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Feb 26, 2013

PM's four-star Rooty Hill blitz -- try the wagyu, say locals

The Prime Minister is heading to the suburbs of Western Sydney in order to help salvage Labor's plummeting vote. But just where will Julia Gillard lay her prime ministerial head each night?


Labor’s vote may have collapsed in western Sydney, but can five days living in a beige hotel room in “the Vegas of Sydney’s west” turn things around? Julia Gillard sure hopes so.

As Phillip Coorey revealed in The Australian Financial Review this morning, the PM is heading to Rooty Hill (home of the infamous Rooty Hill leaders’ debate in 2010) to spend five days hanging out with locals. There will be cabinet meetings, events with local ethnic communities and lots of talk on higher education and jobs. It all kicks off on Sunday with a speech by Gillard at the University of Western Sydney.

But just where will the Prime Minister and her team camp out, since they are (wisely) choosing to avoid the traffic on a nightly drive back to Kirribilli?

“There’s not an over abundance of accommodation befitting the prime minister in the area,” one local told Crikey this morning.

The assumption — the hotel is yet to confirm and the Prime Minister’s office declined to comment — has the prime ministerial entourage bunking down at the four-and-a-half star Novotel Rooty Hill, part of the glitzy Rooty Hill RSL Leisure Complex. Trip Advisor ranks it No. 1 among local hotels; it recently had a multi-million dollar upgrade and can sleep up to 650 guests in its white, beige and red-toned rooms.

A nearby Holiday Inn (three-and-a-half stars, self rated) or the Chifley Eastern Creek at Blacktown (where Gillard could stay in the fittingly named Chifley suite) seem the next best options.

Assuming no special discount was given (Crikey was told five days wasn’t long enough for a price drop, however Gillard’s negotiating skills are renowned) one bedroom apartments at the Novotel Rooty Hill will set the taxpayer back $245 a night. A few two-bedroom apartments are also available.

If Gillard and her crew want the buffet breakfast — which one Trip Advisor reviewer declared “to die for!” — it’s an extra $17 per person, although the WiFi is complementary.

There’s even undercover walkways between the hotel and the rest of the massive Rooty Hill complex so the prime minister can easily pop over for a schooner and schnitzel. The hotel also recommends the wagyu beef steak at Zest Wok n’ Grill. If her team needs to unwind after days of dealing with disillusioned western Sydney voters, perhaps a game of M9 laser skirmish or tenpin bowling will help.

Sadly Gillard will just miss Aria-award winning country sister act The McClymonts, who will perform at the RSL this Saturday night. However, she can try out the Tapas20 event “mouth-watering tapas in a relaxing and refined environment” on Thursday in the Club Lounge.

Although the pokie machines are plentiful at the RSL, we’re expecting the PM to avoid those in the same way she did Andrew Wilkie’s reforms.



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27 thoughts on “PM’s four-star Rooty Hill blitz — try the wagyu, say locals

  1. Christina Elisabeth

    As someone who grew up and now works in Western Sydney, I would have preferred reading a considered ananlysis of the strategy behind the 5-day tour instead of a patronising report on the hotel/meal/entertainment possibilities the PM will have in Rooty Hill.

  2. Sebben

    I actually paid for this crap.

  3. Aphra

    ‘Try the wagyu’. What sort of nonsense reporting is this?

    I’m not a great fan of Gillard’s but this constant belittling of her by fair means or foul is getting a bit much.

    This so-called report was worthy of Women’s Day at best, The Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph at worst.

    I endorse Christina Elisabeth’s comments.

  4. GF50

    Pointless, smart-arse, puerile, article.

  5. Phil L

    Usually a big fan of Crikey for reporting the real political stories and attempting to rise above the obvious media swill.

    For the first time in a while I’ve questioned why I’m paying for a subscription after reading this ill-considered guff.

    Lazy article that took the low road in preference to an analysis of why JG is on the campaign trail in the mighty western suburbs.

  6. form1planet

    I expect the NT News will be running an excerpt of this article tomorrow, as a hilarious example of the kind of content-free, snark-laden reporting that southern media consumers enjoy.

  7. David Hand

    Just tell me she’s “governing” from this Rooty hill pad and not campaigning. After all, the election campaign is “months away” and Labor’s has a lot of “governing” to do before it descends into the task of fighting an election campaign.

    This is evidence that Gillard herself believes she may have stuffed up by announcing the election date so early

  8. zut alors

    Please stop this frivolous pap, Crikey.

    Bear in mind your subscribers have IQs greater than their shoe size.

  9. CML

    Amber – you really are acting like a smart-ar+e. No fan of Julia Gillard’s, I too am offended by this article – especially the comment about the poker machines. How low can Crikey go without overtaking the nonsense in Ltd. News?

  10. Marcus Ogden

    Worst Crikey article ever.

  11. drmick

    Chasing me for a subscription when I get shite like this for free from the abc. You must be joking.

  12. Desmond Carroll

    If that appalling rubbish had landed in the basket on my subs’ desk it would have hit the spike (a skinny, pointy thing with a fat, heavy base).

  13. Andybob

    Who will she be meeting ?
    What do they want ?
    Can she give it to them ?
    What difference will it make ?

  14. Tyler T

    embarassing facile nonsense, what a waste of time

  15. Elbow Patches

    Frivolous yes, but It wasn’t that bad. I knew nothing about Rooty Hill before. That the PM is staying there is a novelty. As for the pokies, the back down on the legislation was disappointing to anyone who thinks the industry is too powerful, and to be reminded of it is not ‘offensive’ is it?

  16. David Hand

    Well I think I got the gist of the article.

    That the Prime Minister of Australia is spending 5 days in a western Sydney hotel is cause for derision. I mean surely even rusted on lefties can see satire when it is published in Crikey, can’t they?

    Perhaps you can’t.
    Or perhaps you don’t find it funny. Well I can understand that too.

  17. Tyler T

    a childish analysis of Tabbott’s accomodation would be just as pathetic as this article. It has nothing to do with right/left this is the sort of inane babble that belongs in the tabloids. I think it’s fair to say that nobody subscribes to crikey for this sort of fluff

  18. CML

    @ David Hand – The reason I was offended by the pokies comment is because the other side of politics (with which you seem to be enamoured), was totally responsible for “killing” off any meaningful legislation to deal with this problem. And all in the name of major donations to the Coalition from the hotel/clubs industry. Never mind the people, and their families, whose lives are going down the toilet.
    So I don’t appreciate some silly journalist, probably not wet behind the ears, making a totally unbalanced statement indicating that the Labor party are solely responsible for this situation. Any corrective legislation was not going to pass without the support of both major parties. It seems money is more important than people to the Coalition.

  19. robinw

    Lift your game, Amber.

  20. Christina Elisabeth

    The thought that it was a satirical piece had crossed my mind, but I wasn’t sure. So I checked the dictionary definition of satire and now I’m sure it’s not (but I can concede that it may have been an attempt).

  21. AR

    WTF!!!! I can’t complain that trees died to allow this garbage to see the light of day but I do object to the loss of the 40secs it took to scan it.
    And the pity is that this writer has done better so, again WTF?WTF?WTF?????

  22. oldskool

    I subscribed to Crikey to get analysis, not have to read this sort of pap.

    Of course she is staying at the Panthers venue, it is the only place in the area she is visiting that provides the sort of amenities that the PM would need.

    How about some analysis of what will happen…

  23. michael

    Crikey! Are you really that desperate to be seen as a MSM outlet? What was the point the that article?

  24. Xoanon

    Should read “the WiFi is complimentary”

  25. David Hand

    This article has certainly stirred quite a few up. The ire raised in respondents shows of course, that the article actually has merit.

    It is possible that respondents form a friendly support group that is interested in the quality of Crikey’s articles and are giving constructive feedback about future improvements. But I don’t think so.

    It seems more likely that the article has scored a direct hit. The PM looks absurd. I see today that she is furiously arguing that she is “governing” from Rooty Hill, not “campaigning”. It’s laughable and deserves to be laughed at.

  26. Dave Vane

    I think I heard the PM say she was going to pay for the hotel room out of her own pocket which is laudable – but what about the accommodation and other costs of the security detail and various political flunkies?

    I know the AFP like to travel because they get away-from-home pay etc. The same is probably true for the flunkies. Is the PM paying for them, too?

  27. Karen

    This looked like an article that was designed for accommodation sites, ‘wotif’ etc, rather than an analysis of why the PM is taking her kitchen cabinet to Rooty Hill, which is what, going by the commnents above, we all wanted.

    Still, I suppose I know at least where I should stay now, if for some reason I need to stay out at Rooty Hill…

    In any event, the pillorying of Gillard over nit picking cr*p, from everything including the calling of the election to deciding to hold a kitchen cabinet meeting in Rooty Hill, goes to show the media, now Amber, can’t seem to find anything of any actual substance over which to actually criticise her. Stupid!


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