OPINION: Look up ‘show pony’ in the dictionary and it says Kristina Keneally.
Why did the soon-to-be former premier visit Grafton yesterday?
After ignoring the countless appeals for a tour of our section of the Pacific Highway for almost a year now (in which time more than 21 people have died), the camera-loving Keneally decided to drop into our neck of the woods yesterday to ‘show her support’.
She brought with her a large Sydney media contingent numbering about 20, all of which were flown over the area in two helicopters before landing at the Junction Hill oval, then onto a bus together on their way to Prince Street, Grafton, for a media circus scrum with the locals.
When it was being arranged, a friendly SES representative tried to book a place for some local media on the flyover but was told there was simply no room.
There was room for 2GB, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and a swag of other Sydney-based media who will put the premier’s face all over the metro TV screens, but as for the local history recorders – we were unceremoniously snubbed on the flyover – just like the North Coast mayors have been repeatedly ignored.
When I implied to the Premier that she had simply turned up for the Sydney headlines she said: “I’m not going to make any apology for coming here now to visit this community.”
“What about for not coming prior to this?” I asked.
“We’ve had various ministers come and, of course, the government has been putting significant funding into the highway and, in fact, with the combination of the State and Federal governments there has been record investment.”
The Premier deflected questions about why The Daily Examiner was left off the Keneally juggernaut tour saying she didn’t organise it.
Asked if she planned on touring the highway when safe, Ms Keneally replied ‘not on this visit’ and turned away seeking to cut the interview short.
I pressed further, asking if she planned on touring the highway before the March election and she continued to duck and weave but I was left with a distinct impression that the answer was an emphatic ‘no’.
The last, and most telling thing the Premier said to me before she got into her car was: ‘you could live in Sydney, you’ve got enough grunt for it.’
I replied that I didn’t want to live in Sydney and that was the end of our brief but intense interview.