Friday 26 July 2013

Sydney's Rural-Urban Fringe

Narellan Vale 2000 (Camden Images)

Sydney's rural-urban fringe has come out to meet the Camden district. It poses all sorts of challenges for locals and newcomers alike and is a landscape of hope and loss. Newcomers hope for the opportunity provided by a new life in a new suburb and locals mourn the loss of their memories and rural lifestyle.

The rural-urban fringe orginally arrived in the Camden district with the announcement of the 1968 Sydney Region Outline Plan. The NSW State Planning Authority then produced the 'New Cities' Plan in 1973. It  planned for the country towns of Camden, Campbelltown and Appin to have 500,000 by the 1980s. The suburbs in the Camden Local Government Area that were established from those plans included Mt Annan, Currans HillNarellan Vale, Smeaton Grange and Harrington Park, and urban growth of existing localities at Elderslie and Spring Farm.  
Oran Park

The most recent decisions that has effected the Camden Local Government Area is the NSW Department Planning and Infrastructure's 2006 South West Growth Centre Strategy that plans a population of around 300,000. The new suburbs that have emerged from this included Oran Park, Gledswood Hills, Gregory Hills, and most recently those in the Catherine Field,  Raby and Leppington area. 

Sydney’s fringe communities have been portrayed as one-dimensional, or just part of South Western Sydney, yet their story has a rich history that is complex and multi-layered. Sydney’s south-western rural-urban frontier is a transition zone of many contrasts from the the loss of Oran ParkRaceway and now master planned estates, and Camden’s ‘country town idyll’ and rural vistas.

New communities are sites where displacement, dispossession and disempowerment have produced stories which are played out in a landscape of dreams met and dreams lost. Sydney’s second airport, food security, moral panics, mining (CSG/coal/sand), Sydney’s water catchment, flooding, endangered Cumberland Woodland, ex-urbanisation, heritage, commercial development at Narellan and other urban development issues produce a volatile mix in these often overlooked conservative communities.

The road patterns were set by 1820 with colonial land grants handed to the colonial gentry. Their estates formed a network of estates across the western Cumberland Plain. Many of these properties and their
Within Sydney's south western rural-urban fringe there are some of the areas hidden gems like The Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan and the Camden Museum. 

Room with a view (ABG)

The Blue Tree (ABG)