Aug 272007


“As a city councillor I am appalled that we are allowing our government to gate off our city from the people who live, work and pay rates here. That we would spend $600,000 on a water cannon to be used against our citizens should they exercise their democratic right to demonstrate. That we have converted 31 state transit buses into ‘mobile holding cells’ and that during the APEC summit, it will cost the city of Sydney hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity that we will never recover."
Chris Harris

As a Queenslander, I’m always glad that I don’t need to or have any desire to live in Sydney. On the few occasions I’ve visited that city, I’ve always been happy to leave and never soon enough. I’m not a city boy at all. Even Brisbane, big country town that it is, drives me up the proverbial. Sydney is, for me, the actuality of the concrete canyons and soul-less populations one so often associated with big cities around the world.

That said, clearly almost 4 million people do like to live there, or at least have decided that for work or immediate lifestyle, they’ll live there for the immediate future anyway. Now, I can’t imagine what commuting from say, Burwood to the Sydney CBD daily for work, must be like. I did just that for three days a few years back, while training for a job role. Three days was an interesting exercise in people watching, but the idea of doing it five days a week, 48 weeks a year, year in-year out makes me feel cold all over. But, as I’ve said, millions do just that. Now, imagine having that commute disrupted, CBD access restricted, military personnel roaming the streets, police as thick as fleas on a mangy dog all viewing the general populace as potential bomb-hurlers. All because of some meeting of the world’s leading politicians where a lot of circle-jerking will go on, drones like ’Dolly’ Downer will gather to feel good about themselves and greasy handshakes & diplomatic knife blades will be the order of the week.

Were I a Sydney-ite, I’d be as pissed off as Chris Harris clearly is. Maybe it’s because he’s a Green and received his anti-Bush inoculation when joining the Party, but I feel he does have a very valid point, especially when he points out the business activity which this ’look-at-moi’ gab-fest will disrupt and the dollars lost. I don’t think it’s a matter of caging George W. Bush or any particular world leader, but a matter of ’Why Sydney?’ Why not Lizard Island, or Cable Beach or Yulara. Lords know, Australia has some of the best international resorts going, where this over-kill security bun-fight could be indulged in without disrupting the lives of millions, costing tax-payers millions and losing business people millions.

It’s really no wonder 1,500 people a week move to South-East Queensland. No-one wants to hold APEC here. Thankfully.

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