'The Bush Capital' Canberra's new number plate slogan
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'The Bush Capital' Canberra's new number plate slogan

Canberra really is "The Bush Capital" – at least according to our new number plate slogan.

The city's long-time nickname claimed more than 1600 votes and beat out "Ngunnawal Country" (1058 votes) and "Driving the Nation" (479 votes) to become the new catchcry of the territory's number plates.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the brand new slogan for ACT number plates 'Canberra - The Bush Capital' at the National Arboretum on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the brand new slogan for ACT number plates 'Canberra - The Bush Capital' at the National Arboretum on Tuesday.Credit:Lannon Harley/ ACT Government

Meanwhile, the widely mocked "Feel the Power of Canberra" will be phased out along with four others after Canberrans voted overwhelmingly to keep "Canberra – The Nation's Capital" out of the existing five slogans.

"Age Friendly City" attracted just 45 votes to be the most unpopular slogan on offer, while "Feel the Power of Canberra" fared a little better, with 383 votes.

The government held a competition for Canberra's new number plate slogan.

The government held a competition for Canberra's new number plate slogan.Credit:ACT Government

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With 2292 votes, "Canberra – The Nation's Capital" proved to be the most popular existing number plate suggestion.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the new slogan on Tuesday after a long-running public voting competition that inspired both delight and derision nationwide.

The government received almost 2000 suggestions for a new slogan after opening submissions last October.

After almost a month of polling, and more than 8000 votes, the three leading slogans were 'Canberra - The Bush Capital', 'Canberra - Ngunnawal Country' and 'Canberra - Driving the Nation'.

This "Feel the Power" jet was used in a campaign to promote Canberra under former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell's government in 1998.

This "Feel the Power" jet was used in a campaign to promote Canberra under former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell's government in 1998.

Among the existing plates, 'Canberra - The National Capital', 'Canberra - Heart of the Nation' and the Parliament House image were the hot favourites.

"Canberrans will be able to choose between the two slogans when they come into circulation later this year," Mr Barr said in a statement.

"I'm encouraged by the enthusiasm of Canberrans who engaged in this process and the Government will look at further ways we can have similar discussions with the community in the future."

"Canberra – the Nation's Capital" has remained the territory's most popular plates despite being around since 1979, still decorating more than 133,000 vehicles.

"Canberra – Heart of the Nation" is the slogan of choice for almost 59,000 vehicles, while nearly 43,000 read "Celebration of a Century".

The new number plate slogan will go into circulation later this year.

New number plate slogan:

  1. Canberra – The Bush Capital (1671 votes, 38 per cent)
  2. Ngunnawal Country (1058 votes, 24 per cent)
  3. CBR – Driving the Nation (479 votes, 11 per cent)
  4. CBR – Australia's Cool Capital (366 votes, 8 per cent)
  5. Australia's Meeting Place (315 votes, 7 per cent)
  6. CBR – For All Seasons (140 votes, 3 per cent)
  7. CBR – Green and Clean (118 votes, 3 per cent)
  8. CBR – City of Diversity (87 votes, 2 per cent)
  9. CBR – Brilliant Possibilities (70 votes, 2 per cent)
  10. CBR – An Active City (65 votes, 1 per cent)
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Total votes : 4369

Existing plate slogan to keep:

  1. Canberra – The Nation's Capital (2292 votes, 50 per cent)
  2. Canberra – Heart of the Nation (1101 votes, 24 per cent)
  3. Parliament House (image) (746 votes, 16 per cent)
  4. Feel the Power of Canberra (383 votes, 8 per cent)
  5. Canberra – Age Friendly City (45 votes, 1 per cent)

Total votes: 4567

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.