Thursday, 12 December 2019 Sydney

Visit, Live, Study & Invest in Hornsby::

Business Investment


Hornsby Shire offers a wide range of opportunities and choices for the investment community, particularly those wishing to invest in northern Sydney.


Located about 30 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, and covering about 510 square kilometres, the majority of the Shire comprises natural bushland which provides postcard picture backdrops to some of its residential and employment areas.


Several factors make Hornsby Shire an excellent business investment area:

  • it has a diversity of employment areas offering choice in location and investment opportunities;
  • it is ideally located on major transport corridors which enable easy and quick access to the Sydney CBD, airport and port and the business parks such as Macquarie;
  • it has a wide range of housing opportunities, together with excellent educational, health and recreational facilities, to meet a variety of employer and employee needs;
  • the Council has an organisational culture passionate about, and committed to, attracting new, and supporting existing, business;
  • it has a highly skilled local labour force and access to a large regional workforce;
  • Hornsby town centre with over 6,000 employees is identified for targeted growth in the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy; and
  • the Shire is already home to major national and international enterprises such as the national offices of McDonalds and Wrigleys, as well as the first, and one of the largest, Westfield shopping complexes.


Investment opportunities


Hornsby Shire offers a wide range of investment opportunities and choices focused on its major commercial centres and industrial estates. The major commercial centres are Hornsby (150,000m2), Epping (50,000m2), Pennant Hills (60,000m2), Carlingford (35,000m2), Thornleigh (46,000m2) and Dural Service Centre (15,000m2).


The major industrial areas are located at Asquith, Waitara and Mt Kuring-gai.


If you require further information, please contact Strategic Planning on (02) 9847 6726.


Small Biz Connect – Hornsby


Small Biz Connect is a program that accelerates small businesses to economic sustainability, delivering growth and employment for NSW. With a commitment to outcomes, Small Biz Connect will help you to develop the skills you need to not only survive but to thrive. Small Biz Connect is a practical program which links you with our experienced business advisors, who help you plan your business' success.

Small Biz Connect - Hornsby (PDF 94kb)


Community Atlas, Profile and Economy


McCrindle Research specialise in analysing social trends, demographic shifts, generational studies, consumer insights and employment behaviour. This report describes the top ten demographic and social trends impacting Australia in the coming decade, and relates the trend to the Hornsby local government area - 2020: Looking to the future - 10 Demographic and Social Trends Impacting Australia and Hornsby LGA - 1MB


Community Atlas

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The Community Atlas is an intitiative of Council to help you discover more about our community. It shows, for example, how diverse we are and where particular groups in our community are concentrated. It is important for service providers, business investors and a resource to schools.


The Community Atlas is also an important decision making tool for Council in that it assists in evidence-based decisions and in setting priorities in the face of complex and changing demands.


Community Profile


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The Community Profile provides easy access to the social and demographic information for the Shire and its suburbs on line and in an easy-to-use format.


The Community Profile will be invaluable for the Council in the planning, delivering services and advocating for the people of Hornsby. It provides the community with an easy understanding of the social and demographic characteristics of their suburbs and how they compare with other suburbs as well as how the Shire compares with other local government areas in northern Sydney and the metropolitan region. It will also be a useful resource for the business community considering investing in the Shire.


Economic Profile

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Economic Profile presents economic information that describes Hornsby Shire's role within the broader economy and is a handy tool to explore options for economic development. The information presented here is derived from official sources of information (Australian Bureau of Statistics) as well as Australia's leading economic modellers, NIEIR.

These online tools are regularly updated. This will enable the Council and the business community to have up to date information in their decision making. It will also enable the community to monitor the changing character or their suburbs and the Shire.


NSW Atlas

Go to NSW Atlas >>>



We are confident that you will find these valuable resources.

If you require further information, please contact Council on (02) 9847 6999





The original owners of the Shire were the Aboriginal people of the Darug, Kuringai and Darkingung language groups.

However, after about 50 years of European occupation, the Aboriginal people were forced from their home lands, destroying the vital relationship between land, culture, custom and ceremonies for Aboriginal people.

All that is left today are the many significant remnants of Aboriginal culture which stand as memorials to their long association with this country. These include:

  • engravings on sandstone ridges
  • rock shelters on the valley slopes containing cave paintings or drawing sites and archaeological deposits
  • open campsites and grinding grooves on valley floors
  • shell middens along tidal waterways
  • scarred trees

Several towns in the shire have names derived from the Aboriginal language, for example, Berowra (place of many winds); Mt Kuring-gai (the local tribe); Dural (dooral - burning logs or standing dead trees, alight within); Berrilee (birra birra - pigs of the white settlers); Cowan (big water).

Read more about Aboriginal heritage.


Access to remote areas was virtually impossible for the early European explorers due to a lack of facilities for road transport. Exploration was therefore confined to the rivers as the only accessible means of transport. The Hawkesbury River was one of the first regions explored in New South Wales after settlement in 1788.

Six weeks after the arrival of the first fleet, Governor Phillip led an exploration through Broken Bay in search of a large river to provide fertile land capable of cultivating crops for the colony. A branch of the Hawkesbury River was discovered, however due to a shortage of supplies, the party was forced to return. The Hawkesbury River was not discovered until the second expedition in the following year.

The second expedition, led by Governor Phillip, continued the exploration of the River. Upon discovering that the river was of a substantial size, Governor Phillip named it the Hawkesbury after the Baron of Hawkesbury. The party travelled for 16 days, passing Gentleman's Halt, Laughtondale and Wisemans Ferry, before reaching the fertile plains at Windsor. The River provided the major transport route for the farmers and became the lifeline for the delivery of produce to the growing colony. The shoreline also provided a good location for other commercial activities to establish, such as salt production, flour milling and boat building.

The lands within the present Hornsby Shire were not occupied in the early days of settlement. More accessible lands along the Parramatta and Hawkesbury Rivers were the preferred settlement areas. Settlement in the shire did not occur until the early nineteenth century, approximately twenty years after the arrival of the first fleet.

In 1825, Heneage Finch surveyed land from Castle Hill to Wisemans Ferry along the ridge to enable a road to be constructed, connecting Sydney with the Hunter Valley. The road was a continuation of Old Northern Road which had been constructed in 1817 from the Government Farm in Castle Hill to the present township of Galston. The new road was named the Great North Road and replaced the old Putty Road which linked Windsor, Putty and Bulga to the Hunter River which is located to the west of Hornsby Shire. Today the road is still used and is becoming a historical and tourist attraction.

The town of Hornsby, from which the shire gets its name, was named after police Constable Horne. In 1838, police Constables Thorn and Horne were rewarded with grants of land for the capture of a bushranger John MacMamara who had stolen a Parramatta dignitary's watch. Constable Thorn's land later became known as the suburb of Thornleigh whilst a village sprang up on Constable Horn's land which until the 1890s was known as the village of Hornsby. It was here that the first railway junction was built in 1893. There was considerable confusion for a number of years as the railway station was named Hornsby Junction and there was the village of Hornsby to the south. Eventually the village was renamed Normanhurst and the railway station became Hornsby. Because the main northern railway line and the North Shore line joined at Hornsby, it developed as a railway town.

Hornsby Shire was incorporated in March, 1906. A Provisional Council of five members was appointed by the State Government to initially control the Shire. The first meeting was held on 14 June, 1906, at which time Mr O.G. Roberts was elected the first Shire Mayor. The State credited the Council with a budget of 20 pounds.

In November of 1906 of the first shire elections were held. The shire's population (4700) had previously been divided into three Wards, of similar population but not area. Two Councillors were elected from each Ward and Councillor J.C. Hunt became the Mayor. At the second election in 1910 the number of Councillors increased to nine with the election of an additional representative from each Wards. This system remained until the 2004 Local Government Elections which introduced a popularly elected Mayor in addition to three Councillors elected by residents in each of three Wards.

Early development within the shire followed the railway lines and ridge tops. The introduction and eventual dominance of the motor car allowed urban growth in areas not serviced by the railway.

Since the end of the Second World War there has been a period of rapid growth within the shire population growing from 30,500 in June 1945 to an estimated 140000 in June 1998.

The conservation of the shire's Aboriginal and European heritage is important and Hornsby Council has undertaken a number of strategies to assist this being achieved.


Wards and Boundaries


Hornsby Shire is divided into three wards, with three Councillors being elected from each ward to represent residents and ratepayers. The Mayor is elected by the residents and ratepayers from across the Shire for the same term as the Councillors.


Ward Boundaries for Hornsby Shire


For more detailed information about Ward areas in the Shire, see the documents below:



Local Government Boundary for Hornsby Shire


The geographical area of the Shire of Hornsby covers approximately 510 square kilometres. Included in the area are 6,000 hectares of public bushland for which Council is responsible. The region extends from Brooklyn at the northern extremity, out to Wiseman's Ferry and Glenorie/Dural in the west, across to Wahroonga in the east, and to Epping along its southern boundary.


For more detailed information read Text description of Hornsby Shire Boundary - 14kb.