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Baker, Keith
The contribution of interstate engineers in establishing the national capital
17th Engineering Heritage Conference: Canberra 100 - Building the Capital, Building the Nation
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2013, pp. 21-29

Following Federation, Commonwealth Departments were progressively formed and staff members were recruited, borrowed and developed as experience was gained in delivering new Federal functions. The newly formed Department of Home Affairs saw the need for a senior engineer, who as Director-general of Works had a key role in liaising with state government experts and building a works organisation. Expertise was drawn from the armed services, state governments and instrumentalities as well as the limited private sector in examining alternative sites for the capital, assessing the suitability of locations for essential services, facilitating a design competition once the site was decided, and establishing a range of engineering services on a relatively remote undeveloped site. The paper identifies the essential contribution of engineers and allied professionals from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania in the turbulent establishment of Canberra as the seat of Commonwealth Government and shows some of the remaining evidence that forms part of Canberra's rich heritage from the first quarter of the 20th Century.

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