In case you hadn’t heard, the G20 summit is in Brisbane this weekend. It’s pretty much the only thing the news stations are talking about. First the talking heads on the TV were talking about all the road closures, then it was how the protesters billboard advertisements were going to be banned, next it was how no one is allowed to enter certain exclusion zones around the city.

G20

More recently as world leaders have started arriving there has been lots of talk about how Barrack Obama will be staying in building A, and how our Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be having stern discussions with the Russia President Vladimir Putin over the shooting down of a Malaysian airlines passenger jet over Ukraine.

I know that G20 is a big and important event for world leaders, but I have 2 main problems with it.

1 – Everyone who lives almost anywhere near the city, or who wants to travel through the city is being hugely impacted. This isn’t just for the weekend of G20, but it has been for weeks in the lead up to the summit with many businesses and individuals being impacted.

2 – At the moment Australia (Queensland in particular) is suffering from a down turn in economic activity and we keep being told that big budget cuts are happening and new taxes need to be introduced to help the country get out of debt. I’m pretty sure that most people are fairly on board with it too, but when you see just how extravagant some of the preparations are for this summit and how  much money it would cost to host it all, I struggle to see why we should help our government get out of debt when they are irresponsibly throwing a big world leader party.

It really upsets me to think that there are so many people out of work and doing it tough, yet there is more than enough money to hire thousands of security personnel, run huge training operations (including large parts of the military) all for 20 world leaders to come over for the weekend. I’ve never seen such an expensive slumber party in my life! Surely that money could be being put to better use?

Why couldn’t the world leaders have a Skype conversation or something? Do they really all need to sit in the same room (most being jet lagged because of where we are on the globe)? To me it is highly irresponsible to be spending such vast amounts of tax payer money for something with no prospect of ever making a return on investment. It isn’t like the Olympics where the country brings in millions of tourists and gets media coverage for weeks into every country on Earth.

Instead we will attract protestors, and unless something extreme happens (as in some form of terror event) then the media coverage into other countries will be a fleeting few seconds on the evening news – hardly a big boon for tourism for the country.

Question

Did anyone (not from Australia) even know that G20 was on this weekend – did you know where it was being held? Does it make you want to visit Australia more as a tourist?