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CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM …

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CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM FOR CANBERRA
RogerWettenhallANZSOG Institute for GovernanceUniversity of CanberraPaper forCentenary Canberra – past, present and futuresconference20-21 August 2013
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A Monument to Creativity
Canberracentenary celebrationsemphasise creativity.Creativity indesigning government systemsnot often noted.My view: all that has happened indesigning the Canberra systemdeserves to be acknowledged as a creative achievement
August 20, 2013
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Before the Europeans
There wereIndigenous peoplehere before the arrival of the EuropeansThisrarely recognisedin studies of ACT government and politicsIndigenous influence onnaming of Canberrain 1913: ‘a meeting place’
August 20, 2013
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Through the 1800s
European settlement from 1820sFrom 1840s: part of developing NSW local government systemSpecial case of Queanbeyan – otherwise part ofYarrowlumlaShireFunctioning under laws of NSW
August 20, 2013
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Establishing theFederal Capital Territory
2 Acts in 1909:Seat of Government Surrender(NSW)Seat of Government Acceptance(Commonwealth)Followed by Commonwealth’s 1910Seat of Government(Administration)ActNote: not called ACT until 1938
August 20, 2013
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Establishing theFederal Capital Territory
Commonwealth busy establishing its own government system in MelbourneNo 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’
August 20, 2013
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Five large challenges
GrandvssmallideasAsocial laboratoryBreaking away fromMelbourneCreating distinctidentityReluctance to allowdemocracy
August 20, 2013
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Grand ideasvssmall 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 WarrenDenning (1930s): the story ofCanberra 'enteredthe realm of farce as soon as the shouting died’Remember: Canberra named in 1913
August 20, 2013
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A social laboratory
Henry GeorgeLeagueinfluenceBarton and land ownership: ‘we won’t play into the hands of speculators’Leasehold systemhas survived and created favourable environment for exercises in town panning for which Canberra has become famousMinisters useCanberra to set example to statesUnder O’Malley, an exercise intemperance!PLUS: the novelty (for Australia) of combiningstate-type and municipalfunctions in a single governance system
August 20, 2013
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Effectively a colony for many yearsParliament and departments all in MelbourneDept of Home Affairs Secretary becomes FCT Administrator (one officer, two positions)Early days: just a construction sitePrimitive living conditions
August 20, 2013
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Breaking away from Melbourne
Breaking away from Melbourne (2)
Many communication challenges:leading figures live in Melbournelong train trip via Yass(to Yass by horse & carriage)change trains overnight at Albury(different NSW & Vic rail gauges)
August 20, 2013
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Creating distinct identity
Slow development of FCT administration1921FCT Advisory Committee1924Federal Capital Commission1927Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra1938Some sense of separateness – name now ACTMany departments now involved, butstill Melbourne-based
August 20, 2013
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Distinctive identity?
Menzies-erachangesMost departmentsmoved to Canberraonly in 1950s and ‘60sCreated bigpopulation expansionNeed for National Capital Development CommissionThelakeas a huge symbolic development
August 20, 2013
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‘Reluctant democrats’*
1910legislation anticipated a legislative council, butnot implemented – until 19881920s- local demands for representative institutions…butresistedbecause ‘FCT belonged to all the people of Australia’Notion of thetwoCanberrasemerges:Canberra asfederal capital, andCanberra as aplace to live
August 20, 2013
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Towards democracy
In public, thedebateon democracy continued(1960s - 80s)Public servants(like TonyBlunn, John Enfield and Bill Harris)workedbehind the scenesto develop a coherent sense of ACT governmentNeeded because of:distorted allocation of resourcesthat came from fragmented administrationand fromNCDC’sindependent decisions on capital expenditures
August 20, 2013
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Democracy arrives
Emergence of a single ACT ‘fiscus’ abig steptowards self-governmentCreative innovations in the settlement of self-government:proportional voting (but how?)modified Westminsterretaining state-municipal combinationFarcical first election
August 20, 2013
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Machinery innovations
Public service and budgetary systems separated from the CommonwealthOther ACT framework laws enactedBorrowings: Tasmanian electoral, NZ/NSW system for state-owned enterprisesNow, Officers of the Legislative Assembly?
August 20, 2013
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New context, new system
A ‘Canberra model’ emerges in own rightA possible model for aregional AustraliaTheterm ‘city-state’ used, expressing originality and creativity(in the Australian context)
August 20, 2013
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Recent reviews
Pettit Review(1998) allays continuing controversiesReview of Self-Government(by Assembly Standing Committee2011-12) generally positiveHalliganreportLatimer House principlesHawke Review(2011):ACT public service a single entitydepartments become directorateswants review of arm’s length bodies (around 180)
August 20, 2013
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Conclusion
No appropriate Australian modelsThenovelty(in the Australian context) ofcombining state- and municipal-typefunctions in a single systemBigchallenges at all stagesof the development of the ACT system of governmentMuch creativityinvolved
August 20, 2013
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As we celebrate the centenary of Canberra, thecreativityinvolved indeveloping the modern Canberra system of governmentwarrants recognition– along with the creativity in Canberra’s architectural, literary, artistic, landscape and other fields of endeavour.
August 20, 2013
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CREATIVITY IN ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT SYSTEM …