It appears that when the year draws towards vacation time (ie. around December and January), many Canberrians (some of them may have read this blog) do not like staying in Canberra, and decide to leave it. So this observation is around the exodus mentality that spreads across the region.
Canberrians must know that their city is boring. There is nothing to do here. So when any vacation time is allocated, they leave. There is not enough entertainment or excitement in Canberra to retain its own residents.
I see this as a problem, for the few people that are required to stay (usually not the public servants), have to keep an existence up. The problem is that with the majority of the population gone, most of the supporting services (eg. shops, cafes, restaurants) also will close and take their leave. I guess they're making the call that it costs too much to stay open, while there are no clients or customers to frequent their establishments.
I went shopping last night in the Canberra Centre Shopping Centre. They do not ever have mid-week late night shopping. They advertised that they would stay open until 10pm. Upon arrival, I found that you'd probably find more shoppers on a Sunday morning in Chadstone Shopping Centre than the amount of shoppers I saw last night. Being so close to Christmas, either Canberrians are very organised and do their gift buying earlier in the year, they do it while they are "on leave", or they are just not willing to provide life and atmosphere. As a result, around 30% of the stores were shut by 8pm. There is no possible way Canberra would ever host a "round the clock" shopping experience, as Canberra's own residence have already vacated the region.
The local government should reverse the mentality by keeping the place interesting enough to retain their own residents. And not with once off niche events like SummerNats. I'm sure enough people have good ideas to make Canberra interesting.
Lastly, if you're finding these entries too much to read, try what someone else has done - tweeted about how Canberra is so bad. They don't appear to make any suggestions to try and fix the place.