Meet Pastor Graham Long - from the Wayside Chapel. Each week he breaks his busy schedule to sit in the heart of Kings Cross, where he types an email on his laptop. He writes about local characters he’s met and some of the stories he’s heard, adding a touch of his own humour and optimism, then hits send to an online “Inner Circle” community of more than 6,500 people. Find out more.
Meet Ayesha Kazan – the original Kings Cross showgirl remembers when times were less accepting. Ayesha joined Les Girls – Sydney’s most popular transgender cabaret club, in the heart of Kings Cross. The show helped change public perception and Les Girls were pioneers of Sydney’s now open and accepting gay community. Find out more.
The Macleay Street & Woolloomooloo area is Australia’s most densely populated area, with approximately 20 times more homes per square kilometre than the Sydney metropolitan average.
The area is renowned for its bohemian and creative environment, as well as the working class history along the wharves. A revitalised Macleay Street features some of Sydney’s best cafés, restaurants and boutique shops, while bars & clubs concentrated on Darlinghurst Road draw intense night-time crowds.
Woolloomooloo includes heritage landmarks such as the Finger Wharf, medium density public housing, and historic workers cottages and terraces. Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay feature modern apartments, alongside the art deco and Victorian architecture preserved through resident action over many years.
Rushcutters Bay provides expansive open space on the foreshore, with green respite provided across the area in distinctive local parks such as Arthur McElhone Reserve, Fitzroy Gardens and Beare Park.
On average, the area is home to a well educated population, with one of the lowest rates of unemployment and largest proportions of people with high incomes and professional occupations. Yet the area is also characterised by its diversity, with wealthy, homeless and public housing tenants living side by side.
Due to the proximity of Garden Island and HMAS Kuttabul, the principal employment is government (defence). More than 25% of residents walk to work, due in part to the area’s proximity to the CBD and other employment hubs.
The area has the highest proportion of people living alone at almost 60%. It also has a high labour force participation rate. There are approximately 19,000 people living in the area and this is expected to increase only marginally to 20,200 by 2030. At any one time, there are also approximately 3,000 visitors.
City projects & services
Some projects the City has completed or are underway through our Local Action Plans and Sustainable Sydney 2030 include:
Parks, streets and facilities
- Rushcutters Bay Park and Reg Bartley Oval renewal, including restoration of the historic grandstand, relocated tennis courts, new kiosk, amenities building, lighting, park furniture and renewed landscaping, with wider paths
- Beare Park and Kings Cross Rotary Park renewal with new sandstone stairs for harbour access
- Bourke Street Woolloomooloo bike path with street improvements, including wider footpaths, new street furniture, improved lighting, stormwater treatment and gardens
- Earl Place upgraded with new landscaping and lighting
- Darlinghurst Road and Springfield Plaza upgraded with footpath extensions, new furniture and flower baskets
- Woolloomooloo Improvement Plan with new landscaping, pavers for Forbes Street; renewal of Bourke Street and Walla Mulla Parks with an upgraded toilet block, new furniture and lighting; community garden in Bourke Street Park; proposal for a Men’s Shed in Bourke Street Park;
and increased cleaning services
- Planned improvements for Victoria Street Potts Point with renewed footpaths and new plantings
- Fitzroy Gardens and Lawrence Hargrave Reserve maintenance, planned in response to community requests, including restoration of El Alamein Fountain
- Backpacker car market in Kings Cross Car Park to take backpacker vehicles off residential streets
- Cowper Wharf Roadway closure to deter hoon activity on Friday and Saturday nights
- Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming, including new pedestrian crossings and traffic management
- Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool on the Harbour; and heated pools, gym facilities and health services at the Cook + Phillip Park Aquatic & Fitness Centre
Culture and community
- Late Night Economy policy with extensive consultation to balance residential amenity, safety and economic activity. Projects include precinct ambassadors, portable urinals, food trucks, better cleansing, and improved late-night transport to get people home
- Over 55s services including transport, Meals on Wheels, recreational activities, Reginald Murphy Centre Kings Cross and Mary McDonald Centre Woolloomooloo
- Juanita Nielsen Centre improvements for the whole community, including the Woolloomooloo Children’s Program and Youth Program, providing education, training, sports and recreation programs
- A new creative and cultural hub, including artist studios in Riley Street Woolloomooloo, planned artist live/work spaces on William Street, Eternity Playhouse in East Sydney and new artist studios on Oxford Street
- A Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Project Coordinator helps with access and advocacy
- Memorandum of Understanding with Housing NSW and regular meetings for public housing tenants to raise concerns with the City, Housing NSW and NSW Police
- Public Housing Liaison Officer to support public housing tenants with their concerns with the City and Housing NSW
- Homelessness services, including a Public Space Liaison Officer and outreach services to help people who are homeless into housing and support services
- A twice-yearly Homelessness Street Count helps the City advocate to state and federal governments for resources
- Safe cycling encouraged through free cycling confidence and bike maintenance courses
- Improved community transport to take Elizabeth Bay residents to appointments and services following successful advocacy for State Government funding
- Village to Village shuttle bus, linking residents of Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Redfern to local services
- Responsible pet ownership supported with a companion animals officer, free obedience classes
- Neighbourhood service centre and library on Darlinghurst Road, providing extensive services, information, computer access and free events
- The draft City Plan, prepared with extensive consultation and urban design studies, establishes new planning controls to balance preservation of our distinctive villages with the need for housing and office, retail and industrial space
- Community grants, including support to Walla Mulla for NAIDOC week and Women and Family Lifeskills training; First Draft for mini cultural festivals; House of Dogs for a new work engaging Woolloomooloo residents; and Matthew Talbot for employment programs
- Kings Cross and Potts Point Partnership funding for marketing, website and an art project
- Local economic development support, with a dedicated precinct coordinator, including Buy Local retail campaign to encourage the local economy
What is your vision for your area? Here are some suggestions –
- The area is an inviting and distinctive cosmopolitan environment for residents and visitors
- Cultural and creative industries are the area’s focus, with new artists’ studios, galleries, performance spaces, small bars and creative businesses
- A transformed night time economy to balance residential amenity, daytime retail and cultural needs with a safe and diverse night-time environment
- Heritage and community stories are celebrated through public art and walking trails
- Contemporary architecture sensitively integrates with Victorian and art deco buildings
- Residents from diverse backgrounds and economic groups connect through community projects
- Effective support services and adequate affordable housing prevent chronic inner city homelessness
- Adequate public transport and safe walking and bike riding routes reduce vehicle congestion and allow residents to get to parks, shops, work, school and cultural facilities