Liberal
  Dan Nguyen Labor Deputy Mayor
North Ward[9]   Alex Kuskoff Labor
  Michael Tadros Liberal
  Jenny Golledge Labor
South Ward[10]   Jim Daniel Liberal
  Linda Downey Labor
  Scott Parker Independent [12]
West Ward[11]   Glen Waud Liberal
  Ian Stromborg Labor
  Allan Winterbottom Labor

The Mayor is Cr Khal Ashour (Labor) and Deputy Mayor is Cr Dan Nguyen (Labor).


The water tower, known as Bankstown Reservoir, is a heritage item managed by Sydney Water. In 1826, bush rangers were hanged on the site[2] where the water tower now stands.

District of Banks Town was named by Governor Hunter in 1797 in honour of botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who travelled to Australia with Captain James Cook in 1770. The area was discovered during an expedition of the Georges River by George Bass and Matthew Flinders. The area of first European settlement along the river has been partially preserved as part of the Mirrumbeena Regional Reserve. Bankstown also includes large areas of the Georges River National Park.

Bankstown became a municipality in 1895, and then declared official city status in 1980 in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.[13]

World War II

The Bankstown Bunker was an exact replica of the underground Ops rooms of wartime England, which directed Britain's air defence fighter plane attacks on the invading German Luftwaffe. Entrance to the bunker was obtained through a concrete passageway which was well screened by a grassy slope; a stairway led to a virtual maze of corridors and hallways leading to various sections. There were two points into to the bunker (escape hatches) which were guarded by military police, and access was gained via the bottom level.[14]

The walls of the bunker could almost withstand a direct hit from a 300 pounds (140 kg) bomb. It had all the attenuated fixtures necessary to run a top secret operational defence base. It consisted of three Fixer Stations and one Homing Station. The bunker was also equipped with its own code room, plotting rooms, two escape tunnels and a radio transmitter room. In the centre of the bunker was a large room of about two-stories in height. This was the main operations room and control centre for all RAAF Missions in the Pacific area.[15]:89


The Bankstown City region is approximately 76 square kilometres (29 sq mi) and has a population density of about 21.46 people per hectare.[16] The boundaries of Bankstown City are, clockwise, the Prospect water supply pipeline and Liverpool Road (also known as Hume Highway) along the north, Roberts Road, Juno Parade, Koala Road, Punchbowl Road, Canterbury Road and the Salt Pan Creek along the east, the Georges River in the south and the Georges River, Prospect Creek, the Hume Highway and Woodville Road along the west. Salt Pan Creek is a saltmarsh and mangrove swamp that extends from Canterbury Road to Georges River.

Paul Keating Park, in the centre of Bankstown, stands on the old site of the Council Administration building, which burned down in an accidental fire in 1997.[citation needed] The Park is used for a variety of concerts and festivals (including the annual Bankstown Christmas Carols), and is otherwise a large playing field. Nowadays, all of the Council operations are contained in the Civic Tower, adjacent to the Park. Bankstown Town Hall faces opposite.


Bankstown Civic Tower

The local economy in Bankstown City is fairly diverse. There is a large number of manufacturing businesses in around Bankstown. There is also a large number of service and administrative jobs, particularly in the Bankstown city centre.

Some large businesses are established in the Bankstown City area including printing presses for the Fairfax Media titles including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald and printing presses for the News Limited mastheads, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, both at Chullora. Bankstown Airport and the surrounding industrial areas in Revesby and Milperra are centres of economic activity. Airtex Aviation has its head office on the grounds of the airport.[17]

Approximately 61,000 people work within the city, over two–thirds of which come from outside the City of Bankstown, and just under a third of workers live in the city itself.[18] Unemployment is significant in the area and some local residents receiving benefits are subject to a local income management project conducted by the Federal Government.[19]


There are a wide variety of commercial shops. Most notable is the large and extensive shopping centre, Centro Bankstown (formerly known as Bankstown Square). It opened in 1966 and in July 2006 completed its most recent expansion. Other shopping precincts include the Compass Centre and various stores in the Bankstown Plaza, a large pedestrian thoroughfare located near the Bankstown railway station.

There is also a number of town centres in suburbs of the city. Other shopping centres include Bass Hill Plaza and Chullora Market Place.


Bankstown is home to the University of Western Sydney Bankstown Campus. The Campus is located in Milperra, about 5–10 minutes drive from the central business district of Bankstown. The University is the main UWS Campus for arts, linguistics and humanities. There are a number of TAFE Colleges in the city, with one located within the city itself. There is also a number of senior colleges. Bankstown has numerous public and private schools including Catholic and Islamic Schools in the city.

Bankstown's first public school was built in 1880. In 1882 49 boys and 36 girls were enrolled, and upkeep expenses totalled £219 8s 11p. The school's first headmaster was Dugald McLeod who taught at the school until 1912. The school was demolished in 1924 due to the development of North Bankstown School in the same year.[20]

Recreation and Culture

The three-storey complex of Central Bankstown Library, opened in 1983.


Bankstown Town Hall, in the City Centre, holds a number of entertainment and cultural events throughout the year. Some of the Major events in the City include Australia Day, Carols by Candlelight and Bankstown Bites Food Festival. Australia Day celebrations are held on the Georges River foreshore and attract large crowds. Carols are normally held in the City Centre, at Paul Keating Park. During April an Autumn Fair is held in Yagoona.


There are two local newspapers, The Express and The Bankstown Canterbury Torch. The Torch is based in the Bankstown District and was started in June 1920. It delivers editions for both Bankstown and Canterbury every Wednesday. The Express is distributed on Tuesdays and covers a smaller circulation of both Bankstown and Canterbury. Both papers also have an online presence. BFM is a locally based community radio station. There is also a local web based news and information service, Bankstown Community Information .[21]


The major sport in Bankstown City is rugby league.[citation needed] There is one local team in the National Rugby League called the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Bankstown City was also home to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Dunc Gray Velodrome. The Velodrome now holds The Roosters International Cycling Events. In 2007, events were held at the location as part of the Australian Youth Olympics 2007.[citation needed]

There is a major cricket ground, called Bankstown Oval. It occasionally hosts home games for the New South Wales Blues in the Ford Ranger Cup.

Bankstown is home to the football club Bankstown City Lions who play in the New South Wales Premier League.It is known for its strong backing by the local Macedonian community.

There are several junior rugby league and soccer teams. Some main fields include the Crest, Walshaw Park, Middleton Park and Graf Park. There is also a Basketball Stadium in the City, and a horse raceway.

There is also a major softball complex, Georges River Softball Association, that has an impressive 13 Diamonds and hosts many softball competitions including kids from the age of 4 up to mature aged events for over 35s and over 45s. In 2009 the Association hosted the World Masters Games which included participants from many countries such as; America, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Botswana and the Netherlands. The complex is located at Kelso Park North on Henry Lawson Drive, East Hills opposite the Georges River.

The City Council manages four swimming centres, in Birrong, Greenacre, Revesby and Villawood. The Wran Leisure Centre in Villawood also includes a sauna, squash and tennis courts. There is one public Golf Course, Sefton Golf Course, and a number of private ones.


Bankstown has 293 parks covering 730 hectares (1,800 acres) within its city limits. There are 41 sports grounds, 12 community parks and 18 natural parklands.[22] In the CBD, major parks include Bankstown Oval, McLeod Reserve, Paul Keating Park and Bankstown City Gardens. Other major parks include Mirambeena Regional Park, The Crest, Middleton Park, O'Neill Park, Terry Lamb Complex, Garrison Point, Jensen Oval and the extensive parklands around Georges River, among others. The entrance to Georges River National Park is also located within the city.


Bankstown's main hospital is the Bankstown Lidcombe Hospital, a 454-bed major metropolitan acute general hospital.

Major educational sites include the Bankstown Campus of the University of Western Sydney, and TAFE NSW Bankstown College. Bankstown also has a large central library, which services the Bankstown metropolitan area, alongside smaller branches in other suburbs including Padstow, Panania, Greenacre and Chester Hill.


Olympic Parade Bankstown


The M5 motorway runs through the Bankstown suburbs of Padstow, Revesby and Milperra, and is accessible by ramps on Henry Lawson Drive, The River Road and Fairford Road. The M5 links Bankstown to Sydney International Airport, Sydney City, Campbelltown and other outer south-western suburbs.

Other major routes to the City include Canterbury Road and the Hume Highway. Stacey Street is a main north-south route. There is also a scenic Henry Lawson Drive which runs along the Georges River Foreshore.


Railway formed an important part of the development of Bankstown. After the extension of the railway from Belmore to Bankstown, rapid development of the area followed – so much so that the commercial centre of Bankstown moved from its former position in Irish Town (Now Yagoona) on Liverpool Road to the vicinity of Bankstown railway station.

Today, two railway lines of the Sydney Trains network provide passenger services to the Bankstown local government area. Yagoona, Bankstown, Wiley Park and Punchbowl railway stations are on the Bankstown line and service the north part of the local government area, while Padstow, Revesby, Panania and East Hills railway stations of the Airport, Inner West & South Line service the south.

Bankstown is also served by the Sydney Freight Terminal in Chullora. The intermodal terminal is one of Sydney's largest freight terminals.


Bankstown Airport is Australia's busiest general aviation airport. It is located west of the CBD. The Airport site is owned by the Federal government.

Notable residents

Notable past and present residents include:

Sister cities

Sister Cities of Bankstown include:

  • Australia Broken Hill, a city in remote New South Wales. Bankstown signed its first Sister City Agreement with Broken Hill on 16 September 1986.[35]
  • Japan Suita, Osaka, Japan. Bankstown signed its first international Sister City agreement with Suita City, Japan, in March 1989.[35]
  • United States Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. Colorado students in Bankstown signed a new Sister City Agreement with Colorado Springs, home of the United States Olympic Committee, on 13 July 2001.[35]
  • South Korea Yangcheon-gu City, Seoul, South Korea. In 1997, Bankstown signed a Friendship Agreement with Yangcheon-gu City in South Korea, resulting in the establishment of youth exchanges and the sharing of information between both local authorities. During a tour in 2001, Bankstown Council delegates met with Korean officials to discuss ways of promoting Bankstown companies with a view to creating new export markets. The Cities exchanged details of Management Planning Processes and inspections of community facilities took place in Yangcheon. A Sister City Agreement was subsequently signed with Yangcheon City in September 2002.[35]
  • China Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China. In February 2000 a friendship agreement was made between Shijiazhuang City and Bankstown. The friendship agreement signifies that the two cities are exploring the possibility of venturing into a sister city agreement.[36]


  1. Historical Tour of the Bankstown District (5th ed.). Bankstown Historical Society. 1991.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rosen, Sue (1996). Bankstown, a Sense of Identity.
  3. "About Bankstown – Yesterday & Today". Bankstown City Council.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Census2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "Bankstown (C)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bankstown (C)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Bankstown City Council – East Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Bankstown City Council – North Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Bankstown City Council – South Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Bankstown City Council – West Ward". Local Government Elections 2012. Electoral Commission of New South Wales. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  12. Vidler, Adam (25 September 2012). "ALP split over Bankstown Council mayoral deal". The Canterbury Bankstown Express. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  13. "Development Over Time". Bankstown City Council. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  14. (information supplied by R. Eyers VAOC worker)
  15. Lawrence, Joan; Madden, Brian; Muir, Lesley (September 1999). Pictorial History of Canterbury Bankstown. Kingsclear Books. pp. 124. ISBN 0-908272-55-3. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  16. "Community Profile – Summary." Retrieved on 29 July 2007.
  17. "Location Map". Airtex Aviation. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  18. "Community Profile – Workers." Retrieved on 29 July 2007.
  20. Image:First public school in bankstown sign.jpg
  21. "Bankstown Community Information". Bankstown Community Information website. CJL Property Group. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  22. {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}
  23. "Young Turk". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  24. "A tribute to that rugged bugger from the burbs – People – Entertainment". 24 August 2005. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  25. "Pauline Curuenavuli". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 [1] Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wikipedia:Wayback Machine
  27. "Didj "u" Know – Casey Donovan: Deadly Singer/Guitarist 16 years". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  28. "Brett Holman Biography and Olympic Results | Olympics at". Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  29. {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}
  30. "Goodness, the Wright stuff's a real motivator". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 July 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  31. "Joking Iemma says 'lighten up'". ABC News. Australia. 9 June 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  32. "Jeff Thomson | Australia Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials |". Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  33. "Ian Thorpe". Dinkum Aussies. 1999. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  34. "Tribute To Mark Waugh". Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
    • Miro Yatras, An Australian Football player who plays for Liverpool Football Club
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 "Bankstown's Sister Cities" (PDF). Bankstown City Council. Retrieved 20 July 2007.
  36. "Shijiazhuang friendship agreement". Bankstown City Council. Retrieved 9 January 2010.

External links