The Canberra Times has the intriguing news that our leader Jon Stanhope wants a population of half a million:
Mr Stanhope said he believed continued population growth was essential to keep the territory’s economy growing and to provide the enhanced level of services that Canberrans were coming to expect. ”I’m not dreaming of a big Canberra, necessarily,” the Chief Minister said.
”But I’ve long had a view that a population of about half a million is optimal for the national capital.
”In the context of enhancing the city, the city’s liveability and in delivering services that the people of Canberra want and have a right to expect, we need more population.”
Mr Stanhope said a greater population, within realistic limits, was needed if Canberra was to be ”self sufficient” and enjoy the same medical and social services available in big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
”We would become economically more self-sustaining were the population larger,” Mr Stanhope said.
That’ll keep the real estate industry in clover for some time to come.