Still want to emigrate to Oz?

Here’s an excerpt from a piece written this week by Matt Barrie, the CEO of Freelancer.com. You can read the full rant here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/would-last-person-sydney-please-turn-lights-out-matt-barrie


“The total and utter destruction of Sydney’s nightlife is almost complete.

A succession of incompetent governments has systematically dismantled the entire night time economy through a constant barrage of rules, regulation and social tinkering.

And oh, how ridiculous these rules have become in Sydney. A special little person has decided that there is a certain time at night when we are all allowed to go out, and there is a certain time that we are allowed into an establishment and a certain time that we are all supposed to be tucked into bed. There is a certain time we are allowed to buy some drinks, and over the course of the night the amount of drinks we are allowed to buy will change. The drinks we buy must be in a special cup made of a special material, and that special material will change over the course of the night at certain times. The cup has to be a certain size. It cannot be too big, because someone might die. Over the course of the night, this special little person will tell you what you can and cannot put into your cup because someone might die.

It is now illegal to buy a bottle of wine after 10pm in the City of Sydney because not a single one of us is to be trusted with any level of personal responsibility. Apparently there is an epidemic of people being bashed to death over dinner with a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that we have all been blissfully unaware of.

Likewise it is now illegal to have a scotch on the rocks after midnight in the City of Sydney because someone might die. You can drink it if you put some Coca-cola in it, but you can’t drink it if the Coca-cola has been mixed previously with it and it’s been put in a can. Because that is an “alcopop” whatever the hell that means. The only person more confused than me is the bartender. The poor sod is only trying to scrape a few nickels to make it through university; not only are they struggling with their hours being drastically cut back with venues shutting, but the government is now threatening them personally with fines if they break any of the rules.

Most damaging of all a 1:30am curfew where you cannot enter a licensed premises, which deliberately aims to kill the trade of any business that operates at night. Everybody knows that the point of going out is usually to bar hop or visit several venues over the course of the night and that for decades Sydneysiders would be busy at work, dinner or someone’s house and wouldn’t even think to go out until after 11pm. The Sydneysider’s predilection to going out late is backed up by the City of Sydney’s own report from 2010 showed that foot traffic in Kings Cross continued to grow until 11pm. This brutal rule pointedly kills market liquidity in an industry that relies upon bar hopping from venue to venue.”

28 thoughts on “Still want to emigrate to Oz?

  1. JustVisiting says:

    Alternatively, I have an email justvisiting@gmail.com

    1. JustVisiting says:

      Hi Jane,
      Correction: justvisiting916@gmail.com

  2. Vash says:

    Interesting and informative read Ben. I truly enjoy your blogs and find myself challenging myself to think as out there as you… You have definitely educated me. Thank you. Kindly check out my blog, would love your input on my writing. It’s new and I’m testing my writing skills… Looking forward to more of your posts.

  3. Jane says:

    i think that’s what we need – more hugging. We cant get that wrong I hope

    1. JustVisiting says:

      Open a Twitter account rather. Once you’ve done that, do a search in Twitter for JustVisiting and follow me. I’ll follow back and we can then use Direct Messaging.

  4. Jane says:

    I agree with what JV says about resourcefulness and adaptability, intelligence and challenge but do we fool ourselves that all that means a damn.

    We may not be in a police state anymore but you call the police for help and you will wait 3 days if not forever, ; serious police documents get lost or disappear under unusual circumstances, ; we have to buy expensive security services to help us with the basics, ; hospitals are becoming places of death and megabugs rather than places of healing, ; you need big bucks to get good medical help and more and more traditional medicine and alternative healing is being squeezed out, and hence our choice of how we help ourselves, ; we need better municipal expertise because a large majority are collapsing from inefficiencies and redirection of funds, ; policing that isn’t intimidated or assassinated by criminals who run the place, ; an education system that works with teachers who know what they are doing and who have the passion to pitch up not screw the students, ; pass rates that aren’t massaged ever lower to allow in the under 50%ers to higher learning where they don’t have a chance of succeeding, ; politicians who want us to be educated and informed and therefore build our intelligence as opposed to those who prefer us to remain ignorant and malleable ; leaders that lead rather than spend their time on the infighting and power plays that go on behind the scenes and all this while trying to deal with the massive poverty of this continent.

    I realise this is a jaundiced view and there is much good happening but if we continue to get the basics wrong we won’t be able to repair the damage and all standards will just adjust to the lowest level and so will intelligence.

    Vanity now that’s interesting JV -do you mean what happens when anyone who may have felt powerless before and is then given power believes themselves omnipotent and superior to all those who remain powerless? Jane

    1. JustVisiting says:

      We are straying from the subject a little. If you are on twitter or facebook let me know and we’ll take it from there.

      1. Jane says:

        not on either but am interested in what you found regarding Aboriginal art – do you have facebook /website?

  5. Jane says:

    I used to think that Aussies and South Africans had a lot in common psychologically – and both countries have produced incredibly successful people although most have done so out of their natal countries so what does that say. Also Australia has conveniently dodged taking the rap for their oppression of the Aborigines – they have been so downtrodden and obliterated by booze etc and the aforementioned decree that they were fair game at one time. When I lived there in 1964 I never saw one Aborigine and as far as I know it remains the case. So I agree with JV Africa has a soul Australia may never have but we are doing a good job screwing ourselves by ourselves.

    1. JustVisiting says:

      Not too sure that Aussies and South Africans have that much in common. From what I was able to gather, many SA expats would return and take their chances if they didn’t have the responsibility of children.

      As I understand it, the Abo population now stands at 500k out of 22m. I spent about a week in an outback settlement outside Fitzroy Crossing with a dealer from Freemantle buying Abo art. Fascinating experience.

      Totally agree that Africa has a soul that Australia lacks. Came across a Zimbabwean dude emptying rubbish bins in Alice Springs and was missing Africa so much I felt like hugging him.

      The problems we’re having are not just South African, they are African. The root cause is explained by one word: Vanity. You can take an African out of the bush but… I lived cheek by jowl with them in Botswana for 15 yrs and know them better than they know themselves.

  6. JustVisiting says:

    I had immigration.

    Sarcasm was intended.

    The ad hominem was in response to that presented by the psychology professor to whom I replied.

  7. Mike says:

    I had forgotten that some South Africans have a deep psychological need to bag Australia whenever possible. Most Australians are more generous when they contemplate South African shittiness – if South Africa is ever contemplated at all – because they don’t feel they have to compete.

    1. JustVisiting says:

      Sure. People like me spend a heap of cash just to visit Oz so as to return and insult Australians.

      Get a brain.

      1. Mike says:

        A visit, or a failed attempt to migrate? The “sure” that begins this comment implies what follows is sarcasm. It’s not entirely clear though because of the seeming truth of the statement then being made.

        “Get a brain” is the kind of ad hominem insult generally added when one is stung but can’t muster a convincing response.

  8. Jane says:

    Hilarious – just what happens when you have legalistic minds with very little to legislate on anymore. But as someone who likes to get rotten with my Chateau Cardboard behind the barn to avoid the drunks, trendies, shift lifters, lezzos of Darlo, and who doesn’t want to have to jump over all the other two pot screamers and whackers to shout for Ruth in the street, I’m with the Ozzie boss cockies. If I want feeding time at the zoo I stay at home with the rellies. Shit-yeh! But bring those boss cocky clueys here – immediately – if they can do things like that with cups they can do wonders here where it’s the middle of the day and not a bone in the truck. With thanks to dinkum strine. Jane

  9. Dion says:

    Hey “Just Visiting” Which planet are you visiting? Ever had a gun to your head and your car taken yet? your head is in the sand.

    1. JustVisiting says:

      I have lived and worked in several African countries over the past fifty years. It is certainly not for wimps accustomed to living in a nanny state.

      1. Jane says:

        Australia is a nanny/police state as necessitated by the nature of its inhabitants – and to those who can feel shame, some of those inhabitants were considered vermin back in the 50’s and were to be shot on sight and the carcass numbers recorded – says a lot about that self satisfied tunnel vision ‘complacency’ you talk about. I just wish there was a balance between police state and free for all. So to Live in Africa you need a cast iron stomach but there is no honour in having to be a macho hard ass non wimp to live here surely? Maybe humans behave better under police states since many of us are essentially slavish in mentality and given to fuck the rest of them thinking! What do you think? Jane

        1. JustVisiting says:

          Nothing works as it ought in Africa. That’s the attraction. It’s not about machismo but resourcefulness/adaptability/intelligence and challenge as opposed to mind-numbing routine.

          One year’s experience in Africa would take over ten in Australia and therein lays the difference. Compared to Africa, Australia is a kinder garten where few graduate to primary school before they die.

          I know that women usually see things differently. They generally prefer security, predictability and plumbing that is not overly temperamental. Ultimately, the facts are irrelevant. It all depends on whether you drive a white bakkie or a silver Alfa.

  10. Dion says:

    Have you ever ben to Australia? Since you reside in a country that is completey under rule that you hate and resent and are terrified by, maybe Australia is a free country without total anarchy and with rules that you are obviously unaware of that make Australia a country that the residents are free to live in, safe to walk about, and are PROUD OF and also that work.
    Maybe you should take a trip out to Australia sometime but until then keep your total bullshit to yourself. Have a happy life of anarchy and fear.

    1. JustVisiting says:

      Are you over 12 years of age?

  11. graeme@poison.city says:

    Haha, here we just say fuck the rules!

    Graeme Bird POiSON CiTY BREWING +27(73)0409806 +27(31)5681553


  12. Greg Kerr says:

    This is the life for me! Ever since my old nanny got bewitched by a tokoloshe and had to retire to Qua Qua, I have wanted someone, anyone, or even a government department to establish healthy boundaries for me.

  13. JustVisiting says:

    Rules are for fools and, in Australia, I do not know which came first.

    1. Jane says:

      we got lots of fools here but no rules, police who go for soft targets and leave the hard crime to proliferate – what about that? Jane

      1. JustVisiting says:

        I emigrated to Oz, stayed there for 3 months then returned to SA.

        I found Australia to be stultifying with a naively complacent and immature populance best described as impenetrably stupidity (as evidenced by some of the responses to this post).

        Australia is a nanny/police state as necessitated by the nature of its inhabitants. For the intelligent who are independent of spirit and more than 12 years of age, it is irksome, irritating and no Utopia.

        Of course, everyone is different and so are their circumstances. Each to their own.

  14. JustVisiting says:

    Tell everyone about the eating / smoking rules. It’s illegal to eat a packet of crisps in the smoking area of a pub even when that is outside (as it usually is) and you are a smoker.

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