Canberra ( [ ˈkænbɹə ] ) is the capital and eighth largest city of Australia . The largest inland city is in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), 248 km southwest of Sydney and 654 km northeast of Melbourne . The planned capital Canberra was determined in 1908 as a compromise solution due to the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney. After an international urban development competition, the Australian federal government decided on the design by American architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin . Construction work began a few weeks before the city was officially founded on March 13, 1913, and Canberra was granted capital status on May 9, 1927.
The structure of the city center is based on geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles. It is aligned on axes that are based on topographical landmarks in the ACT, in particular the Lake Burley Griffin reservoir . The design of the city is influenced by the principles of the garden city movement and includes significant areas with natural vegetation. Was the development of the city through the First World War and the Great Depression considerably slowed down, so sat after the Second World War, a strong population growth that continues today. As the capital, Canberra is the seat of the constitutional organs of the Australian state, including their ministries, administrations and courts. These generate the bulk of the gross national product and are also the largest employer. In addition, Canberra is home to numerous social, scientific and cultural institutions of national importance.
Canberra does not have a city council or city council like other Australian cities. The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly performs the role of both a city council for Canberra and that of a territorial government for the rest of the capital's territory. The vast majority of the territory's population resides in Canberra itself, so the city is nonetheless the main focus of territorial government activity. The federal government retains authority over the territory and can repeal local laws. Through the National Capital Authority , it continues to exert a great deal of influence on planning decisions in the city.
Canberra covers an area of 814.2 km² and is located a little east of the Brindabella Range , part of the Snowy Mountains , around 150 km from the east coast of Australia. The urban area, which corresponds to about a quarter of the area of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), is located in the northeastern part of the ACT at an average altitude of 580 meters above sea level. The highest point is the summit of Mount Majura hill at . Other important hills are Mount Taylor (856 m), Mount Ainslie (843 m), Black Mountain (812 m) and Mount Stromlo (770 m).
The Molonglo River divides the city into two roughly equal halves. This river is dammed by the Scrivener Dam to Lake Burley Griffin , a large expanse of water in the city center that is 11 km long and up to 1.2 km wide. Until the lake was dammed, the Molonglo River occasionally caused devastating floods. It flows northwest of Canberra into the Murrumbidgee River , a tributary of the Murray River . Several smaller rivers in the urban area or not far from it flow into the Molonglo or the Murrumbidgee. These include the Queanbeyan River , Cotter River , Jerrabomberra Creek, and Yarralumla Creek. Ginninderra Creek and Tuggeranong Creek are dammed to Lake Ginninderra and Lake Tuggeranong, respectively .
The surrounding bushland is now a mixture of savannahs, shrubbery, swamps and dry forests, which are to a large extent united in the Canberra Natural Park . The native forest in the region, which once consisted almost entirely of eucalyptus , served as a fuel and timber resource. The Forestry began in 1915 with experiments on a number of species, including Pinus radiata on the slopes of Mount Stromlo. By the early 1960s, deforestation had decimated the eucalyptus and concerns about water quality led to the closure of the forests. Since then, the plantations have been expanded, with the advantage that erosion in the catchment area of the Cotter River has been reduced. Today the forests are popular recreational areas.
The ACT population lives almost exclusively in Canberra. In the rural part of the ACT there are only a few farms and villages with a total of just over 5000 inhabitants. The largest settlements are Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra Village, Tharwa and Hall. Ten kilometers southeast of the city center, right on the border of the ACT, is the city of Queanbeyan in the state of New South Wales with around 36,000 inhabitants.
Canberra has a temperate oceanic climate ( effective climate classification : Cfb). Due to the altitude and the distance from the coast, there are four different seasons, but the climate is drier than in the cities on the coast. The reason for this is the location of the city in the rain shadow of the Brindabella Range. The climate is characterized by hot to warm, dry summers and (by Australian standards) cool to cold winters with thick fog and frequent frosts .
The highest temperature ever recorded was 44.0 ° C on January 4, 2020. Three days earlier, Canberra measured the worst air quality index of all major cities worldwide. Both were consequences of the devastating bush fires in Australia in 2019/2020 and the associated heavy smoke development.
The lowest temperature ever measured was -10.0 ° C on July 11, 1971. Snow falls on average once or twice a year, but the amount is small and melted again after a short time. Thunderstorms can occur between October and March, with most rain falling in spring and summer. In general, the wind is not blowing particularly hard. The following table shows the average climate values from 1981 to 2010:
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Canberra
Geometry of the city center
Canberra is a planned city , the inner city area of which was originally designed by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin (assisted by his wife Marion Mahony Griffin ). In the city center on either side of Lake Burley Griffin, the main streets follow a wheel-and-spoke pattern rather than a grid. Griffin's city design features an abundance of geometric shapes, including concentric hexagonal and octagonal street patterns radiating from multiple radii. The later suburbs of the city, however, are not structured geometrically.
Lake Burley Griffin was deliberately designed so that its orientation relates to various topographical landmarks in Canberra. A perpendicular to the central basin ( Central Basin ) standing "land axis" ( country axis ) extends from Capital Hill - the site of the new parliament building - north-east on the north bank across and along the representative ANZAC parade to the Australian War Memorial at the foot of Mount Ainslie. At the southwest end of the land axis rises the Bimberi Peak , the highest mountain in the Australian Capital Territory, about 52 km southwest of Canberra in the Brindabella Range.
The chord of the circular segment forming the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin extends perpendicular to the land axis and designated the "water-axis" ( water axis ). It extends northwest towards Black Mountain. A line running parallel to the water axis on the north side of the city forms the “ municipal axis ”. It corresponds to the course of Constitution Avenue, which connects City Hill in the Civic Center with the Market Center and the Department of Defense on Russell Hill. Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue run from Capital Hill in the south to City Hill and Market Center in the north and form the western and eastern edges of the central basin. The area enclosed by the three streets is called the Parliamentary Triangle ; this equilateral triangle forms the heart of Griffin's urban design.
The Griffins attributed spiritual values to Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain, and Red Hill, and originally planned to flower each of these hills. In this way, each hill should be covered with a single, primary color that represents its spiritual worth. That part of their plan never came to fruition as World War I slowed down construction of the capital and planning disputes led to Griffin's dismissal by Prime Minister Billy Hughes after the war ended.
Canberra's urban areas are hierarchical. There are seven districts, each of which is divided into smaller neighborhoods that regardless of their position as a "suburb" (suburb) are referred to. Virtually all of these suburbs in turn have a district center as a focal point for commercial and social activities. The city districts were populated in this order:
- Canberra Central (consisting of North Canberra and South Canberra ), mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, expansion until the 1960s, 25 districts
- Woden Valley , from 1964, 12 districts
- Belconnen , from 1966, 27 districts (two of which have not yet been developed)
- Weston Creek , from 1969, 8 neighborhoods
- Tuggeranong , from 1974, 18 districts
- Gungahlin , from 1993, 18 districts (three of which have not yet been developed)
- Molonglo Valley , from 2010, 13 districts planned
Canberra Central largely follows Griffin's plans. In 1967 the National Capital Development Commission decided on a new development plan, the "Y-Plan". Since then, further urban development has been based on a series of shopping and commercial zones linked by highways, which are known as town centers . The arrangement of these centers resembles the shape of the letter Y. Tuggeranong forms the lower end, while Belconnen and Gungahlin lie at the ends of the arms of the Y. Urban development is strictly regulated, on the one hand by urban planning measures and on the other by restricting usage regulations for parcels. The federal government leased the entire land in the Australian Capital Territory for a period of 99 years, although the government of the territory now manages most of the leases itself. Since the beginning of the 21st century there have been persistent calls for planning guidelines to be relaxed.
Most parts of the city have smaller shops and are close to a larger shopping center that serves several parts of the city. Public institutions and schools are often located near these stores or shopping centers. Many districts are named after famous Australians and early settlers or after Aboriginal names. The street names mostly follow a certain pattern; For example, the streets in Duffy are named after Australian dams, those in Page after biologists and naturalists. Fyshwick, Mitchell and Hume each have a light industry zone. Overseas missions concentrate on the districts of Yarralumla , Deakin and O'Malley.
Before the European settlement, various Aboriginal tribes lived in the area of the later Australian Capital Territory (ACT) for thousands of years . According to the anthropologist Norman Tindale , the Ngunnawal were the predominant group here. The Ngarigo and Walgalu lived immediately south of it, the Gandangara in the north, the Wiradjuri in the northwest, and the Yuin on the coast. With archaeological excavations at Birrigai- Abri in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve could be proven that the area has been inhabited for at least 21,000 years. It is possible that the area was inhabited for much longer, as evidence of an Aboriginal presence in southwest New South Wales dates back about 40,000 to 62,000 years. Another important site in the nature reserve is the Bogong rock roof, the oldest known Aboriginal deposit, which is located near larger populations of Bogong butterflies ( Agrotis infusa ). These moths were an important source of food for the inhabitants of the southern Australian Alps . They collected them by the thousands in caves and crevices, roasted them in sand or ashes and ate them.
In addition, there are other sites throughout the ACT such as shelters, rock paintings, collections of stone tools or debarked trees . Initiation rituals appear to have been performed at Mount Tidbinbilla for a long time . The Ngunnawal owned at least two burial sites, where in some cases the dead were buried in a sitting position. The Aborigines were hunter-gatherers with an oral history that explained their attachment to the land, the cultural significance of individual landforms, and their own origins. However, only a fraction of these stories are documented. Apart from what can be reconstructed from the archaeological sites, there is hardly any evidence of the history of the indigenous population before European settlement began.
European exploration and settlement
The growth of the British colony of New South Wales resulted in an increasing demand for farmland. Governor Lachlan Macquarie therefore supported expeditions south of Sydney . The first led along the coast to Jervis Bay in 1818 . Further research trips followed in connection with the planned construction of a road from Sydney to Goulburn Plain. Charles Throsby, Joseph Wild and James Vaughan discovered Lake George and the Yass River in 1820 . In doing so, they must also have crossed the ACT area. A second expedition started shortly afterwards: Charles Throsby Smith (Throsby's nephew) explored the Molonglo River and the Queanbeyan River together with Wild and Vaughan . In 1821 he discovered the Murrumbidgee River on a third expedition . On the way there he wrote the first detailed description of the area where Canberra is today. The next major expedition to the region took place in 1823 when Wild was commissioned by Major John Ovens and Captain Mark Currie to take it to the Murrumbidgee River. They traveled along the river to the south and gave the area now than Tuggeranong is known, the name of Isabella's Plain - after the two-year-old daughter of then-Governor Thomas Brisbane . In 1824 the botanist Allan Cunningham reported that the area was suitable for pasture farming .
Settlement by Europeans began in 1824 when cattle keepers employed by Joshua John Moore established a homestead in what is now the Acton Peninsula on Lake Burley Griffin . Moore formally acquired the property in 1826 but never visited it personally. It was about four square kilometers and covered much of what is now North Canberra . He named his estate Canberry , from which Canberra later developed. The name is said to be derived from the word Kambera in the Ngunnawal language and means "meeting point", although there is no clear evidence for this. A thesis put forward by Queanbeyan newspaper publisher John Gale in the 1860s says that the place name is derived from nganbra or nganbira . This means "cavity between a woman's breasts" and refers to the river plain of Sullivans Creek between Mount Ainslie and Black Mountain .
Further homesteads were built, which at the beginning were not inhabited by the owners themselves, but by employed workers. But a little later, families also settled. Individual families achieved a certain social status in the region. The Campbells from Scotland , whose head Robert Campbell had once been the first trader in Sydney , were particularly influential . Her extensive possessions included the Duntroon House (today's officers' mess of the Royal Military College ) and the Yarralumla country estate (now the Government House , the residence of the Governor General). Not far from Duntroon, the first school was built in 1845 and immediately next to it was St John the Baptist Church , the oldest church in what would later become the city.
Administratively, the scattered settlements belonged to the Parish Canberra in Murray County of New South Wales. Convict labor was initially widespread and the first bushrangers were escaped convicts. General lawlessness led to the appointment of the first local magistrate in November 1837 to oversee legal affairs and issue licenses to serve alcohol. The gold rush in nearby Kiandra in the late 1850s resulted in a significant influx of residents and a marked increase in economic activity. The company Cobb & Co. set up stagecoach courses one to Sydney in 1859 was the first post office opened in the area. In 1860 Blundells Cottage was built , the oldest surviving residential building in town.
During the first twenty years of settlement there was limited contact between the settlers and the Aborigines. The onslaught of gold prospectors through the Brindabella Range into the Kiandra area led to conflicts and a decimation of the indigenous population due to diseases such as smallpox and measles . The Ngunnawal and other indigenous people practically ceased to exist as cohesive and independent communities that adhered to their traditional ways of life in the 1860s. The few survivors either moved to the settlements or were relocated to more distant reservations. The children were expected to assimilate. The Ngunnawal people were often considered "extinct" as a result. In a situation similar to that of the Tasmanians , people with claims to Ngunnawal ancestry continue to identify as such. However, there is disagreement within the community itself as to who can rightly be considered a member of the Ngunnawal people.
Looking for a location for the federal capital
At the beginning of the 1890s, serious debates began about the amalgamation of the self-governing British colonies on the Australian continent . A sticking point was the question of the future capital, since both Melbourne and Sydney claimed this status for themselves. Henry Parkes , a prominent politician from New South Wales, advocated a capital city on "neutral ground" and proposed the city of Albury on the border with Victoria as a compromise . In 1898 four of the colonies - New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania - held referenda on the draft constitution. Although a majority voted in favor in all colonies, New South Wales just missed the required minimum number of yes votes. At a subsequent Prime Ministers conference, George Reid indicated that the capital's settlement in New South Wales would be sufficient to ensure the required approval in the second referendum. As a result, Article 125 of the future constitution was amended to require the capital to be north of the Murray River in New South Wales, but at least 100 miles (160.9 km) from Sydney. In addition, Melbourne was to be the temporary seat of government (but not to be referred to as the "capital") until a location for the new capital was determined.
However, this left the question of where the capital should be located. Initially, the district of Bombala in the very south of New South Wales was a promising candidate, soon afterwards the Monaro region (which included Bombala), Orange and Yass were also under discussion. The Prime Minister of New South Wales, John See , offered to make the recommended locations available for future federal territory. Edmund Barton , the first Prime Minister of all of Australia, added four other locations to this list: Albury, Tamworth , Armidale and Tumut . Government members visited these places in 1902. Disagreeing, they decided to delegate the problem to a royal commission. Home Secretary William Lyne pushed for Tumut or Albury because he preferred a location in his constituency. As a result, the commission submitted its report to Parliament in 1903, in which it recommended the sites Albury, Tumut and Orange in that order. The House of Representatives voted for Tumut, but the Senate preferred Bombala. As a result of this disagreement, the draft law failed, which is why parliament had to deal with it again after the new election.
The new parliament met in 1904 and reached a compromise by choosing Dalgety , which, like Bombala, is in the Monaro region. With the passage of the Seat of the Government Act 1904 , the matter appeared to be settled. But the government of New South Wales protested vigorously against this decision and was unwilling to cede the territory requested by the federal government. She thought this little village was too close to Melbourne. Finally, in 1906, New South Wales agreed to the transfer of land in the Yass and Canberra region, which is closer to Sydney. After several MPs had toured the region in 1908, a new vote was called in the federal parliament, in which eleven locations were nominated. Initially, Dalgety remained in the top position, but in the eighth ballot Yass / Canberra emerged as the new front runner and was confirmed in the ninth ballot. As a result, Parliament passed the new Seat of Government Act 1908 , which replaced the 1904 Act.
The state surveyor Charles Scrivener (who had already suggested Dalgety) went to the triangle Canberra-Yass-Lake George in the same year to map a suitable place. After extensive research, he chose Canberra. In 1909, New South Wales enacted the legal basis for the creation of federal territory. Two laws federalized areas in Murray Counties and Cowley Counties, and eight parcels on Jervis Bay. All private land in the abandoned area had to be acquired by the federal government, which stopped speculation. They have since been in leasehold ( leasehold leased).
The Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910 created the legal framework for the territory. It provided that the laws in the territory could be enacted by the federal government and the ordinances by the governor general . When the law came into force on January 1, 1911, the Federal Capital Territory was officially established (known as the Australian Capital Territory since 1938 ). The act provided the constitutional basis for law-making in the ACT until self-government was granted in 1989. Home Secretary King O'Malley , who had been responsible for legislating the ACT, successfully passed a bill through parliament in 1910 that allowed the Territory declared a non-alcoholic zone. The controversial prohibition law remained in force until 1928. During this time, many residents traveled to neighboring Queanbeyan on Saturdays to stop just across the border.
Planning, city foundation and start of construction
On April 30, 1911, the Ministry of the Interior announced an international competition for the new capital. The Royal Institute of British Architects , the Institution of Civil Engineers, and their affiliates across the British Empire boycotted the competition because O'Malley insisted that the final decision should be made by him and not by an urban planning expert. Nevertheless, 137 valid contributions were received. O'Malley appointed a three-member advisory body, which could not achieve unanimity. On May 24, 1912, he followed the majority of the committee and declared the design by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin the winner. The second prize went to the Finn Eliel Saarinen , the third to the French Alfred Agache . Two points were decisive: Griffin adapted the urban structure to the existing topography whenever possible , while all other urban planners tried to change the natural environment in such a way that it satisfied predefined aesthetic wishes. In addition, his wife Marion Mahony Griffin painted numerous artistically high-quality watercolors, which showed the future city from different angles. Griffin's design stood out from the mass of technical drawings.
King O'Malley appointed another six-person committee to advise him on the implementation of the winning design. On November 25, 1912, it announced that it could not fully support Griffin's plan and proposed an alternative plan that relaxed the strict geometry a little. It included the best features of the three placed designs plus a fourth design by a Sydney architectural community. Parliament approved the modified plan and O'Malley formally approved it on January 10, 1913. On February 20, 1913, O'Malley rammed the first survey post into the ground to mark the start of construction. Numerous city names had been suggested, including Olympus, Paradise, Captain Cook, Shakespeare, Kangaremu, Eucalypta, and Myola. On March 12, 1913, Lady Gertrude Denman, the wife of Governor General Thomas Denman , baptized the city to be built with the already established name of Canberra during a ceremony on Kurrajong Hill (now Capital Hill ). To commemorate this event, today is the second Monday in March, Canberra Day, a local holiday. The first federal institution in the capital's territory was the Royal Military College , which was established on the grounds of the Duntroon manor.
The modified plan remained controversial and Griffin himself rejected the changes. He was invited to Canberra so that the matter could be discussed on the spot. When he arrived in August 1913, the government appointed him director of design and construction for the federal capital, whereupon he was in charge of detailed planning for the boroughs of North Canberra and South Canberra . Because of the outbreak of World War I , fewer financial resources were available for implementation, and bureaucratic wrangling also hampered his work. A royal commission concluded in 1916 that Griffin's authority had been undermined by some high-ranking officials: the data on which his detailed work was based had been inaccurate and in part incorrect. In December 1920, Griffin stopped working on the project after learning that some of the bureaucrats who had obstructed him had been appointed to the Federal Capital Advisory Committee (FCAC). Prime Minister Billy Hughes had created this new agency to oversee the further progress of the work. By then, Griffin had revised his plan, overseeing the earthworks on the main roads and planting the Glenloch cork oak plantation in what is now the National Arboretum .
After Griffin's departure, the FCAC had limited success in achieving its goals; however, Chairman John Sulman was instrumental in applying the principles of the Garden City Movement to Griffin's plan. The committee was replaced by the Federal Capital Commission (FCC) in 1925 . Their task was to prepare the city for the relocation of the federal parliament from Melbourne to Canberra. With the official opening of the provisional parliament building on May 9, 1927, the federal government officially moved from Melbourne to ACT. The civil service initially remained based in Melbourne and the various departments only gradually moved to Canberra over the years.
Slow growth in the new capital
The railway line between Queanbeyan and Canberra opened on May 25, 1914 and initially only served freight traffic for ten years. From June 1921 to July 1922 it led across the Molonglo River to what is now the Civic district. However, after a flood destroyed the temporary wooden bridge, this section was abandoned; since then, the route has ended in Kingston, south of the river. From 1923 to May 1927, a Cape-gauge freight tram connected the brickworks in Yarralumla with the construction site of the provisional parliament building. Railway lines to Yass and Jervis Bay were planned but never built.
In May 1918 the government set up an internment camp for German prisoners of war on the eastern outskirts of the city . In fact, the camp mostly housed civilian internees who had been transferred from facilities in other locations. At the end of 1919 it became a workers' settlement and finally the Fyshwick industrial zone. The future King Edward VIII brought Canberra's official laying of the foundation stone on June 21, 1920. Several government buildings were built in the 1920s, including The Lodge as the prime minister's residence. The first properties for residential and business purposes were auctioned off on December 12, 1924. Numerous newly constructed buildings were flooded when the dams of the Molonglo River broke in February 1925. Also in 1925 a public bus drove for the first time. Two years later, Canberra received its first cinema and its own police force.
The Great Depression brought Canberra's growth to an abrupt halt. Hundreds of construction workers lost their jobs and the state staff was reduced by one seventh. Even the FCC, which oversaw Canberra's structural development, ceased operations in 1930 and only resumed eight years later under the name of the National Capital Planning and Development Committee (NCPDC). Major projects such as an Anglican and a Roman Catholic cathedral could not be realized because the funds earmarked for them were used to alleviate the social consequences of the crisis. To date, no major religious denomination has built a church of national rank in Canberra.
Nonetheless, the city's development progressed, albeit qualitatively rather than quantitatively. For example, the first radio station began broadcasting in 1931, initially from a shop in Kingston. Five years later, construction began on the Australian War Memorial , the memorial for Australians who died in the war, which was officially opened on November 11, 1941. In 1936 diplomatic missions began moving to Canberra. It started with the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom , followed by a representative from Canada in 1937 and the opening of a representation from the USA in 1940. The USA was the first country in 1943 to have its own embassy building. In 1946 it was also the representative of the USA who was the first to be raised to the rank of ambassador ; other countries soon followed.
The most significant event in Canberra up until World War II was the 24th meeting of the ANZAAS Scientific Association in January 1939. The Canberra Times described it as "an event of particular importance ... in the history of this youngest capital in the world". The accommodations were nowhere near enough to accommodate the 1,250 delegates, and a tent city had to be built on the banks of the Molonglo River. One of the prominent speakers was the writer HG Wells , who was the guest of Governor General Lord Gowrie for a week . The event coincided with a heat wave in southeast Australia that hit Canberra on January 11th 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit (42.5 degrees Celsius), which sparked the devastating Black Friday bushfire . At that time, Canberra was still a small-town settlement with a seemingly disorganized collection of buildings that were generally perceived as ugly. Only the parliament building and the memorial indicated that it was actually the capital of Australia. Critics often mockingly referred to them as “several suburbs looking for a city”.
Rapid development after the Second World War
During the Second World War and in the first years after the war, the stalled growth picked up noticeably. In the Canberra plane crash on August 13, 1940, ten people were killed, including three federal government ministers and the chief of staff, when their plane crashed on a hill in thick fog. After the end of the war, more and more national institutions moved their headquarters to Canberra or were founded there (for example the Australian National University in April 1946), which increasingly led to a shortage of apartments and office space. A Senate committee dealt with the problem in 1954 and recommended the creation of a planning body with extensive executive powers. As a result, the NCPDC, perceived as inefficient, was replaced by the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) in 1958 .
Backed by Prime Minister Robert Menzies , the NCDC ended four decades of controversy over the shape and design of Lake Burley Griffin . Construction of this man-made lake in the city center began in 1960 and was completed in four years. Due to a prolonged dry period, it took over half a year to completely fill the lake. With its completion, the Parliamentary Triangle finally developed the representative effect that Walter Burley Griffin had originally intended. On or near the shores of the new lake several buildings of national importance were built, including the National Library of Australia (1968), the High Court of Australia (1980), the National Gallery of Australia (1982), the National Museum of Australia (2001) and the National Portrait Gallery (2008). Griffin's original zoning plan did not extend beyond the central boroughs of North Canberra and South Canberra. In order to accommodate the rapidly growing population, which quadrupled in the 1960s and 1970s, the construction of new city districts was necessary. Woden Valley started in 1964 ; followed Belconnen (from 1967), Weston Creek (from 1969) and Tuggeranong (from 1973). As part of Australia's bicentenary in 1988, Parliament House , the new parliament building, was opened after a ten-year planning and construction phase . It replaced the 61 year old “makeshift” Old Parliament House .
Since its inception, the city and territory had been administered directly by the ministries. In a referendum on November 25, 1978, however, the residents rejected the self-government and decided with 63.75% of the votes in favor of maintaining the previous status. NCDC director John Overall blamed several reasons for this. On the one hand, there was a fear of tax increases or cuts in benefits. On the other hand, the majority had the feeling that they already had a say through their representatives in the federal parliament. Canberra also had a high proportion of civil servants who were used to working with the federal government. Ten years later, the cabinet of Prime Minister Bob Hawke decided to introduce self-government against the wishes of the population, especially since the Northern Territory had meanwhile had good experiences with it. In particular, the federal government should be relieved financially, as the territory benefited to a large extent from subsidies. On December 6, 1988, Parliament approved the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 and Queen Elizabeth II signed this law on May 11, 1989. On that day, the Legislative Council elected in March was constituted .
Also in 1989 the National Capital Authority was set up as the new planning authority. In 1993 the development of the new Gungahlin district began . Canberra was hit by bushfires of unprecedented proportions on January 18 and 19, 2003 (see Canberra bushfires 2003 ). These had started a week earlier west of the city, then broke through the containment lines and enclosed some parts of the city. Four people were killed and around 500 houses burned down before the fire could be brought under control after a weather change. The traditional Mount Stromlo observatory and several small settlements in the rural part of the ACT also went down in the flames. Part of the burned pine forest west of Lake Burley Griffin was not reforested according to a planning study published in 2004. Instead, the new Molonglo Valley district has been under construction there since 2010 , and when it is completed, it will have a population of over 50,000.
throughout the ACT
In 2016 Canberra had 395,790 inhabitants, which corresponds to a population density of 491 inhabitants / km². The 2016 census found that 1.6% of the population are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and 32.1% were born outside of Australia. Most of the foreign-borns come from English-speaking countries, led by the United Kingdom with 3.2% and followed by the People's Republic of China (excluding special administrative areas and Taiwan ) with 2.9%. 2.6% of the population were born in India and another 1.2% in New Zealand . Since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of immigrants from East and South Asia has increased sharply. Most residents, 72.7%, speak only English at home ; the most common foreign languages are Mandarin (3.1%), Vietnamese (1.1%), Cantonese (1.0%), Hindi (0.9%) and Spanish (0.8%).
Compared to other Australian cities, Canberra's population is younger, more mobile and better educated. The average age is 35 years, only 12.7% are older than 65 years. Between 1996 and 2001, 61.9% of the population either moved here or away again. In May 2017, 43% of 25- to 64-year-olds had an educational qualification equivalent to at least a Bachelor's degree , which is significantly higher than the national average of 31%.
50% of Canberra's residents identified Christianity as their faith in the 2016 census ; the most frequently represented denominations are the Roman Catholic Church (22.3%) and the Anglican Church of Australia (10.7%). Other religions are Buddhism (2.0%), Islam (1.1%), Hinduism (0.7%), Judaism (0.2%) and “other” (0.6%). 36.2% of the respondents described themselves as non-denominational . The Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn is directly subordinate to the Holy See , while the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn is part of the ecclesiastical province of New South Wales.
Politics and law
There is no council or government for Canberra itself. The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly acts as both a councilor for Canberra and the government of the parent Australian Capital Territory (ACT). However, the vast majority of the territory's population is resident in Canberra, which is why the city is clearly the focus of territorial government.
The legislature consists of 25 members who are determined in five constituencies according to the Hare-Clark system, a variant of the transferable individual voting . The constituencies are Brindabella, Ginninderra, Kurrajong, Murrumbidgee and Yerrabi, each with five seats. The members of the Legislative Council elect the Chief Minister from among their ranks , who appoints other members of the Council as ministers of the executive branch (informally referred to as the cabinet). Andrew Barr of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has been acting Chief Minister since 2014 . The last election took place on October 16, 2016. The ALP won twelve and the Australian Greens two seats, so that these two parties form a coalition government (this has existed since 2008). The only opposition party is the Liberal Party of Australia with eleven seats.
The Australian federal government has indirect influence over the government of the ACT. At the administrative level, this is most often exercised through the National Capital Authority . She is responsible for the planning and development of those parts of Canberra that are of national importance or are a key part of Griffin's original development plan. These include the Parliamentary Triangle , major roads, federal land or the Canberra Nature Park . The Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 passed the federal government also exercises control over the legislature of the territory. The law is the constitution of the ACT and determines the areas of responsibility that the Legislative Council can decide on itself.
Justice and Police
On behalf of the government of the ACT, the Australian Federal Police takes on all tasks of a federal police agency. For this purpose, it runs its own department called ACT Policing , in order to separate general policing in the territory from national tasks. Court cases are dealt with in the Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory and, in more serious cases, in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory . There is also a civil, administrative and labor law court ( ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal ). Until 2009, ACT had only one remand center (the Belconnen Remand Center ) while prison sentences were serving in New South Wales . Since the end of 2008, ACT has had its own prison in the Hume district, the Alexander Maconochie Center ; it is named after the commandant of Norfolk Island from 1840 to 1844.
Canberra has entered into a number of twinning partnerships that include strong administrative, economic, cultural and social relationships: Beijing in the People's Republic of China, Nara in Japan and Wellington in New Zealand. Less formal friendly relations exist with Dili in East Timor and Hangzhou in the People's Republic of China. A cultural exchange takes place with all of the cities mentioned. The most important event in connection with a twin city is the Canberra Nara Candle Festival, which has been held in October since 2003.
badges and flags
The city of Canberra has the same national emblems as the Australian Capital Territory, since the city and capital territory are largely identical. The coat of arms of the Australian Capital Territory was designed in 1927 after the Department of Defense expressed a desire to decorate the warship HMAS Canberra , which was launched at the time . The flag of the Australian Capital Territory has existed since 1993 and shows the slightly modified city coat of arms next to the Southern Cross .
Culture and sights
In addition to the Canberras complex as a garden city itself, the numerous sights, which are mainly to be found in the two oldest districts of South Canberra and North Canberra and on Lake Burley Griffin , are of tourist interest . The central point in South Canberra is Capital Hill , which is surrounded by ring roads and which all main roads lead to. On this hill is the Parliament House , the new parliament building opened in 1988. During the construction, the top of the hill was removed and, after completion of the shell, it was backfilled so that it now forms the roof of the building overgrown with lawn. An 81-meter-high flagpole with the Australian flag rises above it.
To the north of Capital Hill is the representative Parkes district with some of the city's most important buildings, above all the Old Parliament House . It served as the provisional seat of the Australian Parliament from 1927 to 1988 and now houses a museum on the history of Australian democracy. In 1972, activists set up the unofficial " tent embassy " of the Australian Aboriginal people (Aboriginal Tent Embassy) on the green space in front of the old parliament . Not far from the old parliament are the National Archives of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery . Closer to the south shore of Lake Burley Griffin are the National Library of Australia , the Questacon Museum, the Supreme Court building, and the National Gallery of Australia . The Captain James Cook Memorial , which is designed in the form of a water fountain, is located at the central lake basin . The tiny island of Aspen Island is home to the National Carillon , a 50-meter-high carillon tower . Several parks surround the lake, including Commonwealth Park and Kings Park .
To the west of Capital Hill is the Yarralumla district , home to most of the diplomatic missions, the Government House (official seat of the Governor General) and the National Zoo and Aquarium . In the southwest of Capital Hill, the district of Deakin extends with other embassy buildings, the Royal Australian Mint (mint) and The Lodge , the official residence of the Prime Minister.
The City district (colloquially known as Civic) north of the lake is the city's central shopping and office district. It is one of the few urban areas with densely built-up areas. This is where you will find the exhibition center and the Canberra Museum and Gallery , which deals with Canberra's art and history. To the west of the city is the Acton university district. There, at the foot of Black Mountain , is the National Film and Sound Archive , the Australian National Botanic Gardens (botanical gardens with over 5500 native plant species) and the National Arboretum . The southern tip of the Acton Peninsula on the lake is home to the National Museum of Australia , which stands out with its daring, futuristic architecture.
To the east of the city, at the foot of Mount Ainslie , extends the “ceremonial” area of the city. The ANZAC Parade is a wide boulevard lined with several monuments. The parades for ANZAC Day , one of Australia's most important holidays, take place here. St John the Baptist Church , the city's oldest church, and the Australian War Memorial , the national war memorial, are on this street . About twelve kilometers from the center, on the northern outskirts, is the National Dinosaur Museum with the largest prehistoric collection in the southern hemisphere.
Some historic houses from the 19th century can be visited: the Lanyon and Tuggeranong homesteads in Tuggeranong Valley, the Mugga Mugga house in Symonston and Blundells Cottage in Parkes exhibit items from the everyday lives of early European settlers. The Culthorpes' House on Red Hill is a well-preserved example of 1920s architecture. Duntroon House in the Campbell neighborhood was one of the region's first homesteads and is now the officers' mess of the Royal Military College .
Culture and night life
In addition to the museums, the city has a lively live music and theater scene, which is mainly supported by university students. The two largest theaters are the Canberra Theater with 1,244 seats and the Playhouse with 618 seats, which are also used for concerts. The Street Theater on the grounds of the Australian National University (ANU) specializes in amateur performances. Also on the premises of the ANU is the music college with the Llewellyn Hall (1442 seats), which is one of the most renowned Australian concert halls for classical music. In addition, most community centers in the districts have facilities for theater and cinema screenings and, in all cases, a library.
Canberra is known for numerous major events lasting several days: The first of the year is the Summernats Automobile Festival in early summer at the beginning of January. The Enlighten Canberra fireworks parade and the Royal Canberra Show agricultural fair follow in February . The Celebrate Canberra folk festival, before Canberra Day , the city's official holiday, lasts ten days. The National Folk Festival takes place every Easter week . The Floriade , which takes place every year from mid-September to mid-October, is the largest garden exhibition in the southern hemisphere, with over 300,000 visitors each time. The Stone Festival in late October on the University of Canberra (UC) is one of the largest rock music festivals in the country.
The Casino Canberra is the only casino in town. It was opened in 1992 and has the sole license to offer games of chance. The casino belongs to Casinos Austria International. However, there are no slot machines in the casino , because this right is only available to bars and clubs. Although prostitution was decriminalized in 1992, it is restricted by law to the industrial districts of Fyshwick and Mitchell. The comparatively small population means that the nightlife can hardly keep up with that of the major Australian metropolises. In addition, the population density is low, so that the various entertainment facilities such as bars, clubs and restaurants are concentrated in a few districts in the immediate vicinity of the center. Canberra's nightlife (or its supposed non-existence) is often the subject of jokes from outside visitors.
In addition to numerous local sports clubs, Canberra has several sports teams that belong to national and international leagues. The most famous teams are the Canberra Raiders and the Brumbies , who play rugby league and rugby union respectively and have both won championship titles several times. Both teams play their games at Canberra Stadium , which was built in 1977 and is the largest stadium in the city with 25,011 seats. Athletics competitions were also held here until 1990 . During the football tournament of the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup , some preliminary round games were held here.
Another large stadium is the Manuka Oval , which seats 16,000 and is used for cricket and Australian football games. A special feature is that the city does not have a professional team for these two sports, but numerous foreign teams from Melbourne or Sydney regularly play home games here. The Prime Minister's XI is a traditional cricket game in which an Australian team personally selected by the Prime Minister competes against a national team from overseas every year.
The women's basketball team Canberra Capitals is one of the most successful teams in Australia and has won the Australian championship several times. Other teams that belong to national leagues are the AIS Canberra Darters ( netball ), the Canberra Labor Club Lakers, the Canberra Labor Club Strikers (men's and women's hockey ), the Canberra Knights ( ice hockey ) and the Canberra Vikings (rugby union ).
Canberra is the venue for the Barassi International Australian Football Youth Tournament , the most important junior tournament in Australian football. Other notable annual sporting events are the Canberra Marathon, the Canberra Ironman Triathlon and the Canberra Rally. There is also a racecourse , the Canberra Racecourse . The Canberra Women's Tennis Classic was held from 2001 to 2006, and in 2009 Mount Stromlo on the outskirts of Canberra was the venue for the Mountain Bike World Cup . The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in the Bruce district, which has existed since 1981, is a specialized educational and training institute for top athletes in numerous sports.
There are many sports facilities available to Canberra residents, including cricket and rugby fields, golf courses, skate parks, tennis courts and swimming pools. An extensive network of cycle paths also runs through the entire city. The hilly area around Canberra is very popular with hikers, riders and mountain bikers. In turn, water sports such as sailing, rowing and water skiing are possible on the lakes.
Economy and Infrastructure
State administration and security are by far the most important industries in the city. Together they generated 27.1% of the gross national product and they employed 32.5% of all employed persons (as of 2018/19). The main public sector employers include Parliament, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance, the Treasury, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Several Australian Defense Force facilities are located in the city and the surrounding area.
Other important economic sectors measured by the number of employees are health care (10.5%), science and technology (9.8%), education (9.6%), trade (7.3%), tourism (6.4%) ) as well as construction (5.8%). Canberra's industry is focused on high value added areas such as biotechnology, defense, information technology, environmental technology and aerospace. A growing number of software vendors have moved to Canberra to take advantage of the concentration of government customers. Canberra is also being expanded into an innovation center for information security .
In February 2020, Canberra's unemployment rate was 2.9%, well below the national average of 5.1%. As a result of the low unemployment rate and the high proportion of the service sector and the public sector, the per capita income is higher than in any other capital city in the Australian states. The median weekly income for a Canberra resident is A $ 1,827 compared to the national average, compared to A $ 1,658 in March 2020. The median property price in Canberra was A $ 745,000 in February 2020, which is lower than Sydney but higher than any other capital city. The mean value of rental prices is nowhere as high as in Canberra.
In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Canberra was ranked 30th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.
The automobile is the dominant mode of transport in Canberra. Planning regulations led to an extensive network of well-developed roads and a low population density, as the development is spread over a relatively large area and only concentrated in a few places. Compared to other Australian cities, travel times are relatively short over long distances. Traffic jams are rare and they usually clear up after a short time during rush hour. The city districts are connected by parkways , direction-separated expressways with a maximum speed of 100 km / h. Otherwise, a speed limit of 50 km / h applies. In addition, there is a well-developed network of connected cycle paths in all parts of the city ; Canberra describes itself as the "bicycle capital of Australia".
The urban bus company Australian Capital Territory Internal Omnibus Network (ACTION) is responsible for public transport throughout the city. Qcity Transit is a private bus company that connects Canberra with neighboring cities in New South Wales. Though Walter Burley Griffin's plans called for it, Canberra did not have a streetcar or light rail for decades . The first leg of the Canberra light rail system opened on April 20, 2019. It is twelve km long and connects the city center with the northern district of Gungahlin . The contract was awarded to a consortium in which DB International was also involved. A second phase is being planned. The two taxi companies licensed in Canberra are Canberra Elite and Cabexpress . In 2016, 7.1% of all inner-city trips were made using public transport, and another 4.5% on foot.
The Australian Capital Territory Railway - the railway infrastructure is owned by the Australian Confederation but operated by the New South Wales State Railway - connects Canberra to the country's rail network. The Canberra station located in the district Kingston. From here the NSW TrainLink offers a line to Sydney . There is no direct connection to Melbourne , so travelers have to change trains there in Goulburn . There were various plans to build a new high-speed line between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne , but these proved to be economically unsafe. The last study on this topic was published in 2013.
Sydney can be reached in three hours by car via the Federal Highway and the Hume Highway . The drive to Melbourne on the Barton Highway , which meets the Hume Highway at Yass, takes around seven hours. The ski areas in the Snowy Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park can be reached in two hours on the Monaro Highway . The drive on the Kings Highway to Batemans Bay , a popular seaside resort on the Pacific coast, also takes two hours . The companies Greyhound Australia and Murray coaches offer several times daily distance buses to Sydney and Melbourne.
From Canberra International Airport of flights offered in the Australian cities and individual regional airports in New South Wales. There are no scheduled flights abroad, only charter flights - especially during the holiday season - with some overseas destinations. The former Royal Australian Air Force Base Fairbairn right next to the airport was abandoned in 2003. Until then, civil and military aviation had shared the runways.
ACTEW Corporation , owned by the ACT government, is responsible for maintaining Canberra's water and wastewater infrastructure. ActewAGL , a joint venture of ACTEW Corporation and the Australian Gas Light Company , is the distribution company for supplying the city with water, natural gas and electricity. TransACT, a subsidiary of ActewAGL, also provides telecommunications services. The drinking water is collected in four reservoirs; at the Corin, Bendora and Cotter dams on the Cotter River and at the Googong dam on the Queanbeyan River . The latter is in New South Wales, but is operated by the ACT government. ACTEW Corporation owns Canberra's two wastewater treatment plants , located in Fyshwick and Lower Molonglo on the Molonglo River .
The electrical energy for Canberra comes from the national electricity grid and is fed in via substations in the districts of Holt and Fyshwick. In the Canberra area there are four solar parks with an installed capacity of more than 100 megawatts. Canberra's first power station, the Kingston Powerhouse , was in operation from 1913 to 1957.
As in other parts of Australia, terrestrial and mobile telecommunications services are offered by various competing companies. Most of the infrastructure is owned by Telstra , but TransACT also has a significant portion. On the Black Mountain the 195-meter high telecommunications tower is Black Mountain Tower (formerly Telstra Tower and before that Telecom Tower ).
Canberra has two major public hospitals , Canberra Hospital in Garran with 600 beds and Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce with 174 beds. Both are also teaching hospitals . Canberra's largest private hospital is Calvary John James Hospital (formerly John James Memorial Hospital) in Deakin. Other major healthcare providers include Calvary Private Hospital in Bruce and National Capital Private Hospital in Garran. In addition to serving the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), all public hospitals handle emergencies and referrals from the catchment area in southern New South Wales and the northern border region of Victoria .
The two main educational institutions are the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra (UC). The ANU was founded in 1946 and initially focused on research by postgraduate students. Even today, the main focus is on research. The ANU, which has around 10,500 students, is one of the best universities in the world according to the university rankings by Times Higher Education and the University of Shanghai. The UC, with around 8,000 students, is more focused on practical training. The Australian Catholic University and Charles Sturt University each have a theological faculty, the former in the Watson district and the latter in the vicinity of the new parliament building. There are also two military schools, the Australian Defense Force Academy and the Royal Military College . Canberra is the headquarters of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the government agency for scientific research. The achievements of the CSIRO include atomic spectroscopy and plastic banknotes . Southwest of the city, on the edge of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve , is the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex , a radar antenna station belonging to the Deep Space Network .
There were 132 schools in Canberra in 2016, 87 public and 45 private. The ratio of student numbers between the state and private schools is around 60 to 40 percent. When planning new parts of the city, care was taken to ensure that a preschool and a primary school were as close as possible . These schools are usually located next to a green area to enable sports and games. Attendance at preschool is not compulsory, but most children attend the government-funded twelve hours a week. Elementary school consists of seven grades, kindergarten and years 1 to 6. In years 7 to 10, young people attend high school , and in years 11 to 12 they attend college . This is in contrast to the rest of the country, where high school is 7th through 12th grade.
Since Canberra, as the capital, is also the center of political life in Australia, all the major media are represented in the city with branches. These include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation , the commercial television stations and the newspapers in the rest of the major cities. Many of these media are represented in the press gallery , a group of journalists reporting from Parliament. The National Press Club of Australia in Barton often broadcasts its weekly lunch, where a prominent guest, usually a politician, gives a half-hour speech followed by a question and answer session.
A daily newspaper appears in Canberra, the Canberra Times , which has existed since 1926 . In addition, there are free newspapers for the individual districts and a few publications for special areas of interest. Several analog television stations can be freely received in the city. These include the programs of the public service stations ABC and SBS as well as the three private stations Prime , WIN and Southern Cross . The digital stations ABC2 and SBS News can also be freely received. Foxtel offers a wide variety of pay-TV programs via satellite . Cable television and broadband internet are available from TransACT . Canberra also offers a wide variety of commercial and non-commercial radio programs .
- Alison Bai (* 1990), tennis player
- Andrew Barisic (born 1986), football player
- Alex Bird (* 1985), track cyclist
- Stewart Boswell (* 1978), squash player
- Melissa Breen (* 1990), sprinter
- Ellie Brush (* 1988), soccer player
- Tony Clark (born 1954), painter
- Isabel Coe (1951-2012), activist
- Dylan Cooper (born 1979), mountain biker
- Lara Cox (* 1978), actress
- Paul Crake (* 1976), racing cyclist
- Stef Dawson (born 1983), actress
- Annabel Ellwood (* 1978), tennis player
- Gracie Elvin (* 1988), racing cyclist
- Matthew Emerton (* 1971), mathematician
- Tobias Foskett (* 1975), conductor
- James Frawley (born 1994), tennis player
- Frank Gambale (* 1958), jazz guitarist
- Jordan Gavin (born 1982), ice hockey player
- Jason Geria (born 1993), football player
- Georgia Griffith (* 1996), middle distance runner
- Emma Guo (* 1995), chess player
- Lincoln Hall (1955–2012), climber and author
- Amber Halliday (* 1979), rower
- Belinda Halloran (* 1976), triathlete
- Nathan Hart (* 1993), track cyclist
- Francis Hegerty (* 1982), rower
- Kaden Hensel (* 1986), tennis player
- Patricia Hewitt (* 1948), British politician
- Liv Hewson (born 1995), actress
- Narelle Hill (* 1969), judoka
- Jacqui Katona (* 1966), activist
- Laura Keating (* 1979), squash player
- Brianna Keilar (* 1980), television presenter and journalist
- Matthew Kemp (born 1980), football player
- Nick Kyrgios (* 1995), tennis player
- Brent Larkham (born 1972), tennis player
- Stephen Larkham (born 1974), rugby player
- Todd Larkham (born 1974), tennis player
- Shane Lowry (* 1989), Irish-Australian football player
- Steven Lustica (born 1991), football player
- Hans Peter Manz (* 1955), Austrian diplomat
- Will Martina (* ≈1984), Australian jazz musician
- Brad Mathas (* 1993), New Zealand middle distance runner
- Michael Matthews (* 1990), racing cyclist
- James Meadley (* 1984), racing cyclist
- Thomas Meadowcroft (* 1972), composer
- Patty Mills (born 1988), basketball player
- Michael Milton (* 1973), ski racer
- Laura Moylan (* 1983), chess player
- Alexandra Nancarrow (* 1993), tennis player
- Campbell Newman (born 1963), politician
- Christine Nunn (* 1991), squash player
- Alex O'Loughlin (born 1976), actor
- Annerly Poulos (* 2003), tennis player
- Stuart Rendell (* 1972), track and field athlete
- Christopher Ride (born 1965), writer
- Tom Rogic (* 1992), football player
- Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw (* 1992), track and field athlete
- Mark Rummukainen (* 1982), ice hockey player
- Christoph M. Schmidt (* 1962), economist
- Anna Senior (* 1941), costume designer
- Josip Šimunić (* 1978), football player
- Eddie Smith (1926–1997), racing cyclist
- Neil Stephens (born 1963), racing cyclist
- Ross Stretton (1952-2005), ballet dancer and choreographer
- Reshad Strik (born 1981), actor
- Rory Sutherland (* 1982), racing cyclist
- George Timotheou (born 1997), football player
- Nikolai Topor-Stanley (* 1985), football player
- Carl Valeri (* 1984), football player
- Mia Wasikowska (* 1989), actress
- Ben Williams (* 1977), football referee
- Lincoln Younes (born 1992), actor
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