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One of Australia’s biggest mistakes claims Canberra is “a huge mistake”

By H1NG0 23 October 2009 96

Possibly Australia’s worst ever Prime Minister, Paul Keating,  has slammed Canberra at a book launch claiming that “Canberra is of its essence a great mistake” and has suggested that Sydney or Melbourne should be the capital. Judging by his comments, he probably spent most of his time in Manuka so that is hardly a great snapshot of Canberra as a whole.

You can read more about it here in the Brisbane Times.

[ED – the CT has a more comprehensive piece here.]

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96 Responses to
One of Australia’s biggest mistakes claims Canberra is “a huge mistake”
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cleo 1:39 am 13 Nov 09

toriness You should have read what I said in previous post, it’s plain as the nose on my face that you were born here, I must admit, I’m being a bit naughty, just wanted a bite, it’s not a bad place, BUT Canberra is a world of it’s own, one large bush town.

wishuwell 3:03 pm 03 Nov 09

toriness thanks for the info.

toriness 10:20 am 03 Nov 09

wishuwell, it was to the ACT division of the Australian Property Council at the hyatt this month – a link to the complete transcript:

cleo, you sound like a sydney tragic who should move back there. i always feel sorry for people who live in a place they don’t like and just whinge and moan all the time about it – take control of your life, you only have one, and just leave??

cleo 2:12 am 03 Nov 09

Sydney does have a soul and alot of history, people are so much easygoing, friendlier, you do get used of the traffic, Canberra is becoming busy also and no parking, you really have to rely on your own transport here in Canberra.

dixyland 10:27 am 01 Nov 09

Just because Sydney has a big population do not mean that it is “full of life”, as people have suggested. There’s just a shitload of people in traffic and no soul.

Thankfully people like Paul Keating only get on their soapbox a few times a year and spout their ridiculous ideology. Go back to whatever rock you live under Mr Keating, and leave our beautiful city alone.

cleo 4:19 am 31 Oct 09

Thumper Maybe you are just too clever lol

Thumper 8:57 am 30 Oct 09

I have to admit when I came to Canberra in the early 80s I was quite suprised at how slack the education system was in comparison to Victoria.

So slack that I didn’t do a single piece of meaningful work all throughout year 12 and still qualified to go to uni.

However, I do agree with Mr Bands.

cleo 1:15 am 30 Oct 09

I must admit I used to really enjoyed watching Keating in Parliment, such a sharp witty person, always had a good laugh.

cleo 1:12 am 30 Oct 09

justbands Education what proof in the pudding, I went and did a course a fews years back which covered everything, most of the students were not very good in English, I accually got 98%, I grew up in Sydney where the education system was very strict, my children had lived in different parts of the world and other states, they did finish school in Canberra though.

justbands 9:13 am 29 Oct 09


Education…the proof is in the pudding, we are more educated here on average…there’s no argument there. Your kids experience relates to one school/class, not an entire system.

The air here is fine, there’s hayfever issues…but we have far, far less polution.

Water not as clean as Sydney? Hmmmmmmmm.

Commuting by public transport here is a joke, I grant you that.

I do just fine in private enterprise here, more than my companies Sydney counterparts in general.

cleo 12:52 am 29 Oct 09

Thumper Eastern and Northern suburbs of course

cleo 12:50 am 29 Oct 09


None of the above, and as far as literacy goes who made you the professor? I don’t drink chard or watch neighbours, home and away ever, Is Chopper Reid one of your buddies sunshine?

cleo 12:38 am 29 Oct 09

Justbands As for higher standard of education, I don’t think so, when my kids moved here they could not believe how rude and cheeky the other kids were to teachers, as for the air well, there are more hayfever, asthama suffers here, the water here is not as clean as Sydney, that’s why hair is clingy here, also commuting here is shocking by public transport, yes I do have a car here in Canberra, cannot do without it, and when one wants to go to the airport or railway station, you have to ask a friend or get an expensive taxi, also the beaches do not cost, everything costs in Canberra, and as far as higher paid jobs they are mostly public servents, private enterprise pays lousy wages, I should know.

wishuwell 7:43 pm 28 Oct 09

toriness, I’m confused with whom Lindsay was replying to (key players). Was it you and me or non Canberra folk. Besides the fact that that nothing can be changed anyway.

cranky 7:07 pm 28 Oct 09

Howard got two things right. The guns buy back and the GST. Keating was an arrogant pr!*k. May they both predecease me that I may dance on their graves. I have developed a degree of admiration for Fraser, post parliament. He speaks sense, not spin.

I have been Sydneycentric all my life, and Melbourne was a much derided unknown. Sydney was well known, an easy drive, and rellies on tap.

Last year I went to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. What a revelation! Thoroughly enjoyed myself, a quantum leap upward from Sydney, and a deep realisation on returning to Canberra of how the other half live.

We have Another Country Town.

toriness 6:44 pm 28 Oct 09

Excerpt from a speech by Lindsay Tanner today which I’m sure will provide you with the huge sigh of relief as it did me (joke):

Canberra as the nation’s capital
No doubt you will have seen recent comments questioning Canberra’s suitability as Australia’s national capital.

As key players in the Canberra property sector, I think I can safely assume that you don’t share these concerns.

Rightly or wrongly, Canberra is now firmly established as our national capital, and I believe it is a capital city of which Australians can be proud.

Irrespective of debates about Canberra and Parliament House, the Government has no intention of changing that situation.


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