As a city of over 350,000 people, Canberra plays many roles – it is our national capital, host to the Australian Government, home to famous national institutions and monuments, and internationally recognised for the quality of its education and research institutions.
However, Canberra is not just the nation’s capital; it is also the centre of a unique city-state jurisdiction serving the people of the ACT and an economic and service centre for south-east NSW. As a result Canberra has the identity of a national, territory and regional capital.
Canberra is commonly referred to as the ‘bush capital’, and is known for its clean air, open spaces and family-friendly way of life. Canberrans also have access to world class cultural institutions and collections, and a calendar of vibrant events, including the Enlighten, Canberra, and Multicultural Festivals, and Floride.
The ACT also has a strong economy. The presence of the Commonwealth Government, embassies and tertiary institutions, regional reach, and vibrant business community, provide business and industry with unique access to research, information, key decision-makers and the chance to explore international markets.
In 2013, Canberra celebrated its centenary - 100 years since Lady Denman, wife of then Governor-General Lord Denman, announced that the name of the new Australian capital would be Canberra. The Centenary provided the opportunity to celebrate the history and heritage of one of the most enduring planned cities in the world, and at the same time highlighted its lively present and bright future.
Chief Minister Profile
Andrew Barr MLA
Andrew has been a member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly since April 2006, and became ACT Chief Minister in December 2014. He is also the ACT Treasurer, as well as the Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Housing, and Minister for Tourism and Events.
Andrew believes in modern Labor values of responsible economic management and progressive social reform. His priorities in the Legislative Assembly include promoting Canberra's economic development and investing in public infrastructure such as hospitals, public transport, schools, and sport and recreation facilities.
He was elevated straight into Cabinet upon his election to the Legislative Assembly, and has previously been Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Community Services and Minister for Children and Young People.