Skip to content Skip to main navigation

The mass exodus – do we love Canberra?

By Steven Bailey 30 December 2014 28

parliament-house-stock-031214

As many of us make the mass migration to the coast for the holiday period, this year, I decided to stay at home in Canberra. However, I did make a fleeting three-day visit to my family in the Victorian Highlands. A part of my heart remains there on the rocky roads, in the cold nights, and where the wind whispers contours into the long grass and tall trees. I returned to an almost similar Canberra: quite, long and leafy streets; closed shops; and a silence in which to ponder and recuperate.

Canberra’s silence is almost like the beginning of the play Under Milk Wood where it is summer yet ‘spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black’. Although there is the slight bustle of the city shopping rush, and of course there will be Summernats – whatever tickles your fancy. Neither tickle mine – except if you’re talking about a 60’s Valiant with the graceful grunt and torque of the slant-6 engine, its beautiful bench seats of red leather, and its 3 speed column shift! Sorry, I got a bit excited for a moment.

I wonder in this silence: do we love Canberra or do we love Canberra enough? Or do so many of us see it as a sterile and unreal city of perfect form yet characterless, and something from which to escape whenever it’s possible. Canberra is certainly too mature and intelligent a place for the parochialism of patriotism, but patriotism is different to love and pride. We hold love and pride for people; we have patriotism for things. And so I wonder, do we see Canberra as a thing; a machine for working the wheels of the nation, or do we see it more as a person with life, love, and feelings?

I have some wounds to lick after such a big year, and this is probably the most pensive piece I’ve ever written for the Riotact. I apologise in advance. But when we lick our wounds, we think of the future.

When I think of the future of Canberra, I wonder if it will be marked by the flaccidity of Floriade, the failure of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations – which left us with nothing, or the Multicultural Festival which is nothing more than a two-day frenzy of over-priced finger-food, and as about as cultural as an Hawaiian T-shirt on an obnoxious American tourist. The Multicultural Festival is nothing compared to what it used to be.

Or, will Canberra be more like a person… a person of culture and creativity; fun, fair, free, and with a glint in her eyes that pulls you in like an irresistible tide electric with her the charm, intelligence, and imagination? Will she have a talent for life and a song in her heart that unwraps you, and will people be brave enough to sing it with her?

Will she be beautiful, or will she be boring?

I love the coast, the games of monopoly gone wrong, and drinks with friends. I must admit that I’ve spent more summers by the beach than in Canberra. Yet something in me this summer asks: instead of leaving it; why not change it?


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
28 Responses to
The mass exodus – do we love Canberra?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newest
rommeldog56 10:28 am 04 Jan 15

GuruJ said :

Had a very interesting conversation with my mortgage broker a while back (we had a possibility of a job up north and had to know how much we could borrow if we needed to move). I made a comment along the lines of “Well, all the retirees from the most recent job losses are going to move down the coast now” and he said “no they’re not, everyone says Canberra is a much better place to live than the coast these days”.

We’ve been here 13 years now, and I have to admit the changes are quite impressive. Bunda St mall has gone from a wasteland carpark to a vibrant restaurant and cafe strip. New Acton didn’t exist. The Belconnen town centre infill is going to continue to bring better food and entertainment attractions up north. Admittedly the area down near the Casino needs to be refreshed and poor old Tuggers isn’t doing so well, but overall the city is in far better shape than it’s ever been.

rommeldog56 said :

I know, I know – some on here will say that the up to tripling of the Annual Rates is the “best decision that this ACT Labor Gov’t has made ” – or “you should move into a smaller townhouse/unit”.

But that not the point. I already paid full stamp duty on my modest house when I purchased it in Canberra as a self funded retiree 3 years ago. Now, over time, i have to pay it again, and again, and again. It is legalsuied theft.

Tripling of Annual Rates was a decision by the ACT Gov’t – qand as a previous life long Labor voter, one which has lost my vote for Labor in the ACT forever.

I’m not entirely convinced of this change either, but bear in mind that the reduction in stamp duty is very likely to increase the capital value of your property. People buy on the basis of the total loan they need from the bank, and stamp duty takes a big cut out of what goes to the vendor. That doesn’t immediately help your cash situation, but if you don’t want to move it would give you extra room on top if you took out a reverse mortgage.

1) Re Capital value of a house increasing because of reduction in stanp duty : Sorry, I dont think that holds up. Avg.price for a place in Canberra decreased in the last quarter by about 3% as I recall – which is a lot in 1 quarter. Stamp duty was on top of the market assessed value of a house listed for sale – it did not affect that asking price. Buyers could either afford the asking price + stamp duty, or they couldnt. Strangly, buyers used to save up more for stamp duty or buy a marginally smaller house – or delayed getting the “must haves” nowdays when you move in, like massive TVs, home theater systems, brand new furniture, etc. The “market” took care of the stamp duty, as it does in the rest of Australia. It wasn’t regressive as some on here say – the problem with it is that if housing sales decline, ACT Gov’t revenue also declines.

2) Reverse Mortgages : Have u seen the interest rate on those ? Unless those are repaid, interest and repayments compound and are taken out of the estate. So much for leaving the kids a house to give them a leg up into the property market. Reverse mortages are rubbish – be careful and read the small print too.

3) Self funded retirees, like anyone, can apply to the ACT Gov’t for dererral of Annual Rates, a facility that i think will be increasingly used in coming years. But, the amount of the deferal + interest still has to be repaid out of the estate – it is not a “waiver” nor is it the 50% reduction in Annual Rates that Centrelink age pension recipients get. Again, the problem is that the ACT Gov’t does not extend those same concessions to self funded retirees on a means test basis.

Masquara 10:22 am 04 Jan 15

spades said :

The issue with Canberra is that its growth and development is ‘artificial’. The culture in cities like Sydney or Melbourne seem to naturally evolve whereas we always seem to want to manufacture Canberra’s future culture. I don’t think Melbournians regularly ponder how to be more like Paris or San Francisco, I think it just “happened”…while Canberrans always want to think about how to be more like this and that. It feels so artificial. I feel like this city is always trying to be something it’s not. The fact is, it’s a bit more boring than we think it is.

When I lived in Sydney I didn’t worry about how to make the city more exciting, it just was. Not the case for Canberra…

Read up on the history of Paris architecture and get back to us.

GuruJ 9:44 am 04 Jan 15

spades said :

The issue with Canberra is that its growth and development is ‘artificial’. The culture in cities like Sydney or Melbourne seem to naturally evolve whereas we always seem to want to manufacture Canberra’s future culture. I don’t think Melbournians regularly ponder how to be more like Paris or San Francisco, I think it just “happened”…while Canberrans always want to think about how to be more like this and that. It feels so artificial. I feel like this city is always trying to be something it’s not. The fact is, it’s a bit more boring than we think it is.

When I lived in Sydney I didn’t worry about how to make the city more exciting, it just was. Not the case for Canberra…

We’re hardly unique, most of our capital cities have had cultural cringe at some point or another. Have you never heard of the phrase “the Paris end of Melbourne”?

But it comes down to two factors I think. Firstly, Canberra has been a planned city from the start and some people don’t like to let go of that notion (if I hear the phrase “according to the Burley-Griffin Plan” one more time…!). Secondly, our state-local hybrid system of government encourages central planning in areas that are normally delegated to multiple local councils, each with their own vision and agenda.

As a group, we’re a little too smug while simultaneously being deeply insecure. Our somewhat pitiable self-congratulations at being noticed by the New York Times being a good case in point. I think we have things we can be genuinely proud of: a highly educated population and a strong tertiary education sector, a socially cohesive suburbia, and some of the best urban green spaces and walk/ride tracks in the country. But we don’t make the most of them!

To move away from just being a public service town we need more innovation, entrepreneurship, and risk-taking. The CBR Innovation Network is a good start but may yet get bogged down in bureaucracy, I’m keeping an open mind. I would also love to see a greater policy focus on telecommuting and remote work instead of, for example, light rail.

dungfungus 7:21 am 04 Jan 15

GuruJ said :

Had a very interesting conversation with my mortgage broker a while back (we had a possibility of a job up north and had to know how much we could borrow if we needed to move). I made a comment along the lines of “Well, all the retirees from the most recent job losses are going to move down the coast now” and he said “no they’re not, everyone says Canberra is a much better place to live than the coast these days”.

We’ve been here 13 years now, and I have to admit the changes are quite impressive. Bunda St mall has gone from a wasteland carpark to a vibrant restaurant and cafe strip. New Acton didn’t exist. The Belconnen town centre infill is going to continue to bring better food and entertainment attractions up north. Admittedly the area down near the Casino needs to be refreshed and poor old Tuggers isn’t doing so well, but overall the city is in far better shape than it’s ever been.

rommeldog56 said :

I know, I know – some on here will say that the up to tripling of the Annual Rates is the “best decision that this ACT Labor Gov’t has made ” – or “you should move into a smaller townhouse/unit”.

But that not the point. I already paid full stamp duty on my modest house when I purchased it in Canberra as a self funded retiree 3 years ago. Now, over time, i have to pay it again, and again, and again. It is legalsuied theft.

Tripling of Annual Rates was a decision by the ACT Gov’t – qand as a previous life long Labor voter, one which has lost my vote for Labor in the ACT forever.

I’m not entirely convinced of this change either, but bear in mind that the reduction in stamp duty is very likely to increase the capital value of your property. People buy on the basis of the total loan they need from the bank, and stamp duty takes a big cut out of what goes to the vendor. That doesn’t immediately help your cash situation, but if you don’t want to move it would give you extra room on top if you took out a reverse mortgage.

A pox on reverse mortgages!

spades 12:45 am 04 Jan 15

The issue with Canberra is that its growth and development is ‘artificial’. The culture in cities like Sydney or Melbourne seem to naturally evolve whereas we always seem to want to manufacture Canberra’s future culture. I don’t think Melbournians regularly ponder how to be more like Paris or San Francisco, I think it just “happened”…while Canberrans always want to think about how to be more like this and that. It feels so artificial. I feel like this city is always trying to be something it’s not. The fact is, it’s a bit more boring than we think it is.

When I lived in Sydney I didn’t worry about how to make the city more exciting, it just was. Not the case for Canberra…

GuruJ 12:30 am 04 Jan 15

Had a very interesting conversation with my mortgage broker a while back (we had a possibility of a job up north and had to know how much we could borrow if we needed to move). I made a comment along the lines of “Well, all the retirees from the most recent job losses are going to move down the coast now” and he said “no they’re not, everyone says Canberra is a much better place to live than the coast these days”.

We’ve been here 13 years now, and I have to admit the changes are quite impressive. Bunda St mall has gone from a wasteland carpark to a vibrant restaurant and cafe strip. New Acton didn’t exist. The Belconnen town centre infill is going to continue to bring better food and entertainment attractions up north. Admittedly the area down near the Casino needs to be refreshed and poor old Tuggers isn’t doing so well, but overall the city is in far better shape than it’s ever been.

rommeldog56 said :

I know, I know – some on here will say that the up to tripling of the Annual Rates is the “best decision that this ACT Labor Gov’t has made ” – or “you should move into a smaller townhouse/unit”.

But that not the point. I already paid full stamp duty on my modest house when I purchased it in Canberra as a self funded retiree 3 years ago. Now, over time, i have to pay it again, and again, and again. It is legalsuied theft.

Tripling of Annual Rates was a decision by the ACT Gov’t – qand as a previous life long Labor voter, one which has lost my vote for Labor in the ACT forever.

I’m not entirely convinced of this change either, but bear in mind that the reduction in stamp duty is very likely to increase the capital value of your property. People buy on the basis of the total loan they need from the bank, and stamp duty takes a big cut out of what goes to the vendor. That doesn’t immediately help your cash situation, but if you don’t want to move it would give you extra room on top if you took out a reverse mortgage.

Steven Bailey 8:04 pm 03 Jan 15

rommeldog56 said :

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

The future for Canberra will be a widening in the gap between rich and poor or more succinctly, those who can fund the rapidly increasing costs of living and the rest of us who can’t.
With rates increasing and services diminishing and no commensurate increase in retirement income, a lot of us will have sell up and move to decaying country towns.
I just received a motor vehicle registration renewal notice for my humble 2 litre sedan last week.
The cost is $966.30 which includes a Road Rescue Fee for $16.60, a Road Safety Contribution for $2.00 and a Lifetime Care and Support Levy for $34.00.
How many renewal notices encompass a fee, contribution and levy on top of everything else?
I suppose there will be a “Tram Rescue Levy” before too long.
To save some money, I recently cancelled my membership to one of the national seniors’ associations who do very little except bash the government for “doing nothing either”.
I was reminded that I wouldn’t get the “senior’s discount for restaurants and motels” anymore.
My reply was “who needs a discount for goods and services one can’t afford anyway?”.
As far as I am aware, the ACT Government hasn’t yet taxed greetings and salutations so “Happy New Year Everybody”.

Yes Dungfungus, I too fear that the future of Canberra will entail a widening gap between the rich and upper-middle class, and the poor. Happy new year to you.

Steven : As a self funded retiree, my CPI linked pension (which is modest – but which i stupidly thought was better that than bludging on the Age Pension and so, on other taxpayers and ACT Ratepayers !), went up 2.1% – well under CPI.

Also, my Annual Rates here went up 9.49% – and will apparently continue to do so at a similar rate pa for the next 18 years or so.

I have sbsolutely no hope of being able to afford that – so will have to move away from my family & friends and out of Canberra within a few years.

No doubt, i will be joined by many more self funded retiree’s in Canberra who are at the lower – mid end of the self funded pension income scale.

Self funded retirees also get no assistance what so ever from the ACT Gov’t in terms of cost of living concessions (eg. car registration fee, reduction in annual rates, concessional bus travel, etc) that Age Pension/Centrelink recipients get.

Those are not means tested.

I know, I know – some on here will say that the up to tripling of the Annual Rates is the “best decision that this ACT Labor Gov’t has made ” – or “you should move into a smaller townhouse/unit”.

But that not the point. I already paid full stamp duty on my modest house when I purchased it in Canberra as a self funded retiree 3 years ago. Now, over time, i have to pay it again, and again, and again. It is legalsuied theft.

Tripling of Annual Rates was a decision by the ACT Gov’t – qand as a previous life long Labor voter, one which has lost my vote for Labor in the ACT forever.

And my disillusionment with the well healed (and no doubt, far too affluent) Canberra voters/Ratepayers who knowingly voted this in at the last ACT election, is extreme.

So, yes Steven, the gap between lower/middle income earners and those more affulent and/or earning two good wages, will dramatically incrase here in coming years. And done by a Labor Government too.

Thanks for sharing that mate. Your position exemplifies one of the greatest political challenges of our times. I would like to understand more about your situation. If you thought it was okay, I’d really appreciate speaking with you to understand more specifically your situation. I’ll ask the administrator to give you my email address. Of course, don’t feel obliged, and all the very best.

Steven Bailey 7:50 pm 03 Jan 15

Pork Hunt said :

@Steven Bailey, any tips on where to go in the Vic Alps? I have been to Bright, Omeo and Dartmouth in recent times. I think Dargo has to be on the list of where to go next…

Bright is one of my favourites. I have friends there. Although, I think the place has been overwhelmed with too many thick pine plantations. I spend a lot of time around the East Gippsland Shire. The Cottonwood Range is close to where my parents live and I enjoy the fire tracks around there. But from Mount Bogong you can see the world!

Steven Bailey 7:23 pm 03 Jan 15

There are some really thoughtful and intelligent comments on this thread. Thanks.

switch 7:11 am 03 Jan 15

Ryoma said :

I remember reading or hearing an idea a LONG time ago comparing Sydney and Melbourne if they were girls

You should update this analogy of Canberra to include Summernats

Ryoma 4:48 pm 02 Jan 15

I remember reading or hearing an idea a LONG time ago comparing Sydney and Melbourne if they were girls (apologies to female readers and Non-Victorians in advance). I should point out that I think each city has it good and bad points, and this is all meant in humour (honest!)…

In short, the article heavily favoured Melbourne, and ran along the lines of this:

Sydney is the beautiful good times girl – she’s wild, free-wheeling, and does everything at high speed. However, while you might have a fling with her, you quickly run out of things to talk about.

Melbourne, by contrast, initially comes across as the quiet girl. She dresses (in black, naturally), initially in a conservative manner, and it takes you weeks to even get her to go on a date with you; she plays hard-to-get. She’s alternately calm and then excited at the drop of a hat. She’s cheeky, and she shows you things you never knew existed. She can mix with anyone, and move from the football to the opera with grace and style. You want to outsmart her – and you never manage it. She laughs while she’s teasing you, and then winks, to let you know it’s OK, she’s only kidding…

Months pass, and this girl keeps you awake at night, because you can’t work out it is about her that’s so appealing. You have known, and loved, others, but nothing like as deep as this. This is the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with….

**********************************************************************************************************************

Ahem…to Canberra. If we’re using the same analogy, then Canberra is in her last year of high school…she’s not as old as the others. And she’s not too sure about this growing up business, as she likes to just relax, and to spend time in the bush with her friends. She loves the peace, and the sounds and colours of nature…

She’s strong, and fit, due to regular exercise. She loves getting out in the bush, and being a bit of a tomboy. She likes to laugh, she’s really smart, and she has discovered she loves good wine! More than all that, though, she cares deeply about people who are suffering, and volunteers her time to do what she can to help.

She has a part-time job, and she does it well, although people complain endlessly about her bosses. She just does her best, although at times she gets discouraged by people painting her with the same brush as her bosses, and she feels “there’s more to me than my job!”

As a result of all this, her initially parochial view of the world is changing, and therefore, so is she.
She’s learning to dress more smartly, and to walk in high heels. Recently, she got all the attention at an awards night, and both Sydney and Melbourne were insanely jealous. She couldn’t believe it, and didn’t take it to heart….just blushed and grinned shyly…

She’s a bit reserved, a bit shy. Not unfriendly, just not used to being the leader. Recently, a bully has been starting to push her around, but she’s not going to give that person the satisfaction.

The boys are starting to notice her, not just for her understated natural beauty, but because her actions speak louder than her words. She is honest, reliable, and hard-working – and she will one day make a great leader.

OK, finished. Please feel free to do the comparison the other way around gender-wise 😀
And I’m sorry. but I don’t our other cities well enough to comment on them….

Ryoma 3:58 pm 02 Jan 15

Hi Steven

That’s an interesting set of points that you pose. I don’t know so much if it’s that people don’t “like” or don’t “feel proud” of Canberra….I think it’s more to do with the fact that we are (mostly) lucky enough to live in an economy and time that allows people to travel. Given that this time of year is when summer holidays are longest for kids of school age (and that kids living pretty much anywhere are likely to say “I’m bored”), then heading to the coast where the little darlings can exhaust themselves against the unceasing power of the surf is a good solution for many families.

In many other cases, I’d suggest that as the majority of Canberrans have come from somewhere else, it’s easiest at this time of year to go back to the cities and towns our families live in, and to catch up with them. As for not loving the place, I can assure you I love it more at this time of year than in winter…although I still love it then, for different reasons 😀

You mentioned the silence in which to ponder and recuperate. I enjoyed seeing Christmas beetles around, and hearing cicadas. Quietness is something which is underappreciated these days, but I wonder if it could potentially have an economic angle. If you’ve ever visited Japan, you’ll know that Kyoto is not in the same league for nightlife as Tokyo or Osaka. But to walk along the canals there, over the bridges, and down alleyways softly lit with lanterns (out of peak season) is a powerful experience you can’t often find in big cities.

Canberra is not Kyoto, of course (although we could learn a lot about architecture and design from that city). However, we do have the natural version of peace and quiet in much of Canberra…and it’s worth remembering that things being quiet were the norm until the last 50 years or so. Maybe we need to re-discover its value.

I also think you are spot on about changing it. Rather than talking about what is not-so-great about what does exist here, or what we don’t have, why not get involved in whatever it is we are each (individually) passionate about?

I remember reading about two people who heard that a Buddhist priest could tell the future. The first person had been offered a job in a different city, and asked what the people were like there. The priest asked in return “how do you find the people to be in your own city?”, and the answer came back “They are ignorant, rude, and aggressive”. The priest replied “you will find them to be much like this in the other city, too”.

The second person asked a similar question, the priest asked the same question again, and this time received the reply “Oh, they are wonderful – friendly, kind and interesting”. And the priest smiled and replied “Don’t worry, you will find the people in your new city to be the same”.

As for the city as a personality, I’ll put that into another comment….

watto23 2:41 pm 02 Jan 15

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

The future for Canberra will be a widening in the gap between rich and poor or more succinctly, those who can fund the rapidly increasing costs of living and the rest of us who can’t.
With rates increasing and services diminishing and no commensurate increase in retirement income, a lot of us will have sell up and move to decaying country towns.
I just received a motor vehicle registration renewal notice for my humble 2 litre sedan last week.
The cost is $966.30 which includes a Road Rescue Fee for $16.60, a Road Safety Contribution for $2.00 and a Lifetime Care and Support Levy for $34.00.
How many renewal notices encompass a fee, contribution and levy on top of everything else?
I suppose there will be a “Tram Rescue Levy” before too long.
To save some money, I recently cancelled my membership to one of the national seniors’ associations who do very little except bash the government for “doing nothing either”.
I was reminded that I wouldn’t get the “senior’s discount for restaurants and motels” anymore.
My reply was “who needs a discount for goods and services one can’t afford anyway?”.
As far as I am aware, the ACT Government hasn’t yet taxed greetings and salutations so “Happy New Year Everybody”.

Yes Dungfungus, I too fear that the future of Canberra will entail a widening gap between the rich and upper-middle class, and the poor. Happy new year to you.

I completely agree that this will be a problem, however the federal government policies are also to blame for this. Both Labor and Liberals rely on donations from wealthy organisations who donate that on the basis of getting a policy passed through government. I’m not arguing that the increasing rates is not going to put pressure on many. However any economist will tell you that for once a government has actually done something to fix the budget and remove a bad tax. It does suck for homeowners, but is much fairer in the long term. There was no easy way to fix it. Health funding is another one that has no easy fix. IMO the medicare levy needs to be increased and some tough decisions on health spending needs to be made. I have private healthcare mainly because its not much more than paying extra tax, but can’t afford to use it so I’ll just go on the waiting list taking up space.

Anyway completely off topic. I actually really like Canberra this time of year except for the temperature! Its quieter, work commutes are pleasant, plenty to do in summer. I think the city to the lake proposal of a swimming pool by the lake, but again how do we pay for it?

HiddenDragon 7:24 pm 01 Jan 15

“Do we love Canberra?” – I think many of us do, but in different ways. Some need periodic breaks away to satisfy urges and appetites which are not easily met here – but are happy to return once done with that, while others appreciate the relative peace of the annual exodus and are glad to stay here.

The reference to Under Milk Wood was a nice touch – something for the poetically inclined, but also for those with sharper inclinations (Llaregubb, looked at in a rear vision mirror…..), on which, I fear that we are being pushed in the direction of a yuppified, hipsterised Village of the Damned – although I still hope that common sense and, perhaps, a touch of “creative inertia” might yet save us.

Finally, Steven, I can well imagine a contemporary Man from Snowy River (or parts thereabouts) as the proud custodian of a lovingly preserved Valiant!

dungfungus 9:50 am 01 Jan 15

Pork Hunt said :

@dungfungus, thank you for pointing out all the extra costs of registering ones vehicle that were introduced after the never ever GST. Before any state or federal governments seek to increase the GST, there needs to be a Royal Comission into all the little levies and charges that they impose on us.

The Territories also have an input into increasing the GST. I know I am nitpicking but that is becoming the norm on this blog.
Looking at the registration renewal reminder, there is no reference to GST (I thought all invoices had to show GST separately). Apparently, the only scope for claiming back an Input Tax Credit (amount unknown) is to declare an entitlement to claim same.
Oh, and the CTPI Premium Fee shown includes a CTP Regulatory Levy of $1.00!

rommeldog56 8:02 am 01 Jan 15

Pork Hunt said :

@dungfungus, thank you for pointing out all the extra costs of registering ones vehicle that were introduced after the never ever GST. Before any state or federal governments seek to increase the GST, there needs to be a Royal Comission into all the little levies and charges that they impose on us.

This is a good point Pork Hunt. Howard did go to an election based on introducing the GST though – even if it was after “never, never”.

As I recall, the States agreed to progressively abolish taxes and levies such as payroll tax and stamp duties in return. However, I don’t think that that undertaking was never enshrined in legislation or in any written/published agreement, so it largely didn’t happen. But i distinctly recall it being stated as an offset.

Now, the States want an increase to the GST – mostly to make up for their burgeoning Territory/State budget deficites (the States/Territories get GST recvinues, not the Fed’s). Squabbles have already started between State Premiers about their share of the GST revenues (eg. WA want more).

Hell, even our own ex Chief Minister supported an increase to the GST – no doubt because of the Territory budget deficite that her and previous ACT Govt’s created by fiscal and ecomnomic mismanagement eg. (Light Rail when it simply can not be afforded at present).

I agree that this issue is worthy of a Royal Commission – Territory and State Govt’s MUST be held accountable and be legally forced to deliver at least some offsetting fees and charges BEFORE the GST next increases – because increase it will. And without better fiscal and economic management by the Territories/States, the GST will go on increasing periodically forever – its already much, much higher in other countries. It’s a sobering thought.

Pork Hunt 8:18 pm 31 Dec 14

@Steven Bailey, any tips on where to go in the Vic Alps? I have been to Bright, Omeo and Dartmouth in recent times. I think Dargo has to be on the list of where to go next…

Pork Hunt 8:15 pm 31 Dec 14

@dungfungus, thank you for pointing out all the extra costs of registering ones vehicle that were introduced after the never ever GST. Before any state or federal governments seek to increase the GST, there needs to be a Royal Comission into all the little levies and charges that they impose on us.

rommeldog56 6:36 pm 31 Dec 14

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

The future for Canberra will be a widening in the gap between rich and poor or more succinctly, those who can fund the rapidly increasing costs of living and the rest of us who can’t.
With rates increasing and services diminishing and no commensurate increase in retirement income, a lot of us will have sell up and move to decaying country towns.
I just received a motor vehicle registration renewal notice for my humble 2 litre sedan last week.
The cost is $966.30 which includes a Road Rescue Fee for $16.60, a Road Safety Contribution for $2.00 and a Lifetime Care and Support Levy for $34.00.
How many renewal notices encompass a fee, contribution and levy on top of everything else?
I suppose there will be a “Tram Rescue Levy” before too long.
To save some money, I recently cancelled my membership to one of the national seniors’ associations who do very little except bash the government for “doing nothing either”.
I was reminded that I wouldn’t get the “senior’s discount for restaurants and motels” anymore.
My reply was “who needs a discount for goods and services one can’t afford anyway?”.
As far as I am aware, the ACT Government hasn’t yet taxed greetings and salutations so “Happy New Year Everybody”.

Yes Dungfungus, I too fear that the future of Canberra will entail a widening gap between the rich and upper-middle class, and the poor. Happy new year to you.

Steven : As a self funded retiree, my CPI linked pension (which is modest – but which i stupidly thought was better that than bludging on the Age Pension and so, on other taxpayers and ACT Ratepayers !), went up 2.1% – well under CPI.

Also, my Annual Rates here went up 9.49% – and will apparently continue to do so at a similar rate pa for the next 18 years or so. I have sbsolutely no hope of being able to afford that – so will have to move away from my family & friends and out of Canberra within a few years. No doubt, i will be joined by many more self funded retiree’s in Canberra who are at the lower – mid end of the self funded pension income scale.

Self funded retirees also get no assistance what so ever from the ACT Gov’t in terms of cost of living concessions (eg. car registration fee, reduction in annual rates, concessional bus travel, etc) that Age Pension/Centrelink recipients get. Those are not means tested.

I know, I know – some on here will say that the up to tripling of the Annual Rates is the “best decision that this ACT Labor Gov’t has made ” – or “you should move into a smaller townhouse/unit”. But that not the point. I already paid full stamp duty on my modest house when I purchased it in Canberra as a self funded retiree 3 years ago. Now, over time, i have to pay it again, and again, and again. It is legalsuied theft.

Tripling of Annual Rates was a decision by the ACT Gov’t – qand as a previous life long Labor voter, one which has lost my vote for Labor in the ACT forever. And my disillusionment with the well healed (and no doubt, far too affluent) Canberra voters/Ratepayers who knowingly voted this in at the last ACT election, is extreme.

So, yes Steven, the gap between lower/middle income earners and those more affulent and/or earning two good wages, will dramatically incrase here in coming years. And done by a Labor Government too.

Steven Bailey 1:58 pm 31 Dec 14

dungfungus said :

The future for Canberra will be a widening in the gap between rich and poor or more succinctly, those who can fund the rapidly increasing costs of living and the rest of us who can’t.
With rates increasing and services diminishing and no commensurate increase in retirement income, a lot of us will have sell up and move to decaying country towns.
I just received a motor vehicle registration renewal notice for my humble 2 litre sedan last week.
The cost is $966.30 which includes a Road Rescue Fee for $16.60, a Road Safety Contribution for $2.00 and a Lifetime Care and Support Levy for $34.00.
How many renewal notices encompass a fee, contribution and levy on top of everything else?
I suppose there will be a “Tram Rescue Levy” before too long.
To save some money, I recently cancelled my membership to one of the national seniors’ associations who do very little except bash the government for “doing nothing either”.
I was reminded that I wouldn’t get the “senior’s discount for restaurants and motels” anymore.
My reply was “who needs a discount for goods and services one can’t afford anyway?”.
As far as I am aware, the ACT Government hasn’t yet taxed greetings and salutations so “Happy New Year Everybody”.

Yes Dungfungus, I too fear that the future of Canberra will entail a widening gap between the rich and upper-middle class, and the poor. Happy new year to you.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site