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
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.