A Canberra dispatch
Spending two days here interviewing for the review into the ALP’s election performance … with my colleagues, Steve Bracks, former Premier of Victoria, and Senator John Faulkner. But with every visit to the national capital I’m reminded of what a visitor from West Germany said of Canberra in the 1970s: it’s what the GDR wanted to look like but never succeeded in managing.
Or, another view…I think it’s the Scandinavian vision of Australia that was at the heart of the Whitlam program. A crèche on every street corner, a sympathetic social worker for every family, native trees defining every streetscape. Wholesome and healthy and funded with lavish tax dollars and a government sector consuming 50 percent of the economy.
Or another perspective: it’s where they set the outrageously overambitious immigration targets that stress other Australian cities while enjoying the lowest population densities of all Australian capitals.