Sunday, November 05, 2006

Starting Over

Watching The Lost City of New Orleans tonight rekindled a few questions I've had lately: how many times in history have cities/towns just packed up and left to start over? What prompted it (natural disaster, resource depletion, recognition of a lack of foresight in planning)? What level of devastation (short of complete) would it take for a population to sacrifice the infrastructure and emotional ties they'd built up to start again?

Those questions got me to thinking about our national capital. Wasn't there ever a moment when the early Canberrans looked back at their first few years, recognised that the summers were bloody hot & winters bloody cold & thought 'what the hell are we doing here?' ? Didn't anyone ever say " Look this free sheep station was nice & all, but we really should be going" ? Were the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry and need to be away from the coast (threat of naval bombardment) the only things keeping them here?

If another massive fire came through and took most of the city, would the rest go? If so, where would they rebuild the capital? I'd go coastal; send the Army to annex Byron Bay for the ACT. I'm picturing a Parliament House with a veranda facing the sea, complete with louvers to let the sea breeze flow through the chambers. The sea scent and the opportunity to hit the beach before question time could have a calming effect on our dear leaders.

Or would they rebuild here, putting aside practical reasons for leaving in favour of staying the course and man resisting & conquering the elements or some other emotive crap?

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Posted by Dean @ 11/05/2006 09:24:00 pm

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I thought they *wanted* sea access (hence the Jervis Bay joke) rather than feared it?

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:54:00 pm #
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