Prime Minister Julia Gillard denies failing to connect with ‘real people’ in Sydney’s west


Prime Minister Julia Gillard denies failing to connect with ‘real people’ in Sydney’s west

Gemma Jones, Simon Black
The Daily Telegraph
March 07, 20131:58PM

Increase Text Size
Decrease Text Size


Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday. Picture: Jeremy Piper Source: The Daily Telegraph

CROWDS of unemployed people have mobbed Julia Gillard at a Liverpool jobs fair.

Ms Gillard happily answered one man’s ringing mobile phone as others surrounded the PM on her first walk through a crowd in western Sydney, five days after her tour started.

Iraqi refugee Nadia Yousef hugged Ms Gillard and declared after: ”I love her.”

Earlier, Ms Gillard dismissed claims she has stage managed her trip to western Sydney and failed to connect to “real people”.

The PM said in two public instances she was concerned about being late to other appointments but connected to members of the community “everyday and everywhere”.

“I’ve been very busy,” Ms Gillard said during a radio interview with Paul Murray.

“I haven’t been wandering around having a drink.”

Recommended Coverage


Gaffe-prone Butler did it, again»

HE has become one of the federal government’s most gaffe-prone MPs as he belittled Rooty Hill and western Sydney in general but South Australian Mark Butler might want to look in his own backyard.


Hanson plans return to politics»

AS part of a comeback to Australian politics, former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has joined Kyle Sandilands to debate gay marriage.


Abbott: I’ll restore hope in Sydney’s west»

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott today pledged to reduce living costs, solve transport problems, and tackle worsening crime on eve of PM’s controversial visit to area.

“I’ve talked to all sorts of people while in western Sydney.”

The PM said she had spoken to locals on a range of topics including housing, community safety and transportation.

“(And) I’ll continue those conversations during the course of the day,” she said.

When pressed on a videos showing her walking directly through the Rooty Hill RSL to a private room where she dined with “mummy bloggers”, none of whom are believed to reside in Western Sydney, the PM said she was concerned about being late.

“I was running late for a dinner so I walked to it,” she said.

“(But) during every normal day I stop and have a chat with people.”

She said she was also concerned about timeliness in an instance where she was filmed waving to disabled war veterans while walking to her car but failing to talk to them before driving away

“I was on my way to a funeral and I couldn’t afford to run late to it,” she said.

“In my day to day life I stop and talk and chat with all sorts of people.”

Ms Gillard said talking and listening to people was a large part of what she does and that: “Governing in their interests is part” as well.

She defended her tough stance that 457 visas were taking the jobs of everyday Australians despite her own communications director, John McTernan, being employed on one.

“It’s about making sure that work opportunities are open to Australians,” she said.

“If there is an Australian with the skills ready willing and able to work then they have the opportunity to do that.

“(The attack on McTernan) shows the attitude of the Liberals, their instinct is to go negative and go personal.”

She said her government was supporting training and development for the Australian jobs market.

“Under a Labor government we’ve got more apprenticeships than we’ve ever had before,” she said.

She criticised the NSW state government, saying Premier Barry O’Farrell had ripped up to $3 billion dollars from the health system.

“This governments priorities has been investing in health,” she said. “Funding is going up by a billion dollars in NSW alone.”

“I wanted people in NSW to be able to rely on the local hospitals. (But) we are fighting big state government cutbacks.

“I can answer for our funding increases. One billion dollars in NSW. What I can’t answer for are Funding cuts by the O’Farrell government that have been about three billion dollars.”

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.