Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Victoria's Cheeky Move

In the long-standing rivalry bewteen Australia's two largest cities, Melbourne's success in reinventing itself as a life style city is clearly beginning to worry some Sydneysiders.

First came the shocking news that Melbourne was growing faster than Sydney.

Sydney's Lord Mayor began a campaign to change NSW's archaic and creaking licensing laws to allow for the creation of smaller bars and cafes, arguing that this was necessary if Sydney was to compete against Melbourne. While derided by the President of the NSW branch of the Hotels' Association on the grounds that Sydney people did not want to sit reading a book while drinking a glass of Chardonnay, the Mayor's move was successful.

This week one of the local papers, the Sydney Morning Herald, has been campaigning for changes to make the central city a more livable place.

In the midst of all this, Tourism Victoria paid a large sum of money to have the latest glossy guide to Victorian wine districts included in the Herald! And very impressive it was too.

This is not the first foray of this type into the Sydney marketplace. The enormously successful Run Rabit Run commercials promoting the Yarra Valley are an earlier example. Whereas Sydney concentrates on the steak, attractions such as the Opera House, Melbourne focuses on the sizzle. It's all starting to give Sydney quite a complex.


Mike said...

Long time reader, first time poster! As a happy Sydneysider who has also enjoyed many good times in Melbourne, I have to say I find the rivalry to be greatly overstated. Sure it exists, but mostly in a playful sense and largely inflated by the media. I have good friends down south and all concede both cities have their fair share of pros and cons.

That said - Sydney rules! Down with Melbourne!

Keep up the great blog Jim.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Mike, always good to hear from someone who actually reads what I write!

I agree that rivalry is mainly friendly. None of this burning rival stadia! As someone not from Sydney, Amridale rules, down with all metros!

blonde canadian said...

If I were basing my decision on weather and natural beauty, Sydney would win hands-down.

But I like my culture, my sport, my food, my bars and my architecture. I think I'll stay in Melbourne!

Jim Belshaw said...

Now BC, with the exception of sport, you seem to be just the type of person that the President of the NSW AHA is crticising as non-Sydney. Dear me, you probably even like reding a book while drinking a glass of wine!