Because Canberra was founded as the nation’s capital, and its home of government, a large proportion of its workers are public servants. Initially, public servants were brought in from other places such as Melbourne and Sydney. People who knew Canberra in the early days would say there were more public servants than other workers.
According to the Australian Public Service Commission, 152,095 people work for the Australian Federal Government nationwide (excluding the Australian Defence Force).
A large chunk of that workforce — 38% to be exact — is based in Canberra, meaning you’re much more likely to bump into a public servant in the ACT than elsewhere.
Then there are the ACT Government jobs. Of course, 100 per cent of ACT Government jobs are located within the territory. The ACT Government employs 21,950 public servants.
So, either way you look at it, when you combine the Federal and Territory Governments public service workforce, that’s a LOT of offices!
Treasury Offices, Canberra