Located on the western fringe of the Greater Sydney Region, the City of Blue Mountains is one of only two cities in the world surrounded by a UNESCO declared World Heritage National Park Area. It is also the only council in NSW designated under the Australian Classification of Local Governments as a “Category 12 Council - Urban Fringe Large” as a result of its location and having a population between 70001 and 120,000’. 

The Blue Mountains Local Government Area covers 140,377 hectares, 74% of which comprises National Park. With its spectacular World Heritage environmental setting, the Blue Mountains is home to a community of nearly 80,000 people residing in 27 towns and villages spread across 100 kilometres of mountainous terrain. A key challenge for the City of Blue Mountains and for the Council is how we can foster social and economic well-being, while maintaining and protecting the World Heritage environment that surrounds us, for future generations to come. 

Despite our urban fringe location the Blue Mountains is considered by State Government to be part of the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area. Blue Mountains natural areas provide a significant recreation and tourism resource for Greater Sydney and the world. They also play an important role in providing high quality drinking water to Sydney. 

The Blue Mountains has been the home of Aboriginal people for many thousands of years. The region covers large parts of the traditional lands of the Gundungurra and Darug language/ tribal groups. Two hundred years after Europeans crossed the Blue Mountains there are still Aboriginal people with traditional connections to this ‘Country’, living in the region. There are many cultural sites in the Blue Mountains that are an important legacy for present and future generations of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. 

The Blue Mountains population has been growing slowly at a rate well below the average for Sydney and NSW. Almost 80,000 people were estimated to live in the Blue Mountains in 2015. Forecasts for growth until 2031 vary from 81,400 residents, under a scenario based on no change from the current growth evidence, to 97,300 residents, in projections prepared by NSW Planning and Environment. The Blue Mountains population is ageing at a faster rate than Greater Sydney. People in the 35–44 year age group, and their young children, make up most of the net movement into the Blue Mountains. Our distance from the CBD, and most major educational institutions, means that many young people move away from the Blue Mountains for education, career opportunities and the desire to live a more urban lifestyle.