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