Tourism chief to Sydneysiders: 'Stop whingeing'
Are Sydneysiders really a bunch of whingers?
They really are, according to the new chief executive of Destination NSW, Sandra Chipchase, who believes locals' propensity to whinge is a stumbling block to selling the city.
“When I was interstate the great sport was to ask Sydneysiders, ‘so how are things up north or down south?’" she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “After all the whingeing had stopped, you’d think, ‘you’re doing yourself brand damage.'”
The newly formed state government agency is now developing “tool kits” for locals to sell the city.
“We need to get everybody behind this,” Chipchase said. “ We’ve got to make sure that in the next few years we are all working together … and to make sure that we become the best ambassadors we can.”
So are the locals all that bad?
Local author Richard Glover once wrote: “We are the Village of Whinges: one large wailing wall, spread from the golden beaches of the east to the spectacular mountains in the west.”
There has only been a month's respite, he said, during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
So let’s get this straight: rents and house prices in Sydney are extortionate. Hotel prices match. Plates of food score a few extra bucks just because they're eaten in Sydney.
The inadequacies of the train system have been front-page fodder of tabloid newspapers for years. Buses crawl along busy streets that were designed for horse and cart.
Whingeing is even so ingrained in the local government system that serial whingers cost local councils millions with their complaints, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The local Aussie Rules team, the Sydney Swans, have been called “constant whingers.”
Is it really time to stop whingeing?
There’s an old joke in the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry that dominates intercity discourse. Melbournians will always sing the virtues of their hometown, while Sydneysiders will, for the most part, deride their own.
So, as summer sets in, maybe it is time to appreciate that harbor, those beaches and big city culture that spills across the city perimeter.
But there’s a message here to Sandra Chipchase and Destination NSW: start performing, or the locals are sure to whinge.
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