For the 100-plus News Ltd hacks in the lock-up, there was no shortage of reading material to share around, but for our two-man operation, it was information overload.
Treasury’s blue bag handout contained 11 blue documents including the following:
- 13 page Budget Speech
- Glossy 42 page budget overview in A4 size
- Budget Paper No 1 outlining the strategy and outlook
- The 440 page Budget Paper No 2 laying out all the line items
- 145 pages of Budget Paper No 3 on “Australia’s Federal Relations”
- 114 pages of Budget Paper No 4 on “agency resourcing”
- A 47 page statement from Jenny Macklin called “closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australian” – something you didn’t see from the Howard Government.
- A 56 page “education revolution” statement from Julia Gillard which was anything but
- A 37 page “strengthening rural and regional Australia” statement from Anthony Albanese
- A 69 page statement from Stephen Smith called “Australia’s international development assistance program”
- 43 pages from Penny Wong on “Climate change, the economy, the environment”.
But standing out from the crowd was the big A4 lime green 32 page “Working Families Support Package”.
If all that wasn’t enough, we got another 19 separate press releases from Treasury itself.
To be brutally honest, barely any of this was consumed before we trotted down for the big Wayne Swan press conference, scheduled for 4pm.