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Gary Morgan's Attack on the role of the National Capital Rejected by Federal Government

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Media Statement - SI7/98 Page 1 ef-2"

Other M edia Statements [Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Govemmentl [Minister for Transport and Regional Development!

[Michael Ronaldson, Parliamentary Secretary! [Departmental!

M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX S( Minister for Regional Development, Territories and I SI 7/98 3 March 1998


The Federal Minister for Territories, Alex Somlyay said pollster, Gary Morgan has used the Melbourne Federation Convention as an opportunity to gain a headline at the expense of Australia's national capital, Canberra.

"It is appropriate for Mr Morgan to raise serious issues about the nation's poor perception of Canberra as indicated by his polling. If some people in Australia see Canberra in a negative light because of the links with politicians and government agencies then we have to set about rectifying this attitude in other parts of the nation.

I see my role as Minister is to change the negative perception of the seat of government and to build respect for our national institutions in the same way as U.S. citizens respect Washington D.C.

"I believe Canberra is our symbol of the Australian nation and the place where the Federal Parliament meets to conduct the nation's business.

"This government is joining with Canberrans to further promote this city as the national capital with the spending on the National Museum of Australia and the announcement that Canberra will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2001," said Mr Somlyay.

He said he rejected the concept outlined by Mr Morgan that Canberra should move to Sydney and that Federal Parliament should sit in State capitals on a rotation basis.

"The Coalition Government has held cabinet meetings in regional centres to take soundings in regional Australia which is entirely appropriate," said Mr Somlyay.

Further information: Graeme Hallett (Minister's Office) 02-6277 7060 04/06/1998