Mar 1, 2013

Rooty Hill to Pyrmont: PM shows two sides of modern campaigning

The Prime Minister will travel from the 'burbs to Sydney Harbour and back again on Tuesday, demonstrating the two sides of modern political campaigning.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Julia Gillard will interrupt her campaigning in western Sydney on Tuesday to attend a $12,000-a-table Labor Party fundraiser at harbourside Pyrmont before returning to Rooty Hill that night. The fundraising dinner, organised by the Labor Business Forum, will feature the entire cabinet and be held at the "spectacular waterfront function centre" Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf. For $12,000 a table, attendees will enjoy views of the harbour and the city skyline, "polished wooden floors, white gold mosaic tiles and large marble bar" and "amazing lighting features hung from the original timber beams." More to the point, there will be a cabinet minister at each table to discuss pertinent issues with the nine guests on the table. The Prime Minister will address the dinner, which is likely to raise over $200,000. Attendees will not have to declare their contribution -- not merely is the price per individual, and the price per table, below the reporting threshold for the Australian Electoral Commission, but the opportunity to lobby or quiz a cabinet minister is a benefit being purchased by attendees, potentially meaning it is not reportable as a donation. However, the federal Labor Party makes a point of reporting all contributions over $1000, whether donations or not, in its annual returns to the AEC (although Labor is increasingly using fora "memberships" as a fundraising tool, which may fall entirely outside any reporting requirements). Pyrmont is a 10-minute car ride from Kirribilli, where the prime minister's official Sydney residence is located; there's no direct ferry service from Pyrmont to Kirribilli (you have to change at Circular Quay), but a water taxi would be a quick trip under the bridge. But the Prime Minister will be travelling 50 kilometres back to Rooty Hill that evening to continue her western Sydney campaign. The Prime Minister received extensive criticism from sections of the media for electing to stay out in western Sydney rather than at Kirribilli -- although not nearly as much as she would have received if she'd decided to campaign in western Sydney during the day but head back to the opulence of the official residence at night. But the trek back to Rooty Hill on Tuesday evening illustrates the impracticality of maintaining appearances. All parties are in full fundraising mode ahead of the election. At the end of January, Warren Truss and Barnaby Joyce held a $1000-a-head cruise on Sydney Harbour. Tony Abbott hosted a $1500-a-head fundraiser only last Monday in Townsville for LNP MP Ewen Jones.

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6 thoughts on “Rooty Hill to Pyrmont: PM shows two sides of modern campaigning

  1. Andybob

    I think what people in Western Sydney would like is for her to stay out there at night and travel in by car or public transport to work like they do.

  2. AR

    So you’re guestimating… 20 attendees @$12K? How many did MM have for 1/8th the price?
    AndyB – and the roads, a State responsibility is the PM’s problem… why exactly? Two days ago ABC did a vox pop in Rooty Hill following mentalist minister Butt(ler)’s snide remarks about the suburb’s name that featured 2, count’em 2, blokes who claimed to have been Labor through the generations but will be voting Liberal.
    One said he was sick of Gillard because of all the deregulation..WTF? Tuther claimed same genetic heritage and intentions because of the crowded buses & trains.
    The horror is not just these people vote but are allowed to wander the streets & handle sharp implements.
    Poor Bugger,my Country.

  3. Keir Whitcher

    Oh God, imagine if Emerson flashes up and starts singing “Whyalla Wipeout” supported by Conroy singing “Good Old Collingwood Forever”

  4. jeremiahwuzza

    Well, so what? Are you that short of things to write about? Maybe I could give you some suggestions:
    LNP and their donations and fundraisers;
    What really happened in the Ashby case;
    How and why the media has whipped Australians into hating the incumbent government;
    What will really happen if the LNP gets in;
    And so on, ad infinitum.

  5. Flowers Barbara

    All very good suggestions jeremiah – why is there such incessant baying after labor, and Julia Gillard in particular? She may not be the best PM we’ve ever had but we’ve had worse. And frankly I don’t think Tony Abbott will be much chop ( especially with that dead wood on the front bench).

  6. MJPC

    AR, the real horror is that people such as that have the vote, but then again so do people like Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt et al.
    They will receive their wish if the LNP are successful in Sept. Work choices Mark 2 will shaft those that work out there, and the usual LNP tactic to make the poor pay for the rich will see the life style of the poor and lazy severly curtailed when they hit welfare spending.
    They need to be careful what they wish for.

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