The City of Liverpool is a vibrant multicultural urban region situated on the Cumberland Plain stretching across Western Sydney to lower hills of the Blue Mountains. The commercial centre of the city is 32 kilometres south-west of Sydney’s central activities district, situated on the Georges River, and the Local Government Area encompasses an urban centre, suburban precincts, and semi-rural residential and agricultural areas to the west. Overall, Liverpool comprises 42 suburbs spread across 305.5 km², with a population of 204,326 recorded in the 2016 Census. Its size and growth makes Liverpool comparable in population to the state and territory capitals of Greater Hobart (222,356) and Darwin (136,828).
The Cabrogal clan of the Darug Peoples are the customary custodians of the Liverpool area, originally was known as Gunyungalung. The Georges River and the Liverpool region was a place of interchange between the Darug and the coastal tribes of Tharawal to the east. Significant Aboriginal places in Liverpool include the Collingwood Precinct, a high-ground meeting place for the Tharawal, Gandangara and Darug people, and numerous sites around Holsworthy, where artwork, artefacts and scarred trees are located.
The commercial centre of Liverpool includes shopping complexes and malls, cafés and restaurants, a teaching hospital, three tertiary institutions, and a growing number of high-rise office buildings. The city is connected to the metropolitan region by the Hume Highway, Cumberland Highway, M5 motorway, and M7 motorway. The local government area is connected to the Sydney Trains commuter rail-network on the Airport, Inner West and South, Bankstown and Cumberland lines. The Liverpool-Parramatta T-way bus-rapid-transit line, built in 2003, links the City of Liverpool with the City of Parramatta.
Much of the Liverpool area is located within the boundaries of the federal seat of Werriwa. For more than quarter of a century, between 1952 and 1978, Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC (1916–2014) represented the Werriwa electorate in the Commonwealth Parliament. Between 1972 and 1975, he served as Australia’s 21st Prime Minister. It is telling that the Member for Werriwa’s ambitious social reform agenda, including the introduction of the Racial Discrimination Act and the abolition of the White Australia policy, was given its local context in Liverpool’s rapidly changing patterns of class and demography, fundamentally remade by migrant and refugee settlement. Subsequent Members of Parliament, all from the Australian Labour Party, include John Kerin, 1978–1994; Mark Latham, 1994–2005; Chris Hayes, 2005–2010; Laurie Ferguson, 2010–2016, and the first woman federal parliamentarian in the history of Werriwa, Anne Stanley, 2016–present.
Liverpool is now home to one of the highest concentrations of Australia’s recent arrivals, and to many culturally and linguistically diverse communities in their different stages of settlement. The most common immediate ancestries of people living in Liverpool are Australian (13.4 per cent), English (11.3 per cent), Italian (5.4 per cent), Indian (5.2 per cent), and Lebanese (4.8 per cent). Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people make up 1.5 per cent of the population. 41.4 per cent of people spoke only English at home, while other commonly spoken languages include Arabic (11.4 per cent), Hindi (4.0 per cent), Spanish (2.5 per cent) and Serbian (2.4 per cent).
The City of Liverpool is now experiencing rapid and significant economic, demographic, infrastructural, and physical change. Western Sydney is Australia’s third largest economy and in its own right would be Australia’s fourth largest city. Over the next two decades, the region is expected to grow from two million to three million people. In 2015, the Australian and NSW governments announced the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, commencing with a $3.6 billion financial investment to encourage positive growth in the region. The plan is focused on relieving pressure on existing infrastructure and unlocking the economic capacity of the region by funding major transport upgrades (road and rail), creating thousands of local jobs, improving housing affordability and access to services, strengthening the local economy and the liveability of Western Sydney.
Visit our Circles of Social Life project in Liverpool
For more detailed information on significant events in Liverpool’s history scroll through the time line below.