Upset Aussies are a ‘pack of whingers’: Beattie
AUSTRALIANS who were disgusted by athletes being left out of the closing ceremony are a "pack of whingers", Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie says.
The same day he took responsibility and apologised for the decision to snub athletes in favour of a series of speeches and lacklustre performances at the closing ceremony Mr Beattie criticised "whingers" and "self-indulgent" commentators.
"I just think one of the problems is that we are getting to a stage of being a pack of whingers ... I just say to Australia we're bigger than this. We should be about positive things, about building things, about doing things and we shouldn't try to tear down people who want to do that," he said on his regular slot on Sky News.
The comments to co-host Campbell Newman were in stark contrast to Mr Beattie's apologetic demeanour on Monday as he took responsibility for the disastrous closing ceremony and admitted he got it "wrong".
But on Sky News he suggested the widespread backlash to the ceremony was a "beat-up" and upset GOLDOC officials.
"Often some of the commentators who are very self-indulgent forget this - there is a very good team at GOLDOC, which is the organising committee, and whenever you get sort of beat-ups and so on the morale of those wonderful individuals actually is affected … I work with these people, they're non-political, they worked incredibly hard, and delivered one of the best Commonwealth Games Australia's ever had," he said.
Mr Beattie also complained that volunteers and staffers did not get enough praise.
"They don't get any accolades, they feel offended when people attack the Games - they're the people that matter. Not the people who got an opinion not worth a cracker," he said.
The former Queensland Labor premier also reiterated he took responsibility for the ceremony.
"In the long run, the reality is, you can have a blame game going from now until eternity, (but) I'm the chairman of the (GOLDOC) organising committee, the buck stops with us, so I'm not interested in blaming anyone else," he said.
Yesterday Mr Beattie fought back tears as he said goodbye to dozens of staff.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk yesterday said Games athletes would be celebrated at a ticker-tape parade on Friday next week.