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Canberra, the age friendly city?

By Steven Bailey 30 June 2015 46

Canberra - age friendly city

Slogans can be used or abused. They can encapsulate a moment in time, or they can serve as hollow reductions etched like a skid mark from the suppository of Australian political wisdom (i.e. “Stop the boats”).

In South Australia there comes a time of year where the state explodes with creativity and merriment. Rundle Mall bustles with buskers and street art, and where Canberra has a practically unfunded two-day fringe festival dovetailed by a multicultural two-day finger food festival, Adelaide’s fringe festival rages on for a good three weeks. Undoubtedly South Australia has a solid claim its number plate slogan, the festive state.

And as you leave the barren soil of inland South Australia or the Monaro Tablelands of New South Wales, the trees become taller, the foliage becomes denser and the world certainly becomes greener. With the state boasting some of the most beautiful and historic gardens, and 32 botanic gardens, Victoria will forever be the garden state in my mind.

Last week the ACT government announced, in a decisive move, a new series of number plates that will sport the slogan “Canberra – Age Friendly City”.

Minister Mick Gentleman said the new slogan promotes the ACT community’s support for positive ageing in a city where older people are respected, valued and supported to participate in their community. The decision was made in light of the World Health Organisation classifying Canberra as an age-friendly city.

If you would like to replace your standard “Y” series number plates for those with the new slogan, you can purchase replacement plates for $38.80. Residents registering their vehicles for the first time in the ACT can also choose to have no slogan, or one of the following:

  • CANBERRA – HEART OF THE NATION
  • CANBERRA THE NATION’S CAPITAL
  • FEEL THE POWER OF CANBERRA

I thought the ACT Government wanted people to think of Canberra as confident, bold and ready, brimming with innovative noodle markets and dazzling lighting exhibitions; and awash with international business opportunities and temporary villages made out of shipping containers where hip Canberrans can just hang out and be young and sexy without interruption.

The Canberra Times conducted a poll asking Canberrans what they thought of the new age-friendly city slogan. Just two per cent agreed with the statement “I think they are great. We are an age-friendly city,” while 63 per cent said “You’ve got to be joking, who would want one?”

There are many elderly Canberrans who are doing it tough in Canberra. Perhaps it’s just me, but the only purpose for having motorists sporting “age-friendly” sentiments on their number plates could be nothing more than a shallow gesture of smug self-congratulations for the political class.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 9.03.40 am

I think we’d turn the heads of our fellow Australians interstate if our slogan was: CANBERRA – THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD!

What do you think the slogan should say?


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46 Responses to
Canberra, the age friendly city?
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ungruntled 11:19 pm 13 Jul 15

Don’t think I’ve seen so much Canberra bashing in one place since forever!
No wonder “the powers that be” don’t seem to be very creative in their choices across the board – public transport, health, education, number plates, city development etc. Terrified of the hyper-critical response from the “hoardes”.

curmudgery 12:42 pm 03 Jul 15

My brother (who doesn’t live here) suggests:

Canberra – World’s Largest Roundabout

oh_ 7:18 pm 02 Jul 15

Its totally out of synch with Canberras tourism and promotional branding, (CBR Confident Bold & Ready). In seriousness I like “the bush capital” or something like “cultural capital” or “smart thinking” or reflecting all the new precincts, festivals, and shrugging off all the old public service grey cardigan stereotypes, not reinforcing them! In jokes, “porn capital since 1927”, “theyre your elected members”, “jamming photocopiers since 1992″…

JC 5:45 pm 02 Jul 15

curmudgery said :

If I set up the ‘No Number Plate Slogan Party’ can I count on your support?

Why do you need a party for that? You can already get no slogan if you so wish. So pointless party too!

curmudgery 5:05 pm 02 Jul 15

If I set up the ‘No Number Plate Slogan Party’ can I count on your support?

tim_c 4:01 pm 02 Jul 15

bryansworld said :

switch said :

I still think “FEEL THE POWER OF CANBERRA” will earn your car a two bob detailing job interstate.

Btw, I thought numberplates were blurred out on RiotACT?

Why are people so obsessed with blurring out number plates? What is the risk of showing them?

Most of us show them in public – unless you’re doing something wrong, is there really anything to fear? In fact, even if you’re doing something wrong, there’s probably still little to fear… the last time I saw a police car, I was in NSW

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