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Why was Sydney not the capital of Australia?
Australia is a country with a rich history and culture. Its capital, Canberra, is a relatively young city that was established to resolve the rivalry between two of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.
Many people wonder why Sydney, with its iconic Opera House and stunning harbor, was not chosen as the capital of Australia. In this article, we will explore the history behind the decision and why Canberra was ultimately chosen as the capital city.
The Early Years of Australia
In the early years of Australia, Sydney was the largest and most important city in the country. It was the site of the first British settlement in Australia in 1788 and quickly became the center of trade and commerce. However, as Australia grew and developed, other cities began to emerge as important economic and cultural centers.
The Capital Controversy
In the late 19th century, the question of where to locate the capital of Australia became a hotly debated topic. At the time, Melbourne was the largest city in Australia and was considered the cultural capital of the country. However, Sydney was also a major contender for the title of capital, given its status as the oldest and most established city in Australia.
The Decision to Build a New Capital
In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was established, and the question of where to locate the capital became even more pressing. The Constitution of Australia stated that the capital had to be located in New South Wales, but it did not specify a particular city. After much debate, it was decided that a new capital city would be built somewhere between Sydney and Melbourne.
The Search for a Capital Site
The search for a suitable site for the new capital began in 1908. A number of locations were considered, including Albury, Tumut, and Dalgety. However, none of these locations were deemed suitable for various reasons, including their distance from major cities and their lack of suitable water sources.
The Establishment of Canberra
In 1911, the site for the new capital was finally chosen. It was located in the Australian Capital Territory, which had been established specifically for this purpose. The new city was named Canberra, and construction began in 1913.
See Related: How culturally diverse is Sydney?
Why Sydney Was Not Chosen
So why was Sydney not chosen as the capital of Australia? There were several reasons. Firstly, Sydney was already a large and established city, which meant that it would have been difficult and taxing for it to be the capital city of Australia.