If there is one thing I like about Twitter, it’s hashtags. In case you aren’t part of the Twitterati, hashtags refer to the “#” that allows debate or discussion on particular topics in Twitter between users who would probably otherwise never get in contact with each other.

Brisbane… it's much drier now.

For example, there is the #AusPol hashtag that discusses Australian politics and the #qanda one that discusses the ABC’s Q&A programme every Monday and a million other hashtags on every topic under the sun. I often use them when I post Independent Australia articles on Twitter to get them out to a wider audience, for instance.

But they can also be on frivolous matters as well — and this is where the fun really starts. Yesterday a hashtag arose called #rejectedbnetourismslogans, which, as the name suggests it is all about creating slogans to poke fun at the city of Brisbane. I’m not sure why or who suggested it, or why, but it has gone viral with thousands of contributions, most of them quite funny:

@domslashryan: Brisbane: Where the river comes to you

…though some of them are vicious:

@dangerboy Brisbane: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. #rejectedbnetourismslogans

There is also a substantial minority of proud Brisbanites on the hashtag defending their town:

@LaurenLee_: I don’t like this #rejectedbnetourismslogans - I love living in Brisbane. We shouldn’t be promoting it badly for the world to see.

The much maligned reputation of Bris Vegas, City of Lights.

Brisbane, or Bris Vegas as it is sometimes called, has long had a maligned reputation around Australia. It is a big city, with about 1.5 million residents, yet people from Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, have long scoffed at Australia’s third city as being nothing more than a big country town.

In 2000, a newspaper poll listed it as Australia’s most boring city. In fact, I did a radio interview for radio station 4EB after that poll with a spokesperson from Tourism Queensland, who admitted that the way they usually marketed Brisbane was by selling it as being close to other places like the Gold and Sunshine Coast. This speaks volumes.

Brisbane’s reputation arose, I suppose, because for many years the National Party Government under the Premiership of arch-conservative Joh Bjelke-Petersen did not allow much in the way of fun for people coming to Queensland. The licensing and shopping rules laws were from the 19th century, bars closing on Sunday, no late-night trading, and police would regularly break down the doors and arrest people at rock concerts for obscenity, amongst other things.

It was only after he left the scene in the late 1980s that Brisbane, and Queensland as a whole, allowed itself to undo its top button and relax a little.

Brisbane was then, and still is, one of Australia’s most beautiful cities — nestled on the river amongst stunning hillside suburbs. The city is a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis, full of energy and commerce. In the City and South Brisbane its nightclubs and restaurants are the rival of any other Australian city. It has an al fresco café culture, a vibrant live music scene and alternative scene in the Valley and West End.

Indeed, many of Australia’s most-loved bands arose from Brisbane – such as the Go-Betweens, The Saints, Regurgitator and Powderfinger – although admittedly, virtually all of them had to leave the city to become famous.

Brisbane is a great place to live and grow up. The people are friendly and open. It is incredibly tidy and clean. It has a moderate – though steamy – climate. In summer, the norm is cloudless days before abrupt and spectacular late afternoon thunderstorms that clear the air and cool the evening.

People live, by and large, in large houses with big leafy gardens, pools and wide verandahs - just perfect for summer BBQs. There are hundreds of well-maintained and resourced parks and playgrounds for families. The river allows easy access to boating and fishing, with Moreton Island just a 40 minute boat ride away up the River mouth.

Of course, Brisbane is also only a one-hour drive from both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, so Brisbanites spend much of their time at those idyllic beaches during summer holidays and weekends.

Where Brisbane falls down, even today, is that it simply lacks any major compelling tourist attractions. It struggles because the tourism market in South East Queensland is dominated by the Gold Coast’s beaches and its three major theme parks.

Brisbane is a working city, not a tourist destination, and you can virtually count Brisbane’s attractions on one hand. South Bank Parklands, with its massive pool, Museum and Art Gallery; the lookout at Mount Coot-tha, along with the nearby Botanical Gardens; the Treasury Casino in the city and, perhaps, at a stretch, Alma Park Zoo - though it is in fact outside of the Brisbane municipal area in the north.

A casual tourist in Brisbane, after being to lunch at South Bank and wandering through the museum, gambling at the casino and visiting the lookout at Mount Coot-tha would be scratching their heads as to what else to do next. Maybe have dinner and then get drunk - that’s what most of the locals seem to do.

So, on balance, its reputation as a boring city is probably deserved even though it is a great place to live.

Here is a selection of the posts on the hashtag #rejectedbnetourismslogans that were retweeted over the last 24 hours:

Rejected Brisbane Tourism slogans
@Can_do_Campbell: Brisbane: Now with an extra opposition leader.
@AlbionLoveDen: Brisbane. Where every property gets a river view every 30 years. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@davrosz: Brisbane: for when you couldn’t get a direct flight. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@agent_x: Brisbane. More boring than Melbourne, but so much cleaner! #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@cosmicjester: Brisbane - Party like it’s 1989 #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@domslashryan: Brisbane: We’re getting rid of @Can_do_Campbell. We promise. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@cosmicjester: Brisbane - We’re open till 4pm #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@davrosz Brisbane: reasonably close to the Gold Coast. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@sonialastrega BNE: It’s a nice place to live, but you wouldn’t want to visit. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Can_do_Campbell: Brisbane: Where people’s sense of humour only extends as far as Funniest Home Videos. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Greybeard3: Brisbane. At least it’s not Ipswich. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@davrosz: Brisbane: totally unspoilt by tourist attractions. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@ds4seq: Brisbane, where Australia shines…at 4am but never after 7pm #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Greybeard3: Brisbane. 85% fewer gangland shootings than Melbourne. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@cosmicjester: Brisbane - Now tolerant of poofs and ethnics #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Greybeard3: Brisbane. We’ve never had our own series of Underbelly? #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Can_do_Campbell: Brisbane: Come and laugh at the Goths sweating through their makeup in summer. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
davrosz: Brisbane: now open until 5pm. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@lissay: Brisbane: Where many people’s biggest decision each day is about which thongs they’ll wear to court. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@cosmicjester: Brisbane - Party all night, because there is no way you are catching public transport home past 11 #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Musojourno: Brisbane: Australia’s best-kept secret until 1988. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@Roniim: There’s a law for that. There’s not? We’ll make it a new law then. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@mjwill90: Brisbane: the thinking-man’s Darwin #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@davrosz: Brisbane: now with more McDonalds. #rejectedbnetourismslogans
@lissay: Brisbane: 25 years behind and scarily proud of it! #rejectedbnetourismslogans

Most commented


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    • TChong says:

      05:02am | 02/04/11

      Brissy proximity to the GC, is the only thing Brissy has in its favor.
      As in yesterdays article about just how good NSW is, the whole of QLD is only good for 1 thing-
      a toursist destination for every one else , where we can indulge ourselves, ignore locals, then leave , to travel back to normal civilisation.

    • JE says:

      08:37am | 02/04/11

      what a ridiculous comment. not unlike the rest of your comments on this website. i’m glad you won’t be joining the masses of southerners making their way north

    • Reg says:

      08:57pm | 02/04/11

      JE that doesn’t contribute much. Does this mean you’re from Brisbane? I reckon they totally screwed up Brisbane when they removed the TRAMS. I’m in Sydney but come from country Q’ld.

      Brissy always tried to be everything to everybody instead of working on a central theme. I mean to say…meter -maids dressed in gold….the making of the Gold- Coast. How fu**ing puerile.  TRAMS…uuuummm yes ... They should have let the car drivers suffer for the sake of a central theme but they didn’t.

    • Dave says:

      07:45am | 02/04/11

      @ TChong - the only thing NSW has in its favor is that it is being run by a Victorian.

    • Reg says:

      08:06am | 02/04/11

      That comment speaks volumes about you Chongy. The GC is a hole and anybody who thinks otherwise has either never actually been there or is someone to avoid.

      The sad part is people from other states think the GC has real beaches… but they probably seem that way compared to other states.

      Brisbane… not a dump like Sydney

      (Melbourne’s okay as it has the country’s best shopping for the missus and gets all the best sporting events for the guys)..

    • Lauren says:

      09:45am | 02/04/11

      @Reg - Yeah, because it’s only the blokes that are into sport, isn’t it? Here, can you take my MCC membership off my hands, I gotta dash over to Chadstone.

    • stephen says:

      11:54am | 02/04/11

      I just gotta laugh at Melb’s. so-called ‘Paris quarter’ , which amounts to 16 and a half metres of flat-fronted limestone facades, each with a deciduous tree out front. (Mick Gatto’s up at the next block dealin cards out of a short deck.)
      Unfortunately, inside’s a kid outta school stretching her ladders.
      Melbourne’s only good for ducks.

    • ZSRenn says:

      08:29am | 02/04/11

      Brisbane: Just a short drive to Nimbin.

    • Jade says:

      01:40pm | 02/04/11

      Hhm not really…

    • ZSRenn says:

      03:34pm | 02/04/11

      @ Jade ok so it’s a bit less than a day trip return with coffee and sight seeing and stuff but it is so worth the journey.

    • Jade says:

      07:47pm | 02/04/11

      If your into what Nimbin offers it is wink I use to go there when I was little (haha great place to take the kids) and I am in no rush to return!

    • Crazy Dave says:

      08:42am | 02/04/11

      LOL @ those rejected slogans… some of them are really funny!
      Good, well written article.

    • annielaural says:

      09:58am | 02/04/11

      Brisbane:  Barefoot in Post Office Square ...not one but dozens of locals.

    • stephen says:

      03:35pm | 02/04/11

      Melbourne’s Royal Family, The Ballieus’, are on page 15 in today’s Courier’  good weekend.
      (Barefeet in melbourne is useful cause it keeps the hair from growin between yer toes.)

    • Bob wah says:

      01:17pm | 03/04/11

      @Stephen - You forgot to mention melbourne’s ‘world famous’ St Kilda road… The Melbourne television market is also australia’s largest….

    • Gregg says:

      10:15am | 02/04/11

      A city’s size will often determine just how much is to be seen within reasonable distance and other capitals not too much different in that attractions in the region can be a considerable distance from the city centre.
      Brisbane has Moreton Island, Perth Rottnest, Melbourne, Mud Is. or Phillip, Sydney Cockatoo and few others within the harbour.
      Seems there’re no end of twits about twittering away.

    • Reg says:

      09:10pm | 02/04/11

      About the only thing I agree about there is that twitterers are twits.

    • Rii says:

      10:18am | 02/04/11

      Brisbane: Australia’s only city *not* to make the Economist’s list of the world’s most liveable cities.

    • Mr Pod says:

      10:48pm | 03/04/11

      @Rii - A city that Economists don’t like? - what a seal of approval for Brisbane, I must move there.

    • Bob H says:

      11:03pm | 03/04/11

      I think The Economist should stick to reporting about whatever economists know about.  However, as a financial periodical that missed the GFC, no wonder they are now becoming a Lifestyle advice magazine.

    • Govt@FauxCitizen says:

      10:21am | 02/04/11

      I was listeng to talk back radio one day when a woman rang in to say how much she’s so glad she’d moved up to the Gold Coast from Wentworth in The Blue Mountains NSW because she was sick and tired of spending up to 4 hours getting to her job in Sydney and back home each workday, and how she” LOVES” the lifestyle at the Gold Coast and her daily commute to Brisbane is ONLY 3 hours a day!!! She must look totaly gorgeous with that extra hour of beauty sleep !, all jokes aside , if you want to see a conga line of suckholes then you’ll get six hours at least of bumper to bumper of mono occupant cars with like minded people such as the talk back woman 5 days a week on the M1.

    • Reg says:

      09:14pm | 02/04/11

      YOU said it mate. smile

      I got fined for doing ONE mile per hour over the speed limit on that road and the cop suggested my NEW TYRES must have been the problem. ROFL.

    • NQ says:

      10:25am | 02/04/11

      oh, that made my morning! 

      If you want beautiful beaches, if you want to see Queensland, you don’t have to go to the Gold Coast.  Really. Come to North Queensland.  During winter, when the weather is glorious.

    • Reg says:

      09:21pm | 02/04/11

      ... and miles of beach at midday a footprint on it. I kid you not. Anywhere in Q’ld ... other than the Gold Coast.

      By the way, real Queenslands think it’s too cold to go to the beach in winter.  Hahahahahahaha.

    • Goldenfaber says:

      12:59pm | 02/04/11

      I always wondered what those hash tags were. How do you find ones about different topics? There is so little info about Twitter available so i rarely use it.

    • Bill says:

      01:35pm | 02/04/11

      During summer though - stinking hot!

    • michael j says:

      02:14pm | 02/04/11

      YEAH Brisbane used to be the place to go on a Sat nite,
      then they closed ‘World by Nite’ and had that silly Fitzgerald inquiry
      tried to jail the only two politions who were any good JOH,n,RUSS
      and nearly all the police force,,now after nearly 20 years of labour
      b lucky to afford a glass of water ,never mind going out on a sat nite,,

    • iansand says:

      06:12pm | 02/04/11

      Brisbane - Is that all there is?

    • Bitten says:

      06:45pm | 02/04/11

      I am a Brisbane girl and I love each and every one of those slogans. My favourite:

      Brisbane - we’re open ‘til 4pm.

      Oh my yes.

      Seriously though, I don’t want to tell people it’s great to live here. Brisbane sucks. Sydney and Melbourne are definitely better. Stay there.

    • Benji the Hunted says:

      01:22pm | 03/04/11

      @bitten - Melbourne is cold, pretentious and fake, Sydney is a disaster. I’d live in Brisbane or Adelaide. I have never lived in Perth so I cannot comment.

    • stephen says:

      08:22pm | 02/04/11

      Whenever I hear ‘Brisbane girl’, I get a moving image of a gal - rosy freckled cheeks - in a red and white check shirt chewing on straw sitting on the back of a wagon on a farm rolling her eyes singing songs from Oklahoma, jeans rolled up legs crossed and wouldn’t know what a drug is… and then I wake up.
      (When i go to melbourne, I borrow me sisters mascara and stick it in me ear.)
      PS if it looks like yer ain’t had a bath for 2 weeks, yer must be deep…real deep.

    • the professor says:

      09:40am | 03/04/11

      Brisbane is between the sunshine coast and the gold coast.
      It has a new lord mayor.

    • the professor says:

      09:42am | 03/04/11

      in brisbane, you are either a bronco or a lion.

    • the professor says:

      09:56am | 03/04/11

      Brisbane has a labor state government.
      So its beautiful one day and perfect the next.

    • Dave-o says:

      10:53am | 03/04/11

      Brisbane - Its Melbourne without the chip on its shoulder.

    • mona says:

      02:35pm | 03/04/11

      Well it’s quite nice to walk across one of the many, many bridges crossing the river at night time.

      So that’s a tourist attraction.


      (I kid, I <3 BNE)

    • Dan says:

      02:49pm | 03/04/11

      Brisbane is a blue-collar town, literally 10 years behind the likes of Sydney, Melbourne.. or even Perth. Brisbane is totally eclipsed by the Gold Coast in every way. There is already a trend in that all large state-by-state events are slowly being held on the Gold Coast rather than Brisbane. The Gold Coast has better nightlife, cafes & parks, it has beautiful beaches and more advanced infrastructure. It is likely to host the next Commonwealth Games which means an influx of government spending which will increase the superior lifestyle gap the Gold Coast has over Brisbane further.

    • Jimbo says:

      05:30pm | 03/04/11

      Having spent a bit of time in Brisbane, I can’t for the life of me think of why you would want to live there over Sydney or Melbourne. It has pretty much all of the problems of the other two (poor public transport, bad traffic, generally decaying infrastructure, relatively high house prices), but none of the redeeming features such as Sydney’s natural beauty or Melbourne’s cultural scene.

      And as for the ‘moderate’ climate, what rot. The winters are OK but the summers are truly horrid. The humidity is just horrific; and unlike Sydney, there are no beaches to escape to - hence why the roads to the Gold and Sunshine coasts are completely clogged every Friday night.

    • Matt says:

      05:47pm | 03/04/11

      As one of the co-originators of #rejectedbnetourismslogans I’d like to say- Brisbane- despite our flaws we mop the floor with Adelaide.

      also- i never thought this would get on The Punch- i think i can justifiably say this qualifies as a #lameclaimtofame - move over #qanda mentions- this article is my new ‘bragging right’

      - @mjwill90

    • Queenslander says:

      07:22pm | 03/04/11

      I take it most of the commenters on here have every actually BEEN to Brisbane. I’ve been to all of the capital cities, and lived in most of them. In terms of striking the best balance between everything Brisbane has the mix just right. Good size, not too big like Sydney or too small like Perth. Not too hot and not too cold. Floods every now and then but hey where doesnt it flood? Got stradbroke and moreton islands not far away, the darling downs, gold coast and sunshine coast not far either. Its a beautiful river city with many historic areas and plenty of hills. A thriving economy aswell. The problem with Sydney and Melbourne is that they feel entirely too foreign these days. If i wanted to go to China or Lebanon, I would go there, I wouldnt expect to see it in Australia’s largest cities. (Lets see that one make it to publication). Finally, if Brisbane is such a poor city to live then why oh why are there so many southerners living up here? Once upon a time QLD was a place for QLDer’s. Now it’s a GAYFL following, Labor voting outcast.

    • Afghan vet says:

      12:26pm | 04/04/11

      Totally agree mate.

    • Al Chunk says:

      09:03pm | 03/04/11

      Wow! Mt Cootha, Southbank, Botanic Gardens and a Casino author David has certainly been around and left no plastic sleeve in the Motel ring binder unturned.  No doubt all on a $79 JetStar budget weekend at that.  If one is scared and dismissive of anything other than the familiar, then maybe writing about cooking or sport, rather than travel, would be less scarey.  To all the “my cities the best nur nur nur crowd”, I am pleased that you are happy and not cursed by the drive to explore the new.

    • PatC says:

      09:17pm | 03/04/11

      Brisbane - Looks great in rear view mirror.


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