Personal Blog

Congrats Brisbane, on a well run G20


The last couple of weeks have been interesting. We’ve had lots of late night overflights by military helicopters - and landing in the RNA Showgrounds about 2kms from my house. Maybe its the sound of the neighbours’ air conditioner in this hot weather - but I seem to hear the sounds of helicopter rotors being left running for hours late at night over at the showgrounds practicing for President Obama’s arrival. There’s been a huge visible police presence and, last weekend, the city caught a glimpse of heavily-armed soldiers running around Eagle Street Pier practicing for an anti-terrorist operation. At work, we’ve been drilled to be prepared for mass protests, bomb threats, shutdowns and the unexpected (such as actions by Black Blocs which have disrupted G20 events elsewhere).

However, despite all the drama, organisation, and security operations, the thing that’s most impressed me about the G20 is the effort that’s gone into building a positive frame of mind with the Brisbane locals. This sense of excitement and positivity ,despite the inconvenience created and the fact that we’re not particularly enamoured with several of the visitors coming our way, has resulted in a more relaxed and easygoing atmosphere than would otherwise have been. We’ve been treated to cultural celebrations and lightshows … plus we all got an extra day off work.

Sadly for President Obama, his first sight of Brisbane was me in my pyjamas on my balcony at 6am on Saturday morning, shaking my fist and yelling at him to keep the noise down as he landed in the park behind our house with FIVE big helicopters. Certainly impressive, but typical Americans just love to overdo things - especially when every other world leader was happy enough just to take a limousine for the 30 minute ride from the airport. Putin also tried to create a show of strength by sailing three clapped out old Soviet-era warships north of Australia to coincide with the event … except they needed to be supported by a tugboat in case they broke down, and most military pundits expressed surprise that they’d actually managed make it that far. However, possibly the best move by any of the world leaders was German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who turned up unannounced at a local pub on Friday night - freely mixing and posing with selfies with the locals.

The images below capture some of the events and sights around the G20. Special congratulations go to the Queensland Police for such a well-run operation, having a visible presence in such huge numbers but maintaining their composure and good humour handling the public. Congratulations also go to the people pf Brisbane for their high spirits, good humour and patience dealing with one of the most unusual weekends that the city is ever likely to see.

Loading Flickr Images

Andrew Mercer (Bald White Guy)
Andrew Mercer
I'm a Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. I've consulted on or managed several large BI systems in New Zealand, Australia and Latin America.
Stacks Image 9105
Contact Info
Please use the contact form on this site.
Or phone 04 5704 1640 (Australia)
Latest Photo

Old-timer with a machine gun. Vintage War truck in 2015 ANZAC Day. Flag with original Australian (and ANZAC) colours is held in the background.

Stacks Image 11045
Stacks Image 11049
Stacks Image 11047
blog comments powered by Disqus
© 2015 Andrew Mercer