Fury over tradie on a pink bike in Commonwealth Games ad
COMMONWEALTH Games organisers have been accused of "spitting in the face of tradies" for using a builder riding to work on a pink children's bicycle to highlight the need for locals to rethink how they travel during the event.
The cartoon tradie - wearing hi-vis and carrying his tools in the bike's flowery basket - is one of the "quirky characters" that features in the Get Set for the Games advertising campaign that urges residents to help reduce road congestion during the Games.
And while the Department of Transport and Main Roads says the campaign aims to raise awareness by bringing animated characters to life in a lighthearted way, fired-up tradies believe it shows organisers fail to appreciate how the Games will impact them.
"Sometimes I wonder if they're just taking the p***," mobile mechanic Mike Staples said after yesterday's campaign launch.
"They use a silly (image) like that but it's not a joke for me. I need to earn money.
"I actually visited one of their information stalls and their advice was to just take two weeks off. I said 'I'm self-employed, I can't afford to' … I've heard them say 'You should catch a bus' but what am I supposed to do? Put my toolbox on a bus?
"As someone who lives here, works hard and pays my taxes, I just feel like they're pushing us to one side.
"(That ad) does make you feel like they're treating (the issue) as a joke but it's serious for us mobile guys."
Bilambil's Mitchell Hemmings, who lays carpets from Beenleigh to the Tweed, said the inclusion of the bicycle-riding tradie was "typical of council and governments".
"They don't know the reality of the world," he said.
"I used to pump concrete and for me to ride to and from work and spend 12 hours on the end of a concrete pump is not realistic.
"There wouldn't be a Commonwealth Games without the work we've done and to now tell us to get on our bikes is extremely rude … it's just a spit in the face for tradies."
A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the campaign had been market-researched and tested several times with residents.
"In particular research participants loved the lighthearted approach taken and thought the athletes and community member mix worked well," she said.
"The creative is in the spirit of the Games - fun, bright, inclusive and exciting. The investment in such a significant campaign ... shows our appreciation for the impact the Games will have on the Gold Coast community.
"We acknowledge not everyone will be able to change their travel behaviour and are confident Gold Coast residents will get behind GC2018 and do their bit."
RACQ's Lauren Ritchie said planning ahead would be crucial for motorists.
"It's 11 Wednesdays until the Games and you have to start thinking now instead of 'She'll be right'," she said.
"We can't encourage enough for people to leave the car at home."