Australian capital territory: January to June 2018

Brendan McCaffrie

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


In the first half of 2018, Territory politics was dominated by familiar concerns. The political debate continued to focus on issues of integrity, particularly in land development decisions, on increases to rates payments, and on the proposed second stage of the Light Rail project. The Alistair Coe-led Liberal Opposition continued to portray Chief Minister Andrew Barr, and his government as corrupt and out of touch. Barr gave the Opposition a significant opportunity in March, with his widely publicised negative comments targeting journalists. Similarly, a steady stream of revelations in the land development area emanated from the Auditor General’s ongoing investigation into various government land deals. The Barr government has been politically weakened but only slightly; most criticisms were not new and while many pointed to governance problems, steady economic news, a grand vision for the redevelopment of Canberra, and an Opposition party whose ideology is not a natural fit with Canberra voters helped to maintain the feel of an impregnable one-party state (or territory). In another jurisdiction, it would be difficult to see a seventeen-year-old government with as many image problems as this one continuing beyond the next election, but in the Australian Capital Territory this possibility cannot be discounted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-711
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


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