ABC Canberra - 2CN - AM 666 - Canberra, ACT

The site upon which sits the capital of Australia has been occupied for nearly 30,000 years and is recognised as being the land of the ... See more Ngunnawal people. European settlement saw the region settled and farmed from about the 1820s, as agriculture and railways spread into the new colony of New South Wales. The Australian Capital Territory and the city of Canberra were born as a result of our fledgling federation of states being unable to decide over a site for the Federal Parliament. Rumour has it that the party charged with exploring the options, having spent a few very hot and uncomfortable days further south on the Monaro plains, came over the hill to see the Molonglo river valley, lush, beautiful and enticing, lying before them. Their stay was so pleasant that this area was chosen from the short list. In 1912 Walter Burley Griffin won a competition to design the capital, planning what in his mind would be the ideal city, having never seen the site. In the early days the temporary Parliament House, built in 1927, but that ultimately housed Parliament for over 60 years, was surrounded by sheep paddocks stretching down to the Molonglo River. In the 1960s Walter Burley Griffin's plan for a great lake was realised with the construction of Scrivener Dam and the flooding of the Molonglo Valley. Since then, Canberra's spread to the south with the development of Weston Creek, Woden and more recently Tuggeranong, and to the North into Belconnen and now Gungahlin is the primary centre of urban growth. The population of Canberra is over 350,000. Major towns of the area include Yass and Goulburn, both originally rail stops and rural hubs, now well know as way-points on the Hume Highway journey between Sydney and Melbourne. To the South lies Cooma, a boom town in the days of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, today it's known as the gateway to the Snowy Mountains. The greater part of the ACT is covered by Namadgi National Park and the Brindabella Mountains, which from part of the Australian Alps National Park, itself stretching all the way to the Victorian border.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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