Channel Ten’s news and current affair program, The Project recently did a story on Tipping in Australia and for anyone looking for a proper intelligent coverage of the custom of tipping would have been sorely disappointed.
Presenter Charlie Pickering, started by stating that Australians were amongst the worlds worst tippers and we are considered to be mean by the rest of the world. The show then trotted out a few B grade celebrities including Masterchef judge Gary Megihan, Ita Buttrose and ex male stripper, Jamie Durie who then proceeded to tell everyone how wonderful tipping was and how generous they were. From there story turned into a sell job on the benefits of tipping.
What the show failed to mention that tipping is an American custom and a byproduct of an oppressive American wage system which allows bosses to pay their workers $2.13 per hour, which in turn forces many American workers to beg or solicit money from customers to make up the shortfall in their wages.
The report also failed to explain Australian workers are protected against exploitation and are paid a proper and fair wage. Typically Australian employees working in the hospitality industry will be receiving between $20 and $30 per hour and when we contacted the manager of Warrnambool’s Mid City Motel and Restaurant, he indicated the average wage paid to their restaurant staff was actually very close to $30 per hour. So there is no reason why any patron in a restaurant or hotel in Australia should feel obliged to tip anybody, as the pay they receive is fair and commensurate with the work they are doing.
Channel Ten were also guilty of being two faced in their coverage, if it had been an Australian company who were exploiting their staff by paying them $2 an hour, The Project would have savagely attacked them but because they were Americans, it was a wonderful thing. The Real Reason is probably a little more insidious as there are a number of large American companies involved in Australia’s hospitality and tourism industry and it would be of enormous benefit to them if they could reduce the wages paid to their workers to $2.13 an hour. It would be very naive to imagine these same companies are not involved in offering inducement to the media to run stories such as the one on The Project in order change public opinion on tipping and in turn to influence future wage laws.
If You Tell A Lie Often Enough It Will Become The Truth
The Great Ocean road was built by 3,000 returned First World War servicemen between 1919 and 1932 in honour of fallen comrades, making it the world's biggest war memorial.
If you do any research on the history of the Great Ocean Road this is typical of what you will see , unfortunately it is a complete lie and a gross distortion of the facts, and when you consider this story only began circulation in 2006 - 2007 it is surprising just how little time it takes to pervert the truth.
The Real Facts -The Great Ocean Road Another Casualty Of The Great War
A road linking Geelong with the coastal towns of Apollo Bay and Lorne had been planned for many years prior to the First World War and the reason was purely commercial as it would open up the timber regions of the Otways, the rich farming land around the Aire river as well as the potential for tourism. At the end of the First World War there were over 250,000 Australian troops in France and the Australian government faced problems in what to do with the returning soldiers. Initially they tried to keep the troops in France for another 6 or 12 months, but General Sir John Monash (in charge of the Australian forces) was not going to have his troops endure another European winter under canvas and quickly arranged transport back to Australian, placing pressure on the government to act quickly to find or create jobs for the returning soldiers.
The Geelong planners saw this as an opportunity to apply for funding to build the road, but the government were reluctant to fund a scheme which would see returning soldiers working under such harsh conditions and denied funding for the scheme. The government were also acutely aware of the bad publicity they would receive if they were seen to be sending returning heroes back into conditions as bad as the Somme.
Not to be deterred the committee under control of Geelong Mayor Howard Hitchcock reorganised the venture as a privately funded toll road and obtain permission to build the road, and set about seeking investors.
The Great Ocean Road Trust as it was then know, began fundraising with quotes such as "Do it for the Diggers" and "Our Boys" to appeal to the patriotism of contributors and because the topic of finding employment for return soldiers was a topic of public interest at the time. This is where some of the present day misunderstand stems from, however at no stage was the road was ever considered to be a memorial, it was being built purely for commercial reasons and the Great Ocean Road Trust were only concerned with building the road and not building a memorial.
Work got underway quickly and by August 1919 the first gang of workers had begun construction although it wasn’t 3000 as claimed by the reports it was probably somewhere between 60 and 100 workers. Australia at the time had no unemployment system so the men working on the road weren’t doing it for their mates they were working to make a living and support their families, also not everyone working on the project was a returned soldier as there were no orders given to favour returned soldiers, if there was a predominance in returned soldiers amongst the gangs it was purely because there were more unemployed soldier at that time
Initially the Great Ocean Road Trust only raised a small proportion of the money required to complete the project so work continued until the money ran out and the workers were be laid off until the trust was able to generate more funds, then a new gang would be employed for as long as the money lasted. The size of these gangs varied depending on how many workers were required for each section, and according to anecdotal evidence these work gangs were rarely more than about 150 workers, not 3000, also work was stop start and there was no continuous employment during the 14 years of construction.
The official opening was held on Saturday 26th of November 1932 and during the ceremony special mention was made of the chairman of the trust, Cr Howard Hitchcock who had recently died, however a plaque erected at the site makes no reference to the road being a war memorial. In later years there was only scant mention of the contribution made by the returned servicemen, a memorial wall built in 1935 at Mount Defiance also credits the Great Ocean Road Trust's founding president, Howard Hitchcock, and his contribution to the success of the project and the men who served in the Great War, and the memorial arch erected in 1939 at Eastern View was inscribed "To the memory of Major W T B McCormack, M. Inst. C.E., honorary engineer to The Great Ocean Road Trust and Chairman of the Country Roads Board" again no reference to the road being built as a memorial.
For the next 80 years there was nothing said or written about the Great Ocean Road being a war memorial and then in 2006, prior to the 75th anniversary of the Great Ocean Road someone working for the tourism department came up with the bright idea that because there had been returned soldiers working on the building of the road they could claim the Great Ocean Road was the worlds largest war memorial, and because the historical information about the roads construction had been destroyed they decided to fabricate their own evidence and have a memorial statue built with a suitably inscribed plaque. Much of the information on the plaque is incorrect, ambiguous and misleading and over time this same information has been transferred onto the governments own tourism web site, and from there it has been copied ( without any verification ) onto numerous other websites. Worst of all it was done to sell accommodation and tourism along the Great Ocean Road, none of the impetus for the memorial statue or the promotion has came from the Returned Servicemen or war veterans but has been driven by local tourist authorities. It shows just how easily the truth can be altered especially by governments or their agencies