Capital gets the mix right for families
Frank Giorgi with son Michael, is pleased that his family stayed in Canberra. Photo: Melissa Adams
Carpenter Frank Giorgi has lived in Canberra and Queanbeyan for most of his life, and reckons it is a good place to raise a family.
He and wife Michele live in Gungahlin with their four children aged 13, 10, seven and five, and Mr Giorgi said job opportunities and access to sports facilities and schools had kept them in the capital.
''There were times when we had the opportunity to move out, to Sydney, but we thought this was the best place for us, and we're grateful that we stayed,'' he said.
Mr Giorgi said the building industry had been strong in Canberra for a long time, offering him a steady stream of work, and his children were involved in soccer, rugby union and gymnastics, all close to home.
Canberra has been named the second most family friendly city in Australia, bettered only by Launceston.
The Suncorp Bank's Family Friendly City Index compared Australia's 30 most populous cities across 10 indicators, including crime rate, cost of housing and number of children per childcare centre, using publicly available data from government and private sources.
The capital ranked first of all the cities for median weekly disposable income, $1009, and internet connectivity, with more than 78 per cent of all households with broadband connections in their homes.
Canberrans were also the most likely to volunteer their time to an organisation or group, and had the lowest number of children per childcare centre.
The report's authors said this suggested children in Canberra enjoyed the least-crowded childcare centres and more time with carers.
But Canberra's high rate of reported crime and expensive housing kept it from claiming the most family friendly title.
Launceston was ranked first in just one category, education, with the lowest number of children per school in a 10-kilometre radius of the city. It also scored well in rates of reported crime, number of visits to a GP each year and cost of housing.
Suncorp executive manager Craig Fenwick said many regional cities had shown up the big capitals.
"The results reveal for the first time that many regional cities have a better balance of job opportunities, housing affordability, income, school sizes, health services, broadband access and lower crime rates," he said.