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WATCH OUT SYDNEY ! Is Sydneys recent slowdown in population growth just a blip, that's the question !

"There's no business like grow business"
By Bernard Salt , Prime Opinions, The Australian, 31 MAR 2005

Bernard Salt is a partner with KPMG Melbourne, [email protected]

The harbour city cannot afford to lose its head count to the other capitals

`SYDNEY Australia to the office, please. Sydney Australia to the office.
Come in Sydney. I'll be with you in just a moment.
Hello Sydney. Take a seat. Now as you know, Sydney, we have a policy of completing performance appraisals every so often and, well, today is your turn.
Sydney, I want you to view what I am about to say as a learning experience rather than as a criticism. I have been monitoring your performance and to be perfectly frank I have been shocked by your behaviour over recent years.
But it's more than that, Sydney, I am also hurt. Very hurt. I have been promoting you as Australia's go-getting global city. And look what my efforts have been rewarded with: nothing but disappoint ...
Please don't interrupt while I'm speaking Sydney. You'll get your chance later. Now, where was I? Ahh yes, bitter disappointment.

At the time of Federation both you and Melbourne contained about the same population ...
Melbourne is not a cheap hussy Sydney. Melbourne is a perfectly lovely city and you would be well advised to learn some manners from that city!
One century later and you, Sydney, had opened up a lead of 630,000 people over your southern rival.
By the last decade of the 20th century corporate Australia had anointed you as the leading business centre: 85 of this nation's richest 200 individuals in 1992 chose you as their principal place of residence; only 52 chose Melbourne.
Yes, Sydney, this most certainly was a very difficult time for Melbourne. After all, Melbourne had just lost, among other things, the state bank of Victoria.
Yes, I do believe it was bought by your Commonwealth Bank, Sydney. Thank you for pointing that out.
Stop laughing Sydney. It wasn't Melbourne's fault. The Victorians have promised me it was the economy's fault.
And then half a decade later nothing less that a coup d'etat for you, Sydney. The Australian Prime Minister dismissed his official residence in ecumenical Canberra and made a beeline for your Kirribilli bosom.
Stop s******ing Sydney. Bosom is a perfectly legitimate word.
And then came your finest hour: the 2000 Olympics. All the other cities were saying how pretty you looked at this time. Even Melbourne! And while I'm on that subject Sydney it would be very nice if you refrained from any bitchy comparison between Melbourne's Commonwealth Games next year and your 2000 Olympics. Yes, Sydney, I did say `bitchy' and you know exactly what I am talking about. Do you hear me Sydney? Not a word!

In the Olympic year, Sydney, you added 59,000 to your population base. Business boomed. Property prices skyrocketed.
But then things seemed to go awry. NSW's annual net interstate migration losses jumped from 16,000 in the year to June 2001 to 30,000 last financial year. Fewer and fewer people were being drawn into your world, Sydney.
Your population growth for the year to June 2004 was 33,000, down 44 per cent on the number three years previous. Do you realise that Hobart is now growing at a faster percentage rate than you? Hobart, Sydney. Hobart! What do you mean `where's Hobart'? Hobart is the capital city of Tasmania ... it's a whole separate state south of Victoria. Sydney, perhaps you could think of Hobart, Tasmania and Victoria as, well, large value-for-money residential estates south of Campbelltown, without harbour views.
Sydney, you do realise that Melbourne has been plotting its revenge for more than a decade now. I put it down to Melbourne's wanton fling with that irascible Kennett fellow back in the mid-1990s. He may have moved on, but while he was there he filled Melbourne's head with big ideas. Melbourne now reckons it's a chance to take you on.
Please get up off the floor Sydney and stop that hideous laughter.
Over the past decade, Melbourne has been quietly working away adding a grand prix here; augmenting the Melbourne Cup there; seeing your Star City and then beating it hands down with Crown; even building a synchrotron while you, Sydney, lolled about on a li-lo in the harbour sipping umbrella drinks.
Umbrella drinks Sydney! Umbrella drinks!

Last financial year Melbourne added 11,000 more people than you Sydney.
What do you mean `so what?' I'll tell you `so what'. This net extra population supported the formation of 4000 new households in Melbourne that had to be developed, constructed, financed and furnished. This is business that you did not get a share of, Sydney. It also expands the Melbourne retail spending market by $80 million in comparison with yours, Sydney.
Hmm? What's that? Yes, I suppose you're right. It will take Melbourne 64 years at current growth rates to wind back the population lead you have already established. But that's not my point. My point is that entrepreneurial energy and creativity must eventually follow business opportunity.

The question I have been asking myself is whether your recent wayward behaviour is structural or a passing phase? In the middle of last year I quietly measured the number of ASX top 100 publicly listed companies ranked by market capitalisation that were headquartered in each capital city.
No, I didn't tell anyone at the time Sydney. I wanted the results to be a surprise.
OK. OK. Just a minute, Sydney. Let me tell you which city has got the biggest corporate crown jewels. You have already guessed the results, haven't you?

In July 2004 some 58 of this nation's 100 most powerful corporates were based in Sydney. Melbourne had 28. I am not going to embarrass other cities by publicly revealing their results, but you may be assured I will be counselling each one privately.
When I compared these results with your recent grow-slow attitude, Sydney, I was concerned that this might mean a diminution of business activity to the point of corporate emasculation. But not so. By March 2005 some 62 of this nation's top 100 corporate headquarters were based in Sydney. Melbourne had slipped to 27 !

My assessment is this, Sydney. Your slowdown in population growth is affecting the day-to-day business opportunities in retail and construction. However, your good work over a century has provided you with a solid corporate base that continues to expand.
But I suppose my chief concern is that if you persist with this slow-growth policy, business opportunity will crystallise more rapidly around other cities. You might find that this affects your corporate crown jewel status not so much now, but in say the 2020s.
And so, yes, you are still Australia's global city, Sydney, but I do think you need to get your rate of annual population growth above the 1 per cent mark. Perhaps we could make this one of your personal goals for the coming year.
Now off you go. And remember, Sydney, not a word to Melbourne comparing the Commonwealth Games with the 2000 Olympics.''
 

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Texcoco said:
Why is Salt constantly toadying to Sydney interests...oh..I see...columnist for the Australian (the New South Welshman?). More to the point...why does Sydney contantly have to be told how fabulous it is?
Wow Sydney is fabulous?? I didn't know that. Thnx for pointing that out Texcoco, i won't ever forget it. Your the only one that i can trust with info! ;)
 

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Texcoco said:
Why is Salt constantly toadying to Sydney interests...oh..I see...columnist for the Australian (the New South Welshman?). More to the point...why does Sydney contantly have to be told how fabulous it is?
No it doesn't - thats the whole point of the article. Sydney is apathetic because it knows its fabulous, totally, blindly and completely has convinced itself that its superior to every other city - even if things are changing it will still blindly think its fabulous and better than everyone else regardless.

I think there is another city that needs to be constantly told, rated and gauged by others to gain a sense of self esteme.

jt
 

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JayT said:
No it doesn't - thats the whole point of the article. Sydney is apathetic because it knows its fabulous, totally, blindly and completely has convinced itself that its superior to every other city - even if things are changing it will still blindly think its fabulous and better than everyone else regardless.

I think there is another city that needs to be constantly told, rated and gauged by others to gain a sense of self esteme.

jt
After reading countless posts by you JayT on a variety of topics i have come to notice a disturbing trend, you take a dig at Melbourne as often as possible. what happened to you here? were u bullied? Or have you just learned it from your illustrious Premier? I think its a bit rich for someone who constantly needs to put down other places to feel self worth to be talking about self esteem eh?
 

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wowsim said:
After reading countless posts by you JayT on a variety of topics i have come to notice a disturbing trend, you take a dig at Melbourne as often as possible. what happened to you here? were u bullied? Or have you just learned it from your illustrious Premier? I think its a bit rich for someone who constantly needs to put down other places to feel self worth to be talking about self esteem eh?
Did I say Melbourne?

What I said could be meant for any other Australian capital. I just meant that its interesting to see Sydney personofied in such a way, as someone who totally believes in their own superiority - and yet its that belief that will get her/him into trouble 20 years down the track.

Sydney is sleeping, self obsessed, and all the other capitals can take advantage.

jt
 

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^ You shouldnt dismiss facts.


Tays, i agree. Annoying writing style. easy to get lost.

Back to matix... There are plenty of truths there.
Such as:
Your not going to be overtaken, any time soon.
But that isnt the point. It was pointing out that Sydney is losing out in many areas, whilst remaining strong in corporate areas.

I dont see how u can complain about the truth.


Admittadly it was written from a 'Melbourne" point of view, but we here are capable of weeding that out are we not? (apparantly not all of us)
 

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Bernard Salt again.

Bernie has a real love for Sydney and the sooner he moves there the better.

Almost every article he writes is in the style of Sydney is the greatest and the rest of the country (especially Melbourne) should give up and bow to the all powerful Sydney.
 
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