CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM FOR CANBERRA - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM FOR CANBERRA

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  1. CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM FOR CANBERRA Roger Wettenhall ANZSOG Institute for Governance University of Canberra Paper for Centenary Canberra – past, present and futures conference 20-21 August 2013

  2. A Monument to Creativity Canberra centenary celebrations emphasise creativity. Creativity in designing government systems not often noted. My view: all that has happened in designing the Canberra system deserves to be acknowledged as a creative achievement

  3. Before the Europeans There were Indigenous people here before the arrival of the Europeans This rarely recognised in studies of ACT government and politics Indigenous influence on naming of Canberra in 1913: ‘a meeting place’

  4. Through the 1800s European settlement from 1820s From 1840s: part of developing NSW local government system Special case of Queanbeyan – otherwise part of Yarrowlumla Shire Functioning under laws of NSW

  5. Establishing the Federal Capital Territory 2 Acts in 1909: Seat of Government Surrender (NSW) Seat of Government Acceptance (Commonwealth) Followed by Commonwealth’s 1910 Seat of Government (Administration) Act Note: not called ACT until 1938

  6. Establishing the Federal Capital Territory Commonwealth busy establishing its own government system in Melbourne No appropriate Australian models for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) O’Malley raised District of Columbia as possible model (1910) Negatives for FCT to overcome: seen as ‘the bush’ and ‘born in adversity’

  7. Five large challenges Grand vs small ideas A social laboratory Breaking away from Melbourne Creating distinct identity Reluctance to allow democracy

  8. Grand ideas vssmall ideas O’Malley: ‘An Australian federal city that will rival London in population, Paris in beauty, Athens in culture and Chicago in enterprise’ Deakin: ‘a mere 300 or so public servants would be permanently located there’ Historian Warren Denning (1930s): the story of Canberra 'entered the realm of farce as soon as the shouting died’ Remember: Canberra named in 1913

  9. A social laboratory Henry George League influence Barton and land ownership: ‘we won’t play into the hands of speculators’ Leasehold system has survived and created favourable environment for exercises in town panning for which Canberra has become famous Ministers use Canberra to set example to states Under O’Malley, an exercise in temperance! PLUS: the novelty (for Australia) of combining state-type and municipal functions in a single governance system

  10. Breaking away from Melbourne Effectively a colony for many years Parliament and departments all in Melbourne Dept of Home Affairs Secretary becomes FCT Administrator (one officer, two positions) Early days: just a construction site Primitive living conditions

  11. Breaking away from Melbourne (2) Many communication challenges: leading figures live in Melbourne long train trip via Yass(to Yass by horse & carriage) change trains overnight at Albury(different NSW & Vic rail gauges)

  12. Creating distinct identity Slow development of FCT administration 1921 FCT Advisory Committee 1924 Federal Capital Commission 1927 Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra 1938 Some sense of separateness – name now ACT Many departments now involved, but still Melbourne-based

  13. Distinctive identity? Menzies-era changes Most departments moved to Canberra only in 1950s and ‘60s Created big population expansion Need for National Capital Development Commission The lake as a huge symbolic development

  14. ‘Reluctant democrats’* 1910 legislation anticipated a legislative council, but not implemented – until 1988 1920s - local demands for representative institutions …but resisted because ‘FCT belonged to all the people of Australia’ Notion of the two Canberrasemerges: Canberra as federal capital, and Canberra as a place to live

  15. Towards democracy In public, the debate on democracy continued (1960s - 80s) Public servants(like Tony Blunn, John Enfield and Bill Harris) worked behind the scenes to develop a coherent sense of ACT government Needed because of: distorted allocation of resources that came from fragmented administration and from NCDC’s independent decisions on capital expenditures

  16. Democracy arrives Emergence of a single ACT ‘fiscus’ a big step towards self-government Creative innovations in the settlement of self-government: proportional voting (but how?) modified Westminster retaining state-municipal combination Farcical first election

  17. Machinery innovations Public service and budgetary systems separated from the Commonwealth Other ACT framework laws enacted Borrowings: Tasmanian electoral, NZ/NSW system for state-owned enterprises Now, Officers of the Legislative Assembly?

  18. New context, new system A ‘Canberra model’ emerges in own right A possible model for a regional Australia The term ‘city-state’ used, expressing originality and creativity (in the Australian context)

  19. Recent reviews Pettit Review (1998) allays continuing controversies Review of Self-Government (by Assembly Standing Committee 2011-12) generally positive Halligan report Latimer House principles Hawke Review (2011): ACT public service a single entity departments become directorates wants review of arm’s length bodies (around 180)

  20. Conclusion No appropriate Australian models The novelty (in the Australian context) of combining state- and municipal-type functions in a single system Big challenges at all stages of the development of the ACT system of government Much creativity involved

  21. As we celebrate the centenary of Canberra, the creativity involved in developing the modern Canberra system of government warrants recognition– along with the creativity in Canberra’s architectural, literary, artistic, landscape and other fields of endeavour.