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Gillard set for mixed Rooty Hill reception
AAP March 1, 2013, 4:55 pm
Every second person entering the Rooty Hill RSL club has been asking if Julia’s there yet.
The prime minister’s five-day stay in western Sydney, staying in The Novotel next to the club, is the talk of the town but she looks like getting a mixed reception.
Ms Gillard will move in on Sunday for five days of meeting and greeting and announcing new policies to benefit the region.
The visit is widely seen as a bid to shore up dipping support for Labor in western Sydney, with a number of ALP seats tipped to fall.
At the RSL club on Friday, a club member walking in asked, “Is Julia here yet?”
Gail Smith, who greets guests at the door told AAP that every second person wanted to know if the prime minister had arrived, indicating there was a lot of interest in her visit.
But down the road at The Imperial hotel, bar attendant Tania Moorecroft said she didn’t think most people would really care about the visit and Ms Gillard might even cop some verbal abuse.
She said Ms Gillard had not paid a visit to Rooty Hill since she became prime minister.
“Now with an election coming up she decides to pay us a visit.”
Ms Moorecroft said the area was full of working class people, housing commission tenants and pensioners struggling to make ends meet while Ms Gillard stays at the best room at The Novotel.
She said people at the bar referred to the prime minister as “Gillard”, rather than Julia or Ms Gillard and some said she would not be welcome.
Computer technician Christopher Talmage said there might not be that much interest in the prime minister’s visit but he hoped federal Labor would not lose seats in the west or be tainted by state Labor’s corruption scandal.