Australia’s best city (according to the people who live there)

New research has found that Hobartians are the most satisfied with their city.

New research has found that Hobartians are the most satisfied with their city. Photo: Getty

Sydney and Melbourne may be locked in a perennial battle for supremacy, but new research suggests that Hobart is Australia’s best capital city – at least according to the people who live there.

A survey of close to 3000 residents of Australia’s state and territory capitals (excluding Darwin) has found that Hobartians are by far the most satisfied with their city.

The Essential Research poll found 47 per cent of people in Hobart thought their city was an “excellent place to live” compared to 38 per cent in Canberra, 35 per cent in Adelaide, 31 per cent in Perth, 30 per cent in Melbourne, 26 per cent in Brisbane, and 25 per cent in Sydney.

The overall satisfaction with Australia’s cities was high, with 87 per cent of respondents rating their city as a good place to live (ranging from ‘fairly good’ to ‘excellent’).

Only 9 per cent said their city was ‘average’, while 4 per cent thought their city was not a very good or bad place to live.

Growing pains

Commissioned by the Property Council of Australia (PCA), the survey also quizzed respondents on their attitudes towards population growth before next week’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, where heads of commonwealth, state and territory governments will discuss a new framework for better managing the impacts of population growth.

More than three-quarters of respondents said population growth is good as long as it is properly planned, with the vast majority pinning the blame for problems faced by growing cities on inadequate planning by governments.

Concerns about growth were greatest in the east coast capitals, with 72 per cent of respondents from Melbourne and 70 per cent in Sydney saying their city was growing too fast, followed by 60 per cent of Brisbane.

By contrast, only 36 per cent of respondents from Adelaide thought their city was growing too fast, compared to 44 per cent in Canberra, 46 per cent in Hobart and 46 per cent in Perth.

PCA chief executive Ken Morrison said the results showed while Australians were feeling some growing pains in major cities, especially Melbourne and Sydney, they strongly favoured better planning to manage growth in the future.

“Australians are strikingly positive about their cities, with nine out of 10 people saying they are good to great places to live,” Mr Morrison said.

“But people don’t believe we’ve done a good enough job of planning for growth and are looking for better outcomes from governments at all levels.

“This survey shows Australians are not against growth, but they want it better planned and managed.”

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