April 01, 2014

Horse 1645 - Ten Suburbs. No.16 Tregear 2770

The postcode of 2770 made headlines on 8th February 1997 when the Daily Telegraph accused students from Mount Druitt High School as being "an abject overwhelming failure" after the entire Year 12 had failed to get one student above the TER ranking of 50. As a result of this, Mount Druitt High School was threatened with having its funding cut unless it did better and nearby Whalan High School was closed before the new school year in 1997 in a "consolidation drive".

These events though, seem to be about the only thing that the entire collection of suburbs within 2770 have ever newsworthy of. 2770 encompasses suburbs like Shalvey, Emerton, Hebersham, Whalan, Dharruk which is a suburb with absolutely no shops within its boundaries and Tregear. Tregear is so forlorn that it only has  two sets of traffic lights within its boundaries.
You could almost be forgiven for completely being unaware that these suburbs even exist; Tregear itself is Sydney's cheapest suburb when it comes to housing and so it isn't exactly winning any accolades on that front, in this property obsessed city.

What you do notice about Tregear as compared with say Mosman (Horse 1328) is that the cars are roughly the same size; but instead of being Audis and BMWs, they're old Falcons and Commodores that have seen days. The houses themselves which are often owned by the Housing Commission are more often than not, fibro and the people are more likely to shop at KMart, Big W, Best & Less than shops with fancy Italian and Spanish names.

What else is immediately obvious, is that Tregear is a suburb whose residents have virtually no control over what happens to them. They are more likely to be working in retail jobs, in shops which are managed and owned by people in other suburbs; they are more likely to be paying rent to people who live in other suburbs and if they're living in Housing Commission owned houses, they'll have little to no say over what happens to them if the government decides to sell the land from under them.

The fact that public transport chooses to skirt around the edge of places like Tregear and Dharruk, that there aren't really very many shops and that there are virtually no local jobs at all, are expressions of economic power and control living somewhere else.
It's almost as if the people of Tregear and surrounding suburbs have been thrown off the cart and left to fend for themselves. It's all very well to accuse people of living off of handouts but when there aren't any jobs or even any shops in the local area, then what? How can you tell people to lift themselves up by their bootstraps when they don't even have bootstraps?
I suppose that the state government is at least paying a token of attention by at least in name acknowledging that Western Sydney exists with the appointment of a relevant minister but would the Minister for Western Sydney really be able to point out where places like Tregear are on a map?
I wouldn't think so.

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