Thursday, 22 November 2012

Worlds Most Liveable City?

Once again all the news is about Melbourne getting bigger, and about the inevitable failure of infrastructure thanks to the do-nothing State Government. And of course, rather than the news being about what it'll be like to live in the Melbourne of the future, its about Melbourne possibly losing the title of World's Most Liveable City. God Forbid!

One of the worst things ever to happen to Melbourne is this ridiculous title of World's Most Liveable City. It's a dubious honour which means nothing at all to the people that actually live here. In fact the only people it does mean something to are the dopey State Government who have found themselves in charge of the state. The problem is that every time Melbourne is lauded with this title, the state politicians give themselves a pat on the back, and stick with their business as usual of walking around with their hands over their ears, and doing absolutely nothing. Why do work when there are lunches to be eaten and overseas junkets to go on?

Every time I see this stupid title, I’m reminded of the slogan on the fat guy's T-shirt on that Fat Boy Slim Album – I'm Number One So Why Try Harder. Seems like the state politicians have grabbed onto this mantra with both hands. Why would they be distracted by Melbourne's problems – The decaying mess of public transport, corrupt and incompetent councils drunk on their own power, urban sprawl creating suburban wastelands as far as the eye can see, the mistake that is docklands – when they have the tag of World's Most Liveable City to chirp about every time someone challenges them?
"Mr Premier, what do have to say about the fact the train network hasn't been upgraded in 40 years?"
"Worlds Most Liveable City. No further questions."
And doesn't the Government love it. Every time this silly award is announced, whichever flog is Premier at the time stands there grinning like a Cheshire cat accepting praise for something he has done nothing at all to deserve. You can almost hear his thoughts "this should keep the stupid voters distracted and happy for another few months – can't believe I've done no work for the past 3 years"

The more you look into this award, the more irrelevant it becomes. To begin with, the rankings are about how much hardship allowance that companies have to pay their expats to come and live here. A goal worth striving for – "Melbourne is such a great city that hardship allowance is not required for expats to live here" Woah, way to reach for the stars there... And secondly, it seems to exclusively include only Australian and Canadian cities. Which leads me to think that the award has more to do with the stability of the country that it does with the liveability of the city. "Australia and Canada's Most Liveable City" is a more appropriate title.

Why any Melbourne resident should give a hoot that their city is more desirable to live in than any other city (which they don't live in) is beyond me. If Vancouver becomes the crime capital of the world, what difference would that make to Melbourne? Who cares how much or how little companies have to pay their expats to come and live here? The real question – forget about what other cities are doing - is what does Melbourne have to do to improve? And whats being done to make these improvements? And of course the competitive juices come out – we're better than Sydney, we're better than Helsinki. Who cares? Different cities, with different priorities and challenges. Comparing Melbourne against other cities means nothing. I can run faster than an 80 year old, I'm stronger than a 10 year old. Does that make me an elite athlete?

So whoever gives out these stupid awards – please stop including Melbourne. It just gives our lazy State Government more of an excuse to do nothing. Melbourne is a great city, but just like Fat Boy Slim, the more the Government believe they're number one, the less they try. And our Government works at a sedentary pace already, any less work and they won't even bother to get out of bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment