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.
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?