Those on the wrong side of the Tweed say the only good thing about NSW is that it keeps Victorians out of Queensland. Victorians could say the reverse, if they cared, but NSW is stuck with its neighbours, and after 149 years of relative quiet, the northerners are getting uppity.
The standard view of Queenslanders is benign. They're odd but inoffensive, unless you take exception to their affection for Australian-flag bumper stickers reading: "Love it or leave!" (How does one demonstrate acceptable love to an inanimate object?)
Lonely Planetreflects this view when describing Brisbane: "Australia's third-largest city feels no need to toot its own horn. While other capitals scramble to reach top billing in the status stakes, Brisbane quietly executes its evolution in true, casual Queensland style. It feels no need to advertise its virtues - locals know how good they've got it."
Which is all true, except for the bits about not tooting its own horn, evolving quietly or not advertising its virtues. The Gold Coast brashness has infected the rest of the Sunshine State. Very GC is Very QLD. There's an emerging Queensland arrogance which suggests the Smart State rebranding was not just Peter Beattie being ironic. His former electors seem to think it's a statement of fact, and see proof everywhere.
For the first time in forever, the Prime Minister comes not from Sydney, but from Brisbane; his Treasurer represents an adjoining electorate. Pineapple power will expand when Quentin Bryce moves later this year to Yarralumla. She says the rest of the country has nothing to fear, but don't buy it, Queenslanders think they're taking over.
They're getting richer. In the decade to June 2007, Queensland's gross state product grew by 61 per cent, compared with NSW growth of 33 per cent.
They're getting bigger. The last year Queensland lost more people to other states than it gained was 1947. A population counter at Brisbane Airport tells visitors how quickly the state is growing: Queensland now has about 4.2 million residents, netting tens of thousands from interstate every year.
And the weather is to die for. This week, forecasters warned of a cold snap - it would reach only 24 degrees in Brisbane. An insane Channel Ten presenter (is there any other kind?) called the week "extremely wintry", and prompted a rush on scarves.
But crow as they might, Queenslanders should get back in their box, and accept their place alongside South Australia as a state of limited significance.
First, while migrants throng north, its famous offspring escape. Invest Queensland lists these "famous Queenslanders" on its web site: Pat Rafter, Greg Norman, Grant Hackett, Keith Urban, Kristy Hinze and Steve Irwin.
Ignore that Hinze was born in Sydney and Urban in New Zealand, only Rafter still lives in the state (unless you count Irwin, who's buried somewhere on the Sunshine Coast).
Beattie, the former Chief Pineapple, is in the US selling Queensland - an easy sell when you don't have to live there. And there are still more people in Sydney than the whole of the sugar state.
Second, Queensland is modest no longer. For proof, see the definitive compendium of modern society, Facebook, and the group called "Qld Maroons will annihilate the NSW Smurfs in State of Origin".
It declares: "We all know it's true, so it's time to educate the confused about how much better Qld is than NSW, especially at playing league. Gloating isn't even necessary."
But apparently irresistible. (Evidence of Smart State intelligence comes from one post, which says, in its entirety: "Queenslander … yeahhhhhh!")
The Courier-Mail has an Origin gallery online of the "best cockroach shots", including a picture of forlorn NSW Blues players behind a goalpost advertisement for XXXX Bitter. There's another of the Queensland flag on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with a tag: "Get used to it."
Third, Brisbane's premier shopping strip, Queen Street Mall, has a Crocs Concept Store, selling the ugliest, most ridiculous shoes ever made (and surely the only ones promoted for their anti-bacterial properties).
Some early-adopting Sydney fashionista mistakenly wore Crocs, but Queenslanders wear them still, proudly and bedazzled. An otherwise sensible man I know has one pair at the front door, and another at the back.
Fourth, Sydneysiders don't ask other Australians if they like their city. They just assume everyone must. BrisVegans feel insecurely compelled to ask.
And then there's Pauline Hanson, a phenomenon for which Queensland has never said sorry.
But Queensland has won two State of Origin series on the trot. One submission to the 2020 summit sought to abolish the states, and if the Blues lose this series, abolishing Queensland may be the only way to deal with these upstart neighbours.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald