Premier holidays on the Tweed

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, under fire for seeking every photo opportunity possible in Sydney during her first few weeks in office, has suddenly become camera-shy during a visit to the Tweed.

Mrs Keneally, her husband Ben and their sons Daniel, aged 11, and Brendan, 9, have been secretly holidaying on the Tweed, with her office insisting the visit is strictly private.

Even Tweed MP Geoff Provest says he has not been told of the Premier’s visit to his electorate – adding she did not even reply to an official invitation to visit the North Coast which he and fellow National Party MPs issued soon after she took on the top job six weeks ago.

“This is a private short break for the Premier and Ben with their sons,” said a spokesperson for Mrs Keneally.

“Kristina and her family regularly holiday on the NSW coast during the summer. She is looking forward to spending time with her family,” he added.

Speculation in political circles yesterday was that the Keneallys were staying at one of the resorts at Salt favoured by other state and federal Labor politicians where they can blend into the horde of interstate and international tourists.

Mr Provest said while he understood everyone needed a holiday, he was disappointed Mrs Keneally neither advised him of her visit nor took the time to meet him.

“This is the third State Labor leader I have invited to visit the Tweed in as many years,” Mr Provest said.

“Morris Iemma promised to come but never showed up, while Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally didn’t even respond.

“Labor’s latest Premier did come to the Tweed recently for a fly-in, fly-out photo opportunity at Sexton Hill, but she never bothered to meet me or the family businesses in South Tweed whose livelihoods are under threat because of the RTA’s appalling Pacific Highway upgrade design.

“If she gave me just a few hours of her time, I could show her the patients being treated in the corridors of The Tweed Hospital and get her to listen to our over-stretched police officers.

“Maybe she will read the Tweed Daily News and change her mind.

“We could give Brisbane a call and sit down for a coffee at Tweed Centro with Anna Bligh to discuss solutions to our many cross-border problems.

“The possibilities are endless and could only enhance the Labor Party’s prospects on the Tweed.

“Since she recognises the Tweed is a great place to holiday, we could even do some tourism promotion together,” he added.

Sydney media yesterday claimed Mrs Keneally had picked the worst place for a Labor Premier to holiday in NSW and would be at the centre of a storm over a long list of broken 2007 election promises in the Tweed electorate.

Reports said what was meant to be a relaxing five-day break from her maddening schedule of profile-building public appearances would be overshadowed by the government’s failure to keep its word on improving health, law-and-order, affordable housing and transport in the Tweed after losing the seat at the last state election.

Have you seen the Premier out and about on the Tweed? Let us know!

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