History

Selecting a Capital Territory

How the Canberra area came to be Australia’s capital territory is a story that has been told a number of times.[i] But there is a tendency for such accounts to treat its choice as the happy ending of the tale, whereas the turbulence of the selection process would rather suggest that the outcome was not necessarily optimal. Here the tale is briefly told again but without the presupposition that today’s Australian Capital Territory was predestined by its natural qualities to become the seat of the federal government. In the process a rather baffling discrepancy emerges. The story may be said…

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