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The fountain at the front of the Canberra Centre Shopping Complex in the heart of the city.

Although Canberra is not part of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory is surrounded by the state. It is here that the thriving and rapidly expanding national capital, Canberra, is home to the country's public servants and politicians. Of course, it has grown so rapidly over the past thirty years that it is now a lot more than politicians and public servants. Canberra is an artificial city. It did not grow up because of a natural need or natural advantages. It grew up as a compromise. It is a city created as a result of interstate rivalries between New South Wales and Victoria. In 1908, after much debate, it was decided that 2,330 square kilometres of sheep grazing land in New South Wales would become the site for the capital city.

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