Griffith, New South Wales

Griffith, New South Wales

Infobox Australian Place | type = city
name = Griffith
state = nsw


caption = Location of Griffith in New South Wales (red)
lga = City of Griffith
postcode = 2680
pop = 16,182
est = 1916
elevation= 129.2
maxtemp = 23.7
mintemp = 9.9
rainfall = 400.9
county = Cooper
stategov = Murrumbidgee
fedgov = Riverina
timezone = AEST
utc = +10
timezone-dst= AEDT
utc-dst = +11
dist1 = 803
location1= Adelaide
dist2 = 568
location2= Sydney
dist3 = 512
location3= Melbourne
dist4 = 358
location4= Canberra
dist5 = 191
location5= Wagga Wagga

Griffith is a city in south-western New South Wales, Australia. It is also the seat of the City of Griffith local government area. Like the Australian capital, Canberra and the nearby town of Leeton, Griffith was designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Griffith was named after Sir Arthur Griffith the first New South Wales minister of Public Works. [ [http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090112b.htm Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Griffith, Arthur Hill (1861 - 1946)] ] Griffith was proclaimed a city in 1987, and presently has a population of 16,182 with a median age of 34.Census 2006 AUS
id = UCL136000
name = Griffith (Urban Centre/Locality)
quick = on
accessdate = 2008-06-29
]

It can be accessed by road from Sydney and Canberra via the Hume Highway and the Burley Griffin Way and from Melbourne via the Newell Highway and either by using the Kidman Way or the Irrigation Way.

The city of Griffith contains no traffic lights. [cite news |url=http://griffith.yourguide.com.au/news/local/general/council-says-no-to-lights/1211794.html |title=Council says no to lights |last=Tyson |first=Ross |accessdate=2008-04-08 |date=2008-03-28 |publisher=Fairfax Digital |work=The Area News]

Demography

At the 2006 Census, 16,182 persons declared the urban centre locality of Griffith as their usual place of residence. Of this number 13,949 were Australian citizens. The median age was 34, and the average household size was 2.6 members.

2,857 persons were born overseas, of which 942 persons were born in Italy and 357 persons were born in India.

28% of persons declared themselves being of Australian ancestry, 19% English ancestry, 18% Italian ancestry, 6% Irish ancestry and 5% Scottish ancestry. Respondants could nominate up to two ancestries.

History

Griffith was established in 1916 as part of the New South Wales State Government's Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) project to supply irrigation from the Murrumbidgee river in western New South Wales to be used for farming.cite web | title = History of Giffith | publisher = Griffith City Council | url = http://www.griffith.nsw.gov.au/Page/Page.asp?Page_Id=620 | accessdate = 2008-08-16 ] The main dam was the large Burrinjuck Dam between Gundagai and Canberra, which stored water to be released down the river for irrigation. Yanco Weir, near Leeton, was built across the Murrumbidgee, from which flows the Main Canal. The Canal, almost a river in its own right, flows through the MIA to Griffith, supplying water to the entire area, and petering out to the northwest of the city in rice farms.

The water supply was further enhanced with the construction of the Snowy River scheme by the Australian Federal Government in the 1950s and 1960s. The Blowering Dam, a large dam near Tumut stores a significant amount of water to be released down the Murrumbidgee for irrigation around Leeton, Griffith and the newer Colleambally area on the south bank of the Murrumbidgee near Griffith.

From the start of the MIA, citrus and other fruit and vegetables were grown in abundance around Griffith. In the 1950s the irrigation area expanded to include large rice farms. Vineyards were established early, and wineries followed, beginning with McWilliams wines at Hanwood and Yenda, two villages just outside the city.

From its earliest days, the MIA was populated by Italian workers, some of whom were initially employed by Australian farmers to run steamboats on the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. Approximately 60% [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2004 | url = http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/nsw/content/2004/s1197534.htm | title = Italian Story | format = html | work = | publisher = Australian Broadcasting Corporation | accessdate = ] of today's Griffith population claim Italian background. These include the initial settlement of Italians from the boat crews and other Italians who came out to Australia in the Depression, or from a second wave of immigrant Italians who came to Griffith in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

In the 1970s, Griffith was often associated with drug distribution (particularly marijuana) and organized crime. However, Griffith is now associated with good wine and food, primarily as a result of its diverse population, with notable contributions by Italian-Australians. Griffith's multi-ethnic population is now absorbing new national groups, including a significant Sikh Indian community. The city is sister city with the Italian town of Treviso in the Veneto area. Many Italians in Griffith are from the Veneto region or the Calabria region of Italy.

The Italian influence expanded the range of fruit and vegetables, and also significantly increased the number of wineries and the range of wines produced. De Bortolis, Rosettos and other wineries were established by Italian immigrants, and today they are well known around Australia. In recent times they have been joined by one of the country's best known wine labels, Yellowtail.

Griffith is the cathedral city of the Anglican Diocese of Riverina. The foundation stone of the Parish Church of St Alban the Martyr was dedicated in 1954. It was proclaimed as a cathedral in 1984.

Climate



Commerce

Griffith is the regional service centre for the vast Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area - one of the most productive agricultural regions in Australia. [cite web | title = Sustainable Agriculture in the Lower Murrumbidgee Catchment | work = European Geosciences Union | publisher = Institute of Hydromechanics and Water Resources Management | url = http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU05/07492/EGU05-J-07492.pdf | accessdate = 2008-10-10] Thanks to irrigation Griffith is rich in agriculture and it is only appropriate that the city is known as Australia's "Wine and Food Country". Fine wines, international standard restaurants, an incredible range of fresh produce and opportunities to visit farms are only a small part of the varied experiences available.

Development

Griffith is a growing city and is evident by the many developments occurring. Griffith has been criticised for progressing too quickly but Griffith City Council believes that the statistics of future growth are enough to justify the developmentsfact|date=April 2008. Griffith's commercial sector is one of the largest for its size in Australiafact|date=April 2008. Griffith is currently seeking a private hospital and university campus to be built in the city. There are several motel and hotel developments also occurring within the city. Residential development is a reflection of the city's 2.4% growth rate and industrial growth remains strong with many large companies and company expansionsfact|date=April 2008.

Commercial

Griffith has experienced strong commercial growth in recent years. Griffith's main streets are Banna Avenue and Yambil Streets but commercial growth has occurred throughout the city. Shopping centre developments include:
* Griffith City Plaza
* Griffin Plaza
* Griffith Central
* Griffith Lifestyle Centre
* The Gateway Centre
* Griffith Woolworths Complex
* Griffith City Central
* Driver Shopping Complex

Griffith is home to many national retailers including Woolworths, Big W, Coles,Harvey Norman, Payless, Target, The Reject Shop, Go-Lo and Best and Less. Major Homemaker retailers include Harvey Norman, The Warehouse, Bunnings Warehouse, Fantastic Furniture, Barbeques Galore, Super Cheap Auto and Repco. Major fast food outlets of Griffith include McDonalds, KFC, Eagle Boys, Subway [http://www.local.subway.com/FranWebCons/frmMainStoreWebPage.aspx?CC=AUS&LC=ENG&SS=28008-0&MS=28008-0] and Red Rooster. Griffith's fine dining restaurants include The Clock, Vita's, Belverdere,La Tavola, Il Corso and Michelin's. Griffith has several retail developments in the pipeline such as the city's second Woolworths supermarket located on the former "Exies on Burrell" site.

Industrial

Griffith is home to the Riverina's largest employer, Bartter Enterprises Fact|date=February 2007. Griffith also has several wineries, including De Bortoli Wines and Casellas (makers of Yellowtail wine); and the Summertime Juice Factory.

Residential

Griffith's urban sprawl is very extensive due to the rapidly growing population. The entire suburb of Collina has been constructed to the north west of the city. Other housing development has occurred in North Griffith, Mayfair and Pioneer.

Education

Griffith is the third largest centre for education in the Riverina after Wagga Wagga and Leeton. Griffith is home to three high schools:
* Wade High School
* Griffith High School
* Marian Catholic College (formerly Catholic High School)

Griffith also has 13 primary schools and various day care and pre-school facilities. Griffith has one of the largest campuses of TAFE NSW Riverina Institute. There has been recent plans to construct a fifth campus of Charles Sturt University in Griffith.

Transport

Griffith Buslines operates buses through Griffith and surrounding towns And villages.

Griffith is a major junction for the Kidman Way, Burley Griffin Way and Irrigation Way. Griffith is located 550km west of Sydney via Burley Griffin Way and Irrigation Way and 450km north of Melbourne via the Kidman Way. Griffith has daily bus services to the major metropolitan areas and a special Xplorer service to Sydney on weekends. Griffith Airport operates daily flights to Sydney.

The railway reached Griffith on 3 July 1916 and since that date has provided an excellent service in transporting passengers and goods into and out of the area. Regular goods trains continue, making it a unique railway centre [From Penfolds to Patricks Pollard, Neville Australian Railway History, February; March; April, 2008 pp39-57; 75-89; 111-117] .

Events

* Riverina Field Days, which is held annually in May.
* La Festa, Wine, Food and Multicultural Festival, which is held annually over the Easter weekend.

Attractions

Griffith has many attractions which make the city very enticing for tourists. These include Pioneer Park, a 510 seat Regional Theatre, the Italian museum, the Griffith Regional Art Gallery, craft and antique shops, and its many high standard restaurants. Many of the Griffith wineries also have wine tasting at the cellar door, notably De Bortoli Wines, McWilliams, Beelgara Estate (formally Rossetto Wines), West End Wines, Miranda Wines and Riverina Wines. Griffith is famous for its botrytis including Debortoli's Noble One and its fortified wine such as McWilliams' Hanwood Port. Ecotourism is also available in Griffith. Scenic Hill has various walking trails, lookouts and is home to the famous Hermit's Cave. Nericon Swamp is one of only 40 world listed habitats for migratory birds. Nearby Cocoparra National Park offers walking trails and there are opportunities to explore along the Murrumbidgee River and Lake Wyangan.

Notable people

Evonne Goolagong, former World No. 1 Australian female tennis player.

Notes and References

ee also

*Donald Mackay
*Phillip Noyce
*Robert Trimbole
*Valerio Ricetti


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