Isn't it Great to Live in Canberra?

Nic Crowther
Wed 20 May

Oh, it’s a topsy-turvy world in which we live. One minute Canberra is being promoted by all it’s citizens as THE BEST CITY IN THE WORLD TO LIVE IN only to discover two weeks later that our economy is the second worst in the country. What does all this mean for our prone little capital?

Are we destined to live longer and better than any of our country folk, or has Joe Hockey clung naked to the wrecking ball of the Federal budget in order to hammer the local coffers.

What gives? Well, the answer is kind of ‘Both’ given we’re actually discussing two different things.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (or OECD) is the mob who have anointed Canberra as the place to be. Long-time Canberrans wouldn’t need convincing. We all know about the amazing pay-rates, the relatively hassle-free traffic and good education opportunities.

The OECD agrees… IN SPADES… rating Canberra above other traditionally high-scoring cities across the world including Stockholm, Sweden and New Hampshire in the US.  In allocating Canberra top spot, the OECD awarded our town perfect scores for income, civic engagement and safety. Good work Canberra! 

You can read more and drill down through the data at the OECD Regional Well-Being website.

Not all of Canberra is six-figure salaries and lovely bike paths. CommSec recently released its State of the States report and, somewhat unsurprisingly given the last 12 months, the news is not great.  To quote: “…rising unemployment has affected growth of consumer spending and business investment.”

This may raise a few eyebrows around Canberra for those who had seen a restriction in Government spending more likely to affect the budgets at the top end of town rather than result in straight-out unemployment.

While we’re certainly not as down in the dumps as Tasmania, but have slipped down to the third tier which also includes South Australia. In previous reports we were in with Victoria, Queensland and the other resources powerhouse, the Northern Territory.

The for those playing at home, New South Wales was the overall victor for the first time in four years… knocking Western Australia off the top spot as the sandgropers come off the mining boom and continue to wonder why they still have to pay $6.00 for a coffee.

OECD indicators:

  • Income
  • Jobs
  • Health
  • Access to services
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Safety
  • Civic engagement
  • Housing

Commsec indicators:

  • Economic growth
  • Retail spending
  • Equipment
  • Investment
  • Unemployment
  • Construction work done
  • Population growth
  • Housing finance and dwelling commencements