The Federal Capital

The Brisbane Courier

30 August 1923

Exactly twenty years ago a large party of Federal politicians, after a hearty champagne banquet under the trees on those rolling plains that Hamilton Hume discovered a little more than a hundred years ago, feasted their eyes on the beautiful Murrumbidgee valleys and the rugged mountains to the south, and decided that Canberra should be the future Federal capital; and that night, at another banquet, the citizens were told that before the end of the year 1910 the new Parliament would be transferred to Canberra.

It was not until five years later, however, that the second Deakin Government introduced the necessary Bill for the definite selection of the site, and on the eve of a dissolution the Canberra site was chosen and adopted, the ballot in the House of Representatives being 39 for Yass-Canberra and 33 for Dalgety, and in the Senate 19 for Yass-Canberra and 17 for Tumut.

That Bill received the Royal assent at the end of the year 1908. Now, nearly fifteen years, later, the first sod of the foundations of the new Parliament House has been turned in a somewhat melodramatic manner; and it is claimed that within three years the seat of Government will have been removed to Canberra.

The work of building a new capital will be expensive, but it will be worth the money.

Australian development has been retarded by the political log-rolling of Melbourne; and Commonwealth politics will be all the purer for being outside the direct influence either of Melbourne or Sydney.