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Canberra

Canberra

Overview
Canberra
is the capital city of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and is the smallest self-governing internal territory...

 (ACT), 280 km (174 mi) south-west of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, and 660 km (410.1 mi) north-east of Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

.
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Quotations

Canberra: Why wait for death?

Canberra: Gateway to everywhere else!

Bill Bryson|Bill Bryson in Down Under, 2000 ISBN 055299703X

I have planned a city not like any other city in the world. I have planned it not in a way that I expected any governmental authorities in the world would accept. I have planned an ideal city, a city that meets my ideal of the city of the future.

Walter Burley Griffin|Walter Burley Griffin, talking of his plan for Canberra, 1912, from The New York Times|The New York Times, Sunday, June 2, 1912
Encyclopedia
Canberra
is the capital city of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and is the smallest self-governing internal territory...

 (ACT), 280 km (174 mi) south-west of Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, and 660 km (410.1 mi) north-east of Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. A resident of Canberra is known as a "Canberran".

The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city
New town
A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin was an American architect and landscape architect, who is best known for his role in designing Canberra, Australia's capital city...

 and Marion Mahony Griffin
Marion Mahony Griffin
Marion Griffin was an American architect and artist. She was one of the first licenced female architects in the world, and is considered an original member of the Prairie School.-Biography:...

 was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffins' plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.

The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement
Garden city movement
The garden city movement is a method of urban planning that was initiated in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by "greenbelts" , containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and...

 and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title of the "bush capital". The growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, which exacerbated a series of planning disputes and the ineffectiveness of a sequence of bodies that were to oversee the development of the city. The national capital emerged as a thriving city after World War II, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, , Australian politician, was the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia....

 championed its development and the National Capital Development Commission
National Capital Development Commission
The National Capital Development Commission was an Australian Commonwealth Government body created to complete the establishment of Canberra as the seat of government. It was created in 1957 through the National Capital Development Commission Act 1957.Under the control of the NCDC Canberra grew...

 was formed with executive powers. Although the Australian Capital Territory is now self-governing, the federal government retains some influence through the National Capital Authority
National Capital Authority
The National Capital Authority is a body of the Australian Government that was established to manage the Commonwealth's interest in the planning and development of Canberra as the capital city of Australia....

.

As the seat of the government of Australia
Government of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states...

, Canberra is the site of Parliament House
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia...

, the High Court
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

 and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

, Australian National University
Australian National University
The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...

, Australian Institute of Sport
Australian Institute of Sport
The Australian Institute of Sport is a sports training institution in Australia with world class facilities and support services. The Institute's headquarters is situated in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The 66.0 hectare site campus is in the northern suburb of Bruce, but some of the...

, National Gallery
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is the national art gallery of Australia, holding more than 120,000 works of art. It was established in 1967 by the Australian government as a national public art gallery.- Establishment :...

, National Museum
National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The National Museum preserves and interprets Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation....

 and the National Library
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library of Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the...

. The Australian Army's officer corps are trained at the Royal Military College, Duntroon
Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in the Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is situated on picturesque grounds at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence...

 and the Australian Defence Force Academy
Australian Defence Force Academy
The Australian Defence Force Academy is a tri-service military Academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defence Force in the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force .Tertiary education is provided by the...

 is also located in the capital.

As the city has a high proportion of public servants, the federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra. As the seat of government, the unemployment rate is lower and the average income higher than the national average, while property prices are relatively high, in part due to comparatively restricted development regulations. Tertiary education levels are higher, while the population is younger.

Etymology


The word "Canberra" is popularly claimed to derive from the word Kambera or Canberry and mean "meeting place" in the old Ngunnawal language
Ngunnawal language
Ngunnawal or Ngunawal is an Australian Aboriginal language, the traditional language of the Ngunawal people.-Classification:Ngunawal is currently classified as a sub-tribe of the larger Ngarigu/Ngarigo dialect area that covers the limestone plains of Monaro/Maneroo in NSW to ACT across the Monaro...

 of the local Ngabri people. The Ngunnawal name was apparently used as a reference to corroboree
Corroboree
A corroboree is a ceremonial meeting of Australian Aborigines. The word was coined by the European settlers of Australia in imitation of the Aboriginal word caribberie. At a corroboree Aborigines interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume. Many ceremonies act out events from the...

s held during the seasonal migration of the Ngunnawal people
Ngunnawal people
The Ngunnawal people are the Indigenous Australian inhabitants whose traditional lands encompass much of the area now occupied by the city of Canberra, Australia and the surrounding Australian Capital Territory...

 to feast on the Bogong moth
Bogong moth
The Bogong moth is a temperate species of night-flying moth notable for appearing in large numbers around major public buildings in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, during spring as it migrates to the High Plains. The moth's name 'Bogong' is the same as the mountain ranges on the High...

s that pass through the region each spring.

Alternatively, the name was reported by Queanbeyan newspaper owner John Gale
John Gale (journalist)
John Gale was the founder of the Queanbeyan Age, the first newspaper to serve Queanbeyan District...

 in the 1860s to be an anglicisation of the indigenous name 'nganbra' or 'nganbira', meaning "hollow between a woman's breasts", and referring to the Sullivans Creek
Sullivans Creek
Sullivans Creek is a small creek in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It has a catchment area of .Located on the northern half of the city, it flows through the Australian National University into Lake Burley Griffin.-References:...

 floodplain between Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie (Australian Capital Territory)
Mount Ainslie or Mount Ainslie-Majura is a part of Canberra Nature Park. It borders on the inner suburbs of Campbell, Ainslie and Hackett...

 and Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Australian Capital Territory)
Black Mountain is situated close to the central business district of Australia's capital city Canberra. Like all major hills in Canberra it is protected from development by the Canberra Nature Park. It is covered in native bushland and is a haven to native wildlife.With its peak at 811.987m AHD,...

. Support for this alternate meaning comes from the fact that Joshua Moore's original "Canberry" property on Acton peninsula, named as such in the 1820s, was very close to the Sullivans Creek floodplain, and that an early map of the Limestone Plains compiled Major Mitchell in his role as Surveyor-General clearly marks Sullivans Creek and its floodplain above the junction with the Molonglo River as 'nganbra'.

History


Before European settlement, the area in which Canberra would eventually be constructed was seasonally inhabited by Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

. Anthropologist Norman Tindale
Norman Tindale
Norman Barnett Tindale was an Australian anthropologist, archaeologist and entomologist. Born in Perth, his family moved to Tokyo from 1907 to 1915, where his father worked as an accountant at the Salvation Army mission in Japan. Soon after returning to Australia, Tindale got a job at the South...

 suggested the principal group occupying the region were the Ngunnawal people
Ngunnawal people
The Ngunnawal people are the Indigenous Australian inhabitants whose traditional lands encompass much of the area now occupied by the city of Canberra, Australia and the surrounding Australian Capital Territory...

, while the Ngarigo
Ngarigo
The Ngarigo is the Aboriginal people group whose traditional lands lie south-east of the Canberra area.According to Norman Tindale in his 1974 catalogue of Australian Aboriginal people groups, the specific areas lands of the Ngarigo are:...

 lived immediately to the south of the ACT, The Wandandian to the east, the Walgulu also to the south, Gandangara people to the north, and Wiradjuri
Wiradjuri
The Wiradjuri are an Indigenous Australian group of central New South Wales.In the 21st century, major Wiradjuri groups live in Condobolin, Peak Hill, Narrandera and Griffith...

 to the north west. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the region includes inhabited rock shelters, rock paintings and engravings, burial places, camps and quarry sites, and stone tools and arrangements. The evidence suggests human habitation in the area for at least 21,000 years.


European exploration and settlement started in the Canberra area as early as the 1820s. There were four expeditions between 1820 and 1824. White settlement of the area probably dates from 1824, when a homestead or station was built on what is now the Acton peninsula by stockmen employed by Joshua John Moore. He formally purchased the site in 1826, and named the property "Canberry".

The European population in the Canberra area continued to grow slowly throughout the 19th century. Among them was the Campbell family of "Duntroon"; their imposing stone house is now the officers' mess of the Royal Military College, Duntroon
Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in the Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is situated on picturesque grounds at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence...

. The Campbells sponsored settlement by other farmer families to work their land, such as the Southwells of "Weetangera
Weetangera, Australian Capital Territory
Weetangera is a suburb in the Canberra, Australia district of Belconnen.It is next to the suburbs of Hawker, Page and Macquarie. The Canberra Nature Park of The Pinnacle Nature Reserve borders it to the south across Springvale Drive. It has a primary school, Weetangera primary, and Weetangera...

". Other notable early settlers included the inter-related Murray and Gibbes families, who owned the Yarralumla
Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory
Yarralumla is a large inner south suburb of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Located approximately south-west of the city, Yarralumla extends along the south-west bank of Lake Burley Griffin...

 estate—now the site of the official residence
Government House, Canberra
Government House, Canberra, commonly known as Yarralumla, is the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. It is located in the suburb of Yarralumla, in the City of Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory....

 of the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 of Australia—from the 1830s through to 1881.

The oldest surviving public building in the inner-city is the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, in the suburb of Reid, which was consecrated in 1845. St John's churchyard contains the earliest graves in the district. As the European presence increased, the indigenous population dwindled, mainly from disease such as smallpox and measles.

The district's change from a New South Wales (NSW) rural area to the national capital started during debates over Federation
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

 in the late 19th century. Following a long dispute over whether Sydney or Melbourne should be the national capital, a compromise was reached: the new capital would be built in New South Wales, so long as it was at least 100 miles (160.9 km) from Sydney, with Melbourne to be the temporary seat of government (but not referred to as the "capital") while the new capital was built.

20th century


Newspaper proprietor John Gale
John Gale (journalist)
John Gale was the founder of the Queanbeyan Age, the first newspaper to serve Queanbeyan District...

 circulated a pamphlet titled 'Dalgety
Dalgety, New South Wales
Dalgety is a small town in New South Wales Australia, on the banks of the Snowy River between Melbourne and Sydney.The town is located at what was once an important river crossing along the Travelling Stock route from Gippsland to the Snowy Mountains High Country dating from the 1840s.- History...

 or Canberra: Which?' advocating Canberra to every member of the Commonwealth's seven States Parliaments. By many accounts, it was decisive in the selection of Canberra as the site in 1908, as was a result of survey work done by the government surveyor
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

 Charles Scrivener
Charles Scrivener
Charles Robert Scrivener was an Australian surveyor, and the person who surveyed numerous sites in New South Wales for the selection of a site for the Australian Capital Territory and Australia's capital city, Canberra....

. The NSW government ceded the Federal Capital Territory (as it was then known) to the federal government. In an international design competition conducted by the Department of Home Affairs, on 24 May 1911, the design by Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin was an American architect and landscape architect, who is best known for his role in designing Canberra, Australia's capital city...

 and Marion Mahony Griffin was chosen for the city, and in 1913 Griffin was appointed Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction and construction began.

On 12 March 1913, the city was officially given its name by Lady Denman, the wife of Governor-General Lord Denman
Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman
Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman GCMG, KCVO, PC was a British Liberal politician and the fifth Governor-General of Australia.-Early years:...

, at a ceremony at Kurrajong Hill, which has since become Capital Hill and the site of the present Parliament House
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia...

. Canberra Day
Canberra Day
Canberra Day is a public holiday held annually on the second Monday in March in the Australian Capital Territory to celebrate the official naming of Canberra. Canberra was named at a ceremony on 12 March 1913 by Lady Denman, the wife of the then Governor-General Lord Denman. In 2011 Canberra Day...

 is a public holiday observed in the ACT on the second Monday in March to celebrate the founding of Canberra. After the ceremony, bureaucratic disputes hindered Griffin's work; a Royal Commission in 1916 ruled his authority had been usurped by certain officials. Griffin's relationship with the Australian authorities was strained and a lack of funding meant that by the time he was fired in 1920, little work had been done. By this time, Griffin had revised his plan, overseen the earthworks of major avenues, and established the Glenloch Cork Plantation.

The federal legislature moved to Canberra on 9 May 1927, with the opening of the Provisional Parliament House
Old Parliament House, Canberra
Old Parliament House, known formerly as the Provisional Parliament House, was the house of the Parliament of Australia from 1927 to 1988. The building began operation on 9 May 1927 as a temporary base for the Commonwealth Parliament after its relocation from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra,...

. The Prime Minister, Stanley Bruce
Stanley Bruce
Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Bruce of Melbourne, CH, MC, FRS, PC , was an Australian politician and diplomat, and the eighth Prime Minister of Australia. He was the second Australian granted an hereditary peerage of the United Kingdom, but the first whose peerage was formally created...

, had officially taken up residence in The Lodge a few days earlier. Planned development of the city slowed significantly during the depression
Great Depression in Australia
Australia suffered badly during the period of the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Depression began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 and rapidly spread worldwide. As in other nations, Australia suffered years of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging incomes, and...

 of the 1930s and during World War II. Some projects planned for that time, including Roman Catholic and Anglican
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

 cathedrals, were never completed.


From 1920 to 1957, three bodies, successively the Federal Capital Advisory Committee
Federal Capital Advisory Committee
The Federal Capital Advisory Committee was a body of the Australian government which oversaw the construction of Canberra from 1921 to 1924 following the termination of the contract of architect Walter Burley Griffin....

, the Federal Capital Commission
Federal Capital Commission
The Federal Capital Commission was an agency of the Australian government formed to construct and administer Canberra from 1 January 1925. The Chief Commissioner of the body was Sir John Butters....

, and the National Capital Planning and Development Committee
National Capital Planning and Development Committee
The National Capital Planning and Development Committee was a body of the Australian government formed in 1938 to oversee the development of Canberra. The NCPDC was to advise the Minister of the Interior to safeguard the Griffin plan and maintain high aesthetic and architectural standards worthy...

 continued to plan the further expansion of Canberra in the absence of Griffin; however, they were only advisory, and development decisions were made without consulting them, increasing inefficiency.

Immediately after the end of the war, Canberra was criticised for resembling a village, and its disorganised collection of buildings was deemed ugly. Canberra was often derisively described as "several suburbs in search of a city". Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, , Australian politician, was the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia....

 regarded the state of the national capital as an embarrassment. Over time his attitude changed from one of contempt to that of championing its development. He fired two ministers charged with the development of the city for poor performance. He ruled for over a decade and in that time the development of the capital sped up rapidly. The population grew by more than 50% in every five-year period from 1955 to 1975. Several Government departments, together with public servants, were moved to Canberra from Melbourne following the war. Government housing
Public housing in the Australian Capital Territory
Government built housing in Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory has a history stemming from the decision to build the National Capital in the bush. In the early years Canberra's housing was entirely government-built and even after private development took over there has been a number of...

 projects were undertaken to accommodate the city's growing population.

Most of rapid expansion was achieved after the National Capital Development Commission
National Capital Development Commission
The National Capital Development Commission was an Australian Commonwealth Government body created to complete the establishment of Canberra as the seat of government. It was created in 1957 through the National Capital Development Commission Act 1957.Under the control of the NCDC Canberra grew...

 (NCDC) was formed in 1957 with executive powers, replacing its ineffective advisory predecessors. The NCDC ended four decades of disputes over the shape and design of Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed...

—the centrepiece of Griffin's design—and construction was completed in 1964 after four years of work. The completion of the lake finally the laid the platform for the development of Griffin's Parliamentary Triangle
Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra
The Parliamentary Triangle is the ceremonial precinct of Canberra, containing some of Australia's most significant buildings. The triangle is formed by Commonwealth, Kings and Constitution avenues...

. Since the initial construction of the lake, various buildings of national importance have been constructed on its shores.

The newly built Australian National University
Australian National University
The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...

 was expanded, and sculptures and monuments were built. A new National Library
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library of Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the...

 was constructed within the Parliamentary Triangle, followed by the High Court
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

 and the National Gallery
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is the national art gallery of Australia, holding more than 120,000 works of art. It was established in 1967 by the Australian government as a national public art gallery.- Establishment :...

. Suburbs in Canberra Central
Canberra Central
The District of Canberra Central is one of the 18 districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration. It is subdivided into divisions , sections and blocks. It is mentioned in the . It includes the Inner North and Inner South...

 (often referred to as North Canberra
North Canberra
North Canberra, also known as the Inner North, is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, comprising 14 suburbs with 19,115 dwellings housing 42,113 people of the 324,034 people in the Australian Capital Territory...

 and South Canberra
South Canberra
South Canberra or the Inner South is a central district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia.South Canberra is located to the south of Canberra's city centre, on the south bank of Lake Burley Griffin....

) were further developed in the 1950s, and urban development in the districts of Woden Valley
Woden Valley
Woden Valley is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Its name is taken from the name of a nearby homestead owned by Dr James Murray who named the homestead after the Old English god Woden in October 1837. He named it this as he was to spend his life in the pursuit of wisdom and...

 and Belconnen
Belconnen
Belconnen is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, comprising 25 suburbs with 29,900 dwellings housing 82,247 people of the 311,518 people in the Australian Capital Territory ....

 commenced in the mid and late 1960s respectively. Many of the new suburbs were named after Australian politicians, such as Barton
Edmund Barton
Sir Edmund Barton, GCMG, KC , Australian politician and judge, was the first Prime Minister of Australia and a founding justice of the High Court of Australia....

, Deakin
Alfred Deakin
Alfred Deakin , Australian politician, was a leader of the movement for Australian federation and later the second Prime Minister of Australia. In the last quarter of the 19th century, Deakin was a major contributor to the establishment of liberal reforms in the colony of Victoria, including the...

, Reid
George Reid (Australian politician)
Sir George Houstoun Reid, GCB, GCMG, KC was an Australian politician, Premier of New South Wales and the fourth Prime Minister of Australia....

, Braddon
Edward Braddon
Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon, KCMG , Australian politician, was the Premier of Tasmania from 1894 to 1899, and was a Member of the First Australian Parliament in the House of Representatives...

, Curtin
John Curtin
John Joseph Curtin , Australian politician, served as the 14th Prime Minister of Australia. Labor under Curtin formed a minority government in 1941 after the crossbench consisting of two independent MPs crossed the floor in the House of Representatives, bringing down the Coalition minority...

, Chifley
Ben Chifley
Joseph Benedict Chifley , Australian politician, was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. He took over the Australian Labor Party leadership and Prime Ministership after the death of John Curtin in 1945, and went on to retain government at the 1946 election, before being defeated at the 1949...

 and Parkes
Henry Parkes
Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG was an Australian statesman, the "Father of Federation." As the earliest advocate of a Federal Council of the colonies of Australia, a precursor to the Federation of Australia, he was the most prominent of the Australian Founding Fathers.Parkes was described during his...

.
On 27 January 1972 the Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Aboriginal Tent Embassy
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy is a controversial semi-permanent assemblage claiming to represent the political rights of Australian Aborigines. It is made of a large group of activists, signs, and tents that reside on the lawn of Old Parliament House in Canberra, the Australian capital...

 was first established on the grounds of Parliament House; it was created to draw attention to indigenous rights and land issues and has been continuously occupied since 1992. On 9 May 1988, a larger and permanent Parliament House was opened on Capital Hill as part of Australia's bicentenary celebrations, and the Federal Parliament moved there from the Provisional Parliament House, now known as Old Parliament House.

In December 1988, the ACT was granted full self-government through an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament. Following the first election on 4 March 1989, a 17-member Legislative Assembly
Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the Australian Capital Territory...

 sat at temporary offices at 1 Constitution Avenue, Civic, on 11 May 1989. Permanent premises were opened on London Circuit in 1994. The Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 formed the ACT's first government, led by the Chief Minister Rosemary Follett
Rosemary Follett
Rosemary Follett AO , Australian politician, was the first Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. She was the first woman to become head of government in an Australian state or territory....

, who made history as Australia's first female head of government. Parts of Canberra were engulfed by bushfires on 18 January 2003 that killed four people, injured 435, and destroyed 487 homes and the major research telescopes of Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory
Mount Stromlo Observatory
Mount Stromlo Observatory located just outside of Canberra, Australia, is part of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University .-History:...

.

Geography



Canberra covers an area of 814.2 square kilometres (314.3 sq. mi) and is located near the Brindabella Ranges
Brindabella Ranges
The Brindabella Range is a mountain range located on the border between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The ranges rise to the west of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, and include the Namadgi National Park in the A.C.T. and Bimberi Nature Reserve and...

, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) inland from Australia's east coast. It has an elevation of approximately 580 metres (1,902.9 ft) AHD
Australian Height Datum
The Australian Height Datum is a geodetic datum for altitude measurement in Australia. According to Geoscience Australia, "In 1971 the mean sea level for 1966-1968 was assigned the value of zero on the Australian Height Datum at thirty tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent...

; the highest point is Mount Majura
Mount Majura
Mount Majura, is a small mountain located in Canberra, Australia. Mount Majura lies close to the more prominent Mount Ainslie and at 888 metres is the highest point in Canberra...

 at 888 metres (2,913 ft). Other large hills include Mount Taylor
Mount Taylor (Australian Capital Territory)
Mount Taylor is a prominent hill located between the Woden Valley, Weston Creek district and Tuggeranong Valley, in Canberra, Australia. Mount Taylor is part of the Canberra Nature Park. The hill is 856 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by the suburbs of Kambah, Fisher, Waramanga, Chifley,...

, Mount Ainslie
Mount Ainslie (Australian Capital Territory)
Mount Ainslie or Mount Ainslie-Majura is a part of Canberra Nature Park. It borders on the inner suburbs of Campbell, Ainslie and Hackett...

, Mount Mugga Mugga and Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Australian Capital Territory)
Black Mountain is situated close to the central business district of Australia's capital city Canberra. Like all major hills in Canberra it is protected from development by the Canberra Nature Park. It is covered in native bushland and is a haven to native wildlife.With its peak at 811.987m AHD,...

.

The native forest in the Canberra region was almost wholly eucalypt
Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia...

 species and provided a resource for fuel and domestic purposes. By the early 1960s, logging had depleted the eucalypt, and concern about water quality led to the forests being closed. Interest in forestry began in 1915 with trials of a number of species including Pinus radiata
Monterey Pine
The Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata, family Pinaceae, also known as the Insignis Pine or Radiata Pine is a species of pine native to the Central Coast of California....

on the slopes of Mount Stromlo. Since then, plantations have been expanded, with the benefit of reducing erosion in the Cotter catchment, and the forests are also popular recreation areas.
The urban environs of the city of Canberra straddle the Ginninderra plain
Ginninderra
Ginninderra is the name of the former agricultural lands surrendered to urban development on the western and north-western fringes of Canberra, Australia's National Capital...

, Molonglo plain
Molonglo Plains
The Molonglo Plain generally refers to the flood plain of the Molonglo River and specifically the one located in the Australian Capital Territory that was inundated during the mid 1960s in order to create Lake Burley Griffin...

, the Limestone plain, and the Tuggeranong plain
Tuggeranong
Tuggeranong is the southernmost town centre of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It comprises 19 suburbs with a total of 31,819 dwellings, housing 87,119 people of the 324,034 people in the Australian Capital Territory . The district occupies 117 square kilometres to the east of the...

 (Isabella's Plain). The Molonglo River
Molonglo River
The Molonglo River rises on the western side of the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia in the state of New South Wales. Its source is on the other side of the mountain range from where the Shoalhaven River rises, in Tallaganda state forest at ~1200 metres altitude...

 which flows across the Molonglo plain has been dammed to form the national capital's iconic feature Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed...

. The Molonglo then flows into the Murrumbidgee
Murrumbidgee River
The Murrumbidgee River is a major river in the state of New South Wales, Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory . A major tributary of the Murray River, the Murrumbidgee flows in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains,...

 north-west of Canberra, which in turn flows north-west toward the New South Wales town of Yass. The Queanbeyan River
Queanbeyan River
The Queanbeyan River is a tributary of the Molonglo River and part of Murray-Darling Basin. The river is 70 kilometres in length and the river catchment is 96,000 hectares in size...

 joins the Molonglo River at Oaks Estate just within the ACT.

A number of creeks, including Jerrabomberra and Yarralumla Creeks, flow into the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee. Two of these creeks, the Ginninderra and Tuggeranong, have similarly been dammed to form Lakes Ginninderra
Lake Ginninderra
Lake Ginninderra is an artificial lake located on the Ginninderra Creek in Canberra. It is adjacent to the Belconnen Town Centre. The lake was constructed in 1974 to collect stormwater discharge from a 98.8km² catchment that includes the surrounding suburbs of Aranda, Macquarie, Cook, Bruce,...

 and Tuggeranong
Lake Tuggeranong
Lake Tuggeranong is an artificial lake in the Canberra district of Tuggeranong. The lake was created by the construction of a dam in 1987 coinciding with urban development in the district. The lake was built as a sediment trap to stop sediment from entering the Murrumbidgee River.The lake is a...

. Until recently the Molonglo River had a history of sometimes calamitous floods; the area was a flood plain prior to the filling of Lake Burley Griffin.

Climate


Canberra has a relatively dry continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

 with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters. Canberra experiences warm, quite dry summers, and chilly winters with heavy fog and frequent frosts. Snow is rare in the CBD but the surrounding areas get annual snowfall through winter and often the snow capped mountains can be seen from the CBD. The highest recorded maximum temperature was 42.2 °C (108 °F) on 1 February 1968.

The lowest recorded minimum temperature was −10.0 °C on 11 July 1971. Light snow often falls only once or twice per year but is usually not widespread and quickly dissipates. Canberra is protected from the west by the Brindabellas which create a slight rain shadow in Canberra's valleys.

Annual rainfall is the third lowest of the capital cities (after Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 and Hobart
Hobart
Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony,Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as...

) but is spread fairly evenly over the seasons, with late spring bringing the highest rainfall. Thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s occur mostly between October and April, due to the effect of summer and the mountains. The area is not very windy and the breeze is at its strongest from August to November. Canberra is less humid than the nearby coastal areas.

Urban structure





Canberra is a planned city
New town
A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

 and the inner-city area was originally designed by Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin
Walter Burley Griffin was an American architect and landscape architect, who is best known for his role in designing Canberra, Australia's capital city...

, a major 20th century American architect. Within the central area of the city near Lake Burley Griffin, major roads follow a wheel-and-spoke pattern rather than a grid. Griffin's proposal had an abundance of geometric patterns, including concentric hexagonal and octagonal streets emanating from several radii. However, the outer areas of the city, built later, are not laid out geometrically.

Lake Burley Griffin was deliberately designed so that the orientation of the components was related to various topographical landmarks in Canberra. The lakes stretch from east to west and divided the city in two; a land axis perpendicular to the central basin stretches from Capital Hill
Capital Hill, Australian Capital Territory
Capital Hill , is the location of Parliament House, Canberra, at the south apex of the land axis of the Parliamentary Triangle....

—the eventual location of the new Parliament House
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia...

 on a mound on the southern side—north northeast across the central basin to the northern banks along Anzac Parade
ANZAC Parade, Canberra
This article is about the road in Canberra. For other uses, see Anzac Parade .ANZAC Parade, a significant road and thoroughfare in the Australian capital Canberra, is used for ceremonial occasions and is the site of many major military memorials.Named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand...

 to the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

. This was designed so that looking from Capital Hill, the War Memorial stood directly at the foot of Mount Ainslie. At the southwestern end of the land axis was Bimberi Peak
Bimberi Peak
Bimberi Peak or Mount Bimberi is the highest mountain in the Australian Capital Territory at 1912 metres. It is located on the border between New South Wales and the ACT, the NSW portion in Kosciuszko National Park and the ACT portion in Namadgi National Park...

, the highest mountain in the ACT, approximately 52 km south west of Canberra.

The straight edge of the circular segment that formed the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin was perpendicular to the land axis and designated the water axis, and it extended northwest towards Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Australian Capital Territory)
Black Mountain is situated close to the central business district of Australia's capital city Canberra. Like all major hills in Canberra it is protected from development by the Canberra Nature Park. It is covered in native bushland and is a haven to native wildlife.With its peak at 811.987m AHD,...

. A line parallel to the water axis, on the northern side of the city, was designated the municipal axis. The municipal axis became the location of Constitution Avenue
Constitution Avenue, Canberra
Constitution Avenue in a street in Canberra, the capital of Australia.It forms the municipal axis of Walter Burley Griffin's geometric design for the city, and lies on the northern side of Lake Burley Griffin. It is one of the three sides that make up the boundary of the Parliamentary Triangle....

, which links City Hill
City Hill, Canberra
City Hill is a park located in Canberra, Australia on one of the points of the Parliamentary Triangle, a feature of Walter Burley Griffin's plan for the city. The park is surrounded by Vernon Circle, at the south end of Northbourne Avenue but the precinct extends to London Circuit and is an...

 in Civic Centre and both Market Centre and the Defence precinct on Russell Hill. Commonwealth Avenue
Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra
Commonwealth Avenue is a major road in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. It connects Civic with South Canberra. Specifically, it runs between City Hill and Capital Hill....

 and Kings Avenue
Kings Avenue, Canberra
Kings Avenue is a road in Canberra which goes between New Parliament House , across Lake Burley Griffin at the Kings Avenue Bridge , to Russell near the Australian-American Monument ....

 were to run from the southern side from Capital Hill to City Hill and Market Centre on the north respectively, and they formed the western and eastern edges of the central basin. The area enclosed by the three avenues was known as the Parliamentary Triangle, and formed the centrepiece of Griffin's work.

The Griffins assigned spiritual values to Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, and Red Hill
Red Hill, Australian Capital Territory
Red Hill is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The suburb is named after the northernmost hill of the ridge to the west of the suburb. The ridge is a reserve and managed as part of the Canberra Nature Park. The hill is an element of the central Canberra design...

 and originally planned to cover each of these in flowers. That way each hill would be covered with a single, primary color which represented its spiritual value. This part of their plan never came to fruition, as World War I slowed construction and planning disputes led to Walter's dismissal by Prime Minister Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

 after the war ended.

The urban areas of Canberra are organised into a hierarchy of districts, town centres, group centres, local suburbs as well as other industrial areas and villages. There are seven residential districts, each of which is divided into smaller suburbs, and most of which have a town centre which is the focus of commercial and social activities. The districts were settled in the following chronological order:
  • Canberra Central
    Canberra Central
    The District of Canberra Central is one of the 18 districts of the Australian Capital Territory used in land administration. It is subdivided into divisions , sections and blocks. It is mentioned in the . It includes the Inner North and Inner South...

    , mostly settled in the 1920s and 1930s, with expansion up to the 1960s, 25 suburbs
  • Woden Valley
    Woden Valley
    Woden Valley is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Its name is taken from the name of a nearby homestead owned by Dr James Murray who named the homestead after the Old English god Woden in October 1837. He named it this as he was to spend his life in the pursuit of wisdom and...

    , first settled in 1964, 12 suburbs
  • Belconnen
    Belconnen
    Belconnen is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, comprising 25 suburbs with 29,900 dwellings housing 82,247 people of the 311,518 people in the Australian Capital Territory ....

    , first settled in 1966, 25 suburbs (1 not yet developed)
  • Weston Creek
    Weston Creek
    Weston Creek is a residential district of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, situated to the west of the Woden Valley district and approximately 13 km southwest of the Canberra city centre...

    , settled in 1969, 8 suburbs
  • Tuggeranong
    Tuggeranong
    Tuggeranong is the southernmost town centre of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It comprises 19 suburbs with a total of 31,819 dwellings, housing 87,119 people of the 324,034 people in the Australian Capital Territory . The district occupies 117 square kilometres to the east of the...

    , settled in 1974, 18 suburbs
  • Gungahlin
    Gungahlin
    Gungahlin is a name of a district and the northernmost town centre of Canberra, Australia. Gungahlin is situated 10 km north of Canberra's city centre and is one of five satellites of Canberra including Woden, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Belconnen. Currently Gungahlin comprises 11 suburbs,...

    , settled in the early 1990s, 18 suburbs (6 not yet developed)
  • Molonglo Valley
    Molonglo Valley
    Molonglo Valley is the newest district of Canberra. The district is planned to consist of 13 suburbs containing 33,000 dwellings with an expected population of 73,000....

    , development to begin in 2010, 13 suburbs planned.


The Canberra Central district is substantially based on Walter Burley Griffin's designs. In 1967 the then National Capital Development Commission
National Capital Development Commission
The National Capital Development Commission was an Australian Commonwealth Government body created to complete the establishment of Canberra as the seat of government. It was created in 1957 through the National Capital Development Commission Act 1957.Under the control of the NCDC Canberra grew...

 adopted the "Y Plan" which laid out future urban development in Canberra around a series of central shopping and commercial area known as the 'town centres' linked by freeways, the layout of which roughly resembled the shape of the letter Y, with Tuggeranong at the base of the Y and Belconnen and Gungahlin located at the ends of the arms of the Y.

Development in Canberra has been closely regulated by government, both through planning processes and the use of crown lease terms that have tightly limited the use of parcels of land. Land in the ACT is held on 99 year crown leases from the national government, although most leases are now administered by the Territory government. There have been persistent calls for constraints on development to be liberalised.

Many of Canberra's suburbs are named after former Prime Ministers, famous Australians, early settlers, or use Aboriginal words for their title. Street name
Street name
A street name or odonym is an identifying name given to a street. The street name usually forms part of the address...

s typically follow a particular theme; for example, the streets of Duffy
Duffy, Australian Capital Territory
Duffy is a suburb in the Canberra district of Weston Creek. On Census night 2006, Duffy had a population of 2,942 people. Duffy was named in honour of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, KCMG the 8th Premier of Victoria. Streets in the suburb of Duffy are named after Australian dams and reservoirs...

 are named after Australian dams and reservoirs, the streets of Dunlop
Dunlop, Australian Capital Territory
Dunlop is a suburb of Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Dunlop is located at the far north-west edge of Canberra, nearby the border with the state of New South Wales. Located approximately 11.6 kilometers north-west of the city, Dunlop is situated next to the suburbs of Fraser,...

 are named after Australian inventions, inventors and artists and the streets of Page
Page, Australian Capital Territory
Page is a suburb of Canberra, in the district of Belconnen. The suburb is named in honour of Sir Earle Page, a former Prime Minister. Streets in Page are named in honour of Australian scientists...

 are named after biologists and naturalists. Most diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

s are located in the suburbs of Yarralumla
Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory
Yarralumla is a large inner south suburb of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. Located approximately south-west of the city, Yarralumla extends along the south-west bank of Lake Burley Griffin...

, Deakin
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory
Deakin is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Deakin is named after Alfred Deakin, second prime minister of Australia...

 and O'Malley
O'Malley, Australian Capital Territory
O'Malley is a suburb in the Canberra district of Woden Valley. On Census night 2006, O'Malley had a population of 684 people. There are numerous embassies in O'Malley....

. There are three light industrial areas: the suburbs of Fyshwick
Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory
Fyshwick is an industrial suburb of Canberra, located east of the South Canberra district. On Census night 2006, Fyshwick had a population of 54 people....

, Mitchell
Mitchell, Australian Capital Territory
Mitchell is a light-industrial estate of Canberra, Australia in the district of Gungahlin. Mitchell was named in honour of Major Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell, an explorer of inland New South Wales and Surveyor-General of New South Wales. The streets in Mitchell are named after Australian...

 and Hume
Hume, Australian Capital Territory
Hume is a suburb of Canberra in the district of Tuggeranong. The suburb is named after the explorer Hamilton Hume and streets are named after Australian industrialists and businessmen. Hume is a light-industrial suburb and there is no significant housing development...

.

Governance


Outside Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory has no settlements larger than a village. The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the Australian Capital Territory...

 performs the roles of both a city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 and territory government. The assembly consists of 17 members, elected from three districts using proportional representation. The three districts are Molonglo
Molonglo electorate
The Molonglo electorate is one of the three electorates for the unicameral 17-member Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. It has seven seats, and is the largest of the electorates in terms of population.-History:...

, Ginninderra
Ginninderra electorate
The Ginninderra electorate is one of the three electorates for the unicameral 17-member Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. It has five seats, and is the smallest of the electorates in geographic area.-History:...

 and Brindabella
Brindabella electorate
The Brindabella electorate is one of the three electorates for the unicameral 17-member Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. It has five seats, and is the largest of the electorates in geographic area.-History:...

, which elect seven, five and five members, respectively.

The Chief Minister is elected by the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and selects colleagues to serve as ministers alongside him or her in the Executive, known informally as the cabinet. Whereas the ACT has federally been dominated by Labor, the Liberals have been able to gain some footing in the ACT Legislative Assembly, and were in government for just over eight of the Assembly's 21-year history, mostly during a period of six and half years from 1995 and 2001, when Labor won power. At the 2004 election the Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

, headed by then Chief Minister Jon Stanhope
Jon Stanhope
Jonathan Ronald Stanhope is a former Australian politician who was Labor Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 2001 to 2011. Stanhope represented the Ginninderra electorate in the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1998 until 2011. He resigned as Chief Minister on 12 May 2011 and as...

, won nine of the 17 seats and formed the ACT's first majority government, but after the 2008 election was forced into minority government with the Greens
Australian Greens
The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is an Australian green political party.The party was formed in 1992; however, its origins can be traced to the early environmental movement in Australia and the formation of the United Tasmania Group , the first Green party in the world, which...

.

As almost all of the ACT's population lives in Canberra, political trends for both areas are closely aligned. The ACT was given its first federal parliamentary representation in 1949, when it gained a seat in the House of Representatives, the Division of Australian Capital Territory
Division of Australian Capital Territory
The Division of Australian Capital Territory was an Australian electoral division in the Territory of the same name. The division was created in 1949 and included the whole of the city of Canberra and surrounding rural areas....

. The ACT member could only vote on matters directly affecting the territory. In 1974, the ACT was allocated two Senate seats. In 1974, the House of Representatives seat was divided into two.

A third was created in 1996, but was abolished in 1998 because of changes to the regional demographic distribution. Both House of Representatives seats have mostly been held by Labor, usually by comfortable margins. Labor has polled at least seven percentage points more than the Liberals at every federal election since 1990, and their average lead since then has been 15 percentage points. The ALP and the Liberal Party of Australia
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

 have always held one Senate seat each.

The Australian federal government retains some influence over the ACT government. In the administrative sphere, most frequently this is through the actions of the National Capital Authority
National Capital Authority
The National Capital Authority is a body of the Australian Government that was established to manage the Commonwealth's interest in the planning and development of Canberra as the capital city of Australia....

 which is responsible for planning and development in areas of Canberra which are considered to be of national importance or which are central to Griffin's plan for the city, such as the Parliamentary Triangle, Lake Burley Griffin, major approach and processional roads, areas where the Commonwealth retains ownership of the land or undeveloped hills and ridge-lines (which form part of the Canberra Nature Park). The national government also retains a level of control over the Territory Assembly through the provisions of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988
Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988
The Australian Capital Territory Act 1988 is an Act of the Parliament of Australia enacted on 6 December 1988, that establishes ‘a body politic under the Crown by the name of the Australian Capital Territory’ and is the Territory’s constitutional foundation.From 1930 the ACT was administered by...

. This federal act defines the legislative power of the ACT assembly.

The Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 (AFP) provides all of the constabulary services in the territory in a manner similar to state police forces, under a contractual agreement with the ACT Government. The AFP does so through its community policing arm, ACT Policing (Australian Capital Territory Police
Australian Capital Territory Police
ACT Policing is the portfolio of the Australian Federal Police responsible for providing policing services to the Australian Capital Territory...

).

People who have been charged with offences are tried either in the ACT Magistrates Court
Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory
The Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory is a court of summary jurisdiction in Canberra, Australia. The court deals with the majority of less serious criminal cases and the majority of small civil cases in that territory. The court is located on London Circuit, Canberra at Civic...

 or for more severe offences, the ACT Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory
The Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory is the superior court for the ACT. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the territory in civil matters , and hears the most serious criminal matters...

. Prisoners were held in remand at the Belconnen Remand Centre in the ACT but usually jailed in New South Wales. The new prison, Alexander Maconochie Centre
Alexander Maconochie Centre
The Alexander Maconochie Centre is an Australian prison and remand centre complex in the Australian Capital Territory.The centre is designed as a multi-role facility to replace the Belconnen Remand Centre and provide detention facilities so that prisoners who are currently held in New South Wales...

, was officially opened on 11 September 2008 by Jon Stanhope
Jon Stanhope
Jonathan Ronald Stanhope is a former Australian politician who was Labor Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 2001 to 2011. Stanhope represented the Ginninderra electorate in the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1998 until 2011. He resigned as Chief Minister on 12 May 2011 and as...

, the Chief Minister. The total cost for construction was $130 million. Courts such as a Small Claims Tribunal and a Family Court
Family Court of Australia
The Family Court of Australia is a superior Australian federal court of record which deals with family law matters. Together with the Federal Magistrates Court, it covers family law matters in all states and territories of Australia except Western Australia...

 exist for civil law actions and other non-criminal legal matters.

Economy


In early 2010, the unemployment rate in Canberra stood at 3.9% which is substantially lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.3%. As a result of low unemployment and substantial levels of public sector and commercial employment, Canberra has the highest average level of disposable income of any Australian capital city. The gross average weekly wage in Canberra is $
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

1,392 compared with the national average of $1,223.30 (November 2009).

The median house price in Canberra as of September 2009 was $511,820, lower than only Sydney among capital cities of more than 100,000 people, having surpassed Melbourne and Perth since 2005. The median weekly rent paid by Canberra residents is higher than rents in all other states and territories. As at the March quarter of 2009 the median rent in Canberra was $420 per week, the third highest in the country. Factors contributing to this higher weekly rental market include; higher average weekly incomes, restricted land supply, and inflationary clauses in the ACT Residential Tenancies Act.

The city's main industry is government administration and defence, which accounted for 31% of Gross Territory Product in 2008–09 and employed over 40% of Canberra's workforce. A number of Australian Defence Force
Australian Defence Force
The Australian Defence Force is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia. It consists of the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and a number of 'tri-service' units...

 establishments are located in or near Canberra, most notably the Australian Defence Force headquarters and HMAS Harman
HMAS Harman
HMAS Harman is a Royal Australian Navy communications and logistics facility. The main base is located in the Australian capital of Canberra, and is geographically recognised as the suburb of Harman...

, which is a naval communications centre that is being converted into a tri-service, multi-user depot.

The former RAAF Fairbairn, adjacent to the Canberra International Airport was sold to the operators of the Airport, but the base continues to be used for RAAF VIP flights. A growing number of independent software vendors have based themselves in Canberra, to capitalise on the concentration of government customers; these include Tower Software
TOWER Software
TOWER Software was a software development company, founded in 1985 in Canberra, Australia. The company provided and supported enterprise content management software, notably its TRIM product line for electronics records management....

 and RuleBurst
RuleBurst
RuleBurst Limited is a Canberra, Australia-based independent software vendor that develops and distributes the RuleBurst 8 and Oasis suites of software products.RuleBurst 8 is a Business Rule Management System, or business rules engine...

. A consortium of private and government investors is currently making plans for a billion-dollar data hub, with the aim of making Canberra a leading centre of such activity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Demographics


As of 2006, the population of Canberra was 323,056 people. The 2006 census showed that 1.2% of Canberra's population were of indigenous origin and 21.7% were born overseas. The largest group of people born overseas came from English-speaking countries, led by the United Kingdom and then New Zealand.

Significant numbers of immigrants have also come from China, India and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. Recent immigrants have arrived from countries in East
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 and South Asia. Most locals are native speakers of English
Australian English
Australian English is the name given to the group of dialects spoken in Australia that form a major variety of the English language....

 (81.1%); some have a second language, the most common being Mandarin, Italian, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

. These five languages are spoken by a total of 4.8% of the population.

Canberrans are relatively young, highly mobile
Population mobility
Population mobility, geographic mobility or more simply mobility is a statistic that measures migration within a population. It is most commonly used in demography and human geography, it may also be used to describe the movement of animals between populations.Mobility estimates in the Current...

, and well educated. The median age is 34 years, and only 9.8% of the population is aged over 65 years. Between 1996 and 2001, 61.9% of the population either moved to or from Canberra, which is the second highest mobility rate of any Australian capital city.

As of May 2004, 30% of people in the ACT aged 15–64 had a level of educational attainment equal to at least a bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

, significantly higher that the national average of 19%. Approximately 60% of Canberra residents describe themselves as Christian, the most common denominations being Catholic and Anglican; 6% of the population practice a non-Christian religion and 23% are not religious.

As of 2002 the most common crimes in Canberra are property related crimes, unlawful entry with intent and motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle...

. They affect 1,961 and 630 of every 100,000 persons respectively. Homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

 and related offences—including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and driving causing death—affect 1.5/100,000 persons, which is below the national average of 4.9/100,000. Rates of assault and sexual assault
Sexual assault
Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent. Although sexual assaults most frequently are by a man on a woman, it may involve any combination of two or more men, women and children....

 are also below the national average.

Education


The two main tertiary institutions are the Australian National University
Australian National University
The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...

 (ANU) in Acton
Acton, Australian Capital Territory
Acton is a suburb of Canberra, Australia. Acton covers an area west of the CBD, bordered by Black Mountain to the west and Lake Burley Griffin in the south...

 and the University of Canberra
University of Canberra
Over the years the Stone Day program has gradually become larger and larger, taking up a whole week and now Stonefest is one of Australia's most popular music festivals. The first foundation celebrations were held in 1971. In 1973 Stone Day celebrations were held over two days, which was expanded...

 (UC) in Bruce
Bruce, Australian Capital Territory
Bruce is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Bruce was gazetted as a division on 6 June 1968 in recognition of Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce, the first Chancellor of the Australian National University and eighth Prime Minister of Australia. S. M. Bruce served as...

, with over 10,500 and 8,000 full-time-equivalent students respectively. Established in 1946, the ANU has always had a strong research focus and is ranked among the leading universities in the world and the best in Australia by The Times Higher Education Supplement
The Times Higher Education Supplement
The Times Higher Education , formerly Times Higher Education Supplement , is a weekly British magazine based in London reporting specifically on news and other issues related to higher education...

and the Shanghai Jiao Tong World University Rankings. There are two religious university campuses in Canberra: Signadou in the northern suburb of Watson
Watson, Australian Capital Territory
Watson is a suburb of Canberra, Australia in the North Canberra district. Watson is named after the third Prime Minister of Australia, John Christian Watson. The suburb name was gazetted on 7 April 1960. Streets in Watson are named after Australian judges and other legal professionals...

 is a campus of the Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University
Australian Catholic University is a national public university. It has six campuses and offers programs in five faculties throughout Australia.-History:...

; St Mark's Theological College in Barton
Barton, Australian Capital Territory
Barton is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Barton is named after Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first Prime Minister. Streets in Barton are named after Governors....

 is part of the secular Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University is an Australian multi-campus university located in New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory. It has campuses at Bathurst, Canberra, Albury-Wodonga, Dubbo, Goulburn, Orange, Wagga Wagga and Burlington, Ontario...

.

The Australian Defence Force Academy
Australian Defence Force Academy
The Australian Defence Force Academy is a tri-service military Academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defence Force in the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force .Tertiary education is provided by the...

 (ADFA) and the Royal Military College, Duntroon
Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in the Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is situated on picturesque grounds at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence...

 are located in the inner-northern suburb of Campbell
Campbell, Australian Capital Territory
Campbell is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Covering an area to the South East of the central business district, Campbell sits at the base of Mount Ainslie. On Census night 2006, Campbell had a population of 4,797 people...

. ADFA teaches military undergraduates and postgraduates and is a campus of the University of New South Wales
University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales , is a research-focused university based in Kensington, a suburb in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

; Duntroon provides Australian Army
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 officer
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 training. Tertiary level vocational education is also available through the multi-campus Canberra Institute of Technology
Canberra Institute of Technology
The Canberra Institute of Technology is a vocational education provider in Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory, and is one of a system of TAFEs. Qualifications offered by CIT range from certificate to degree level. CIT has four campuses across Canberra, located in Bruce, Reid, Phillip and...

.

In February 2004 there were 140 schools in Canberra; 96 were operated by the government and 44 were private. During 2006, the ACT Government announced closures of up to 39 schools, to take effect from the end of the school year, and after a series of consultations unveiled its Towards 2020: Renewing Our Schools policy. As a result, some schools closed during the 2006–08 period, while others were merged; the creation of combined primary and secondary government schools will proceed over the next decade. The new policy has provoked significant opposition. Most suburbs are planned to include a primary and a nearby preschool; these are usually located near open areas where recreational and sporting activities are easily available.

Arts and entertainment




Canberra is home to many national monuments and institutions such as the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

, the National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is the national art gallery of Australia, holding more than 120,000 works of art. It was established in 1967 by the Australian government as a national public art gallery.- Establishment :...

, the National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery (Australia)
The National Portrait Gallery of Australia is a collection of portraits of prominent Australians that are important in their field of endeavour or whose life sets them apart as an individual of long-term public interest...

, the National Library
National Library of Australia
The National Library of Australia is the largest reference library of Australia, responsible under the terms of the National Library Act for "maintaining and developing a national collection of library material, including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Australia and the...

, the National Archives
National Archives of Australia
The National Archives of Australia is a body established by the Government of Australia for the purpose of preserving Commonwealth Government records. It is an Executive Agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and reports to the Cabinet Secretary, Senator Joe Ludwig.The national...

, the Australian Academy of Science
Australian Academy of Science
The Australian Academy of Science was founded in 1954 by a group of distinguished Australians, including Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London. The first president was Sir Mark Oliphant. The Academy is modelled after the Royal Society and operates under a Royal Charter; as such it is...

 and the National Museum
National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The National Museum preserves and interprets Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation....

. Many Commonwealth government buildings in Canberra are open to the public, including Parliament House
Parliament House, Canberra
Parliament House is the meeting facility of the Parliament of Australia located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The building was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects and opened on 1988 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia...

, the High Court
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

 and the Royal Australian Mint
Royal Australian Mint
The Royal Australian Mint is situated in the Australian federal capital city of Canberra, in the suburb of Deakin.Before the opening of the mint, Australian coins were struck at branches of the Royal Mint - the Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint and Perth Mint. The Royal Australian Mint holds a place in...

.

Lake Burley Griffin is the site of the Captain James Cook Memorial
Captain James Cook Memorial
The Captain James Cook Memorial was built by the Commonwealth Government to commemorate the Bicentenary of Captain James Cook's first sighting of the east coast of Australia. The memorial includes a water jet located in the central basin and a skeleton globe sculpture at Regatta Point of Lake...

 and the National Carillon
National Carillon
The National Carillon, situated on Aspen Island in central Canberra, Australia is a large carillon managed and maintained by the National Capital Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia.- History :...

. Other sites of interest include the Black Mountain Tower, the Australian National Botanic Gardens
Australian National Botanic Gardens
The Australian National Botanic Gardens are located in Canberra and are administered by the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage....

, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the National Dinosaur Museum
National Dinosaur Museum
The National Dinosaur Museum is the southern hemisphere's largest permanent display of prehistoric material, located in Gold Creek Village near Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia...

 and Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre.
The Canberra Museum and Gallery
Canberra Museum and Gallery
Canberra Museum and Gallery is an art gallery and museum in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It is located on London Circuit, in Civic in the centre of the city. The gallery was opened on 13 February, 1998....

 in the city is a repository of local history and art. Several historic homes are open to the public: Lanyon and Tuggeranong Homesteads in the Tuggeranong Valley
Tuggeranong
Tuggeranong is the southernmost town centre of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. It comprises 19 suburbs with a total of 31,819 dwellings, housing 87,119 people of the 324,034 people in the Australian Capital Territory . The district occupies 117 square kilometres to the east of the...

, Mugga-Mugga in Symonston
Symonston, Australian Capital Territory
Symonston is a primarily industrial and agricultural suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Symonston is named after Sir Josiah Symon a Legislator, Federalist and one of the Founders of the Constitution of Australia....

, and Blundells' Cottage in Parkes
Parkes, Australian Capital Territory
Parkes is an inner suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Located south of the Canberra CBD, Parkes contains the Parliamentary Triangle area. On Census night 2006, Parkes had a population of 4 people....

 all display the lifestyle of the early European settlers. Calthorpes' House in Red Hill
Red Hill, Australian Capital Territory
Red Hill is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The suburb is named after the northernmost hill of the ridge to the west of the suburb. The ridge is a reserve and managed as part of the Canberra Nature Park. The hill is an element of the central Canberra design...

 is a well preserved example of a 1920s house from Canberra's very early days.
Canberra has many venues for live music and theatre: the Canberra Theatre and Playhouse
Canberra Theatre
The Canberra Theatre Centre is the Australian Capital Territory’s central performing arts venue and Australia’s first performing arts centre, the first Australian Government initiated performing arts centre to be completed, that opened on Thursday 24 June 1965 with a gala performance by the...

 which hosts many major concerts and productions; and Llewellyn Hall (within the ANU School of Music
ANU School of Music
The School of Music is a school within the Faculty of Arts of the Australian National University. It consists of four buildings, including the main School of Music building - which contains Llewellyn Hall - and the Peter Karmel Building....

), a world-class concert hall are two of the most notable. The Street Theatre is a venue with less mainstream offerings. The Albert Hall
Albert Hall, Canberra
The Albert Hall is a hall in Canberra, Australia, used for entertainment. It is on Commonwealth Avenue between Commonwealth Bridge and the Hotel Canberra in the suburb of Yarralumla.- Overview :...

 was the city's first performing arts venue, opened in 1928. It was the original performance venue for theatre groups such as the Canberra Repertory Society.

Stonefest
Stonefest
Stonefest, once called Stone Day, is a large music festival, held at the University of Canberra annually at the end of October. For many years Stonefest was the largest music festival in Canberra and a popular one in Australia...

 at the University of Canberra is a large two-day music festival. There are numerous bars and nightclubs which also offer live entertainment, particularly concentrated in the areas of Dickson
Dickson, Australian Capital Territory
Dickson is a suburb in the Inner North of Canberra, Australia. It is named after Sir James Dickson who was a Queensland advocate of Australian Federation and one of the founders of the Australian Constitution...

, Kingston
Kingston, Australian Capital Territory
Kingston is the oldest and most densely populated suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The suburb is named after Charles Cameron Kingston, the former Premier of South Australia and minister in the first Australian Commonwealth Government. It is adjacent to the suburbs of...

 and the city. Most town centres have facilities for a community theatre and a cinema, and they all have a library. Popular cultural events include the National Folk Festival
National Folk Festival (Australia)
The National Folk Festival - Australia’s premier folk festival event – is a colourful and diverse family orientated celebration attended by over 50,000 people.It is the best Easter week-end in Australia!...

, the Royal Canberra Show
Royal Canberra Show
The Royal Canberra Show is an agricultural show that has been staged annually in Canberra since 1927 by the The show has agriculture at its core, but it has expanded with the addition of rides, competitions and educational facilities...

, the Summernats
Summernats
Summernats, short for Summer Nationals, is a car festival held in Canberra, Australia. Summernats is held annually, usually at the start of the year. Summernats is the best known car festival in Australia, and an event which attracts many tourists to Canberra, bringing about $12–$15 million to the...

 car festival, the Canberra Multicultural Festival in February and the Celebrate Canberra festival held over 10 days in March in conjunction with Canberra Day.

Canberra maintains sister-city relationships with both Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

, Japan and Beijing, China. Canberra has friendship-city relationships with both Dili
Dili
Dili, spelled Díli in Portuguese, is the capital, largest city, chief port and commercial centre of East Timor.-Geography and Administration:Dili lies on the northern coast of Timor island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands....

, East Timor and Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

, China. City-to-city relationships encourage communities and special interest groups both locally and abroad to engage in a wide range of exchange activities. The Canberra Nara Candle Festival held annually in spring, is a community celebration of the Canberra Nara Sister City relationship. The festival is held in Canberra Nara Park on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

Media


As Australia's capital, Canberra is the most important centre for much of Australia's political reportage and thus all the major media, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

, the commercial television networks, and the metropolitan newspapers maintain local bureaus. News organisations are represented in the "press gallery
Canberra Press Gallery
The Canberra Press Gallery, officially called the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, is the name given to the approximately 180 journalists and their support staff, including producers, editors and camera crews, who report the workings of the Australian Parliament...

", a group of journalists who report on the national parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

. The National Press Club of Australia in Barton
Barton, Australian Capital Territory
Barton is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Barton is named after Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first Prime Minister. Streets in Barton are named after Governors....

 has regular television broadcasts of its weekly lunches at which a prominent guest, typically a politician or other public figure, delivers a speech followed by a question-and-answer session.

Canberra has a daily newspaper, The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times newspaper was founded in 1926 in Canberra, Australia by Arthur Shakespeare.It was the second paper to be printed in the city, the first being The Federal Capital Pioneer. The paper was sold to the Fairfax group in the 1960s by Arthur Shakespeare on the condition that it continue...

, which was established in 1926, and some free weekly suburban and special interest publications, one of these being CityNews.

Canberra has five free-to-air television stations (analogue and digital) including two government funded networks (ABC
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

 and SBS
Special Broadcasting Service
The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network. The stated purpose of SBS is "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect...

) and three commercial networks (Prime
Prime Television
PRIME7 is an Australian television network owned by Prime Media Group Limited. Prime Television launched on 17 March 1962 as CBN/CWN in Orange and Dubbo, New South Wales, and has since expanded to cover regional New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory as a Seven Network...

, WIN
WIN Television
WIN Television is an Australian television network owned by the WIN Corporation that is based in Wollongong, New South Wales. WIN commenced transmissions on 18 March 1962 as a single Wollongong-only station, and has since expanded to 24 owned-and-operated stations with transmissions covering a...

 and Southern Cross Ten
Southern Cross Broadcasting
Southern Cross Broadcasting Limited was a diversified Australian media company, that owned and operated a variety of media businesses, primarily radio and television.-History:...

). SBS offer digital high-definition
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 simulcasts of their main channel on SBS HD. In addition to ABC1
ABC1
ABC1 was a United Kingdom based television channel from Disney using the branding of the Disney owned American network, ABC.The channel initially launched exclusively on the British digital terrestrial television platform Freeview on 27 September 2004. On 10 December 2004 it was launched on...

, SBS One, Prime Television
Prime Television
PRIME7 is an Australian television network owned by Prime Media Group Limited. Prime Television launched on 17 March 1962 as CBN/CWN in Orange and Dubbo, New South Wales, and has since expanded to cover regional New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory as a Seven Network...

, WIN Television
WIN Television
WIN Television is an Australian television network owned by the WIN Corporation that is based in Wollongong, New South Wales. WIN commenced transmissions on 18 March 1962 as a single Wollongong-only station, and has since expanded to 24 owned-and-operated stations with transmissions covering a...

 and Southern Cross Ten
Southern Cross Ten
Southern Cross Ten is an Australian television channel broadcast by the Macquarie Media Group in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. The channel is owned by the Macquarie Media Group as is affiliated to Network Ten...

, these networks broadcast ten additional digital-only channels: 7Two on Prime
7Two
7TWO is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel which was launched by the Seven Network on Sunday 1 November 2009 at 12pm....

, 7mate on Prime
7mate
7mate is an Australian free-to-air high definition digital television channel, which was launched by the Seven Network on 25 September 2010.The network stated that 7mate would contain sport and regular programs aimed primarily at a male audience, with programming drawn from a combination of new...

, GO!
Go! (Australian TV channel)
GO! is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel launched by the Nine Network on Sunday 9 August 2009.-Origins:...

, GEM
GEM (Australian TV channel)
GEM is an Australian free-to-air high definition digital television channel, launched by the Nine Network on Sunday 26 September 2010 at 6am...

, ABC2
ABC2
ABC2 is a national public television channel in Australia. Launched on 7 March 2005, it is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television division, and is available nationally to digital television viewers in Australia...

, ABC3
ABC3
-Future shows:Programming confirmed for future broadcast will include:* After School Care * Bindi's Boot Camp * Bushwacked! * Dance Academy * Dancing Down Under...

, ABC News 24
ABC News 24
ABC News 24 is an Australian 24-hour news channel launched and owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The channel replaced the former ABC High Definition simulcast of ABC1 and commenced broadcasting at 7:30pm 5:30 on Thursday, 22 July 2010.-Pre-launch:The ABC announced in January 2010...

, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven
Eleven (TV channel)
Eleven is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel, which was launched by ElevenCo, on 11 January 2011.-Joint venture:...

.

Prior to 1989, Canberra was serviced by just the ABC, SBS and Capital Television, which later became Southern Cross Ten, with Prime and WIN arriving as part of the Government's regional aggregation programme in that year.

Subscription (pay) television services are available from Foxtel
Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....

 and local telecommunications company TransACT
TransACT
TransACT Capital Communications is an Australian telecommunications company based in Canberra which provides broadband internet access, fixed telephony, cable television services, and mobile phone services in Canberra and a subset of these services in Queanbeyan, throughout South-east New South...

.

A number of community radio stations broadcast in Canberra, including 2XXfm
2XXfm
2XXfm is a community radio station, broadcasting on the FM band in Canberra, Australia.2XXfm is one of Australia's longest running community broadcasters. It took over the operation of the former Australian National University student radio station in 1976, broadcasting as 2XX on 1008 kHz AM from...

, ArtSound FM
ArtSound FM
ArtSound FM is a community radio station broadcasting to Canberra from studios in the suburb of Manuka. Its format is fine music and arts programming....

, 1RPH and CMS Radio. There are a number of commercial AM and FM radio stations including those belonging to the Capital Radio Network
Capital Radio Network
Capital Radio Network is an Australian radio company, which owns stations in Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma, the Snowy Mountains and Perth.-Owned and Operated Stations:*Canberra**2CC 1206 AM...

 (2CA
2CA
2CA is a commercial radio station on the AM band in Canberra, Australia, which originally began broadcasting on 1050 kHz changing to 1053 kHz in 1978. 2CA has had many owners since its inception and is currently jointly owned by regional radio operators the Capital Radio Network and Grant...

 and 2CC
2CC
2CC is a commercial radio station on the AM band in Canberra, Australia. It originally began broadcasting on 1210 kHz in 1975 changing to 1206 kHz in 1978. It is jointly owned by regional radio operators Capital Radio Network and Grant Broadcasters....

), the Austereo/ARN
Australian Radio Network
The Australian Radio Network is a group of commercial radio stations around Australia and New Zealand. A joint venture of Australian media conglomerate APN News & Media and United States radio company Clear Channel Communications, the group is the largest radio company in Australasia...

 owned 104.7 and Mix 106.3
Mix 106.3
MIX 106.3 is a commercial radio station in Canberra, Australia and is owned by the Australian Radio Network and Southern Cross Austereo....

, and Raw FM
Raw FM (Australian radio network)
Raw FM is an Australian narrowcast radio network, consisting of stations in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland....

. Public radio broadcasters ABC
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

 and SBS
SBS Radio
SBS Radio is a service provided by the Special Broadcasting Service '..to inform, educate and entertain Australians, especially those of non-English speaking backgrounds'. SBS Radio originally began as two stations based in Melbourne and Sydney, set up to provide pre-recorded information about the...

 operate a number of stations.

Sport



In addition to local sporting leagues, Canberra has a number of sporting teams that compete in national and international competitions. The best known teams are the Canberra Raiders
Canberra Raiders
The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League premiership since 1982...

 and the Brumbies who play rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 and rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 respectively; both have been champions of their leagues. Both teams play their home games at Canberra Stadium
Canberra Stadium
Canberra Stadium is a facility primarily used for rugby league and rugby union games, located adjacent to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, the capital of Australia...

, which is the city's largest stadium and was used to hold group matches in soccer for the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

 and in rugby union for the 2003 Rugby World Cup
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World...

. The city also has a successful basketball team, the Canberra Capitals
Canberra Capitals
The Canberra TransACT Capitals are an Australian Women's Basketball League team based in Canberra, Australia. TransACT Communications is the current naming rights sponsor for the Canberra Capitals...

, which has won seven out of the last eleven national women's basketball
Women's National Basketball League
The Women's National Basketball League is the pre-eminent women's professional basketball league in Australia. It currently is composed of ten teams. The league was founded in 1981 and is the women's counterpart to the National Basketball League...

 titles.

There are also teams that participate in national competitions in netball
Commonwealth Bank Trophy
The Commonwealth Bank Trophy was the pre-eminent national netball competition in Australia from 1997 to 2007.It was established in 1997 as a true national league to replace the ailing, state club-based Mobil League. Designed from the beginning to be more marketable to the general public, it saw...

, field hockey
Australian Hockey League
The Australian Hockey League is Australia’s premier national domestic field hockey competition. Despite its non-professional nature, AHL is considered one of the strongest and most competitive national field hockey leagues in the world. The AHL consists of both men's and women's competition...

, ice hockey
Australian Ice Hockey League
The Australian Ice Hockey League is Australia's top-level ice hockey league. It is sanctioned by Ice Hockey Australia and is run by its own Board of Directors....

, cricket and baseball
Australian Baseball League
The Australian Baseball League was a baseball league, established in 1987 and disbanded in 1999.-Formation:Before the formation of the Australian Baseball League, the Claxton Shield, established in , was Australia's premier baseball tournament...

. Manuka Oval
Manuka Oval
Manuka Oval is a 13,550 capacity ground located in the suburb of Griffith, adjacent to Manuka, a business district of Canberra, Australia's capital....

 is another large outdoor sporting facility where cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 and Australian Rules football
Australian rules football in the Australian Capital Territory
Australian rules football in the Australian Capital Territory has a history dating back to the formation of the territory in the 1910s.Traditionally, Canberra was considered to be one of the points which define the Barassi Line, however the popularity of Australian rules football suffered...

 are played. The Melbourne based AFL
Australian Football League
The Australian Football League is both the governing body and the major professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football...

 team the Kangaroos
Kangaroos Football Club
The North Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Kangaroos, is the fourth oldest Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League and is one of the oldest sporting clubs in Australia and the world...

 played some home games at Manuka Oval until July 2006. Following the move of the Kangaroos' alternative home ground to Carrara
Carrara
Carrara is a city and comune in the province of Massa-Carrara , notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. It is on the Carrione River, some west-northwest of Florence....

 in Queensland, Melbourne
Melbourne Football Club
The Melbourne Football Club, nicknamed The Demons, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League , based in Melbourne, Victoria....

 and the Western Bulldogs
Western Bulldogs
The Western Bulldogs are an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League . The club is based at the Whitten Oval in West Footscray, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne...

 will play home games at Manuka Oval from 2007 against the Sydney Swans
Sydney Swans
The Sydney Swans Football Club is an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League . The club is based in Sydney, New South Wales. The club, founded in 1874, was known as the South Melbourne Football Club until it relocated to Sydney in 1982 to become the Sydney...

. Canberra is also home to the Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament
Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament
The Barassi Youth Tournament is an international Australian rules football tournament for junior players who are no older than 16 years of age. In conjunction with the Australian Football International Cup senior competition, the youth cup is an important event for the development of Aussie Rules...

. The historic Prime Minister's XI
Prime Minister's XI
Prime Minister's XI or PM's XI is the name of an annual cricket match held at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, with the Australian team picked by the Prime Minister of Australia playing against an overseas team...

 cricket match is played at Manuka Oval annually. Other significant annual sporting events include the Canberra Marathon
Canberra Marathon
Canberra marathon is a standard marathon around the Australian capital city. The marathon was established in 1976 is said to be the oldest city marathon in Australia...

 and the City of Canberra Half Ironman Triathlon. The Canberra Women's Tennis Classic was held in the lead up to the Australian Open until 2006.

The Australian Institute of Sport
Australian Institute of Sport
The Australian Institute of Sport is a sports training institution in Australia with world class facilities and support services. The Institute's headquarters is situated in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The 66.0 hectare site campus is in the northern suburb of Bruce, but some of the...

 (AIS) is located in the Canberra suburb of Bruce
Bruce, Australian Capital Territory
Bruce is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Bruce was gazetted as a division on 6 June 1968 in recognition of Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce, the first Chancellor of the Australian National University and eighth Prime Minister of Australia. S. M. Bruce served as...

. The AIS is a specialised educational and training institution providing coaching for elite junior and senior athletes in a number of sports. The AIS has been operating since 1981 and has achieved significant success in producing elite athletes, both local and international. The majority of Australia's team members and medallists at the 2000 Summer Olympics
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

 in Sydney were AIS graduates.

Canberra has numerous sporting ovals, golf courses, skate parks, tennis courts and swimming pools that are open to the public. A Canberra-wide series of bicycle paths are available to cyclists for recreational and sporting purposes. Canberra Nature Parks have a large range of walking paths, horse and mountain bike trails. Water sports like sailing, rowing, dragon boating and water skiing are held on Canberra's lakes. The Rally of Canberra is an annual motor sport event and a facility for drag racing
Drag racing
Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared automobiles or motorcycles compete two at a time to be the first to cross a set finish line, from a standing start, in a straight line, over a measured distance, most commonly a ¼-mile straight track....

 is currently being planned for construction.

Health


Canberra has two large public hospitals, the approximately 600-bed Canberra Hospital
Canberra Hospital
The Canberra Hospital is a public hospital located in Garran, Canberra. It is a tertiary level centre with 500 beds and caters to a population of about 520,000...

—formerly the Woden Valley Hospital—in Garran
Garran, Australian Capital Territory
Garran is a suburb in the Woden district of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. Garran was named after Sir Robert Garran who made numerous contributions to the development of higher education in Canberra. The streets in Garran are named after Australian writers. On Census night 2006,...

 and the 174-bed Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce
Bruce, Australian Capital Territory
Bruce is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Bruce was gazetted as a division on 6 June 1968 in recognition of Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce, the first Chancellor of the Australian National University and eighth Prime Minister of Australia. S. M. Bruce served as...

. Both are teaching institutions. The largest private hospital is the Calvary John James Hospital in Deakin
Deakin, Australian Capital Territory
Deakin is a suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Deakin is named after Alfred Deakin, second prime minister of Australia...

. Calvary Private Hospital in Bruce and Healthscope
Healthscope
Healthscope is an Australian company which operates private hospitals, a pathology business and medical centres. The company is headquartered in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne. The company operates medical/surgical hospitals as well as a number of psychiatric and rehabilitation clinics...

's National Capital Private Hospital in Garran are also major healthcare providers.

The Royal Canberra Hospital
Royal Canberra Hospital
Royal Canberra Hospital was the first hospital in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It opened in 1914 on the Acton Peninsula, as the Canberra Community Hospital. It grew to become the major hospital in Canberra before being closed in 1991 and later demolished in 1997.- Early Years 1912–1939 :In...

 was located on Acton Peninsula
Acton Peninsula
The Acton Peninsula is located on the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin, in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia.It was created when the lake was artificially built by damming the Molonglo River and excavating around it to create the desired shape.The Royal Canberra Hospital used to...

 on Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed...

; it was closed in 1991 and was demolished in 1997 in a controversial and fatal implosion
Royal Canberra Hospital implosion
The Royal Canberra Hospital implosion was a failed building implosion with lethal consequences. The implosion occurred on 13 July 1997, when the city's superseded hospital buildings at Acton Peninsula on Lake Burley Griffin were demolished to make way for the National Museum of...

 to facilitate construction of the National Museum of Australia
National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia was formally established by the National Museum of Australia Act 1980. The National Museum preserves and interprets Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation....

. The city has 10 aged care facilities. Canberra's hospitals receive emergency cases from throughout southern New South Wales, and ACT Ambulance Service is one of four operational agencies of the ACT Emergency Services Authority. NETS provides a dedicated ambulance service for inter-hospital transport of sick newborns within the ACT and into surrounding New South Wales.

Transport



The automobile is by far the dominant form of transport in Canberra. The city is laid out so that arterial roads connecting inhabited clusters run through undeveloped areas of open land or forest, which results in a low population density; this also means that idle land is available for the development of future transport corridors if necessary without the need to build tunnels or acquire developed residential land. In contrast, other capital cities in Australia have substantially less green space.

Canberra's districts are generally connected by parkway
Parkway
The term parkway has several distinct principal meanings and numerous synonyms around the world, for either a type of landscaped area or a type of road.Type of landscaped area:...

s—limited access dual carriageway
Dual carriageway
A dual carriageway is a class of highway with two carriageways for traffic travelling in opposite directions separated by a central reservation...

 roads with speed limits generally set at a maximum of 100 km/h. An example is the Tuggeranong Parkway
Tuggeranong Parkway
The Tuggeranong Parkway is a major dual carriageway link in Canberra, Australia. Often referred to as "The Parkway" by locals, the Tuggeranong Parkway links Civic to the southern Canberra metro district of Tuggeranong, and is a bypass road to the Woden Valley-Weston Creek district of Canberra...

 which links Canberra's CBD and Tuggeranong, and bypasses Weston Creek. In most districts, discrete residential suburbs are bounded by main arterial roads with only a few residential linking in, to deter non-local traffic from cutting through areas of housing.

ACTION
ACTION
ACTION is a public bus service operating in Canberra, ACT, Australia. It is operated by the ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services...

, the government-operated bus service, provides public transport throughout the city. Deane's Transit Group provides bus services between Canberra and nearby areas of New South Wales through their Transborder Express
Transborder Express
Transborder Express is a bus company based in Canberra, Australia.Established in 1954 as a Canberra to Yass omnibus service by the Williams family, the company has expanded to provide services to most of South Eastern New South Wales. In 2008 the company was taken over by Deane's Transit Group...

 (Murrumbateman
Murrumbateman, New South Wales
Murrumbateman is a small village in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. It is on the Barton Highway, approximately 30 kilometres north-west of Canberra, and is part of the Yass Valley Shire. At the 2006 census, Murrumbateman had a population of 1,758 people.Some of the...

 and Yass
Yass, New South Wales
Yass is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia in Yass Valley Shire. The name appears to have been derived from an Aboriginal word, "Yarrh" , said to mean 'running water'....

) and Deane's Buslines
Deane's Buslines
Deane's Buslines is a privately owned bus company that operates through Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Canberra. It has over 10 different routes and now runs services to Bungendore....

 (Queanbeyan
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Queanbeyan is a regional centre in the Southern Tablelands in south-eastern New South Wales adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory. The city's mixed economy is based on light construction, high technology, manufacturing, service, retail and agriculture. It is the council seat of the...

) brands. In the 2006 census, 7.7% of the journeys to work involved a bus; with 7.4% walking or cycling to work. There are two local taxi companies. Aerial Capital Group
Aerial Consolidated Transport
Aerial Consolidated Transport is a taxi and hire car company based in Canberra, Australia. Formed in 1957, it enjoyed monopoly status from 1963 until 2007, when a breakaway company, Cabxpress commenced operations.Aerial comprises two brands:...

 enjoyed monopoly status until the arrival of Cabxpress in 2007.

An interstate CountryLink
CountryLink
CountryLink is the operator of passenger rail services in country New South Wales, Australia and into Queensland and Victoria. It is an operating brand of the Rail Corporation New South Wales, a government-owned entity...

 railway service connects Canberra to Sydney. Canberra's railway station
Canberra railway station
Canberra railway station is located in Kingston, Australian Capital Territory. The station is the terminus for CountryLink rail services from Sydney...

 is in the inner south suburb of Kingston
Kingston, Australian Capital Territory
Kingston is the oldest and most densely populated suburb of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. The suburb is named after Charles Cameron Kingston, the former Premier of South Australia and minister in the first Australian Commonwealth Government. It is adjacent to the suburbs of...

. Between 1920 and 1922 the train line crossed the Molonglo River and ran as far north as the city centre, although the line was closed following major flooding and was never rebuilt, while plans for a line to Yass
Yass, New South Wales
Yass is a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia in Yass Valley Shire. The name appears to have been derived from an Aboriginal word, "Yarrh" , said to mean 'running water'....

 were abandoned. A 1067 mm gauge construction railway was built in 1923 between the Yarralumla brickworks
Yarralumla brickworks
The Yarralumla brickworks, also known as the Commonwealth Brickworks, was one of the earliest construction projects in Canberra, Australia. It was built in the suburb of Yarralumla to produce the bricks used to build many of Canberra's early buildings. It opened in around 1913 and operated until...

 and the provisional Parliament House; it was later extended to Civic, but the whole line was closed in May 1927. Train services to Melbourne are provided by way of a CountryLink bus service which connects with a rail service between Sydney and Melbourne in Yass, about one hour's drive from Canberra.

Plans to establish a very fast train like a TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 service between Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, have not been implemented, as the various proposals have been deemed economically unviable. The original plans for Canberra included proposals for railed transport within the city, however none eventuated. A railway connecting Canberra to Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay is a large bay bounded by the state of New South Wales, the Jervis Bay Territory, and a detached enclave of the Australian Capital Territory. HMAS Creswell is located between Jervis Bay Village and Greenpatch in the Jervis Bay Territory.-History:...

 was also planned but never constructed.

Canberra is about three hours by road from Sydney on the Federal Highway
Federal Highway (Australia)
The Federal Highway is a short highway in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. It is a part of the Sydney-Canberra National Highway link....

 (National Highway 23), which connects with the Hume Highway
Hume Highway
The Hume Highway/Hume Freeway is one of Australia's major inter-city highways, running for 880 km between Sydney and Melbourne. It is part of the Auslink National Network and is a vital link for road freight to transport goods to and from the two cities as well as serving Albury-Wodonga and...

 (National Highway 31) near Goulburn
Goulburn, New South Wales
Goulburn is a provincial city in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia in Goulburn Mulwaree Council Local Government Area. It is located south-west of Sydney on the Hume Highway and above sea-level. On Census night 2006, Goulburn had a population of 20,127 people...

, and eight hours by road from Melbourne on the Barton Highway
Barton Highway
The Barton Highway is a short highway in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia.The Barton Highway connects Canberra to the Hume Highway at Yass, and it is part of the route from Melbourne to Canberra....

 (National Highway 25), which joins the Hume Highway at Yass. It is a two hour drive on the Monaro Highway
Monaro Highway
The Monaro Highway is a state highway in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, Australia. The Victorian section was formerly known as the Cann Valley Highway until the 1980s....

 (National Highway 23) to the ski fields of the Snowy Mountains
Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains, known informally as "The Snowies", are the highest Australian mountain range and contain the Australian mainland's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, which reaches 2,228 metres AHD, approximately 7310 feet....

 and the Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park
Kosciuszko National Park covers 690,000 hectares and contains mainland Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko for which it is named, and Cabramurra the highest town in Australia...

. Batemans Bay
Batemans Bay, New South Wales
- Media :Radio Stations*East Coast Radio 2EC *Power FM NSW South Coast - POWER FM from Nowra can also be received in parts of Batemans Bay on FM 94.9....

, a popular holiday spot on the New South Wales coast, is also two hours away via the Kings Highway
Kings Highway, Australia
The Kings Highway connects Canberra and Batemans Bay. It starts at the junction with the Monaro Highway on Canberra Avenue in the Australian Capital Territory crossing over the border into New South Wales near Queanbeyan, passing through Queanbeyan itself, briefly crossing back into the Kowen...

.

Canberra International Airport
Canberra International Airport
Canberra International Airport , now trading as Canberra Airport, is the airport serving Australia's capital city, Canberra, and the city of Queanbeyan, NSW. Located at the eastern edge of North Canberra, it is the 8th busiest airport in Australia. The airport is the main hub for Brindabella Airlines...

 provides direct domestic services to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

 and Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, with connections to other domestic centres. There are direct daily flights to Albury
Albury, New South Wales
Albury is a major regional city in New South Wales, Australia, located on the Hume Highway on the northern side of the Murray River. It is located wholly within the boundaries of the City of Albury Local Government Area...

 and Newcastle
Newcastle, New South Wales
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

 in New South Wales. No regular commercial international flights operate from the airport. Until 2003 the civilian airport shared runways with RAAF Base Fairbairn. In June of that year, the Air Force base was decommissioned and from that time the airport was fully under civilian control.

Utilities


The government-owned ACTEW Corporation
ACTEW Corporation
ACTEW Corporation Limited is a government-owned company with assets and investments in water, wastewater, electricity, gas and telecommunications. ACTEW is wholly owned by the ACT Government...

 manages Canberra's water and sewerage infrastructure. ActewAGL
ActewAGL
ActewAGL is Australia's first multi-utility to offer electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater services in a single organisation. At the time of its formation it was the only multi-utility of its kind in Australia....

 is a joint venture between ACTEW and AGL
Australian Gas Light Company
The Australian Gas Light Company was an Australian gas and electricity retailer. It was formed in Sydney in 1837, and supplied town gas for the first public lighting of a street lamp in Sydney in 1841 AGL was the second company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. The company gradually...

, and is the retail provider of Canberra's utility services including water, natural gas, electricity, and also some telecommunications services via a subsidiary TransACT
TransACT
TransACT Capital Communications is an Australian telecommunications company based in Canberra which provides broadband internet access, fixed telephony, cable television services, and mobile phone services in Canberra and a subset of these services in Queanbeyan, throughout South-east New South...

.

Canberra's water is stored in four reservoirs, the Corin, Bendora and Cotter dams on the Cotter River
Cotter River
The Cotter River is a fresh water river in the Australian Capital Territory. It is a tributary of the Murrumbidgee River and part of Murray-Darling Basin. The Cotter River is one of two rivers—the Queanbeyan River is the other—that meet the water supply needs of the Canberra and...

 and the Googong Dam on the Queanbeyan River. Although the Googong Dam is located in New South Wales, it is managed by the ACT government. ACTEW Corporation owns Canberra's two wastewater treatment plants, located at Fyshwick
Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory
Fyshwick is an industrial suburb of Canberra, located east of the South Canberra district. On Census night 2006, Fyshwick had a population of 54 people....

 and on the lower reaches of the Molonglo River
Molonglo River
The Molonglo River rises on the western side of the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia in the state of New South Wales. Its source is on the other side of the mountain range from where the Shoalhaven River rises, in Tallaganda state forest at ~1200 metres altitude...

.

Electricity for Canberra comes from the national power grid through substations at Holt
Holt, Australian Capital Territory
Holt is a suburb in the Canberra district of Belconnen. It was gazetted on 2 July 1970 and was named after Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia 1966-67. Streets are named after sportsmen and sportswomen....

 and Fyshwick
Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory
Fyshwick is an industrial suburb of Canberra, located east of the South Canberra district. On Census night 2006, Fyshwick had a population of 54 people....

 (via Queanbeyan
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
Queanbeyan is a regional centre in the Southern Tablelands in south-eastern New South Wales adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory. The city's mixed economy is based on light construction, high technology, manufacturing, service, retail and agriculture. It is the council seat of the...

). Some limited local renewable power is produced via a hydro generator on the main water supply pipeline for Canberra at Mount Stromlo and methane plants at waste landfill sites at Belconnen
Belconnen
Belconnen is a district of Canberra, the capital city of Australia, comprising 25 suburbs with 29,900 dwellings housing 82,247 people of the 311,518 people in the Australian Capital Territory ....

 and Mugga Lane. Power was first supplied from a plant built in 1913, near the Molonglo River. The ACT has the highest rate of computer use and internet connection in Australia.

Sister cities


Canberra is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
  • Beijing, China
  • Nara
    Nara, Nara
    is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

    , Japan

See also

  • 1971 Canberra flood
    1971 Canberra flood
    The 1971 Canberra flood was a flash flood that occurred on Australia Day, 26 January 1971, in the Woden Valley of Canberra, Australia. The flood killed seven people including four children, injured 15 and affected 500 people. The insurance damage was estimated at A$ 9 million. It was estimated that...

  • 2003 Canberra bushfires
    2003 Canberra bushfires
    The Canberra bushfires of 2003 caused severe damage to the outskirts of Canberra, the Australian capital city. Almost 70% of the Australian Capital Territory’s pasture, forests and nature parks were severely damaged, and most of the renowned Mount Stromlo Observatory was destroyed...

  • List of national capitals
  • List of planned cities

External links