Beat­tie lashes out at ‘whingers’

The Australian - - THE NATION - CHAR­LIE PEEL

Com­mon­wealth Games boss Peter Beat­tie has la­belled Aus­tralians “a pack of whingers” af­ter a day fronting the me­dia to re­peat­edly apol­o­gise and ac­cept blame for Sun­day night’s maligned clos­ing cer­e­mony.

Hours af­ter he took re­spon­si­bil­ity and apol­o­gised for the de­ci­sion to leave the tra­di­tional ath­letes’ march out of the cer­e­mony — mean­ing that TV view­ers missed see­ing flag-bearer Kurt Fearn­ley lead the Aus­tralian team into the sta­dium — Mr Beat­tie used his reg­u­lar slot on Sky News to crit­i­cise “whingers” and “self-in­dul­gent com­men­ta­tors”.

The Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man, who shed a tear yes­ter­day dur­ing a speech thank­ing vol­un­teers, also praised the “Games shapers” on Mon­day night be­fore lash­ing out at crit­ics.

Mr Beat­tie ap­peared to walk away from his ear­lier apolo­gies, hint­ing that me­dia and pub­lic crit­i­cism of the cer­e­mony was a “beat-up”.

“Of­ten some of the com­men­ta­tors who are very self-in­dul­gent for­get this — there is a very good team at GOLDOC, which is the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, and when­ever you get beat-ups and so on the morale of those won­der­ful in­di­vid­u­als ac­tu­ally is af­fected,” he said on the Beat­tie & Newman pro­gram.

“These peo­ple are non-po­lit­i­cal, they worked in­cred­i­bly hard and de­liv­ered one of the best Com­mon­wealth Games Aus­tralia has ever had.

“No or­gan­i­sa­tion is per­fect, peo­ple make mis­takes, we all do, none of us is per­fect. One of the prob­lems we’ve got is we are turn­ing into a pack of whingers.”

Mr Beat­tie told co-host Camp­bell Newman he was “very proud” of the Games de­spite the clos­ing cer­e­mony crit­i­cism.

Ear­lier in the day he said or­gan­is­ers were con­sid­er­ing ath­letes’ wel­fare when they scrapped the tele­vised ath­letes’ march into the sta­dium, and in­stead brought them in be­fore the broad­cast and of­fi­cial cer­e­mony started.

The de­ci­sion was widely panned, in­clud­ing by Seven Net­work pre­sen­ters Jo­hanna Griggs and Basil Zem­pi­las and Queens­land Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk, who said those re­spon­si­ble should “hang their heads in shame”.

“In the long run, the re­al­ity is, you can have a blame game go­ing from now un­til eter­nity, (but) I’m the chair­man of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, the buck stops with us, so I’m not in­ter­ested in blam­ing any­one else,” he said on Mon­day morn­ing.

Later, in his Sky News tirade, Mr Beat­tie said whingers were dis­rup­tive to peo­ple try­ing “to do pos­i­tive things”.

“I just say to Aus­tralia we are big­ger than this, we should be about pos­i­tive things, about build­ing things, about do­ing things, and we shouldn’t try to tear down peo­ple who want to do that,” he said. “Whingeing is easy, build­ing things and do­ing pos­i­tive things are much harder. Un­less we stop whingeing, we are go­ing to go down the gur­gler.”

JERAD WILLIAMS

Peter Beat­tie says ‘we are turn­ing into a pack of whingers’

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