Going along the lines that things cost more in Canberra, I have recently discovered that the parking fines are cheaper in Melbourne (on average) than in Canberra. To confirm this yourself, feel free to call the Canberra Office and the Melbourne Office that deal with this particular item.
The average fine for staying longer in a space longer than the advertised allocated time is $58 in Melbourne, and $72 in Canberra. And it just goes up from there. Parking on a pedestrian crossing is in the several hundreds of dollars. Melbourne does not have such steep fines, but in fairness, Melbourne does have Clearway zones, and these can allow for your vehicle to be towed away. Canberra has no legistaltion (yet) allowing for the removal of vehicles from certain areas during certain times.
The city of Melbourne has approximately 3.8 million inhabitants, compared to the 350,000 inhabitants of Canberra. Based on that fact, maybe the city of Melbourne does not have to raise as much in revenue to try to pay for bettering the city. Examples can be seen in beautification, as well as pavement repair - as well as seasonal decoration (if you're visiting Melbourne at the moment, the city has a carpet of fairy lights hanging over the Bourke Street Mall for the Christmas festive period).
Where does the money go in Canberra? There is a lot of paving that needs to be repaired, and the Christmas decorations this year have been limited for a few banners in key streets as well as an odd oversized Christmas tree here and there.
My frustration at parking fines in Canberra basically came after getting fined the first time - incorrectly. The Canberra revenue office were nice enough to dismiss the charges - based on the fact that I had purchased a parking ticket, but it was partially obscured as it had moved on my dashboard to a hard to read area, when my vehicle was inspected. My initial thoughts was "How do they justify charging $72 for a fine, when there's nothing in Canberra to visit?"
On top of that, the on-street parking is limited. Off-street parking is also limited, and always comes with a cost. In Melbourne, you could park your car in a shopping centre like Chadstone, and shop for a day without paying a cent for parking. If you do the same thing at Westfield Woden, that will cost you $15 for parking alone! Maybe they have done it to deter office workers from parking in shopping car parks all day - and if this is the case, then it shows that a planned city's original idea has failed. Centralise the business area, don't spread it out amongst the satellite cities.
Do they seriously think they will attract new families to move in when the cost of living is higher than other cities in Australia?