Sutherland Shire Council administers an area of 369 sq. kms. Incorporated in 1906, it is the second biggest local council in New South Wales in terms of people it serves, and the fourth largest in Australia. Sutherland Shire is located on the southern coastal edge of metropolitan Sydney, Australia. It is surrounded by waterways and bush land: the boundaries are the Georges River in the north, Deadman’s Creek down to Woronora Dam in the west, from the dam across through Royal National Park to Garie Beach in the south, and the Pacific Ocean in the east.
While land use in the Shire is predominantly residential, there are also significant industrial facilities in the Shire. These include the Caltex Oil Refinery, Cronulla sewerage treatment plant, the Sydney Water Desalination plant out at Kurnell and Australia’s only nuclear reactor located at ANSTO’s facilities at Lucas Heights. Despite this Sutherland Shire residents strongly identify the Shire as being characterised by its bays, rivers, beaches and National Parks. This is reflected in the high priority residents place on protecting and enhancing the natural environment.