Capital movement

'Out-of-place' capital Canberra wins spot in hearts of Aussies

Australia's federal Parliament building in Canberra. The capital city used to be dismissed by others in the country as dull, lifeless and isolated. But with its rapid development, that perception has changed.
Australia's federal Parliament building in Canberra. The capital city used to be dismissed by others in the country as dull, lifeless and isolated. But with its rapid development, that perception has changed.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Indonesia last week announced its choice of East Kalimantan as the site for its new administrative centre to relieve the strain on Jakarta. The Sunday Times looks at the experiences of Malaysia and Australia in creating new capitals.

When the Australian colonies united to form an independent nation in 1901, neither of the two biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, would agree to the other being the capital.

Instead, the new federal Parliament was temporarily placed in Melbourne, then the most developed city, until a compromise location was found.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline ''Out-of-place' capital wins spot in hearts of Aussies'. Print Edition | Subscribe