Gladstone friendly, let down by service let down by service

By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE residents were in no doubt yesterday as to which region in Queensland was the friendliest of them all ? Gladstone of course.

The question was sparked by a Queensland woman's campaign in England, encouraging Londoners to say 'hello'' to each other after her experiences with the cold nature of the public. But in Gladstone we don't need such a campaign.

The Observer's poll of Gladstone residents yesterday showed they were already among the friendliest in Queensland. How many times do you say "G'day'' to someone during your day?

Chances are your count is high and 83 of the 100 people polled rated Gladstone's friendliness as seven or more out of 10.

Returning from a morning walk leaves you feeling good about the place you live, with passers-by stopping for a chat, giving you a "G'day'' or just a smile.

Although I only moved to Gladstone a few months ago, already I have been surprised by the amicable nature of the area's residents and their generosity.

My next door neighbour is forever dropping his mower over the fence for me to borrow, maybe as a hint, but for which I'm hugely grateful and it's just another indication of the warmth of the area.

But when I asked the public yesterday for their rating on the friendly nature of the Gladstone region the same comment kept coming up ? the people of Gladstone and the area were great

Some said the smaller towns were more sociable than the Gladstone region and even that Boyne/Tannum and Calliope were friendlier than Gladstone city itself.

However time and time again people said their rating was influenced by the customer service in the area People often responded: 'I would say 10 except for the bad service'' and Kym Byrne agreed.

'Seven. It depends where you go,' Ms Byrne said.

'Some places aren't much at service. 'It lets them down.'

Hayley Courtney could only muster a six for the Gladstone region.

'I think customer service is very poor in Gladstone,' Ms Courtney said.

'For new people to town it seems to be very hard for them to fit in.' However, only four people polled rated Gladstone's friendliness as four or below and nobody said its hospitality was any less than three.

For me, it's heartening to live in such a social area where strangers greet each other and always have a smile to spare, which is more than can be said for some places.

So keep it up, Gladstone. Go on, give someone a smile and a 'hello' today.



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