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Canberra bashers – Where’s my flyswat?

By John Hargreaves - 9 January 2015 33

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You know how when a fly lands on your arm, you absent-mindedly wave it away. The same is when it lands on or near your BBQ. It doesn’t elicit white hot rage, just a small irritation.

Canberra bashers, like most federal pollies, drive me into a white hot rage occasionally and I have to react, like most of us.

But I have been experiencing the lower level irritation lately from those who don’t live here, who have the temerity to criticise how we live, how we’re governed, the quality of our roads and transport infrastructure.

They complain about our hospital services and our educational services.

A cursory read of the Letters page in the Crimes, or the on-line newspaper Letters reveals a propensity for residents of Jerrabomberra, Bungendore, Sutton, Braidwood, and far afield to have a go at the way we do things here.

Do you see a plethora of letters or on line comments from Canberrans criticising the Palerang Shire Council, the Eurobodalla Council, the Sydney City Council? Do we see Canberra ressies going to print complaining about the traffic congestion in Sydney or Melbourne?

No… you don’t!

I noticed a complaint recently from Su McCluskey, CEO of Regional Australia ACT, because the ACT gumment is taking away its funding. The implications are that we gain heaps from the region around Canberra so we should continue to shell out to support those industries and activities.

Yeah right! Dunno about you but I’m not keen on giving money to people who whinge about the way we do things here, whinge about our transport and road infrastructure and services but don’t deign to live here and contribute to their costs. And frankly, I don’t want to support a region unless there are tangible benefits coming back.

So either they stop whingeing about Canberra or I’m going to encourage people to whinge about traffic delays in Braidwood and Bungendore. I’m going to complain about the way these folks use our services, suggesting that the quality of service in Queanbeyan is substandard.

I’m going to complain about the road to Cooma and the horrible trip down Brown Mountain. And every time I’m annoyed by something or someone in NSW or Victoria or Queensland, I’ll go to the Letters page and whinge about things that I don’t pay for and have no business with, just like them.

Or maybe I should just treat them like that fly, and wave them away.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Canberra bashers – Where’s my flyswat?
Queen_of_the_Bun 8:22 pm 10 Jan 15

Masquara said :

Blen_Carmichael said :

You’re not a Canberran if you get upset over Canberra-bashing.

John actually isn’t a Canberran. He only moved to Canberra as an adult.

Me too. 20 years ago. Does that mean I am not a Canberran?

dungfungus 12:07 pm 10 Jan 15

Innovation said :

dungfungus said :

It seemed like such a good idea at the time:
http://rdaact.org.au/blog/2011/12/02/act-chief-minister-and-nsw-premier-sign-new-regional-agreement/

I wish I’d read this before. NSW Government changes a couple of years ago meant that I was forced to terminate my studies in NSW because I wasn’t a NSW resident…..

Funny how O’Farrell and Gallagher aren’t around anymore, isn’t it?

fps_grandma 1:17 am 10 Jan 15

People who have never lived in or let alone visited Canberra are not really in a position to comment on Canberra. This I am sure we can all agree on.

However of all the Australian cities I’ve lived in, Canberra is the only city whose people openly speak of opposition to outsiders and sprout similar cliches in defense.
The prime response to Canberra bashing is the potential for the population to increase and therefore add congestion to services. Is this borderline xenophobic?

Why insist on country town living in a capital city by name at least?
If high population is such a concern why not live in other satellite country towns such as Bathurst, Bega, Cooma, Goulburn, Mollybrook or Orange instead for example?

“Migration is an important contributor to Australia’s growing population.”
The migration rate of Canberra is also lower than other cities too.
Source:
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0main+features102014
(The plus sign must be added between main and features for the URL to work)

You may find further interesting reading with regards to Wikipedia’s talk page on Canberra provided the negativity hasn’t been intentionally erased.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACanberra

Innovation 11:23 pm 09 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

It seemed like such a good idea at the time:
http://rdaact.org.au/blog/2011/12/02/act-chief-minister-and-nsw-premier-sign-new-regional-agreement/

I wish I’d read this before. NSW Government changes a couple of years ago meant that I was forced to terminate my studies in NSW because I wasn’t a NSW resident…..

Masquara 7:30 pm 09 Jan 15

Blen_Carmichael said :

You’re not a Canberran if you get upset over Canberra-bashing.

John actually isn’t a Canberran. He only moved to Canberra as an adult.

turbotim 7:00 pm 09 Jan 15

“And frankly, I don’t want to support a region unless there are tangible benefits coming back.”

Must be they hate us for our altruism.

HiddenDragon 6:01 pm 09 Jan 15

John Hargreaves said :

watto23 said :

You can always argue without a population centre in Canberra that many of the surrounding businesses wouldn’t even exist. Queanbeyan would be a fraction of the size it is now. We can argue that people living across the border but working in the ACT are not paying their share of taxes to support the infrastructure in the ACT. Although I believe this is one reason why we get more than $1.27 per $1 of GST raised in the ACT.

Watto, this may be so as it represents the “disadvantage” Canberra has for being the national capital, not services used by NSW residents. we always have to chase NSW for mental health payments, education and general health stuff through the cross border arrangements. when I left ACT Health in 1994, NSW owed about $8 million. a lot of money in those days.

Even allowing for the offsetting costs of Canberrans being referred to Sydney hospitals for procedures and care which is not available here, I would imagine the figure is now very much higher than $8 million – it would take remarkably detailed and accurate statistics (and no, that’s not meant as a swipe) to capture fully the net cost to the ACT Health system of treating NSW residents.

dungfungus 4:38 pm 09 Jan 15
Blen_Carmichael 3:51 pm 09 Jan 15

You’re not a Canberran if you get upset over Canberra-bashing.

John Hargreaves 3:48 pm 09 Jan 15

watto23 said :

You can always argue without a population centre in Canberra that many of the surrounding businesses wouldn’t even exist. Queanbeyan would be a fraction of the size it is now. We can argue that people living across the border but working in the ACT are not paying their share of taxes to support the infrastructure in the ACT. Although I believe this is one reason why we get more than $1.27 per $1 of GST raised in the ACT.

Watto, this may be so as it represents the “disadvantage” Canberra has for being the national capital, not services used by NSW residents. we always have to chase NSW for mental health payments, education and general health stuff through the cross border arrangements. when I left ACT Health in 1994, NSW owed about $8 million. a lot of money in those days.

Alexandra Craig 3:38 pm 09 Jan 15

Mess said :

Canberra bashing has been a national sport for a long time. I say leave them to it. We live in great city, and it’s them that are missing out, not us.

+1. It’s annoying and frustrating but hey, the more people that don’t want to move to Canberra – the better! I don’t want to have super duper congested roads and more houses and have to make reservations for a Saturday night dinner. It’s good how it is! 🙂

watto23 2:46 pm 09 Jan 15

You can always argue without a population centre in Canberra that many of the surrounding businesses wouldn’t even exist. Queanbeyan would be a fraction of the size it is now. We can argue that people living across the border but working in the ACT are not paying their share of taxes to support the infrastructure in the ACT. Although I believe this is one reason why we get more than $1.27 per $1 of GST raised in the ACT.

rosscoact 11:50 am 09 Jan 15

gazket said :

typical modern Labor.
lets give our tax dollars to foreigners but do nothing for our local community.

I’m a bit mystified with this response and it’s relevancy to the topic. Would you mind expanding?

gazket 11:05 am 09 Jan 15

typical modern Labor.
lets give our tax dollars to foreigners but do nothing for our local community.

Mess 10:07 am 09 Jan 15

Canberra bashing has been a national sport for a long time. I say leave them to it. We live in great city, and it’s them that are missing out, not us.

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