C’mon Sydney, you can do better than this
You only have to look at destinations like Paris and London to see what people expect from a major city, particularly after dark. They are 24-hour cities. Sydney is not.
WHILE we know New York is the city is that never sleeps; seems Sydney doesn't mind getting to bed early and having the odd nap on the weekends.
The recent hoo ha about our state capital's dwindling social scene is just another indication it doesn't take itself seriously as a major destination.
The heavy handed 'lock out' regulation introduced in an attempt to stop drunken buffoons from killing innocent bystanders (and, let's not discriminate -- other drunken buffoons) all of whom generally clog up the St Vincent's emergency department every Friday and Saturday night, might be a temporary fix but its archaic approach will send the place back to where laws like that belong -- the 1950s.
As an international city, Sydney has a lot riding on its reputation when it comes to retaining the cosmopolitan air that attracts travellers from around the globe.
It is already blessed with big tourist attractions like the bridge, the harbour and that iconic house that sits on its foreshore but as far as the CBD goes, that's about the extent of its uniqueness. Then it's what you get in all major cities: galleries and museums, gardens, parks, statues, shops, some nifty tall buildings. Of course Sydney also has the weather on its side generally, which is a fluke bestowed upon them like the Opera House that they almost ruined completely.
As far as general planning and infrastructure goes a lot of their decisions have sucked and continue to, the amazing expanse of water they built their city around being let down by what surrounds it (except the bridge. That is one brilliant example they have to illustrate forward thinking).
Public transport, the second airport, traffic congestion, the fact you can't bypass the place via a ring road, the demolition of the CBD laneways and removal of tram system, putting in the monorail and taking it out again, hinging it's future on a massive casino development, outdated harbourside eateries, outrageous jacking up of hotel prices during events, stores closing too early, no culture of residential living in the city centre, expensive to boot compared to other major cities that offer more -- need I go on?
You only have to look at destinations like Paris and London to see what people expect from a major city, particularly after dark. They are 24-hour cities. Sydney is not and is quickly reducing its opening hours to almost reflect those here in Grafton. How's that for an insult Sydney?
Grafton's own version of 'lock out' laws are well known to have killed off the night life here many moons ago, and even during the handful of times we still get a crowd here in town, we shut it down by dinner time.
Sydney, if anything, learn by our lessons here. If you don't invest in your social culture, you won't get the visitors. Blaming drunken idiots for everything is untenable because they are everywhere in Australia, it's just some towns and cities, like Mildura and Melbourne, refuse to go into melt down because of it.
Two things will help this situation. Education and more policing until that happens. It's not just educating about alcohol and drugs, it's also about mental health and why the number of people hell bent on getting smashed every time they go out is rising. The majority of people behave appropriately when they are out for the evening, a few core offenders usually the catalyst for any nightmares that unfold.
Flicking the social switch to off mode because no-one can be trusted is a sure fire way of turning a place into a ghost town which is what is happening in Kings Cross now. And while many might see no problem with that because you're safely tucked up in bed by 9pm, those seeking alternative lifestyle choices will look elsewhere and take their money, and your town or city's future, with them.
No wonder Melbourne is giddy with the prospects Sydney has just served them up. They may not have a bridge, or harbour or Opera House, but they get know how to create social and cultural buzz with what they do have.
It's time to grow up Sydney. You're big enough to look after yourself and leave Nanny behind.