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Jaggie

I was in the Daily Telegraph

30 posts in this topic

For all you Sydney guys, check out todays Daily Telegraph, in the letters section, i wrote a letter about Wonderland closing. It's under 'Great Days at Wonderland' and it's the first letter. Jaeger Lindsell Glenmore Park is the person. Check it out. For the QLD guys, i will scan it tomorrow, if you wish to see.

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Yeah Jaggs, I saw it. What a load of codswallop mate. Congratulations for pulling the park together over the last 8 years.... haha very laughable old son. You've got to be cracking jokes. Gave me a laugh anyway. I will see if my response to it is published tomorrow otherwise I'll post it here for you.

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I sent it to the Penrith Press too, not that I'm anywhere near Penrith but none of my papers online were working for whatever reason. I'll get hold of the Penrith Press this week and get back to you guys. I'm thinking it was too long for the Daily Telegraph. Standby a couple of days.

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Ahh yeah, I forgot about that. I'll have a look for it. They put a tiny little bit of it in my local paper. Bastards they are, didn't print the good stuff. Standby. I'll find it eventually if it's around.

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This letter was in one of my local papers. "Loss of an 'icon' I was deeply saddened to learn on the imminent closure of Wonderland Sydney which, for the past 18 years, has been a local source of fun and entertainment for hundreds of thousands of Western Sydney residents. It is true to say we have lost an icon. As the local Federal MP, I attended the offical opening ceremony os Australia's Wonderland, as it was then called, conducted amid much fanfare back in 1985. It's a source of great disappointment for me that during my time as the MP for Chifley I will also witness Wonderland's closing. One of my greatest frustrations in all of this is that we weren't given the opportunity to save the site as a theme park. One day it was open, seemingly running smoothly enough. The next it was closing down to be replaced by a technology park. The State Government's failure to zone the land as a theme park means that Sydney, with its population of four million, is now left without one. The Gold Coast in Queensland, with a population of less than half a million, has four. Will Western Sydney kids need to travel 12 hours to the Gold Coast to experience the fun and excitement of a theme park in the future? I, for one, certainly hope not. I'd like to pass on my best wishes to the nearly 400 Wonderland staff members who now face a mad scramble to find a new job before the end of April. For many young people in Western Sydney, Wonderland provided them with their first job, and a taste of employment in the tourism/hospitality sector. It's a shame future that generations will not enjoy the same experience. Roger Price MP for Chifley" Penrith City Star Tuesday, March 16, 2004 I have to agree with Mr Price and say that the State Government has had a hand in the closing of Sydney's only theme park. Mr Carr has had only one thing on his mind since soming into power and that is how to make as much money as possible at any cost. Daniel, we are still waiting for your letter that was never published. "The Bus is now leaving for The Star Spur, Victoria"

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Why blame the management? Their job all along was the run the best park possible with what was available, which is what they did. The decision to shut the place didn't come from Wonderland's managment, it came from presumably Sunway's board of directors. You can't help but feel that the government didn't do all that they could have to save the park, but could this perhaps be because in the greater scheme of things, an industrial area, providing several thousand jobs is really better for the economy than a theme park employing 500-odd (no doubt with lower wages than those in the industrial park would be paid)?

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Richard, the Sunway Board of Directors are part of Wonderland's Management team. This involves executives from both the Park itself and its owners in Malaysia. And Richard,

Their job all along was the run the best park possible with what was available, which is what they did
I wish you got to see the internal operations of the park before you made this comment

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Wonderland's management team starts with Stephen Galbraith and goes down from there. Sunway's board of directors is a group of eight gentlemen whose names I wouldn't want to try and pronounce. They oversee all of Sunway's involvements. There's a bit of a distinction between the two. Wonderland's management team's purpose was to operate the park. The Board of Directors have the interests of the corporation or shareholders as their sole interests. Some time ago, or perhaps even before the park was bought by Sunway, studies would have been done into the profitability, return on investment and the overall feasibility of operating the site as a theme park. Undoubtedly Wonderland's management team was involved with this, but I'd say that would be about where their involvement ended. Clearly the result of this was that shutting the park and selling the land was of most benefit to the company. Throughout the six years that they operated the theme park, I don't think you can argue that the park was operated in any way other than to maintain (or increase) the attendance and revenue of the park. If you want to try and argue against that point, look at the Marvel deal, fresh paint left right and centre, The Beach rehab, Saturday night trading. The fact is, though they might well have known that the park was closing, their brief all along was to keep the park going as a popular attraction. Many (namely employees) would say that the Disney parks are some of the most horrible and badly organized places behind the scenes. Meanwhile, on the surface they're easily the best run parks in the world. It's a guest-oriented business. How well it is run is based on how it operates out and about where the customers are concerned. If I took all the (biased?) behind-the-scenes stories about Wonderland, that really wouldn't change the fact that on the surface, it's a pretty well run park. You know, I knew from when I posted that I'd get caught up on that point... some of you people are too predictable.

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Rich, I have to agree mate. You have no idea what went on inside that joint. Sure they had financial restraints, no one is denying that, but you have no idea whatsoever about the way the place was run.

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I rock up to the place in the morning, have a great time out. Staff were friendly and efficient, rides were in reasonable condition and the place looked nice. That's a well run park, and those who are running it should be commended. What happens in employee areas of the park has no effect on that statement. I never heard much about industrial action or investigations, so I wouldn't think it's illegally bad.

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OK Rich! There is absolutely no point arguing with you, and your 'biased' comment was stupid. Haven't you seen a trend of unhappy people or are you completely blind? With all due respect of course. We just go around in circles on this exact topic everytime so lets just give up right now. You seem to know more than those who have first hand experience and have seen the way the place was run. They did a great job of fooling people such as yourself. A bit of crappy poofter paint here and there does not make a well run theme park. Let me tell you the beach work was a must, otherwise the beach would not have opened this season.

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I agree with some of Richard's points on this one. Virtually ALL workplaces have employees who feel the business is badly run. It's a fact of life. Every now and then an exception comes along and some are worse than others but overall no job (or management team) is perfect. The WS managers certainly did have some major constraints placed on them (ie. virtually NO money going back into the park) which would have made it very difficult. The other factor is that most of the operational staff at Wonderland are on very low wages, once again due to the restrictions placed on the business by Sunway. If you are not willing to pay good money you often won't get great staff. This applies to the divisional and operational managers at Wonderland which is why a lot of them probably aren't the best suited to their roles. Wonderland simply wasn't willing to pay for top people. What makes Wonderland work well from an operational perspective only (ie. what the guests see) is that the majority of the staff are, quite simply, nice people. This certainly isn't due to Wonderland's staff training programs or anything like that (I believe most of the training is very basic and not really on-going as it should be). I feel that WS is just good at hiring friendly and enthusiastic people. They have a good human resources department which does most of the hiring. The department is run by a small group of compassionate people who are obviously good at choosing the right person for the required job

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I think my biased (you need to check your spelling... oh wait, never mind, that was a joke) comment was pretty true. Look at it from my, non-"first hand experience". There's all this talk here (not just you) about how Wonderland's so bad, but we've never once had an actual example. We've got some current employees, so that's understandable, what with the job on the line, but you're a disgruntled ex-employee. You should be crusading and spilling the goss' - SaveDisney.com style! Maybe if you gave some examples, instead of letting off these vague comments about how Wonderland is the devil, you might deserve a little more credibility on this topic, but you can't blame me for sort of discounting your dark opinions in the meantime. Still got your fingers crossed that Wonderland will call you and have you back? Okay, if they didn't do the work on The Beach, it wouldn't have opened. Doesn't that right there sort of show that the interest for Wonderland's management was in operating the theme park until the last day. Maybe they didn't even know the actual date (or know at all) of the park's closure, because doesn't it seem plain stupid to invest in refurbishments for a water park that'll only get one season of use? Don't know about you, but as much as this particular topic goes around in circles, I still enjoy it.

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I knew you'd pick it up Rich. Good work. It has now been changed for the credibility of your forum. How would you know I'm 'disgruntled'? I could have said it HOW IT IS while I was still working there couldn't I? All these people have come out and said how bad it is, however you still persist with your rubbish of being disgruntled ex-employees. How in the world do you know who is still there and who isn't. You don't and probably ever won't. For all you know I could still be there too. Discounting my dark opinions? What about the other bunch of people? Oh yeah, they don't count do they old mate? You knock your socks off with your crap mate because I love the ****. Happy Days!

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You pick up enough in threads to get a vague idea about who does and who did work there. Maybe everyone's lying about everything, but I'm not responding to Daniel Whoever, I'm responding to the registered user Daniel. What you are or aren't in real life isn't what I'm concerned about, it's what you're saying here. I know most people are very different from who they are on the internet. Take me - about the most in-depth debate I'll ever have is whether Friends or Frasier is better (the answer is Frasier, by the way). Leaving the petty argument of "I might not be what I'm saying I am" behind, the fact that remains is you're pretty well disgruntled. Look up any good dictionary, and you'll find that it means you're not happy or discontented. When it comes to Wonderland, I wouldn't exactly call you happy or contented. You expect people to believe you, yet you've only made general comments. I've never heard so much as a single story that confirms what you're saying - even from yourself. If I recall, all this concern came from me suggesting that Wonderland is a well-run park. It wasn't about how their employee benefits or work conditions stack up against other employers. Perhaps you didn't believe my earlier comment about Disney parks probably being even worse in terms of behind-the-scenes conditions. I'm talking backstabbing, supervisors spying, serious over-working (a good story from Universal Studios - not Disney, but same league - where they hire people casual over the summer period under the impression that by law if they work 60 hour weeks for three months they are made full-time, and fire them when the big three comes around), attrocious hours and unrealisic expectations given the circumstances. I assure you that what Cast Members go through is ten times what any Wonderland employee experiences. It's worthwhile pointing out that those views and stories come not from dodgy websites but real people I encountered in my five days in Anaheim and twelve days in Orlando. I've already said that my view on operating a park comes from guest impressions and has nothing to do with whatever goes on behind the scenes. Ask anyone that came with us to Wonderland on March 7. Sure, the place is a tad light-on in the thrill ride deparment, but we had a blast. The place looked great, rides were running about as well as they possible can, staff were friendly (with the exception of our friend on Snowy River Rampage during the incident) and far more efficient than some of their Gold Coast counterparts, and all with the full knowledge that the place would be gone in under two months. How about this. A Hungry Jacks store is judged by the quality of the food it provides, the friendliness of staff to customers and the cleanliness of the store. It's a good store if all three are covered well. I also know from personal experience that behind that heat-chute there are half a dozen or so people yelling, stressing, copping it from managers who want a Whopper made 2.3s faster, all for hopeless pay. Does it change your opinion of that store knowing what goes on back there, especially given that it happens at most other fast food stores. Running a store like that well means answering to those three criteria, and absolutely no others (obviously within the confines of the laws or ethical business practice). As for employees, some can take it easily, while some can't. Those that can't won't stick around and there's other jobs out there. The longer my posts get, the more waffle they are. Read the first and last paragraphs and you should be right.

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You are right about the waffle Rich. We know staff are friendly already. That's never been an issue at all. I'm just going to leave it there and not comment on it anymore. It's a pointless arguement and no one is going to budge. I don't plan on going into specific issues concerning incidents with staff at Wonderland, so it is best for me to leave the argument right here. I would have no objections to discussing this issue with you in private, but here it does not concern others and is quite frankly none of their business and not my place to discuss.

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Good call on that one. I hope it didn't come off like me wanting you to spill your guts about it all, because I couldn't really care less about most of it. My point was when you're on here condemning the place non-stop without any proof; it's hard as well as stupid for anyone to really take it onboard as the truth - nothing more than that. One thing I don't get though. You obviously don't like the way the place is run, yet you're saying, presumably in all seriousness, that you'd gladly go back to fill some gaps in these final weeks. If it were as bad as you're saying, I'd hardly be saying something like that. That leads me to believe that you're at least partially blowing things out of proportion about it all.

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Yes, I'd go back for some casual stuff here and there if the need arose and I was up for it on my some of my days off from work. After some issues on here I think it would be very unlikely to say the least :P The point is I'd be able to get past any indifferences and I want just as much as anyone, for the park to be open on April 26. I'm not really blowing anything out of proportion, you will see in your latest PM. I suggest it's probably best to lock this thread now and we'll leave it at this.

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