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Upper Georges River Urban Sustainability Initiative


Upper Georges pdf Campbelltown Liverpool City Council wollondilly-logo

The Upper Georges River - at the heart of a community

Rivers often form the geographic and cultural centres of communities, and provide a physical and symbolic link between neighbouring communities. As such, a wide and diverse spectrum of groups use and depend on river systems for many different reasons. Like all waterways, the Georges River system is vitally important to nearby regions, shaping the character and function of the land, and supporting the ecology and the human communities around it.

In fact, the Georges River and its tributaries have formed much of the cultural fabric of the region, determining where past settlements have occurred. From the earliest establishments of indigenous Dharawal peoples, who nestled along its banks and depended on it for subsistence, to the Macarthur area’s later history as a merino wool empire and agricultural hub for European settlers, the river has been a vital resource for many groups.

Today the Upper Georges continues to support its surrounding communities in many ways. In fact, today’s residents come from a range of diverse backgrounds, who use and value it differently. Swimming, fishing, bushwalking, track cycling and passively soaking in the surrounds are just some of the ways residents and visitors enjoy the Upper Georges waterways today. However, while they may have many varied interests, there is still a strong common desire shown by Upper Georges residents to want to protect the river and ensure it remains a place worthy of their fondest memories.

The Upper Georges River Urban Sustainability Project (the Project) represents the joint effort of three Councils and their communities to do just that. The 360 square kilometers of Upper Georges River Catchment straddle the three neighbouring Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Campbelltown, Liverpool, and Wollondilly Councils. The Project approaches management of the Upper Georges river cooperatively and holistically, so that the many and varied uses of the river – and the health of the river itself – can be sustained over time.


Community driven

The Upper Georges Project partners believe that the strong support of community is essential in looking after the long term sustainability of the river system, and so community members have been invited to give their opinions and advice over the course of the Project. Community members expressed their desires for future directions for management, including preserving natural and Aboriginal heritage, and improving access to recreational areas, and they expressed their concerns about issues such as water quality, weed management and damage to natural areas from trailbikes and four-wheel driving.

The current scope of works as described in the tabs to the left are the result of the feedback given by community members. The projects are in various stages of progress, and development can be followed here on the website. As always, we welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. Please email us at

Community meets to discuss Upper Georges River health

Community leaders, environmental groups, politicians, ecologists and residents met at Campbelltown Arts Centre in October to discuss their concerns for the Georges River Catchment and to identify actions to look after its health. View their recommendations here: pdf icon Recommendations (216.38kB)

The Upper Georges River Sustainability Symposium was organised as part of the River Project, which explores the relationships contemporary cultures have with their river systems.