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The Hills Shire

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for The Hills Shire is 164,802, with a population density of 4.27 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

The Hills Shire is located in Sydney's north-western suburbs - about 30 kilometres from the Sydney GPO. The Hills Shire is bounded by Hawkesbury City in the north, Hornsby Shire in the east, Parramatta City in the south and Blacktown City in the west.

Name origin

Prior to 14 November 2008, the area was known as Baulkham Hills Shire.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from 1794 when the first land grant was made. Land was used mainly for sheep grazing, wheat farming and timber-getting. Settlement began in the southern section, with growth in the northern section from the 1830s. Development was minimal until the 1880s, aided by tourism, the construction of country retreats and the establishment of orchards. Growth continued in the early 1900s, aided by improvements in access and transport, reaching a population of about 3,500 in 1911. In the 1920s poultry and egg production replaced citrus and stone fruits as the main industry. The most significant development occurred in the post-war years, particularly from the 1960s. The population has increased steadily, from about 16,500 in 1956, to 52,000 in 1970, and 90,000 in 1980. Population growth continued from the 1990s, increasing from about 114,000 in 1991 to 168,000 in 2011. Most of this growth was in the central region, in the suburbs of Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and West Pennant Hills.

Land use

The Hills Shire is a predominantly rural and residential area, with some commercial and industrial land use. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 380 square kilometres. Most of the land in the northern section is rural, the southern section is residential, and there are expanding residential areas in the central region. Rural land is used mainly for farming and other agricultural industries, including nurseries.

Transport

The Hills Shire is served by the Hills (M2) Motorway and the Carlingford railway line.

Major features

Major features of the Shire include the Hawkesbury River, Cattai National Park, Cumberland State Forest, Maroota Nature Reserve, Bidjigal Reserve, Bella Vista Farm Park, Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Sydney Ice Arena, The Hills Centre, Golden Ridge Animal Farm, TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute (The Hills College - Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill Campuses) and Norwest Business Park.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of The Hills Shire were the Dharug Aboriginal people.

Included areas

The Hills Shire includes the suburbs and localities of Annangrove, Baulkham Hills (part), Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Box Hill, Carlingford (part), Castle Hill (part), Cattai (part), Dural (part), Glenhaven (part), Glenorie (part), Kellyville, Kenthurst, Leets Vale (part), Lower Portland (part), Maraylya (part), Maroota (part), Middle Dural (part), Nelson, North Parramatta (part), North Rocks, Northmead (part), Oatlands (part), Rouse Hill (part), Sackville North, South Maroota, West Pennant Hills (part), Winston Hills (part) and Wisemans Ferry (part).

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