We might not have a mining industry but we have something even better in Canberra: we have the Capital of Australia with Parliament, major government departments, national cultural institutions and five universities. Not bad for a population of less than half a million. And guess what? The public service doesn’t go through boom and bust periods. Under all colours of Federal Government, it has continued to grow. This growth industry is great for Canberra. As it grows, we require more population and highly trained people to take up well paid positions. These people in turn require somewhere to live and send their kids to school and undertake training, buy food, entertainment to relax etc. etc. etc. They also become a great export for Canberra. If they stay for a while and then leave they take their stories of what a wonderful place Canberra is to rest of Australia and the world … As a citizen of Canberra I need no convincing that it is a great place to live. As the Capital we are a showcase city for Australia. We are very privileged to have such fabulous infrastructure and institutions with such a small population. Yet I think that many of us take it for granted. When was the last time you went to the Australian National Gallery,National Library, Film and Sound Archive, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia or National War Memorial? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many Canberrans that have visited more international museums and galleries than their national museums in their own backyard – and considering nothing is more than 30 minutes away in Canberra that is not so good. How many Canberrans holiday at home and make a couple of weeks of visiting our national institutions and other attractions? Not many. I’m not suggesting that we don’t travel to the great destinations in our regions (snow, surf and Sydney). Or that we stop traveling overseas for rest and recreation.I am suggesting that we remember that we have institutions and attractions in Canberra that Australians and international visitors trek here to see – and they are less than 30 minutes from your door. There is a feeling I’m picking up, from the many local businesses that I speak to, that the Canberra economy is going pretty well.
Tim Benson, Publisher
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