Rhodes sits on a peninsula between Bray Bay and Homebush Bay, on the southern bank of the Parramatta River and is located about 3 kilometres from ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park (home of the 2000 Summer Olympics), Sydney International Aquatic Centre, Bicentennial Park and Millennium Parklands.
The suburb has three distinct sections with quite different characteristics:
The eastern section, east of Concord Road, is predominantly single family detached houses and parkland. It features two residential streets, Cropley Street and Llewellyn Street, which front the Parramatta River.
The central section, between Concord Road and the Main Northern railway line, is mixed commercial, single family detached dwelling residential, warehouse/office developments and community facilities. It includes: Rhodes Corporate Park, built on the site of the former Tullochs Phoenix Iron Works; two office blocks with some retail opposite the station; the Rhodes NSW Fire Brigades station (staffed by retained as opposed to full time officers); single dwelling residences; the former Rhodes Public School (now a community centre); a Coptic Orthodox church and facilities; the Masonic Aged Care Hostel; warehouse/office development along the river; and the First Yaralla Sea Scouts.
The western section, west of the railway line, features new developments on the former chemical and industrial sites, and includes: the Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre; many new (2007) apartment blocks; and a public foreshore walkway with two small parks (one incomplete Jan 2010). This area was planned by the NSW Government under Sydney Regional Environment Plan No 29. In October 2010, the City of Canada Bay approved a plan which would allow up to 5 buildings of 25 storeys in this Western section. The expected population in this western section is over 11,000, making it one of the most densely populated areas of Sydney outside the CBD. There are no facilities for organised active recreation or school education within this area.
A pedestrian, cyclist, transport and emergency services bridge is proposed from Rhodes to Wentworth Point (formerly called Homebush Bay).
Rhodes was named after the home of an early resident, Thomas Walker (1791â€“1861), which was built on the north-eastern side of the peninsula. Walker named his property Rhodes after his grandmother\'s home, Rhodes Hall, in Leeds, England. The house was demolished in 1919, when the land was purchased by the John Darling Flour Mills, later owned by Allied Feeds Limited.
Industry invaded the once picturesque and heavily forested isthmus in 1911 when Messrs. G & C. Hoskins established a large foundry specialising in the manufacture of cast iron pipes for gas and city water reticulation purposes. In 1930 their operations moved to Port Kembla, and in 1935 the site was taken over by CSR. During the period from about 1930 to the mid-1980s, the western part of the suburb between Homebush Bay and the railway line was taken up by chemical manufacturing. The main manufacturers were Berger Paints, CSR Chemicals, Union Carbide, and Allied Feeds.
The former Tullochs Limited Phoenix Iron Works were located between the railway line and Concord Road, south of Mary Street. They gave their name to Tulloch Avenue and Phoenix Avenue. This is now the site of the Hewlett Packard offices in Sydney. Tullochs manufactured much of the rolling stock for what is now CityRail.
With the exception of the area bounded by Mary, Walker, Marquet and Gauthorpe Streets, almost all of the land on the western side of the railway line has needed remediation. Most of the sediments along the sea wall from Oulton Avenue to the northern tip of the peninsula also require(d) remediation. The balance of the bay remains contaminated by numerous chemicals including phthalates, dioxins, lead, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (coal tars), but to a lesser extent than the areas closer to the sea wall on the eastern shore of the bay.
The remediation of the former Union Carbide site, the former Allied Feeds site and a strip of heavily dioxin contaminated sediments in Homebush Bay, have been the subject of extensive analysis, investigations and community activism, including by the Rhodes Peninsula Group. The remediation is approved and monitored by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change Contaminated Sites section with extensive community consultation. A strip of sediment in Homebush Bay between 40 and 100 metres wide and about 850 metres long along the eastern foreshore is being excavated and processed by direct thermal desorption and incineration to remove dioxins and other volatile organics. The remediation proposals were subject to a Parliamentary Inquiry by the NSW Standing Committee on State Development Committee. The remediation is expected to be completed by February 2011.
The former Berger Paints site near Oulton Avenue, and the CSR Chemicals / Orica Chemicals site on the southern side of Mary Street west of the railway, were also remediated. The Rhodes Waterside Shopping centre is located on the former Berger Paints site. Apartments are being developed on the former Orica Chemicals site, with commercial buildings along the railway line. Apartments are being developed on the former Union Carbide site and the former Allied Feeds site.
Rhodes railway station is on the Northern line of the CityRail network. The station is about 30 minutes from the Sydney CBD by rail.
Sydney Buses provide services (M41, 458, 459, 533) along Concord Road and Rider Boulevard (458 only). John Whitton Bridge runs alongside the railway bridge.
Road Network and bridges
The Ryde Bridge links Rhodes to Ryde, across the Parramatta River. Rhodes is on a major north-south road system through the suburbs of Sydney, Met Road 3, which consists of Mona Vale Road, Lane Cove Road, Concord Road, Homebush Bay Drive, Centenary Drive, Roberts Road and King Georges Road. It is close to two main east-west links, Victoria Road to the north and the F4/Parramatta Road/City West Link to the south.
Sydney Ferries provide ferry services from nearby Meadowbank to the City and Parramatta.
There is no residents\' parking scheme in Rhodes, and most street parking west of the Railway line in the redevelopment area is timed.
A number of Council and RTA cycleways run through Rhodes, predominantly along Llewellyn and Walker Streets, joined by Leeds Street and an underpass under Ryde Bridge. There are shared paths along the Homebush Bay foreshore (incomplete in 2010) and immediately to the west of the railway behind the shopping centre and offices in Rider Boulevarde. Cycleways run west to Silverwater Bridge and on to Parramatta on both sides of the river. John Whitton Bridge, which is the former railway bridge joining Rhodes and Meadowbank, has a cycleway and pedestrian walkway. There are links to the cycleway running predominantly along the Cooks River to Botany Bay.
Proposed Homebush Bay Bridge
A bridge across Homebush Bay is proposed from Gauthorpe Street in Rhodes to Footbridge Boulevarde, a street directly opposite at Wentworth Point. Traffic and construction will likely affect developments near the point where the bridge lands on either side of the bay, including Gauthorpe Street at Rhodes and Footbridge Boulevarde at Wentworth Point. The preliminary design has been lodged with Planning NSW. The bridge will affect access by boats into the southern part of the bay and its potential use for recreational sailing, although kayaking would be less affected except near the Rhodes shore. A community Reference Group has been formed.
Rhodes features a mixture of single dwelling residential, high density residential, major retail developments such as the Rhodes Shopping Centre (including IKEA, Coles Supermarkets, Bing Lee, Reading Cinemas and a Target variety store), commercial, warehouse/office developments and community facilities.
There are a number of commercial buildings in the Rhodes Redevelopment Area west of the railway, mainly in Rider Boulevarde, housing substantial businesses such as Australian Associated Press. The Rhodes Corporate Park developed by Australand is located at the corner of Concord Road and Homebush Bay Drive on the eastern side of the railway line and includes businesses such as National Australia Bank and Nestle.
While nearly all of the residential areas on the eastern side of the railway line are low to medium density of one or two storeys, the residential area on the western side of the railway line is high density, with most of the area zoned for high density residential development with buildings of four to eight storeys. There is an area of mixed high density residential and business opposite the railway station in Walker Street. The original planning instrument for the Rhodes Redevelopment Area provided for over 7,500 people to live west of the railway line in Rhodes, but with 2009/10 Council amendments, the projected population is now over 11,000 when redevelopment is completed.
Rhodes has one of the last NSW Fire Brigades stations staffed by volunteers in metropolitan Sydney. It was established on land owned by the McIlwaine family, (for whom McIlwaine Park is named). Three generations of the McIlwaine family have been Captain of the Brigade.
First Yaralla Sea Scouts has a hall near Ryde Bridge. The hall was rebuilt in brick after the original hall was destroyed by fire. Dragon boat paddling also takes place from this site. The Concord Rhodes Open Sailing Club (now Concord Ryde Sailing Club) operated from King George V park until relocated to Waterview Street Putney (near Yaralla Street) to allow for the building of the duplication of Ryde Bridge.
Rhodes Community Centre is located in Blaxland Road in the former two teacher Rhodes Primary School buildings. Most primary school children in the area now attend Concord West Public School, Strathfield North Public School or Saint Ambrose at Concord West. A community building is planned for the central Homebush Bay foreshore park on the western side of the peninsula and is expected to be completed in 2012.
There is an aged care hostel in Cavell Avenue, built largely on the former Rhodes Public School playground. A Coptic Orthodox church has been built on the site of a former church of another denomination, and additional parish facilities added.
Rhodes Residents Association has represented the community, particularly to local government, for over 20 years. Rhodes Peninsula Group also represents community interests in relation to the Rhodes Remediation and Redevelopment and associated issues and infrastructure.
Parramatta River at Rhodes
There is no monitoring of water quality under the NSW Government Beachwatch program at Rhodes, or anywhere else west of Cabarita Park. The river is generally regarded as safe for secondary contact such as sailing. Swimming is generally not recommended for 3 days after heavy rain. The river around Rhodes is used by rowing crews for training, predominantly in early mornings, late afternoons and on weekends. Sailing from Concord and Ryde Sailing Club can be seen in the distance from McIlwaine and Brays Bay Parks at Rhodes on Saturdays from 1 September to 30 April. Dragon boating is available from near Yaralla Sea Scouts near Ryde Bridge. There is a boat ramp at the northern end of Blaxland Road. There are other ramps at Wharf Road, West Meadowbank and on the eastern side of Silverwater Bridge on the southern side of the river.
Fishing is banned in all Homebush Bay (including from Rhodes and Wentworth Point). There is a health-based ban in Sydney Harbour (including the Parramatta River and Homebush and Brays Bays near Rhodes) on the taking of all intertidal organisms such as oysters and pipis. There is a health advisory not to eat more than about 200 grams of fish per month from the Parramatta River west of the Gladesville Bridge (including near Rhodes).
Proposed Wentworth Point marina
Maritime, a NSW Government instrumentality, owns most of the land on Wentworth Point north of Burroway Road on both sides of Hill Road. Maritime has announced plans for a major boat storage facility with complementary maritime facilities. These are in the planning stage.
Major public services near Rhodes
Concord Repatriation General Hospital is a large general hospital with an emergency department which is within walking distance of Rhodes station.
Concord West Public School on Concord Road opposite Hospital Road is the nearest primary school and is within walking distance of much of Rhodes. Other primary schools attended by students from Rhodes include St Ambrose, Concord West.
The local state high (secondary) schools are Concord High School, Strathfield Girls High School and Homebush Boys High School. Other high schools attended by students from Rhodes include Meriden at Strathfield, MLC at Burwood, St Patricks College Strathfield, Santa Sabina College Strathfield, Christian Brothers High School Lewisham, Marist College Eastwood, Trinity College, and Fort Street Selective High School, Taverners Hill. Local community groups have expressed concern about the lack of infant, primary and high schools for the 11,500 people expected to live at Rhodes.
There is no organised active recreation available within Rhodes, other than two boats for Dragon Boat paddling. Sailing is available at Concord & Ryde Sailing Club at Putney. Canada Bay Council and Ryde Council provide information about sporting clubs that are convenient to Rhodes in their respective cities.
The large two storey Concord Library opened in 2008 at the corner of Wellbank and Flavelle Streets.
Rhodes is serviced by the Burwood Local Area Command.
The Rhodes community is protected by the Rhodes, Concord and Ryde Fire Brigades. Rhodes Fire Brigade is one of only three remaining Retained (paid volunteer) Fire Brigades in inner Sydney. Rhodes Fire Brigade is also celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2011.
There are a number of foreshore parks in the eastern part of the suburb, including McIlwaine Park, King George V Park, Brays Bay Reserve (which contains the Oliveto restaurant), and Rhodes/Rotary Park. Concord and Ryde Sailing Club was based in King George V Park until construction of the second Ryde Bridge required its demolition, after which the club premises were relocated to Kissing Point in Ryde.
The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, which connects Brays Bay Reserve with Concord Hospital, is a memorial to those killed in Papua New Guinea on the Kokoda Track during World War II.
Rhodes features a foreshore path and cycleway, which links to an extensive network of foreshore parks in Sydney. (See Transport above)
Cable internet is not presently available in Rhodes west of the railway line, although this is expected to change under the National Broadband Network scheme. Mobile phone and wireless internet reception is poor in places because of tall buildings. ADSL service is slow because of distance to the closest Telstra exchange.
Electricity supply is to be augmented by a major new substation in Marquet Street. It will involve boring a service tunnel into bedrock under Homebush Bay and laying services in local streets, including Marquet Street, Gauthorpe Street and part of Shoreline Drive. It is expected to be completed in 2013.
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Source: Â http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes,_New_South_Wales
- Municipality:City of Canada Bay