Australia’s pretend capital city

nicnacvb 19 February 2010 34

I found this post in The Backpacker blog on the Sydney Morning Herald site. The article is about capital cities that suck. Canberra got an honourable mention.

http://blogs.smh.com.au/travel/archives/2010/02/10_capital_cities_that_suck.html?page=fullpage#comments

I think this person has summed up Canberra pretty damn well! And as a long time reader of the RiotACT I noticed that this particular post was reminiscent of many posts I have read on this forum

Is it you Johnboy? Different spelling of the name though I’m sure it must be someone who grew up or at least lives in Canberra.

I love the bit about the “pretend international airport”. So true! Just our self important Government trying to bignote itself.

“I have to agree. Canberra is Australia’s capital in name only.
Most foreigners believe that Sydney is Australia’s capital, and who can blame them.
Canberra is a pretend capital, with it’s pretend local government that is run by a pretend chief minister (otherwise known as a discount mayor), a pretend police ‘force’ that is too busy buying half-price Macdonald’s to do anything about the spiraling crime rate (the only reason anyone reports a crime to them is so they can get a job number for their insurance claim), a pretend jail that is an epic fail, a pretend judiciary that is run by bleeding heart do-gooders that rarely sends anyone to the pretend jail, a pretend international airport that has difficulty handling anything bigger than a Boeing 767. The pretend international airport has a pretend business park adjacent to it which has non-existent or very poor mobile phone reception… the list just goes on.
When travelling, only people with broad shoulders and thick skin admit to being from Canberra.”

  • Posted by: Jonathan on February 17, 2010 11:08 AM
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34 Responses to Australia’s pretend capital city
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Dean Stokes Dean Stokes 8:51 am 05 Mar 10

Ive seen a fair bit of Oz and I still live here.
A matter of fact I wouldnt want to live anywhere else.

cleo cleo 12:18 am 23 Feb 10

Yes it’s one big joke!

nicnacvb nicnacvb 12:19 pm 22 Feb 10

It’s funny how as soon as someone posts something negative about Canberra everyone valiantly rushes to defend it. Especially when a lot of the defenders are the people who so often whinge about the place.

Personally I love living in Canberra. I was born here and have no intention of going anywhere anytime soon. As for tourists, like many have said it just depends on what sort of experience you are after.

I just thought that the post about the “pretend capital city” was funny. There are so many posts on here about Canberra’s bleeding heart judicial system and whinging about the chief minister etc. Hell, you’ve got to admit that Canberra’s attempt at a capital city can be a little amusing at times.

cleo cleo 10:48 pm 21 Feb 10

Vg you sound like one of THEM, guilty are we lol

Deadmandrinking Deadmandrinking 9:37 am 21 Feb 10

Yeah, Cleo! Don’t you dare suggest any improvements to the city! You have been told!

krats krats 9:31 am 21 Feb 10

Clown Killer said :

Yawn. Another device to flush out wankers from Sydney with a chip on their shoulder.

I am fortunate enough to host international travellers in Canberra on a regular basis and I have never heard anyone suggest that Canberra is anything but a charming place to visit. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

…”charming” FROM 30,000 FEET.

vg vg 11:48 pm 20 Feb 10

cleo said :

I wasn’t born in Canberra, I have lived in most places in Australia, and a couple overseas, I find that most people here are very clicky, unlike NSW or Queensland, where I find the people friendly and easy to talk to, Canberrans look after their own friends, eg: employment etc, it would be really helpful if we had decent transport apart from owning a car or catching taxis. Telecom Tower is know as the big syringe for obvious reasons, really this a big country town with a lot of small minded people.:)

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

cleo cleo 11:03 pm 20 Feb 10

Ags So there you go, just admitted it.

deejay deejay 12:44 pm 20 Feb 10

I love how all these travel articles assume that everyone wants the same thing out of a trip. There are backpackers, eco-tourists, voluntourists, cashed-up sophisticates, families looking for a restful yet interesting trip, older people looking for culture, grey nomads, and all sorts of permutations and variations of these. So…Canberra is so sucktastic that it doesn’t fit the bill for any of these types of travellers? Really? Come on.

Wraith Wraith 9:38 am 20 Feb 10

eh_steve said :

Jonathon Reynolds?

LMFAO, Brilliant!!

Ags Ags 8:22 am 20 Feb 10

I love it when people say they hate Canberra. Hopefully that means they won’t come here.
I think it is great that we look after our own friends and employment, to me that makes you a good friend and employee.
You can have your big city traffic, smog and crowds.
As long as the assets are maintained, and the red tape does not get out of control,I think Canberra will never become the run down rat race that most big cities have become.

cleo cleo 12:00 am 20 Feb 10

I wasn’t born in Canberra, I have lived in most places in Australia, and a couple overseas, I find that most people here are very clicky, unlike NSW or Queensland, where I find the people friendly and easy to talk to, Canberrans look after their own friends, eg: employment etc, it would be really helpful if we had decent transport apart from owning a car or catching taxis. Telecom Tower is know as the big syringe for obvious reasons, really this a big country town with a lot of small minded people.:)

thy_dungeonman thy_dungeonman 10:26 pm 19 Feb 10

It’s funny how two of the comments in that post praise the public transport system in Canberra, clearly they have never actually been here then.

bd84 bd84 9:03 pm 19 Feb 10

The article appears to be an attempt at a genuine travel “blog”, but gives me more of an impression that it’s the grad journo sitting at his desk at the SMH in Sydney with the lonely planet travel book open who has been asked by the boss to create a random list (20 to 1 style) of the “worst” capital cities by picking out the any negative comments and cutting them down to one sentence without ever visiting the cities.

Scribble Scribble 5:57 pm 19 Feb 10

And for a Canberran’s view of the critics, this raised a smile.

NeedHelp NeedHelp 5:20 pm 19 Feb 10

But didn’t you know??? … “Things Have Changed” and now everything is black and white, sepia, cool jazz, or infested with unruly skateboarders. Oh, and apparently it rains enough to grow grass.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 4:36 pm 19 Feb 10

Since I’ve been living here we’ve had over a dozen people from the UK come and stay with us. Their ages range from 17 to 65. All have gone away with nothing but good to say of Canberra.

J Dawg J Dawg 4:00 pm 19 Feb 10

troll-sniffer said :

Sure, we can only dream of the nightlife and culinary concentrations of ‘real’ cities…

Well the thing about that is I find that Canberra nightlife to be up there with Sydney and Melbourne, as far as travelling as a young person goes. Hear me out: we have a range of bars, pubs and night clubs all within walking distance (talking about civic here). We have cheaper drinks then Sydney or Melbourne, especially on student nights ($2, try finding that price in any major tourist city… I went all over Europe and Aus and it’s still damn good). We rarely have cover charges, if we do then it’s not very much, $5 or $10. The DJ’s at many places are decent enough, nothing really to complain about. Hell, some DJ’s are quite good, and at worst you’ll get a bunch of cheesy dance songs from 5 or 6 years ago which are good for the novelty.

We don’t have a lockout like Sydney. We don’t have insanely high drink prices or cover charges.

Believe me, when you are a young person backpacking, a CHEAP night out with a RANGE of options, easy to get back to where you are staying… These are the things which matter to young travellers!! Too bad we just don’t have decent backpacker accommodation!!

(Don’t get me wrong, Civic may have it’s fair share of problems, dodgy people and violence, but so does every city!)

DeadlySchnauzer DeadlySchnauzer 3:38 pm 19 Feb 10

I think like/dislike of Canberra is in the eye of the beholder. If you are looking for the crazy party town rush around big city experience, then Canberra clearly is not going to appeal to you.

I would say the one thing that really annoys me is people who bash Canberra and have never actually set foot in the place. I swear 99% of Canberra bashers, if pressed further for when they visited and what they did, will admit that they have never actually been here and are basing their opinion on what other people have told them. And of course those other people have probably never been here either. Its a weird self fulfilling prophecy thing.

niftydog niftydog 3:31 pm 19 Feb 10

There used to be cows grazing 2km east of Parliament House at Dairy Flat!

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