Wagga Wagga

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Wagga Wagga
New South Wales
Aerial view of Central Wagga Wagga.jpg
Aerial view of central Wagga Wagga
Australia New South Wales location map blank.svg
Red pog.svg
Wagga Wagga
Coordinates 35°7′8″S147°22′8″E / 35.11889°S 147.36889°E / -35.11889; 147.36889 Coordinates: 35°7′8″S147°22′8″E / 35.11889°S 147.36889°E / -35.11889; 147.36889
Population54,411 (2016 census) [1]  (26th)
Established1829 (explored) [2]
1847 (village)
1849 (surveyed)
1849 (town)
1870 (municipality)
1946 (city)
Postcode(s) 2650
Elevation147 m (482 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10:00)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11:00)
Location
LGA(s) City of Wagga Wagga
County Wynyard & Clarendon
Parish South Wagga Wagga
State electorate(s) Wagga Wagga
Federal Division(s) Riverina
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
22.1 °C
72 °F
9.0 °C
48 °F
573.4 mm
22.6 in

Wagga Wagga ( /ˌwɒɡəˈwɒɡə/ ; [3] informally called Wagga) is a major regional city in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. Straddling the Murrumbidgee River, with an urban population of more than 54,000 as at the 2016 census, Wagga Wagga is the state's largest inland city, [4] and is an important agricultural, military, and transport hub of Australia. The ninth fastest growing inland city in Australia, [5] Wagga Wagga is located midway between the two largest cities in AustraliaSydney and Melbourneand is the major regional centre for the Riverina and South West Slopes regions.

Riverina Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Riverina is an agricultural region of South-Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Murrumbidgee River river in New South Wales, Australia

Murrumbidgee River, a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It descends 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) as it flows 1,485 kilometres (923 mi) in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.

Contents

The central business district is focused around the commercial and recreational grid bounded by Best and Tarcutta Streets and the Murrumbidgee River and the Sturt Highway. The main shopping street of Wagga is Baylis Street which becomes Fitzmaurice Street at the northern end. The city is in an alluvial valley and much of the city has a problem with urban salinity.

Sturt Highway Australian national highway in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia

The Sturt Highway is an Australian national highway in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. The Sturt Highway is an important road link for the transport of passengers and freight between Sydney and Adelaide and the regions situated adjacent to the route.

The original inhabitants of the Wagga Wagga region were the Wiradjuri people. In 1829, Charles Sturt became the first European explorer to visit the future site of the city. Squatters arrived soon after. The town, positioned on the site of a ford across the Murrumbidgee, [6] was surveyed and gazetted as a village in 1849 and the town grew quickly after. In 1870, the town was gazetted as a municipality.

The Wiradjuri people are a group of Indigenous Australian Aboriginal people that were united by a common language, strong ties of kinship and survived as skilled hunter–fisher–gatherers in family groups or clans scattered throughout central New South Wales.

Charles Sturt Australian explorer

Captain Charles Napier Sturt was a British explorer of Australia, and part of the European exploration of Australia. He led several expeditions into the interior of the continent, starting from both Sydney and later from Adelaide. His expeditions traced several of the westward-flowing rivers, establishing that they all merged into the Murray River. He was searching to prove his own passionately held belief that there was an "inland sea" at the centre of the continent.

European land exploration of Australia deals with the opening up of the interior of Australia to European settlement which occurred gradually throughout the colonial period, 1788–1900. A number of these explorers are very well known, such as Burke and Wills who are well known for their failed attempt to cross the interior of Australia, as well as Hamilton Hume and Charles Sturt.

During the negotiations leading to the federation of the Australian colonies, Wagga Wagga was a contender for the site of the capital for the new nation. [7] During World War I the town was the starting point for the Kangaroo recruitment march. The Great Depression and the resulting hardship saw Wagga Wagga become the centre of a secession movement for the Riverina region. Wagga Wagga became a garrison town during World War II with the establishment of a military base at Kapooka and Royal Australian Air Force bases at Forest Hill and Uranquinty. After the war, Wagga Wagga was proclaimed as a city in 1946 and new suburbs were developed to the south of the city. In 1982 the city was amalgamated with the neighbouring Kyeamba and Mitchell Shires to form the City of Wagga Wagga local government area.

Federation of Australia process by which six separate British self-governing colonies became the country of Australia

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Snowball marches

During World War I, recruitment marches or snowball marches to state capital cities were a feature of volunteer recruiting drives for the Australian Imperial Force in rural Australia. Between October 1915 and February 1916, nine marches were held starting from various points in the state; the most notable was the first march from Gilgandra, New South Wales, known as the Cooee march. The March of the Dungarees took place in south-eastern Queensland in November 1915. In 1918, in an effort to promote recruitment, another march was staged, but this was less spontaneous and the marchers in fact travelled by train.

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

Geography

Wagga Wagga is at the eastern end of the Riverina region where the slopes of the Great Dividing Range flatten and form the Riverina plain. The city straddles the Murrumbidgee River, one of the great rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin, and the city centre is on the southern bank, protected by a levee from potential flooding.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

Levee Ridge or wall to hold back water

A levee, dike, dyke, embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels. It is usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river in its floodplain or along low-lying coastlines.

The city sits halfway between the largest cities in Australia, being 452 kilometres southwest of Sydney and 456 kilometres northeast of Melbourne with the Sydney–Melbourne railway line passing through. [8] The Sturt Highway, part of Australia's National Highway network, passes through the city on its way from Adelaide to its junction with the main Sydney–Melbourne route, the Hume Highway, a further 45 kilometres east. This location astride some of the major transport routes in the nation has made Wagga Wagga an important heavy truck depot for a number of companies including Toll Holdings. Wagga Wagga itself is the major regional centre for the Riverina and for much of the South West Slopes regions, providing education, health and other services to a region extending as far as Griffith to the west, Cootamundra to the north and Tumut to the east.

Main Southern railway line, New South Wales railway line in New South Wales, Australia

The Main Southern Railway is a major railway in New South Wales, Australia. It runs from Sydney to Albury, near the Victorian border. The line passes through the Southern Highlands, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes and Riverina regions.

National Highway (Australia) highway system in Australia

The National Highway is a system of roads connecting all mainland states and territories of Australia, and is the major network of highways and motorways connecting Australia's capital cities and major regional centres.

Adelaide City in South Australia

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. Adelaide is home to 77 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.

Northwest view of Wagga Wagga panorama.jpg
Wagga Wagga, looking northwest from Willans Hill

Landform and salinity

Wagga Wagga is upstream from the Riverina plain in the mid-catchment range of the Murrumbidgee River in an alluvial valley confined by low bedrock hills. [9] Much of Wagga Wagga is on heavy clay soils in a large drainage basin with a small catchment discharge point. Groundwater therefore cannot leave easily, leading to Wagga Wagga having a problem with waterlogged soil and soil salination. Urban salination in Wagga Wagga is now the subject of a large multi-pronged approach to prevent further salination and reclaim salt-affected areas. [10]

City and suburbs

Wagga CBD in 1897 Wagga Wagga map 1897.jpg
Wagga CBD in 1897

The location of Wagga Wagga's Central business district was already well established by the late 1800s and remains focused around the commercial and recreational grid bounded by Best and Tarcutta Streets and the Murrumbidgee River and the Sturt Highway. The main shopping street of Wagga Wagga is Baylis Street which becomes Fitzmaurice Street at the northern end. The Wollundry Lagoon is the water focus of the city centre and has been a key element in the development and separation of the north (older) and south (newer) parts of the city centre. Most residential growth in Wagga Wagga has been on the higher ground to the south of the city centre, with the only residential areas north of the Murrumbidgee being the flood prone suburb of North Wagga Wagga and the university suburb of Estella. Major industrial areas of Wagga Wagga include the northern suburb of Bomen and the eastern suburb of East Wagga Wagga.

Thomas Mitchell, the surveyor who served under Lord Wellington named many of the streets after Peninsula War veterans. [11]

Climate

Wagga Wagga has a temperate climate with hot dry summers and cool to cold winters. [12] [13] Under the Köppen climate classification, the city has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), [14] albeit having a semi-arid influence due to its vegetation. [15] At an elevation of 147 metres (482 ft) above sea level, Wagga Wagga has four distinct seasons. Winters can be cold by Australian standards with the mean maximum temperature falling in July to 12.7 °C (54.9 °F) and a mean minimum of 2.8 °C (37.0 °F). The lowest temperature recorded at Wagga was −6.3 °C (20.7 °F) on 21 August 1982.

Fog and heavy frosts are common in the winter while snow is a very rare occurrence. [16] By contrast, summers in Wagga Wagga are warm to hot, with mean maximum temperatures ranging between 29 and 32 °C (84 and 90 °F). The hottest temperature on record is 45.2 °C (113.4 °F) on 7 February 2009. [17] Relative humidity is low in the summer months with a 3 pm average of around 30%. Wagga Wagga has 124.3 clear days annually. [16]

In 2009 the city recorded anomalous maximum of 25.03 °C (77.05 °F), which was 2.33 °C (4.19 °F) above the country's average of 22.7 °C (72.9 °F) and the highest anomalous maximum in Australia for 2009. [18] This proceeded the Early 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave, in which Wagga Wagga recorded 13 Consecutive days over 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) as well as its highest maximum temperature ever recorded.

Wagga Wagga has a mean annual rainfall of 575.3 millimetres (22.65 in) per year. This rainfall is distributed fairly equally over the 12 months. [16] On 8 March 2010, Wagga Wagga Airport recorded 110.2 millimetres (4.34 in) of rain, breaking the previous all-time record of 104.1 millimetres (4.10 in) set on 16 March 1966, with 127 millimetres (5.0 in) of rain recorded at Gurwood Street in the city's CBD. [19] In December 2010, the city recorded its wettest year on record and the first yearly rainfall recording of 1,000 millimetres (39 in). [20] [21]

Climate data for Wagga Wagga
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)44.8
(112.6)
45.2
(113.4)
39.5
(103.1)
35.4
(95.7)
28.7
(83.7)
23.2
(73.8)
23.2
(73.8)
26.6
(79.9)
32.9
(91.2)
36.3
(97.3)
42.8
(109.0)
43.2
(109.8)
45.2
(113.4)
Average high °C (°F)31.7
(89.1)
30.9
(87.6)
27.7
(81.9)
22.5
(72.5)
17.4
(63.3)
13.9
(57.0)
12.7
(54.9)
14.5
(58.1)
17.7
(63.9)
21.6
(70.9)
25.9
(78.6)
29.5
(85.1)
22.2
(72.0)
Average low °C (°F)16.3
(61.3)
16.4
(61.5)
13.4
(56.1)
9.2
(48.6)
5.9
(42.6)
3.7
(38.7)
2.8
(37.0)
3.5
(38.3)
5.1
(41.2)
7.8
(46.0)
10.9
(51.6)
13.9
(57.0)
9.1
(48.4)
Record low °C (°F)3.4
(38.1)
2.3
(36.1)
2.6
(36.7)
−2.1
(28.2)
−4.4
(24.1)
−5.2
(22.6)
−6.3
(20.7)
−5.4
(22.3)
−3.8
(25.2)
−2.2
(28.0)
−0.2
(31.6)
3.4
(38.1)
−6.3
(20.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches)40.5
(1.59)
40.7
(1.60)
45.1
(1.78)
40.2
(1.58)
50.8
(2.00)
50.5
(1.99)
54.9
(2.16)
51.0
(2.01)
49.4
(1.94)
56.9
(2.24)
45.7
(1.80)
46.5
(1.83)
573.7
(22.59)
Average precipitation days5.45.35.66.89.211.313.613.010.59.47.56.3103.9
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)29333543566465595446363046
Mean daily sunshine hours 10.810.19.38.26.34.64.86.47.69.29.710.48.1
Source #1: [22]
Source #2: [23]

History

Former CBC Bank Former CBC Bank Wagga.jpg
Former CBC Bank

The Aboriginal inhabitants of the Wagga Wagga region were the Wiradjuri people and the term "Wagga" and derivatives of that word in the Wiradjuri aboriginal language is thought to mean crow . To create the plural, the Wiradjuri repeat a word, thus 'Wagga Wagga' translates to 'the place of many crows'. [24] This has been recognised in the Latin name of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wagga Wagga as Dioecesis Corvopolitana ("corvus" being the Latin word for crow). [25] Other translations render the word 'wagga' as "reeling (a sick man or a dizzy man)" and "to dance, slide or grind". [24]

European exploration of the future site of Wagga Wagga began in 1829 with the arrival of Captain Charles Sturt during his expedition along the Murrumbidgee River. [26] Settlers arrived shortly thereafter with Charles Tompson establishing the Eunonyhareenyha 'run' on the north bank of the river in 1832, and then in soon after George Best establishing the Wagga Wagga 'run' on the south bank. Other settlers followed, with all of them initially squatting on the land illegally but by 1836 the colonial government regulated the tenure of land and established a licensing scheme. [27] Within a few years settlers numbers increased greatly and before 1850 a local bench of magistrates and a place for holding petty sessions was established. [28] The beginnings of a village formed near the ford used by most traffic passing through the area and included a crude blacksmith's shop, a hotel, and a post office. By 1849 the town was marked out by surveyor Thomas Scott Townsend and formally gazetted as a village. [6]

Wagga Wagga grew quickly, reaching a population of 627 in 1861 and during that decade a number of hotels and stores opened, as well as professional services in the form of banks, solicitors, doctors and dentists. [29] [30] The Wagga Wagga Advertiser is still published today as The Daily Advertiser and commenced in 1868. [29] Until the 1860s most goods were transported to markets by bullock wagon. For a short time, the arrival of faster, cheaper and more reliable riverboats allowed goods to be transported more easily to export markets. The riverboat era ended when the New South Wales government extended the railway line to North Wagga Wagga in 1878 and across the river to Wagga Wagga itself in 1881. [31]

On 15 March 1870, Wagga Wagga was incorporated as a municipality and George Forsyth was chosen as the first Mayor of Wagga Wagga. Gas lighting was installed throughout the streets of Wagga Wagga in 1881, although once again North Wagga Wagga was neglected. By 1885, a town waterworks and reservoir was established although water quality remained a problem. Poor sanitation caused a horrific stench in the town and was blamed for a large increase in infectious diseases such as typhoid fever in the 1890s and early 1900s. In 1908 the Council approved a sewerage scheme and by 1914 most of the main streets were sewered. A free public library was opened in 1875 and the Council began to establish parklands such as Bolton Park and the Town Hall Gardens. [32]

Hampden Bridge WaggaWaggaBridgeOverMurrumbidgee.jpg
Hampden Bridge

In September 1859 local residents formed a committee for the construction of a pile bridge over the Murrumbidgee River. After the New South Wales Government refused to support this type of bridge the committee decided to finance it themselves. The bridge was completed in October 1862 and opened on 27 October at just over 91 metres long and 7 metres wide. In 1884 the New South Wales Government purchased the bridge and it was demolished in 1895. [33] In 1895 a truss bridge called the Hampden Bridge, was built across the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga. The bridge served the Wagga Wagga community for over 100 years until 16 August 2006 when it was closed and fenced off to the public due to the bridge being declared a safety risk after one of the trusses failed. [34] [35] In 2014 the Hampden Bridge was demolished. [36] [37]

With its increasing prosperity and population, Wagga Wagga and the surrounding district became a place of interest to several infamous bushrangers. The Wagga police magistrate Henry Baylis was bailed up by Mad Dog Morgan in 1863. [38] Captain Moonlite and his band arrived in the district on 15 November 1879 and held up 39 people at Wantabadgery Station. Moonlite and his gang escaped a police pursuit only to be captured at another nearby property when police from the neighbouring townships of Gundagai and Adelong arrived. [38]

Federal parliamentarians visiting a proposed site for the Federal Capital of Australia in Wagga Wagga Proposed Federal Capital site in Wagga.jpg
Federal parliamentarians visiting a proposed site for the Federal Capital of Australia in Wagga Wagga

Along with most of the Riverina region, the majority of Wagga Wagga residents supported the federation of the Australian colonies, in large part due to the prospect of free trade across colonial borders. In 1898, a group of residents promoted Wagga Wagga for consideration as the site of the future national capital due to its location equidistant from Sydney and Melbourne and its ample water supply. Despite the bid's lack of success, in the 1899 referendum Wagga Wagga residents voted strongly in favour of federation. [7]

During World War I the town was the starting point of the "Kangaroo March", one of a series of snowball marches conducted in New South Wales during the war where groups of recruits would march toward Sydney and appeal to men in the towns along the route to join them and enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. 88 recruits left Wagga Wagga on 1 December 1915, farewelled by a large crowd and to the accompaniment of a band. The marchers included John Ryan, who later won the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Battle of the Hindenburg Line in 1918. [39] The march finished at Campbelltown with over 220 recruits. [39] [40]

Wagga Wagga Fire Station (C. 1903) on Morrow Street in 1912 Morrow Street Fire Station.jpg
Wagga Wagga Fire Station (C. 1903) on Morrow Street in 1912

After the war some of the area around Wagga Wagga was designated for settlement by returned soldiers, who faced insurmountable difficulties due to poor and unwatered land, lack of farming experience and lack of access to markets. Many walked off the land after years of backbreaking work. [41] Residential growth continued with a population in 1921 of 11,631. [42] Much of this residential growth was housed in the higher ground to the south, extending to the south of the railway tracks. A suburb consisting of tents and crude huts, known as "Tent Town", developed along the river providing housing for the poorer residents of Wagga Wagga. [43] In 1922, electricity was provided for the town, with hydro-electric power available from Burrinjuck Dam from 1928. [44]

Hardship as a result of the Great Depression, and the election of Jack Lang of the Labor party as Premier of New South Wales, sparked the formation of the "Riverina Movement". Throughout the Riverina in early 1931, a series of rallies were organised by the movement, culminating in a great meeting in Wagga Wagga on 28 February 1931. The meeting called on the State and Federal governments to alleviate the concerns of producers in the district or hold a referendum to determine if the Riverina should secede. The movement petered out following the dismissal of Lang in 1932 and the recovery of the regional economy. [45]

The outbreak of World War II saw Royal Australian Air Force bases established at Forest Hill in 1940 and Uranquinty in 1941. A major Australian Army camp was constructed at Kapooka in 1942 and one year later there were 8,000 troops in training there with Wagga taking on the characteristics of a garrison town. [46]

After the war, Wagga Wagga grew steadily and was proclaimed a city on 17 April 1946. Suburbs such as Turvey Park and Kooringal were developed to the south of the city and in the 1960s, residential growth expanded to cover areas such as Tolland and Lake Albert. The main commercial district also moved south to the Baylis Street end with the development of the Sturt Mall in 1979. The City Council developed a series of industrial areas including areas for service and general industries, and agricultural processing and noxious industries were established in a new industrial estate in Bomen. [47]

Queen Elizabeth II being shown sheep at the Wagga Wagga show in 1954. QueenElizabeth InspectingSheep WaggaWagga 1954.jpg
Queen Elizabeth II being shown sheep at the Wagga Wagga show in 1954.

In the 1950s the defence bases in Wagga Wagga again became an important part of the city. The Army camp at Kapooka was reopened as a recruit training centre from 1951, a role it maintains to this day. RAAF Base Wagga at Forest Hill also expanded, with training of defence force aircraft technicians there from 1969. [48] After a series of major floods in the early 1950s, the City Council protected the city area on the south flood plain through construction of a levee, completed in 1962. The levee was designed to provide protection from floods at levels expected once every one hundred years. North Wagga Wagga was initially excluded from protection however by 1982 another levee was constructed to protect the village, although at a lower standard. [49]

In 1971, following pressure from the Wagga Wagga community for a university, the teachers' college established in 1947 became the Riverina College of Advanced Education and was relocated to a site adjacent to the Wagga Agricultural College, with which it amalgamated in 1975. In 1989, the College amalgamated with the College of Advanced Education at Bathurst to become Charles Sturt University. [50] In 1981, the New South Wales government forced the amalgamation of Wagga Wagga City Council with neighbouring Kyeamba Shire and Mitchell Shire to form the new City of Wagga Wagga local government area, containing 4,886 square kilometres. [51]

Rotary Peace Monument Rotary Peace Monument.jpg
Rotary Peace Monument

On 23 February 1993 Wagga Wagga was the first city in the world to be proclaimed as a Rotary Peace City, with a Rotary Peace Monument unveiled on the corner of The Esplanade and Best Street. [52] [53]

Heritage listings

Wagga Wagga has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Flag

Flag of Wagga Wagga
Flag of Wagga Wagga.jpg
Use City
Proportion1:1
Adopted1965
Designed byMr H Ellis Tomlinson, MA, FHS

The Wagga Wagga City Flag was designed by Mr H Ellis Tomlinson, MA, FHS and adopted in 1965. [56] Currently, Wagga Wagga City Council holds the copyright to Tomlinson's design. The flag is officially square. The upper quarter of it contains eight stalks of wheat positioned so as to form two capital letters W on a vert (green) field. The lower quarter of the upper half of the flag contains a wavy blue line on gold (yellow) representing the river winding through the wheat fields. The lower half of the flag contains the head of a ram positioned centrally on a vert (green) field.

Demographics

Wagga Wagga is the major city of the Riverina and the largest inland city in New South Wales. [57] As at June 2015 the urban area of Wagga Wagga was home to an estimated population of 55,820 [58] having grown, on average, 0.7 percent year-on-year during the previous five years. [58] Much of this growth is attributable to the "sponge city" phenomenon as Wagga Wagga attracts residents from smaller towns in the region such as Urana. Other factors include Wagga's role as a regional centre and its hosting of major defence establishments and a Charles Sturt University campus. [59]

According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 54,411 people in the Wagga Wagga Urban Area.

Wagga Wagga falls within the boundary of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Anglican parishes include St John's, Wagga Wagga (Church St); St Paul's, Turvey Park (Fernleigh Rd); St Alban's, Kooringal (Lake Albert Rd); Community of the Redeemer, Ashmont (Blakemore Ave).

Wagga Wagga is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese, with its principal church being St Michael's Cathedral.

Industry

Commercial

Wagga Wagga Marketplace, opened in 1997 Wagga Wagga Marketplace.jpg
Wagga Wagga Marketplace, opened in 1997
Myer on Baylis Street, previously a Grace Bros. store until 2003 Myer-wagga.jpg
Myer on Baylis Street, previously a Grace Bros. store until 2003

Wagga attracts people from all over the Riverina and southwestern New South Wales to its shopping facilities. It is the major support city for over 200,000 people who live across the region.

Wagga's shopping centres include two notable centres of metropolitan standards, Wagga Wagga Marketplace and Sturt Mall in the central business district, and suburban shopping centres such as the South City Shopping Centre in Glenfield Park, the Lake Village Shopping Centre, Lake Albert, the Tolland Shopping Centre and Kooringal Mall in Kooringal. Wagga has a large Home Base located on the Sturt Highway. Wagga's central business district, with both Baylis and Fitzmaurice Streets and other surrounding streets, offers hundreds of speciality retailers including national chains such as Big W, Myer and Target Country. The dairy company Fonterra (Formerly Murrumbidgee Dairy Products [60] ), is based on the Sturt Highway which is a supplier of dairy products in the Riverina, Other major industries include Cargill and Heinz which are in the suburb of Bomen.

Defence forces

Army Recruit Training Centre ARTCKapooka.jpg
Army Recruit Training Centre

The Australian Army base at Kapooka includes the Army Recruit Training Centre, where general enlistment members of the Australian Army undertake their initial training. [61] The barracks at Kapooka are named after World War II military commander Sir Thomas Blamey, born at Lake Albert Wagga Wagga and Australia's only Field Marshal. [38] [62] Following recruit training, soldiers move on to trade specific training at training establishments throughout Australia. The soldiers club at Kapooka is named for John Hurst Edmondson, Australia's first Victoria Cross winner in World War II, who was born in Wagga Wagga. [63] [64]

There is a separate Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Forest Hill (RAAF Base Wagga), which is the administration and logistics training base for Air Force personnel and the tri-service (RAN/Army/RAAF) electronic (White hander) and aircraft (Black hander) trades school. Some Royal Australian Navy Aircraft Technicians assigned to the naval air station HMAS Albatross are based at RAAF Base Wagga as an Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit (AMAFTU). As of 2008, No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU) has moved from RAAF Edinburgh to RAAF Wagga Wagga. [65] RAAF Base Wagga is also the home of the Wagga Wagga RAAF Museum.

Education

Wagga Wagga High School Wagga Wagga High School.jpg
Wagga Wagga High School

The sole provider of higher education in Wagga Wagga is the local campus of the multi-campus Charles Sturt University, located on the outskirts of the suburb of Estella. The university was established on 1 July 1989 [66] following the enactment of The Charles Sturt University Act, 1989 and involved the merger of several existing separately-administered Colleges of Advanced Education including the Riverina College of Advanced Education in Wagga Wagga. At the time of its establishment it became the ninth university in the state and its inaugural vice-chancellor was C.D. Blake AO who at the time was the principal of the Riverina College. [66]

The Riverina Institute, a collection of TAFE institute campuses has its headquarters in Wagga Wagga and Wagga is home to three campuses. [67] The Primary Industries Centre, at North Wagga Wagga is set on 250 hectares and runs courses on agriculture and horticulture. [68] The National Aerospace Training Centre of Excellence, at RAAF Base Wagga provides training support to the Australian Defence Force aerospace traineeship program. The commercial contract with the ADF is the largest technical training contract in Australia. [69] In addition Wagga Wagga is home to eight secondary schools and 22 primary schools.

Government

Wagga Wagga Court House Wagga-Court-House.jpg
Wagga Wagga Court House

Local government for the city is provided by the Wagga Wagga City Council. As well as Wagga Wagga itself the City Council area includes the outlying towns of Tarcutta, Ladysmith, Mangoplah, Collingullie and Uranquinty covering an area of 4,824 km². [70] The local government area was formed as a result of the amalgamation of the City of Wagga Wagga with the Mitchell and Kyeamba Shires in 1981. The council itself consists of 11 councillors elected for a four-year term and from these a mayor and deputy mayor are elected each year by the council. [71]

Wagga Wagga is the largest city in the Australian House of Representatives electorate of Riverina, currently represented by Michael McCormack of the National Party. At the state level, the city is represented in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly by Joe Mcgirr, Independent member for the Electoral district of Wagga Wagga.

Transport

Gobbagombalin Bridge, which forms part of the Olympic Highway WaggaGobbaBridgeOverMurrumbidgeeRiver.jpg
Gobbagombalin Bridge, which forms part of the Olympic Highway

Busabout Wagga Wagga provides bus services from most Wagga Wagga suburbs to the CBD from Mondays to Saturdays with no services on Sunday or public holidays.

Allen's Coaches of Coolamon and Junee Buses provide weekday connections to Coolamon (routes 1W, 2W and 3W) and Junee (routes 21-25) respectively.

Wagga Radio Cabs run taxis 24/7 in the city with taxi ranks at Station Place, Forsyth Street, Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and Kooringal Mall.

Baylis Street in the CBD was a thoroughfare for the Olympic Highway until the Gobbagombalin Bridge (referred to locally as the Gobba Bridge and is believed to be the longest continuous-span viaduct in New South Wales) about 6 km northwest of the CBD was opened on 26 July 1997. [72] The Sturt Highway passes through the centre of Wagga Wagga.

Wagga Wagga railway station is located on the Sydney–Melbourne railway line with twice daily XPT rail services provided by NSW TrainLink, the state owned passenger rail service.

Wagga Wagga Airport at Forest Hill has scheduled daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne operated by two carriers, Regional Express and QantasLink bringing approximately 210,000 passengers through the region every year. Coupled with Rex’s major maintenance base and the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA), the Airport is one of the busiest in regional Australia. The Airport itself is owned by the Royal Australian Air Force and the civil side is leased by the Wagga Wagga City Council. The sealed runway can cater for aircraft up to Boeing 737-300 and Airbus A321. [73]

Sport

Robertson Oval Aerial view of Robertson Oval in Wagga Wagga.jpg
Robertson Oval

Wagga's location approximately midway between Melbourne and Sydney on the "Barassi Line" contributes to high levels of participation in Rugby league, Rugby union and Australian rules football in the town. Other popular sports in Wagga include soccer, cricket, tennis, and lawn bowls.

The local rugby league teams play in the Group 9 Rugby League competition and include Wagga Brothers, South City and Wagga Kangaroos. The Group 9 grand final is a major sport event in Wagga Wagga. Rugby union teams include CSU Reddies, Wagga Agricultural College, Wagga City and Wagga Waratahs in the Southern Inland Rugby Union. Australian rules football clubs in Wagga include Collingullie-Glenfield Park, Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Turvey Park and Wagga Tigers in the Riverina Football League and East Wagga-Kooringal, North Wagga and Rivcoll(CSU) in the Farrer Football League. Wagga soccer teams include Henwood Park, Wagga United, Tolland and Lake Albert, with the first grade competition for men being the Pascoe Cup and for women the Leonard Cup. The Wagga Wagga Gold Cup , said to be Australia's second oldest thoroughbred horse race, is held in the first week of May. [74] [75]

"Wagga Effect"

The "Wagga Effect" is a term that has been used frequently in the Australian media to describe the disproportionately large number of elite sportsmen and women that originate from the city. [76] It is speculated that the phenomenon may arise in rural areas where the population is large enough to sustain the presence of a large number of sporting codes, but small enough to ensure that talented individuals are exposed to adult-level competition at an earlier age. [76]

Notable sportspeople from Wagga include:

In 1993, the City of Wagga Wagga instituted a Sporting Hall of Fame as part of the Museum of the Riverina dedicated to the elite sportspeople from Wagga Wagga and the surrounding area. [77]

5 o'clock wave

The 5 o'clock wave is a fictional theory on the reasons for Wagga Wagga's sporting success. [78] According to the local urban myth, at precisely 5 o'clock arrives a giant wave which flushes a secret nutrient into the Murrumbidgee River following the release of water from the Blowering and Burrinjuck Dams. The wave is said to continue down river at high speed, and indeed visitors are told it is so powerful that surfers can ride it along the meandering river until it reaches the town of Narrandera. [78]

Recreation and culture

Recreation

Wagga Beach - Murrumbidgee River Wagga Beach.jpg
Wagga Beach – Murrumbidgee River

The Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga forms into a large sandy beach, and is a popular location for swimming, picnics and barbecues during the warmer months. Between 1977 and 1995 the beach played host to the Gumi Races, where people were encouraged to make rafts from inner tubing and sabotage their competition by throwing rotten eggs and flour at them. [78] Visitors and local residents still take every opportunity[ editorializing ] during the warmer months to float down the river from the area known as "The Rocks" some 600 metres upstream from the main beach area.

A peacock in Wagga Wagga Zoo A Peacock in Wagga Wagga Zoo.jpg
A peacock in Wagga Wagga Zoo
"The Rocks" on the Murrumbidgee River The Rocks - Wagga Wagga.jpg
"The Rocks" on the Murrumbidgee River

Wollundry Lagoon, Lake Albert and parks provide recreational facilities. Sporting facilities include the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre, with Australia's only wave ball. [79] Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre and the Forum 6 Cinemas provide entertainment venues. The Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens are home to a music bowl, a small zoo with a walk through aviary, a tree chapel, Willans Hill Model Railway and a camellia garden. Located on the banks of the Wollundry lagoon and officially opened in 1927, the Victory Memorial Gardens were established amidst some controversy as a tribute to those who fought and died in World War I. [80]

Culture

The Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, opened in 1963. Civic Theatre Wagga.jpg
The Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, opened in 1963.

The main cultural precinct for Wagga Wagga can be found in central Wagga Wagga, at the Wagga Wagga Civic Centre on the banks of Wollundry Lagoon. The precinct includes the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery and Wagga Wagga City Library.

The Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre was officially opened in 1963 at a cost of 165,000. During its design and construction and again after opening the theatre was the subject of severe criticism. Critics lamented the destruction of rose gardens removed to allow construction, the size of the orchestra pit, the amount of seating (497 seats) as well as the design of the feature mural. A considerable refurbishment was carried out in the 1990s and now the theatre is regarded as one of the best in regional Australia, playing host to national and international touring acts. [81]

The Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery hosts local collections and travelling exhibitions and has space for an Artist in residence. The centrepiece of the collection is the National Art Glass Gallery, a nationally significant collection of studio art glass hosted in a separate, specially designed gallery. The collection was first established by the former director of the Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery, Judy Le Lievre in response to a request by the Australia Council for regional galleries to develop a specialised collection to avoid duplication and competition. The collection consists of around 400 works making it the largest studio glass collection in Australia. [82]

Wollundry Lagoon Wollundry Lagoon.jpg
Wollundry Lagoon

The Museum of the Riverina was established in 1967 by the Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society. Wagga Wagga City Council took over its operations in the late 1990s and it now operates at two sites. The Historic Council Chambers site on the corner of Baylis and Morrow streets in central Wagga, hosts travelling exhibitions and the main site at the Botanic Gardens is home to the main collection including the Wagga Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame. The museum also has an important collection of memorabilia about the Tichborne Case, including a set of four rare plaster figurines depicting characters from the trial, a complete set of hard-bound court transcripts and a monumental painting entitled The Tichborne Trial painted in 1874 by Nathan Hughes, which hangs in the city's council chambers. [83]

The Wagga Wagga Jazz Festival was established in 1995 and has featured a range of Australian and international musicians. [84] Established in 1976 as the Riverina Trucking Company and renamed in 1983, the Riverina Theatre Company is one of Australia's longest running regional theatre companies and runs a full program of events each year at the Riverina Playhouse, which is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and owned by Charles Sturt University. [85]

Notable artists and performers from Wagga Wagga include poet Dame Mary Gilmore, who is featured on the Australian 10 dollar note and veteran actor Bill Kerr. [86] [87] Former Yellow Wiggle, Sam Moran, is from Wagga Wagga, having replaced the original Yellow Wiggle, Greg Page, in November 2006. [88] The fictional creation of satirist Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage was said to have been born in Wagga Wagga.

Frank Ottenson wrote a song Wagga Wagga about the city in 1942, calling it a 'Riverina paradise’. It was recorded by Tom Davidson and his Orchestra. [89]

Wagga has strong cultural ties with three international sister cities which form part of a twinning program. Those sister cities are Leavenworth, Kansas in the United States, which was established in 1962; Nördlingen in Germany, established in 1967; and Kunming in China, mutually established in 1988. [2] [90]

Wagga has captured the interest of writers, novelists and songwriters over the years. Specifically the city's international notoriety surrounding Arthur Orton and the Tichborne Case attracted a visit from Mark Twain when he visited Australia in the 1890s. [91] In addition Wagga has been home to a number of famous Australian writers, including Frank Moorhouse who worked as a journalist on the city's daily newspaper, and the poets Mary Gilmore and Barcroft Boake. [38]

Humourist Spike Milligan was quite taken with the double-barrelled names of Australian towns, and presented a show called "Australia: From Woy Woy to Wagga Wagga". [92]

In other cases the town's name has been directly referred to as part of the content of songs and novels. For example, the song Don't call Wagga Wagga Wagga, written by Australian country music artists Greg Champion and Jim Haynes, was a minor hit on the Australian country charts and is a light-hearted take on the habit of Australians to refer to double named towns by one name only. [93] Other examples include the Harry Potter series of fantasy novels, where the character Gilderoy Lockhart claimed to have defeated the "Wagga Wagga Werewolf", [94] the Bryce Courtenay book The Power of One , where the main character Peekay is said to have a cousin Lenny from Wagga Wagga Australia, [95] the Bryce Courtenay book Jessica has several passages that take place in Wagga Wagga, including the judgement of Billy Simple, [96] and the Robert G. Barrett novel, "Mud Crab Boogie" which is partially set in Wagga Wagga. [97]

Media

Prime News interviewing Wagga Wagga Mayor Kerry Pascoe Mayor Kerry Pascoe.jpg
Prime News interviewing Wagga Wagga Mayor Kerry Pascoe

As a regional centre for the Riverina and South West Slopes, Wagga Wagga is home to a number of regional media outlets. Both WIN Television and Prime7 air half-hour local news programs on weeknights. The bulletins are presented from studios in Wollongong and Canberra respectively with reporters and camera crews for both services based in newsrooms in the city. Since 2006, WIN's weeknight bulletin has also included coverage of the Griffith area. In addition, Southern Cross Nine runs a small sales office and airs short local news updates from its Canberra studios throughout the day. Since 2017, Southern Cross Nine's new hour long weeknight bulletin from Wagga Wagga is Nine News Riverina.

The city receives the ABC's four free-to-air national television channels on (ABC TV, ABC Comedy, ABC KIDS, ABC Me and ABC News, SBS's four television channels (SBS TV, SBS Viceland, Food Network, and NITV), the commercial networks' main channels (Seven Network from Prime7, Nine Network from Southern Cross Nine and Network Ten from WIN Television) and the commercial networks' multi channels (7Two and 7mate from Prime7, 9Go!, 9Gem and 9Life from Southern Cross Nine and One and Eleven from WIN Television).

Local radio stations broadcasting from Wagga Wagga include ABC Riverina, AM radio commercial station Triple M Riverina 1152), FM radio commercial station Hit93.1 Riverina), and a rebroadcast from radio reading service Radio 1RPH. Other local stations include Christian radio station Life FM and the community station 2AAA FM. The ABC's national stations ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, ABC NewsRadio and Triple J and the multicultural network SBS Radio are broadcast into Wagga Wagga.

The Daily Advertiser , published Monday to Friday and its sister publication, the Weekend Advertiser, service Wagga and much of the surrounding region. The newspaper was established by two wealthy local pastoralists, Auber George Jones and Thomas Darlow [98] and first printed on 10 December 1868 by editor Frank Hutchison, an Oxford graduate. Originally printed bi-weekly, by 1880 it was tri-weekly and finally became 'daily' on 31 December 1910. In 1962 the newspaper reduced in size from a broadsheet to a tabloid format. [99] The Riverina Leader, the local free community newspaper was launched in May 1979. [100]

Notable people

Sam Moran and wife Lyn Moran at Australia Day 2009 Celebrations in Wagga Wagga. Sam and Lyn Moran.jpg
Sam Moran and wife Lyn Moran at Australia Day 2009 Celebrations in Wagga Wagga.

See also

Notes

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The Division of Riverina is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. It is located in South-West rural New South Wales, generally following the Murrumbidgee River valley. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 65 divisions to be contested at the first federal election, although it was abolished between 1984 and 1993, so has not been contested at every federal election. The division was named after the Riverina region in which it is located, though its modern borders do not correspond exactly with the Riverina region. The division covers a primarily agricultural, rural area with many small towns.

Turvey Park, New South Wales Suburb of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Turvey Park is an inner southern suburb of Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales, Australia. Its boundaries are defined by Fernleigh Road to the south, Glenfield Road to the west, Coleman Street to the north and to the east by Willans Hill. Turvey Park is characterised by single detached dwellings, constructed in the period from the early 1900s through to the 1960s. These dwellings vary from the very substantial, as found in parts of Coleman Street and Grandview Parade, to the brick bungalows of the northern end of the suburb between Urana and Coleman Streets, to modest public housing, and a mixture of brick and fibro and weatherboard cottages at the southern end of the suburb. Another feature of Turvey Park are many corner shops, such on the corner of Heath and Urana Street, the corner of Norman and Coleman Streets, and the Corner of Bourke and Urana Streets.

Wagga Wagga Airport airport serving Wagga Wagga, Australia

Wagga Wagga Airport, is located adjacent to RAAF Base Wagga, and 5.8 nautical miles southeast of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia. The airfield is an operational base, but is leased by the Wagga Wagga City Council on a 30-year lease from the Australian Department of Defence, with RAAF Base Wagga being a ground training base. The airfield is still used by military aircraft, mostly transport aircraft transporting freight or passengers.

Eric Weissel Oval was a multi-use stadium in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia. It was named after local rugby league footballer Eric Weissel and opened in 1959. It was used mostly for rugby league matches and had a capacity of 10,000 people, with a record crowd of 11,685 recorded on 20 July 1988 for the Australia vs Papua New Guinea as part of the 1985 - 1988 Rugby League World Cup where the Aussies defeated the Kumuls by a then world record score of 70-8. The oval has hosted City vs Country (ARL), National Rugby League trial games, Brumbies vs Waikato Chiefs.

RAAF Wagga Heritage Centre Military museum in Forest Hill, New South Wales

RAAF Wagga Heritage Centre(Originally known as the Wagga Wagga RAAF Museum but was officially, RAAF Museum – Wagga Annex) is a heritage centre located at the Wagga Wagga RAAF Base at Forest Hill located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia on the Sturt Highway. The heritage centre has indoor and outdoor displays of aircraft, memorabilia and photographs relating to the RAAF in the Riverina.

Hampden Bridge, Wagga Wagga Allan Truss bridge over the Murrumbidgee River in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

The Hampden Bridge was a heritage-listed wooden Allan Truss bridge over the Murrumbidgee River in Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, Australia. It was officially opened to traffic on 11 November 1895 and named in honour of the NSW Governor Sir Henry Robert Brand, 2nd Viscount Hampden. The bridge carried the Olympic Highway, formerly the Olympic Way, between 1963 until the bridge's closure to highway traffic in October 1995, replaced by the Wiradjuri Bridge. The Hampden Bridge was subsequently converted to local traffic use, then pedestrian use only, and finally demolished in 2014.

City of Wagga Wagga Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

City of Wagga Wagga is a local government area in the Riverina region of south-western New South Wales, Australia.

Boorooma, New South Wales Suburb of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Boorooma is a suburb of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, located in the city's north, beyond the floodplains of the Murrumbidgee River. The locality is a southern neighbour of Charles Sturt University—which in fact is referred to as 'Boorooma Campus' and is located directly to the east of the suburb of Estella and to the north of the Olympic Highway. Boorooma is progressively undergoing transition from rural residential type allotments to more intensive urban residential uses. Boorooma is also home to Vianney College Seminary and The Riverina Anglican College, and has land zoned for a future shopping centre.

<i>The Daily Advertiser</i> (Wagga Wagga) Australian regional newspaper serving Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

The Daily Advertiser is the regional newspaper which services Wagga Wagga, New South Wales Australia and much of the surrounding region. It is published Monday to Friday but also appears as a sister publication called The Weekend Advertiser on Saturdays. The paper reaches about 31,000 people during its Monday to Friday printing, equating to 85% of all people aged over 14 that live in the paper's main coverage area.

The history of Wagga Wagga details the growth of the city from a small crossing on the Murrumbidgee River to the largest city and regional centre of the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia.

ABC Riverina

ABC Riverina is an ABC Local Radio station based in Wagga Wagga and broadcasting to the Riverina and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area regions in New South Wales. This includes the towns and cities of Griffith, Goulburn, Leeton and Hay.

Kooringal High School

Kooringal High School (KHS) is a government-funded co-educational dual modality partially academically selective and comprehensive secondary day school, located in Kooringal, a suburb of Wagga Wagga in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia.

Deniliquin Town in New South Wales, Australia

Deniliquin, known locally as "Deni", is a town in the Riverina region of New South Wales close to the border with Victoria. It is the largest town in the Edward River Council local government area.

<i>Wagga Wagga Express and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser</i> an English language newspaper published in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. in circulation from 1858-1939.

The Wagga Wagga Express and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser was an English language newspaper published in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. It was the first newspaper to be published in Wagga Wagga, and was in circulation from 1858–1939.

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