Victor P Taffa
Having not been to Adelaide for many years I decided to investigate just how well the Tramway extension is and if the Rann Government was right to go ahead with the line. Little did I anticipate was how Adelaide has left Sydney in its wake in terms of development and promotion.
Sydney has a topographical landscape that should provide New South Wales with a definite advantage. Cities such as Adelaide and Melbourne have their own particular selling points to offset the largely flat surface of their metropolitan and regional areas.
Melbourne has the ‘G’, the football, Formula 1 Motor Grand Prix and a great Tramway network to name but a few. Adelaide has a convention centre, Clipsal 500 Race, Casino and now an extended Tramway network.
Adelaide and Melbourne have a planned grid CBD area that Sydney lacks. Despite all of Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and Brisbane’s advantages Sydney should be so far ahead of the rest that it should go without saying.
Sydney prior to the 2000 Olympic Games was promised a public transport T card and in 2009 the whole sorry saga will end up in litigation. When I caught a train and tram in Adelaide I purchased a 2 hour ticket that is able to be used on all buses, trains and trams. Adelaide has the T card that Sydney was promised and never got.
Sydney has so many natural advantages for tourists that are too numerable to list. Sydney has so much to see and do that if we were to promote our museums, restaurants and natural beauty throughout Australia then New South Wales could lead this nation to an economic boom led by tourism.
When I went into a restaurant in Adelaide there was a myriad of brochures promoting Adelaide and South Australia. I asked the manager if his was the only restaurant to do this in the city and the reply was ‘no there is many that do this’.
As an example in Sydney’s ‘little Italy’ that is called Leichhardt I have not seen one restaurant that promotes Sydney or New South Wales. This lack of tourism is not confined to Leichhardt.
Even on the very first day of my brief trip to Adelaide while walking through the Rundle Mall I discovered the Adelaide visitor Information Centre. This facility is sponsored by the Adelaide City Council and is well staffed by enthusiastic people who are there solely to promote Adelaide and South Australia.
Where does Sydney have an Information Centre that promotes our great city and State on a par with that in the Rundle Mall? Even as you look around the Sydney CBD the quality of retail stores is appallingly bad compared to that of the Adelaide CBD.
While in Adelaide I walked into Barlow Shoes store in the Rundle Mall because not only did I need a pair of shoes but prior to leaving from Sydney I was simply unable to find something at an affordable price.
The service that I received was outstanding and the shoes that I bought represented good value for money. Standards of service in Sydney retailing do not compare to that of Adelaide’s. There is no excuse in the world for the inertia that has enveloped Sydney and New South Wales. The reason for this can only lie at the feet of the New South Wales Government.
Sydney hosted the Olympic Games in 2000 and since then we have let this great opportunity go to waste. The trains ran brilliantly during the Olympics and World Youth Day week and yet every other day of the year no one can rely on them.
To say the State has to privatise its Government agencies such as electricity, prisons, ferries and lotteries and build a private Metro Rail is a copout because if South Australia can use some initiative and promote what that State has one wonders why the New South Wales Government cannot do the same thing.
Even the Queensland Government constantly advertises their states natural beauty on our television screens.
While in Adelaide I stayed in the Comfort Hotel Adelaide Riviera on North Terrace. The staff was fantastic and promotion of Adelaide and South Australia was clearly evident with brochures outlining where the shopping, dining and café areas of Adelaide are located. I ate dinner in the cosmopolitan eating area of Gouger Street. The information that I was given made my choice of restaurant relatively easy.
Having returned to Sydney I know that I do live in the best city. However if a state of 1 million people can outshine a state of 5 million in terms of promotion then it is time that the New South Wales Government do as it is paid to do and lead the nation and promote Sydney and New South Wales and show that we are the Premier State.