WHO WE ARE

A Black­town Coun­cil re­port of­fers a re­veal­ing snap­shot of the chal­lenges fac­ing Mt Druitt as it plans for the future.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

A NEW re­port com­piled by Black­town City Coun­cil paints a pic­ture of a grow­ing city grab­bling with a rapidly chang­ing de­mo­graphic.

The Black­town City So­cial Pro­file 2016 was put to­gether to in­form future plan­ning de­ci­sions – and puts a mi­cro­scope on the lives of peo­ple in Mt Druitt and other Black­town sub­urbs.

Black­town Deputy Mayor Jac­que­line Don­ald­son, whose ward cov­ers the Mt Druitt area, said there was a huge de­mo­graphic change un­der way.

“We’re get­ting more young fam­i­lies com­ing in now,” Cr Don­ald­son said.

“When I started on coun­cil about eight years ago there were more hous­ing and blue-col­lar work­ers.

“Black­town Coun­cil needs to be strong about how we get ser­vices to those fam­i­lies.”

The city’s av­er­age age of 32 is sta­ble, and six years younger than NSW’s av­er­age of 38.

Mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism is a way of life with 37.6 per cent of peo­ple born over­seas, well above the state av­er­age of 25.7 per cent.

In Mt Druitt, 52 per cent of res­i­dents were born over­seas.

Mt Druitt is one of the big­gest sub­urbs in the city with 15,794 peo­ple.

Two fac­tors let­ting down res­i­dents are the abil­ity to get a higher ed­u­ca­tion and con­se­quently not be­ing able to find qual­ity jobs that lead to bet­ter in­comes.

Mt Druitt’s out­right home own­er­ship is 13.6 per cent be­hind the NSW rate of 33.2 per cent. By con­trast, 37 per cent of Mt Druitt res­i­dents are rent­ing.

Cr Don­ald­son said two years ago the coun­cil’s to-do list – to re­duce in­equal­ity – was longer than it is now.

She said future hos­pi­tal up­grades, new fam­i­lies be­ing ca­reer role models for cur­rent res­i­dents and lobby- ing for CCTV cam­eras in city cen­tres were ex­am­ples of Black­town Coun­cil work­ing to make Mt Druitt safer and more pro­duc­tive.

Year 12-level ed­u­ca­tion at­tain­ment has im­proved across the re­gion be­tween 2006 and 2011.

How­ever that rate (48 per cent) is still well be­low the greater Syd­ney rate of 55 per cent school com­ple­tion.

The re­port shows dis­ad­van­tage in the num­ber of stu­dents go­ing to univer­sity each year. The rate has hardly in­creased be­tween 2001 and 2011.

Only 17.2 per cent of peo­ple in Black­town com­plete a Bach­e­lor de­gree or higher, and 47.6 per cent of res­i­dents do not have any ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Over­all, res­i­dents were well connected to the work­force, with par­tic­i­pa­tion rates above 62 per cent.

Where the dis­ad­van­tage is rammed home is lack of jobs for peo­ple with­out higher ed­u­ca­tion and away from the city cen­tre.

Mt Druitt has higher rates of low-skilled work­ers than the av­er­age across the rest of Syd­ney and res­i­dents strug­gle to at­tain man­age­rial roles, be­come pro­fes­sion­als and en­ter other white col­lar ca­reers.

De­spite this 67 per cent of res­i­dents told coun­cil they were sat­is­fied or very sat­is­fied with their local area.

Joy and Tracy Tran Bak­ers

Brett Rac­canello Bar­ber

Kim Fitzger­ald Newsagent

Maggie Rah­mie Hos­pi­tal­ity

Rana Sing Re­tail

Wil­tar Ja­jaw Real es­tate

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