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Keating wants Sydney as the new capital

By Cameron - 24 May 2007 22 has this little piece reporting on Paul Keating’s view that Sydney should oust Canberra as the nations capital.

Among his reasons are the fact that Howard effectively bases his government in Sydney and that Canberra has an “air of unreality”.

Iemma and the Sydney Chamber of Commerce weigh in on the idea as well saying that whilst it’s unrealistic, the idea has merit.

Accompanying the article is a poll – currently up to 6500 odd votes – 31% of which want Canberra as the capital, 37% of which want Sydney and the remainder voted for one of the other state/territory capitals.

I shudder to think what would become of Canberra if we were no longer the nation’s capital…

(also just noticed that stan_bowles posted a link to the same article in this thread, so credit to him for first noticing, but think this warrants discussion of its own)

What’s Your opinion?

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22 Responses to
Keating wants Sydney as the new capital
captainwhorebags 9:20 am 25 May 07

Boomacat: yeah I’ve traditionally been a fan of Keating too. But we can only trot out the “our prosperity is a result of the previous government” line for so long. It was probably correct (I’m no economist) for the first few years, maybe even up until the 2001 or 2002, but after that I think the credit would have to go to the economic policies of the incumbent government. Especially considering the major changes such as the GST. Sure, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for everyone, but it wasn’t the end of the world as predicted by the left wing fringe. Remember when the Libs were about to take control of the senate? Nobody would be spared!

South Africa has three different capitals: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontain (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative). I wonder how it works out for them. Personally I think this idea is completely lacking in merit.

Ozhair 8:35 am 25 May 07

– “Transport, communications, housing – all these real things are camouflaged in Canberra,” he said. –

I’m not sure what he’s getting at with this comment. He doesn’t like a nice green landscape, he’d prefer concrete and traffic?

And if he wants to move Parliament to Sydney because Howard has effectively moved it there anyway, does that mean it has to be moved every time a PM from another city gets in? Move it to Brisbane if Rudd gets in?

And “they all fly into the bush capital, then fly out again” as a problem. Right. ‘Cause if Parliament was in Sydney, no pollies would have to fly in because that’s where they all live… oh, wait…

Keating’s brain is seriously in meltdown mode with this comment. 😛

tybreaker 7:01 am 25 May 07

Keating has indicated Sydney should be the national capital for reasons of international image. Keating has always been one for the superficial where image is everything and substance is absent. That’s why he arrogantly told his detractors to “get a job” as he pranced along in his Armani suit. That’s why his government ramped up billions in debt and brought about a recession we just “had to have”.

Well, that arrogance is why he’s no longer Prime Minister – if he hasn’t worked it out yet.

boomacat 12:39 am 25 May 07

Sydney is clearly the de facto capital of Australia in the sense of it being the country’s major centre and its only truly international city, whilst Canberra is the formal and administrative capital of the nation.

I think moving the administrative capital to Sydney would spoil the place (Sydney I mean), putting even further pressure on a city who’s infrastructure and housing market are already inadequate aint a good idea…

PS Paul Keating is a god who is substantially responsible for the prosperity this country enjoys presently, and whom tried so desperately to drag this country’s head out of its arse and into the 21st century.

Kerces 11:28 pm 24 May 07

Stanhope made the JJJ news with his response to this one, which ran along the lines of “Paul Keating’s just jealous because the Beijing Olympic torch is only coming to Canberra.”


captainwhorebags 10:36 pm 24 May 07

Let’s see…. water shortage, power shortage, housing affordability problems, climate change. Plenty of worthy things to spend money on. So why spend billions moving the Parliament to Sydney?

All of the Departments are based here, the new Joint Operations Command is slowly taking shape at Bungendore, Centrelink is about to move into new office space, PM&C just got a new building, etc etc. There’s no financial sense in packing up and moving now. That depreciation line doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost involved.

I like PK, and the insult archive ( always makes for good reading. But his time is over, and this is just him trying to get airtime.

Spectra 8:55 pm 24 May 07

Of course, just because something is in the constitution doesn’t make it an immutable law. Remember that he also effectively advocated doing away with the “unrepresentative swill” of the senate – not that that was likely to get up in a referendum either.
Whether you agree with him or not (and I certainly don’t on this one), the only way to get constitutional change rolling is to suggest it – saying “but it’s in the constitution” doesn’t automatically end any discussion on a matter (otherwise aborigines would still legally be non-people, amongst other things).
That said, I personally think it’s a daft idea. I’m aggin’ it.

S4anta 8:42 pm 24 May 07

Rudd stated yesterday that if he is installed as PM, he will reside at the Lodge. Time to change my joints mailing name. bugger.

Keating probably needs to spend a little more time playing bingo/taking businesses on junkets in Asia/attending Advanced hair (yeah yeah), than trying to emulate the ex presidents of America.

Cameron 8:18 pm 24 May 07

Rudd hasn’t said anything on the subject as far as I can recall. I think both Latham and Beazley had pledged to base themselves at the Lodge.

I guess this will force the issue.

Ruby Wednesday 8:11 pm 24 May 07

Also, the criticism that politicians aren’t here 24/7 is rather ridiculous. They’re in their electorates for the most part…where they should be in order to be accessible to their constituents.

mad_kiwi 8:08 pm 24 May 07

PK has got a point that John Howard has moved much of the activities of the national government to Sydney when he chose to not to move to Canberra. has Kevin Rudd stated his position, where he will live?

Cameron 8:00 pm 24 May 07

I was certainly aware of the constitutional provisions – I wonder whether Keating was simply totally ignorant of them or didn’t care.

Forgetting Keating’s ignorance for the moment – how about the Sydney Chamber of Commerce declaring Sydney the new cultural capital of Australia? HAH!

Ruby Wednesday 7:57 pm 24 May 07

Yeah, good luck with the referendum for that one. Where would Sydney accommodate all these new public servants? Suburbs built all the out to Canberra, apparently.

Kramer 7:52 pm 24 May 07

Keating is probably going a bit senile in his old age, as he should know that the location of the capital (specifically the government) is defined in the Austraian Constitution. The location is defined as within NSW, and not less than 100 miles from Sydney. I don’t think the whole of Australia (ie. all the other states apart from NSW) would accept a vote to change the constitution. Hell, we couldn’t get rid of the bloody queen a few years ago.

BTW – for your entertainment, here’s a link to the current constitution – see page 56, para 125.
[really long link — it’s a PDF file]

Nik_the_Pig 7:50 pm 24 May 07

As stated on ALL the news tonight, Keating has more than just being a goose against him in this dream, he has section 125 of the Australian Constitution against him.

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