Budget day is a day of waiting. For your Crikey correspondents it starts at Melbourne airport before heading to the nation’s capital, reading the pre-budget papers and playing journalist celebrity spotting. It is slim picking this year, though, with no big Fairfax names like Adele Ferguson or Tony Wright heading up to analyse the budget. But there is a little star power on our flight -- former Queensland premier and current Australian Bankers Association chief Anna Bligh is also making the commute from Melbourne. While news outlets across the country will be plastered with budget coverage tonight, the process to get to such a point can be as ugly (and sometimes as boring) as making sausages. Journalists, lobbyists and sometimes Real Housewives descend on Parliament House to pore over budget papers and try to work out exactly what it all means.
The waiting continues as journalists mill about waiting to check their names off and hand their phones in, committing to keep the information to themselves until 7.30 or risk two years in jail. For an industry that is mostly surgically attached to smartphones, waiting without one is discomfiting. You have to actually talk to the people around you (which is great, I promise). Then finally we are in the room, with cute canvas bags full of budget papers, making our way to our assigned seats.