New Chinese Theme Park for Australia?

A theme park is to be built at Warnervale in New South Wales. It is not your usual holiday inspired park like Marine World or Disney World. The name of the new entertainment precinct is not yet known, but it will be devoted solely to things Chinese.

It is aimed more at Chinese tourists than Australians. A panda paradise, thanksgiving temple and treasure ship are expected to draw the customers. A massive half a billion dollars is dedicated to the project.

The rather odd name of "Chappypie China Time" is being put forward as the preferred choice by Chinese developers. This choice will not go down well with Australians. It is awkward and doesn't translate well into Australian culture.

It will based on "old" China, not the present totalitarian state. Things such as a copy of the Forbidden City, thousand-hand Guanyin and dragon boats will be the main theme.  Developers say it will rival Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. However, these are thing quintessentially Australia. How can a Chinese project be marketed as an Australian icon?

The Wyong Shire Council insisted that the park must have rides to make it relevant to Australian customers. Disney has also said that legal action will follow if the word "Disney" is in the park's name. The move by the Chinese consortium comes as a bit of a shock to Disney which says there is no local market there for such a huge investment.

Such a project could be a ruse to build a thanksgiving temple. This will be the first thing constructed. It could also be the last. Local people would not want such as large temple built near to them. Councillors should be wary of the "easy out" clause in the contract.
Culture by Ty Buchanan
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