Sydney in Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
In 2010, Sydney was ranked 7th in Asia and 28th globally for economic innovation in the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index by innovation agency 2thinknow. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting and The Economist.
Sydney is one of GaWC's Alpha + world cities. It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.
Radio carbon dating suggests that the Sydney region has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years.
The traditional Indigenous inhabitants of Sydney Cove are the Cadigal people, whose land once stretched from south of Port Jackson to Petersham. While estimates of the population numbers prior to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 remains contentious, approximately 4,000–8,000 Aboriginal people lived in the Sydney region prior to contact with British settlers. The British called the Indigenous people the "Eora", because being asked where they came from, these people would answer: "Eora", meaning "here", or "from this place" in their language. The Sydney Statistical Division, used for census data, is the unofficial metropolitan area and covers 12145 km2. This area includes the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, and national parks and other unurbanised land.
Geographically, Sydney lies over two regions: the Cumberland Plain, a relatively flat region lying to the south and west of the harbour, and the Hornsby Plateau, a sandstone plateau lying mainly to the north of the harbour and dissected by steep valleys. The parts of the city with the oldest European development are located in the flat areas south of the harbour. The North Shore was slower to develop because of its hilly topography and lack of access across the harbour. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932 and linked the North Shore to the rest of the city.
Sydney is mostly Triassic rock, with a some recent igneous dykes and the volcanic neck. The Hawkesbury sandstone is some 200 metres (600 feet) thick, with shale lenses and fossil riverbeds dotted throughout it. Almost all of the rocks exposed around Sydney will be sandstone. The sand that was to become this sandstone was laid down in the Triassic period, about two hundred million years ago, a time when plants were ferns, reptiles were becoming dinosaurs, and mammals were only just being thought about. The Sydney Basin sits on the east coast of Australia, which is made up of a basin filled with near horizontal sandstones and shales of Permian to Triassic age that overlie older basement rocks of the Lachlan Fold Belt. The sedimentary rocks have been subject to uplift with gentle folding and minor faulting during the formation of the Great Dividing Range. Erosion by coastal streams have created a landscape of deep cliffed gorges and remains of plateaus across. The Sydney Basin Bioregion includes coastal landscapes of cliffs, beaches and estuaries.
The sandstone that characterises Sydney was laid down almost 200 million years ago. The sand was washed from Broken Hill, and laid down in a bed that is about 200 metres thick. Currents washed through it, leaching out most of the minerals and leaving a very poor rock that made an insipid soil. They washed out channels in some places, while in others, the currents formed sand banks that show a characteristic current bedding or cross-bedding that can often be seen in cuttings.
Sydney is on low rolling hills with wide valleys, situated in a rain shadow zone below the Blue Mountains.
Sydney has a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Rainfall is spread throughout the year. The weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean, and more extreme temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs. The warmest month is January, with an average air temperature range at Observatory Hill of 18.6 –. An average of 14.6 days a year have temperatures of more than 30 °C. The maximum recorded temperature was 45.3 °C on 14 January 1939 at the end of a four-day heatwave across Australia.
In winter, temperatures rarely drop below 5 °C in coastal areas. The coldest month is July, with an average range of 8.0 –. The lowest recorded minimum at Observatory Hill was 2.1 °C. Rainfall is fairly evenly spread through the year, but is slightly higher during the first half of the year, when easterly winds dominate. The average annual rainfall, with moderate to low variability, is 1217 mm, falling on an average 138 days a year. Snowfall was last reported in the Sydney City area in 1836. However, a July 2008 fall of graupel, or soft hail, mistaken by many for snow, has raised the possibility that the 1836 event was not snow, either.
The city is not affected by cyclones. The El Niño Southern Oscillation plays an important role in determining Sydney's weather patterns: drought and bushfire on the one hand, and storms and flooding on the other, associated with the opposite phases of the oscillation. Many areas of the city bordering bushland have experienced bushfires, these tend to occur during the spring and summer. The city is also prone to severe hail storms and wind storms. One such storm was the 1999 hailstorm, which severely damaged Sydney's eastern and city suburbs. The storm produced massive hailstones of at least 9 cm in diameter and resulting in insurance losses of around A$1.7 billion in less than five hours. The next notable event was in the first weeks of February 2010 when Sydney received some of the highest rainfalls in 25 years, which caused flash flooding and traffic chaos.
The Bureau of Meteorology has reported that 2002 through 2005 were the warmest summers in Sydney since records began in 1859. The summer of 2007–08, however, proved to be one of the coolest summers on record. Warmer and drier conditions came back in 2009, 2010 and 2011 that recorded above average temperatures. In 2009 the dry conditions brought a severe dust storm towards eastern Australia.
Average annual temperature of the sea is above 21 °C, from 19 °C in July to 24 °C in January.
Sydney's central business district (CBD) extends southwards for about 3 km from Sydney Cove to the area around Central station. The Sydney CBD is bounded on the east side by a chain of parkland, and the west by Darling Harbour, a tourist and nightlife precinct. Although the CBD dominated the city's business and cultural life in the early days, other business/cultural districts have developed in a radial pattern since World War II. As a result, the proportion of white-collar jobs located in the CBD declined from more than 60 per cent at the end of World War II to less than 30 per cent in 2004.
Together with the commercial district of North Sydney, joined to the CBD by the Harbour Bridge, the most significant outer business districts are Parramatta in the central-west, Penrith in the west, Bondi Junction in the east, Liverpool in the southwest, Chatswood to the north, and Hurstville to the south.
The extensive area covered by urban Sydney is formally divided into 649 suburbs (for addressing and postal purposes), and administered as 40 local government areas. There is no metropolitan-wide government, but the government of New South Wales and its agencies have extensive responsibilities in providing metropolitan services. The City of Sydney itself covers a fairly small area comprising the central business district and its neighbouring inner-city suburbs. In addition, regional descriptions are used informally to conveniently describe larger sections of the urban area. These include Eastern Suburbs, Hills District, Inner West, Canterbury-Bankstown, Greater Western Sydney, Northern Beaches, Northern Suburbs, North Shore, St George, Southern Sydney, South-western Sydney, Sutherland Shire and Western Sydney.
Parks and open spaces
Sydney is well-endowed with open spaces and access to waterways, and has many natural areas, even in the city centre. Within the CBD are the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Hyde Park, The Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The metropolitan area contains several national parks, including the Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world, and several parks in Sydney's far west which are part of the World Heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains Area.
The Domain was established by Governor Arthur Phillip, just six months after the arrival of the first fleet. Originally established as being exclusive to Governors, it was opened to the public in the 1830s. Hyde Park was dedicated on 13 October 1810 by Governor Macquarie for the "recreation and amusement of the inhabitants of the town and a field of exercises for the troops". To celebrate the first 100 years of European settlement, Centennial Park was dedicated by Sir Henry Parkes in January 1888. Similarly, Bicentennial Park was opened on 1 January 1988 to commemorate 200 years since European settlement. 1988's Bicentennial celebrations also saw the opening of the Chinese Garden of Friendship, designed by the City of Sydney's Chinese sister city Guangzhou.
Sydney has various heritage listed buildings, including Sydney Town Hall, The Queen Victoria Building, Parliament House, and the Australian Museum. There is no architecture style that entirely characterises the whole of Sydney. Prominent styles include Gothic Revival, Georgian, Classical, Romanesque, Italianate, Federation, Edwardian, Second Empire, Queen Anne, as well as more contemporary styles. The first substantial buildings designed for Sydney were by transported convict Francis Greenway, who designed such buildings and structures as the Macquarie Lighthouse, Hyde Park Barracks, St James' King Street and Government House.
Other prominent architects were James Barnet, who designed the General Post Office, The Customs House, and various court houses; and Edmund Blackett, who designed St. Andrew's Cathedral and St Philip's Church.
More contemporary architecture includes the Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon. Described as an "artistic monument", it is one of the most recognisable landmarks in both Sydney and Australia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Harry Seidler built modernist homes and skyscrapers in Sydney, and designed prominent buildings such as the MLC Centre, the Capita Centre, and Australia Square. Seidler's designs contrasted with the Sydney school of the 1950s and 1960s, who favoured more natural and organic designs, often hidden from view in bushland. This style of architecture often utilised natural local materials as structural elements. These views were shared by Glen Murcutt, who believed that a building should blend in with its environment. Sydney has the largest skyline in Australia. Current height restrictions limit future buildings to the height of 235 metres, in part due to the close proximity of Sydney Airport.
As the financial and economic hub of Australia, Sydney has grown to become a wealthy and prosperous city. The largest economic sectors in Sydney, as measured by the number of people employed, include property and business services, retail, manufacturing, and health and community services. Since the 1980s, jobs have moved from manufacturing to the services and information sectors. Sydney provides approximately 25 percent of the country's total GDP. The Australian Securities Exchange and the Reserve Bank of Australia are located in Sydney, as are the headquarters of 90 banks and more than half of Australia's top companies, and the regional headquarters for around 500 multinational corporations. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide cost of living survey, Sydney is the sixteenth most expensive city in the world, while a UBS survey ranks Sydney as 15th in the world in terms of net earnings. As of September 2009, Sydney has the highest median house price of any Australian capital city at $569,000, and a median unit price of $400,000. Sydney also has the highest median rent prices of any Australian city at $450 a week. The Sydney Region accounts for 12 percent (approximately $1 billion per annum) of the total agricultural production, by value, of NSW. Sydney provides 55% of NSW's flower production and 58% of its turf production, as well as 44% of state's nurseries. In 1994–1995 Sydney produced 44% of New South Wales' poultry meat and 48% of the state's eggs.
|The ten largest overseas born populations|
|Country of Birth||Population (2006)|
|People's Republic of China||109,142|
population by year
|1871||200,000|| (Gold Rush)|
|2056||6,976,800|| (Projected) of which 3,641,422 lived in Sydney's Urban Centre. Inner Sydney was the most densely populated place in Australia with 4023 PD/km2. In the 2006 census, the most common self-described ancestries identified for Sydney residents were Australian, English, Irish, Scottish, and Chinese. The Census also recorded that 1.1% of Sydney's population identified as being of indigenous origin, and 31.7% were born overseas. The three major sources of immigrants are the United Kingdom, China and New Zealand, followed by Vietnam, Lebanon, India, Italy, and the Philippines.<ref name=2006quickstats/> Many residents are native speakers of English; many have a second language, the most common being Arabic (predominantly Lebanese Arabic), Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek and Vietnamese.<ref name=2006quickstats/> Sydney has the seventh-largest percentage of foreign-born individuals in the world. Immigrants account for 75% of Sydney's annual population growth.
The median age of Sydney residents is 34; 12% of the population is over 65 years old.<ref name="2003sydney" /> 15.2% of residents have educational attainment equal to at least a bachelor's degree, In the 2006 census, 64% of the residents identified themselves as Christians, 14.1% had no religion, 10.4% left the question blank, 4.4% were Muslims, 3.7% were Buddhists, 1.7% were Hindus, 0.9% were Jewish and 0.4 were Bahai.
As a dynamic cultural hub, Sydney has many fine and internationally known museums and galleries, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the White Rabbit Gallery, Brett Whiteley Studio, Museum of Sydney and the Powerhouse Museum, in addition to a thriving commercial gallery scene of contemporary art, mainly in the inner-city areas of Waterloo, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Chippendale, Newtown and Woollahra.
Sydney hosts many different festivals and some of Australia's largest social and cultural events. These include the Sydney Festival, Australia's largest arts festival which is a celebration involving both indoor and free outdoor performances throughout January; the Biennale of Sydney dedicated to international and Australian contemporary art; the Big Day Out, a travelling rock-music festival which originated in Sydney; the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras along Oxford Street; the Sydney Film Festival and many other smaller film festivals such as the short film Tropfest and Flickerfest. Sculpture by the Sea, Australia's largest outdoor sculpture exhibit, began at Bondi Beach in 1996.
Australia's premier prize for portraiture, the Archibald Prize is organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is held every year at Sydney Olympic Park, the final of Australian Idol takes place on the steps of the Opera House, and Australian Fashion Week takes place in April/May and September. Sydney's New Year's Eve and Australia Day celebrations are the largest in Australia.
A survey based on tracking the frequency of words and phrases in the media, cited Sydney as number 9 on a list of the world's top fashion cities in 2009. The city is the site of the world renowned Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, which occurs biannually, and is home to many of Australia's premier fashion houses. Most international designers have a major presence in Sydney and Australia's Next Top Model is one of the most watched shows on national television.
Entertainment and performing arts
Sydney's cultural institutions include the Sydney's famous Opera House. It has five halls, including a large concert hall and opera and drama theatres; it is the home of Opera Australia—the third-busiest opera company in the world, and the Sydney Symphony. Other venues include the Sydney Town Hall, City Recital Hall, the State Theatre, the Theatre Royal, Sydney, the Sydney Theatre and the Wharf Theatre, the Capitol Theatre and the Lyric and Star Theatres at The Star. The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is located adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens and serves the Australian music community through music education and biannual Australian Music Examination Board exams. The Sydney Dance Company was under the leadership of Graeme Murphy during the late 20th century. The Sydney Theatre Company has a regular roster of local plays, such as noted playwright David Williamson, classics and international playwrights. In 2007, The New Theatre celebrated 75 years of continuous production in Sydney. Other important theatre companies in Sydney include Company B and Griffin Theatre Company. From the 1940s through to the 1970s the Sydney Push, a group of authors and political activists whose members included Germaine Greer, influenced the city's cultural life. The National Institute of Dramatic Art, based in Kensington, boasts internationally famous alumni such as Mel Gibson, Judy Davis, Baz Luhrmann and Cate Blanchett. Sydney's role in the film industry has increased since the opening of Fox Studios Australia in 1998.
Prominent films which have been filmed in the city include Moulin Rouge!, , Star Wars episodes and , Superman Returns, Dark City, Son of the Mask, Stealth, Dil Chahta Hai, Happy Feet, Australia and The Matrix. Films using Sydney as a setting include Finding Nemo, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, Our Lips Are Sealed, and Dirty Deeds. Many Bollywood movies have also been filmed in Sydney including Singh Is Kinng, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Chak De India, Heyy Babyy. As of 2006, over 229 films have been set in, or featured Sydney. Sydney's most popular nightspots include Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks, which all contain various bars, nightclubs and restaurants. The Star, is Sydney's only casino and is situated around Darling Harbour. There are many traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants in inner-city areas such as Newtown, Balmain, Leichhardt and Surry Hills. Sydney's main live music hubs include areas such as Newtown and Annandale, which nurtured acts such as AC/DC, Bliss n Eso, Sparkadia, Midnight Oil and INXS. Other popular nightspots tend to be spread throughout the city in areas such as Bondi, Manly, Cronulla and Parramatta.
In the year ending March 2008, Sydney received 2.7 million international visitors. The most well-known attractions include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Other attractions include Royal Botanical Gardens, Luna Park, some 40 beaches and Sydney Tower.
Sydney also has several popular museums, such as the Australian Museum (natural history and anthropology), the Powerhouse Museum (science, technology and design), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Sport and outdoor activities
Sport is an important part of Sydney's culture. The most popular sport in Sydney is rugby league. The NSWRFL (today known as the NRL) began in Sydney in the 1908 season and is the largest and most prestigious domestic rugby league competition in the Southern Hemisphere. The city is home to nine of the sixteen teams currently in the National Rugby League competition: the Canterbury Bulldogs, Cronulla Sharks, Manly Sea Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, South Sydney Rabbitohs, St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and Wests Tigers.
Cricket is the most popular summer sport in Sydney. The Ashes Series between Australia and England is widely popular among the people. As the state capital, Sydney is also the home of the NSW Blues cricket team in the Sheffield Shield cricket competition. Sydney Cricket Ground and ANZ Stadium host cricket matches. This city has also hosted 1992 Cricket World Cup and will also host the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Sydney Cricket Ground is at present the only test venue in the city. Plans are going on to accommodate ANZ Stadium as an international cricket venue for Australia.
Sydney is the only city other than Brisbane and Melbourne to have an elite presence in the 4 major football codes of Australia – rugby league, soccer, rugby union and Australian rules football. Soccer is represented by Sydney FC in the A-League, whilst the second tier competitions NSWPL and NSW Super League provide many players to the A-League. Sydney also hosts major soccer events of the national team, the Socceroos, most notably the World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay in 2005. Rugby Union is represented by the NSW Waratahs in the elite Southern Hemisphere Super 15 competition. The Suburban rugby competition is the Shute Shield which provides many Super 15 players. High profile Wallabies games are held in Sydney such as the Bledisloe Cup, Tri Nations matches, British and Irish Lions games, and most notably the final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup against England.
Sydney also has an Australian Football League (AFL) team called the Sydney Swans, with a second team Greater Western Sydney forming to enter the AFL in 2012, a woman's netball team (Swifts),a ABL baseball team (Sydney Blue Sox), a field hockey team (Waratahs), two ice hockey teams (Penrith Bears & Sydney Ice Dogs) and a WNBL team (Sydney Uni Flames). The Sydney Kings will be re-entering the NBL competition at the end of 2010.
The NSW Blues rugby league team contests the annual Rugby League State of Origin series against the Queensland Maroons. Large sporting events such as the NRL Grand Final and Bledisloe Cup games are regularly held at the ANZ Stadium, the main stadium for the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Other events in Sydney include the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Golden Slipper horse race, and the City to Surf race. Prominent sporting venues in Sydney include the Sydney Cricket Ground or SCG, ANZ Stadium, The Sydney Football Stadium, Eastern Creek Raceway, Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens Racecourse.
Sydney has two main daily newspapers. The Sydney Morning Herald is the oldest extant newspaper in Australia, having been published regularly since 1831. The Herald's competitor, The Daily Telegraph, is a News Corporation-owned tabloid. Both papers have tabloid counterparts published on Sunday, The Sun-Herald and the Sunday Telegraph, respectively.
The three commercial television networks (Seven, Nine, Ten), as well as the government national broadcast services (ABC and SBS) are headquartered in Sydney. Also a community television station, TVS, broadcasts in the Sydney area. Historically, the networks have been based in the northern suburbs, but the last decade has seen several move to the inner city. Nine has kept its headquarters north of the harbour, in Willoughby. Ten has its studios in a redeveloped section of the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont, and Seven also has headquarters in Pyrmont, production studios at Epping as well as a purpose-built news studio in Martin Place in the CBD.
The ABC has a large headquarters and production facility in the inner-city suburb of Ultimo and SBS has its studios at Artarmon. Foxtel and Optus both supply pay-TV over their cable services to most parts of the urban area, and both have their national headquarters in the Northern suburb of North Ryde.
The five free-to-air networks have provided digital television transmissions in Sydney since January 2000. There are also nine additional Freeview Digital Services. These include ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS Two, 7TWO, 7mate, GO!, GEM HD, ONE HD and Eleven.
Many AM and FM government, commercial and community radio services broadcast in the Sydney area. The local ABC radio station is 702 ABC Sydney (formerly 2BL). The talkback radio genre is dominated by the perennial rivals 2GB and 2UE. Popular Music radio stations include Triple M, 2Day FM and Nova 96.9, which generally target people under 40. In the older end of the music radio market, Classic Rock 95.3 and Mix 106.5 target the 25–54 age group, while WS-FM targets the 40–54 age group with their Classic Hits format mostly focusing on the 70s and 80s. Triple J (ABC), 2SER and FBi Radio provide a more independent, local and alternative sound. There are also a number of community stations broadcasting to a particular language group or local area.
On 1 July 2009, DAB+ Digital Radio officially started. ABC and commercial radios provide full programming.
Apart from the limited role of the Cumberland County Council from 1945–1964, there has never been an overall governing body for the Sydney metropolitan area; instead, the metropolitan area is divided into local government areas (LGAs) which are comparable to boroughs in cities such as London. These areas have elected councils which are responsible for functions delegated to them by the New South Wales State Government, such as planning and garbage collection.
The City of Sydney includes the central business area and some adjoining inner suburbs, and has in recent years been expanded through amalgamation with adjoining local government areas, such as South Sydney. It is led by the elected Lord Mayor of Sydney and a council. The Lord Mayor, however, is sometimes treated as a representative of the whole city, for example during the Olympics.
Most citywide government activities are controlled by the state government. These include public transport, main roads, traffic control, policing, education above preschool level, and planning of major infrastructure projects. Because a large proportion of the New South Wales population lives in Sydney, state governments have traditionally been reluctant to allow the development of citywide governmental bodies, which would tend to rival the state government. For this reason, Sydney has always been a focus for the politics of both state and federal parliaments. For example, the boundaries of the City of Sydney LGA have been significantly altered by state governments on at least four occasions since 1945, with expected advantageous effect to the governing party in the New South Wales Parliament at the time.
The 38 LGAs commonly described as making up Sydney are:
The classification of which councils make up Sydney varies. The Local Government Association of New South Wales considers all LGAs lying entirely in Cumberland County as part of its 'Metro' group, which excludes Camden (classed in its 'Country' group). The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines a Sydney Statistical Division (the population figures of which are used in this article) that includes all of the above councils as well as Wollondilly, the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Gosford and Wyong.
Sydney is home to some of Australia's most prominent educational institutions. The University of Sydney, established in 1850, is Australia's oldest university and the largest in Sydney. Other public universities located in Sydney include the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University (two out of six campuses). Other universities which operate secondary campuses in Sydney include the University of Notre Dame Australia, the University of Wollongong and Curtin University of Technology.
There are four multi-campus government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes in Sydney, which provide vocational training at a tertiary level: the Sydney Institute of Technology, Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, Western Sydney Institute of TAFE and South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE. Sydney has public, denominational and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and special schools are administered by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. There are four state-administered education areas in Sydney, that together co-ordinate 919 schools. Of the 30 selective high schools in the state, 25 are in Sydney.
Health services are delivered through a mix of public and private systems, funded by government (from tax revenue) and private health insurance. The government of New South Wales operates several large public hospitals in the Sydney metropolitan region. Management of these hospitals and other specialist health facilities is coordinated by the eight metropolitan Local Health Districts (LHDs). These eight LHDs cover the Sydney metropolitan region, and seven more cover rural and regional NSW. In addition, two specialist networks focus on Children's and Paediatric Services, and Forensic Mental Health. A third network operates across the public health services provided in three Sydney facilities operated by St Vincent's Health: these include St Vincent's Hospital and the Sacred Heart Hospice at Darlinghurst and St Joseph’s at Auburn.
The largest teaching hospitals are: the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, The Prince of Wales Hospital and the Royal North Shore Hospital.
Most Sydney residents travel by car through the system of roads, freeways and tollways (known as motorways). The most important trunk routes in the urban area are the nine Metroads, which include the 110 km Sydney Orbital Network. Sydney is also served by train, taxi, bus and ferry networks.
Trains in Sydney are run by CityRail, a state-run corporation. Trains run as suburban commuter rail services in the outer suburbs, then converge in an underground city loop service in the central business district. In the years following the 2000 Olympics, CityRail's performance declined significantly. In 2005, CityRail introduced a revised timetable and employed more drivers. A large infrastructure project, the Clearways project, is scheduled to be completed by 2010. In 2007 a report found Cityrail performed poorly compared to many metro services from other world cities.
Sydney has one privately operated light rail line, Metro Light Rail, running from Central Station to Lilyfield along a former goods train line. The Metro Monorail runs in a loop around the main shopping district and Darling Harbour. Sydney was once served by an extensive tram network, which was progressively closed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most parts of the metropolitan area are served by buses, many of which follow the pre-1961 tram routes. In the city and inner suburbs the state-owned Sydney Buses has a monopoly. In the outer suburbs, service is contracted to many private bus companies. Construction of a network of rapid bus transitways in areas not previously well served by public transport began in 1999, and the first of these, the Liverpool–Parramatta Rapid Bus Transitway, opened in February 2003. State government-owned Sydney Ferries runs numerous commuter and tourist ferry services on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.
Sydney Airport, in the suburb of Mascot, is Sydney's main airport, and is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world. The smaller Bankstown Airport mainly serves private and general aviation. There is a light aviation airfield at Camden. RAAF Base Richmond lies to the north-west of the city.
The question of the need for a Second Sydney Airport has raised much controversy. A 2003 study found that Sydney Airport can manage as Sydney's sole international airport for 20 years, with a significant increase in airport traffic predicted. The resulting expansion of the airport would have a substantial impact on the community, including additional aircraft noise affecting residents. Land has been acquired at Badgerys Creek for a second airport, the site acting as a focal point of political argument.
Sydney's notably low population density can be traced in part to its public transport network. The city, founded in 1788 acquired its public transport system relatively early on in its life – rail services began in 1855. Working-class suburbs could thus be built far from the city centre, whereas in older cities the need to maintain walking distance between residential and employment centres kept sprawl to a minimum.
Water storage and supply for Sydney is managed by the Sydney Catchment Authority, which is an agency of the NSW Government that sells bulk water to Sydney Water and other agencies. Water in the Sydney catchment is chiefly stored in dams in the Upper Nepean Scheme, the Blue Mountains, Woronora Dam, Warragamba Dam and the Shoalhaven Scheme. Historically low water levels in the catchment have led to water use restrictions and the NSW government is investigating alternative water supply options, including grey water recycling and the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at Kurnell. As of May 2009, the plant was 80% completed, and was due to start supplying fresh water to Sydney at the end of the year. In late January 2010, the NSW government announced that desalination plant was operating and people in different regions were being supplied with desalinated water. Sydney Water also collects the wastewater and sewage produced by the city.
Four companies supply natural gas and electricity to Sydney: Energy Australia, AGL, Integral Energy and Origin Energy. The natural gas supply for the city is sourced from the Cooper Basin in South Australia. Numerous telecommunications companies operate in Sydney providing terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services.