Next time you find a press gallery journalist complaining about the dire quality of public debate in Australia, ask them what they did during the AWU saga.

In a week rich with policy issues of substance and import -- the Murray-Darling Basin, a nationally important, years-long process over which many MPs have agonised, Australia's UN vote on Palestine, the continuing controversy over offshore processing, the start of the government's NDIS and education reforms -- the focus of course was on what Julia Gillard did 20 years ago.