A Watsonia woman claims that Nillumbik residents are getting a bit ahead of themselves, following a big week of positive publicity about their region. Doris Stephenson says that friends of hers who live in Nillumbik haven’t stopped talking about how wonderful their local area is, to the point where she is seriously considering ending those friendships.

Throughout the course of this week, two separate studies have delivered favourable results for people living within the Nillumbik shire, supposedly indicating a higher degree of happiness and intelligence in the region. It all started on Sunday when Channel 7 ran with a story about a study that claims Nillumbik is the happiest place to live in all of Australia.

On the same day, a story ran in a prominent newspaper about Nillumbik being the second “smartest” local government area in Victoria, with Banyule only coming in at a lowly eighth.

Following up on these surprising, and somewhat questionable, results, the Nillumbik-centric Diamond Valley Leader then ran a two-page spread extolling the virtues of life in Nillumbik, conveniently failing to mention the high annual rates fees, inflated pet registration, and fortnightly rubbish bin collection.

Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle, Stephenson said, “Eltham has always engendered a certain level of smugness, but this week has actually been unbearable. These Nillumbik residents just keep going on and on about how happy and intelligent they all are. I hope the bubble bursts soon, I really do. They could lose friendships over this. Let’s see how smart and happy they are then. It has all been terribly unsavoury.”