Sunday, May 15, 2005


The Smartest State

I was gobsmacked today, when doing my regular review of the State of the Nation to find that Queensland’s Premier Peter Beattie, has stolen a march on the rest of the country, reinforcing his claim for Smart State Status by putting forward a ten year plan, to place Queensland on the top of the nation’s cleverness totem pole, in this the Clever Country.

Mr. Beattie’s vision is summed up in the tag-line.

Smart Queensland: Smart State Strategy is about building tomorrow’s Queensland today.

Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with Queensland’s pluck, good luck to them I say, but we Victorians can’t simply let this overtaking manoeuvre occur without some form of challenge. A bit of a sudden swerve into their lane might be required, just to send the message that we’re onto their game, and to dent their cocky confidence a bit. Here they are, sitting in our blind-spot all this time, and it’s only just now come to our attention.

It does beg the question also, who else do we need to keep an eye on? A quick visit around the traps reveals that South Australia needs to be goaded into action - So no problem there. Western Australia has the pedestrian ambition of making itself a better place to live. New South Wales didn’t seem to be offering much more than a Featured Service, which changes regularly but when I visited, was generously offering for its citizens to pay their fines online. This may be exciting North of the Murray, but isn’t going to work down here. The Northern Territory is just confusing us with too much information, and Tasmania at least, is making the most out of its greatest asset - Its Map.

No, its clear. Queensland is the one to watch out for.

We Victorians need a strategy, and more importantly, a phrase of our own with which to take on this mighty challenge from Queensland. But first we need to take a look at ourselves. Are we just coasting? We used to have a slogan. “Victoria on the Move”. It spoke of dynamism, of action. It spelt standing around a roulette table, with gorgeous women dripping off your arm. But now? We’re static. Our slogan is “The Place to be”. More like the place to park your arse! We’re not just resting on our laurels, we’re virtually comatose!

This is a call to action my friends. What slogan can possibly meet this presumption head on? A simple adjustment of Queensland’s own call to arms produces this:

Smarter Victoria: Building next week’s Victoria now!

Which is certainly more ambitious than Queensland’s catchcry, but is it enough? Indeed, is it possible for one single catchcry to represent all the unique diversity that Victoria can offer to the world?

Like all things in this globalised marketplace, if you want to be successful you have to tailor you offering to each customer. People these days demand and expect personalised service. It’s about the individual, and we’ve got to recognise these trends if we want to stay at the forefront.

After conducting extensive market research, we’ve been able to segment the market into various influential interest groups.

For the business community we offer:

Victoria : Nothing but Upside

For the visionaries and futurists:

Victoria : Stand by for Warp Speed

For the traditionalists:

Victoria: Not just a Queen, but a State of being.

And to drive the message home to each and every Victorian, we want to see all the correspondence that is sent to us OHMS, personalised to the extent that our very own name appears within the letter head on all correspondence. To wit:

Victoria: Keeping up with you, Rex Ringschott!

There’ll be no more whinging from a disgruntled, and self-centred populace, once the government picks up on this idea.

Any suggesstions that you may have will be most appreciated, and we' ll be sure to pass them on to the Premier.

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