Fairfield LGA is a 101.7 square kilometres area, 32 kilometres south-west of Sydney that stretches from Blacktown in the north to Liverpool in the south (ABS 2006). In 2003, the ABS estimated the population in the Fairfield LGA to be 188 329, approximately a 2 per cent increase on the 2000 estimate. The population density as of June 2004 was 1846.2 per square kilometre, compared with 8.4 persons per square kilometre for New South Wales.11
The unemployment rate in 2003 was 9.9 per cent, compared with 6 percent for New South Wales, and 55 129 people were receiving income support12
(29.3% of total population), compared with 22.2 per cent for New South Wales (ABS 2006). The average taxable income in this area in 2003 was $34 860, lower than the state average of $43 649. In combination, these figures indicate that Fairfield LGA, at least in 2003, was an area with significant disadvantage. Finally, as discussed earlier, Fairfield LGA is notable for its cultural diversity with 65.5 per cent of its population in 2001 coming from a non-English speaking background (ABS 2006).