'Canberra has marvellous facilities'
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'Canberra has marvellous facilities'

SIR DAVID Attenborough built his global reputation on defending the environment. But the world's most famous naturalist has also put a surprising amount of energy into defending another lesser-known cause - Canberra.

Sir David has often visited the national capital for work and also to visit his son Dr Robert Attenborough, a senior lecturer in bioanthropology, at the Australian National University.

Sir David Attenborough.

Sir David Attenborough.

''I'm a great defender of Canberra, mostly against other Australians. You would know better than me what other Australians in other states say about Canberra, but as far as I'm concerned I think it's a great place, it's got marvellous facilities. I like your nature strips! I think they're terrific,'' Sir David said.

Having filmed previously at Tidbinbilla, Sir David said he always got back to Canberra as often as possible.

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According to son Robert, his family's links to the capital were more or less accidental.

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''I needed a job, one was advertised here, I applied, I was offered it - I accepted!''

So does the great naturalist support his son's choice of adopted home? ''Yes, I think it's an absolutely fabulous place to live.'' SCOTT HANNAFORD