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‘Move Canberra to South Australia’

By Michele Levine, Gary Morgan & Julian McCrann, Roy Morgan Research

By Michele Levine,  Gary Morgan & Julian McCrann, Roy Morgan Research

‘Move Canberra to South Australia’ is the quickest way of solving Australia’s economic problems including massive unemployment, Michele Levine (CEO, Roy Morgan Research) claimed at Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation presented in Melbourne yesterday.

Roy Morgan State of the Nation – Focus on Politics and the Federal Election full Presentation PDF available here.

Moving Canberra should head the list of what Australia must do – first outlined in 2013 by Michele Levine: 

  • Increase workplace productivity – work 24/7 – tackle unemployment & under-employment by elimination of outdated work ‘rewards’ – union rorts
  • Eliminate the cash economy
  • Jail for Government & corporate corruption -  Politicians, Public Servants, Judiciary and Business Leaders – including tax evasion
  • Real competition in the private sector
  • Open Government tenders – too many ‘tenders’ now awarded to ‘mates’
  • Accurate Government data.
  • ABS should be closed! And Canberra should be closed

Why South Australia?

The end of the mining boom – which has resulted in significant job losses throughout Australia’s mining and energy industries has recently struck a large blow against one of South Australia’s largest industrial employers: Arrium – a large iron ore miner and steel manufacturer was placed in administration in early April and the potential closure of Arrium plants threatens over 10,000 jobs, most of which are in South Australia. The imminent closure of the Australian automotive industry is a significant problem which will also disproportionately hit the South Australian economy over the next 12-24 months – and beyond.

Thankfully, there is a solution: Canberra must be relocated to South Australia.

Australians often complain that our Federal politicians in Canberra are ‘detached from reality’ living in the Canberra Bubble – a place like no other in Australia. Canberra was originally constituted as a compromise between Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and modelled on another created city: Washington DC. However, the Australian economy is very different to the United States. The US is a country of 320 million people and three American States (California, Texas and New York) have larger GDPs than the entire Australian economy put together.

Clearly Australia as a country is not directly comparable to the United States, and the reasoning behind the compromise choice of Canberra for our nation’s Capital is no longer relevant.

Australia’s capital must be moved to Adelaide so that our Federal politicians are immersed in an environment of real Australians and see the real issues facing Australians on a day-to-day basis.

Canberra’s ‘detachment from reality’ stems from the fact its population is disproportionately comprised of public sector workers – far more than the general Australian economy, and when the economy hits trouble Canberra is insulated from the real impacts of economic change because of this reliance on the public sector (In State of the Nation you’ll see that Australia-wide public sector workers have become more inclined to vote Liberal since Malcolm Turnbull came to power – see slide 70 in the presentation).

South Australia is facing many challenging economic times over the next few years, and indeed has over the past few decades – the decline of Australian manufacturing is a long-term problem for South Australia. By relocating Australia’s capital to the shores of the Gulf St. Vincent, the South Australian economy will receive an immediate boost – and place Australia’s politicians closer to the people they represent.

Adelaide is three times the size of Canberra and in many ways provides a great representation of ‘middle’ Australia. By giving Adelaide the responsibility to lead the nation, the city will be revitalised and reinvigorated by a renewed sense of purpose that the decline of manufacturing has dented. South Australia consistently has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and drastic measures must be taken to turn the ‘good ship Adelaide’ around, including revitalising the Ghan Express to Darwin – resulting in a significant increase in the number of Darwin Defence personnel.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has frequently talked about how ‘there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian’. This statement rings hollow in South Australia, but it’s ok Mr. Turnbull, if you’re serious about real reforms to the Australian economy and reengaging ‘middle’ Australia – there is a solution at hand.

Relocate Canberra to South Australia and watch the economy take off!

For further information:




Gary Morgan:

+61 3 9224 5213

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:

+61 3 9224 5215

+61 411 129 093