Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at New Italy for the official opening of the Pacific Highway redevelopment. Photos: Adam Hourigan
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at New Italy for the official opening of the Pacific Highway redevelopment. Photos: Adam Hourigan

5 things ScoMo could have done when his flight was delayed

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison had some trouble getting out of the Northern Rivers when he visited on Thursday.

He was here for the official opening of the final piece of the Pacific Highway upgrade, and he travelled to Lismore to see how flooding had impacted the town this week.

But could he have done more while he was on the North Coast?

It is understood the PM’s departure from Ballina Byron Gateway Airport was delayed when the Royal Australian Air Force jet he arrived in experienced technical issues.

A second RAAF jet was flown in for him to depart the region as scheduled.

But like a car breaking down on a long road trip, or a flat tyre when you just so happen to be somewhere really awesome, we reckon ScoMo could have waited for the first plane to be repaired.

There’s certainly plenty he could have done while in the region.

1. A cold one with the locals

Every politician likes to show they can drink beer because it’s the sort of thing your average Aussie Bloke likes to do.

Given it’s a beloved pastime of many pollies, ScoMo should have stopped by Seven Mile Brewing.

It is, after all, only a stone’s throw from where his jet sat dormant on the tarmac.

And the local business supports a really good cause.

2. Spend some dough at local businesses

While we, the taxpayers, were paying for a second jet to be flown in to whisk ScoMo out of our beautiful region – and after enjoying a local brew near the airport – the PM could have supported any of the Northern Rivers’ amazing local businesses.

Like one of these 23 businesses that opened this year in quite trying conditions.

They’re all having a go. And many of them could be hit hard when JobKeeper dries up in the new year.

So Lord knows they would appreciate your patronage.

3. Visit our pristine beaches

It could be safe to say Byron Bay was this week boasting the most eroded beaches in Australia.

That’s not a scientific statement but it’s an educated guess.

Beaches disappearing before your eyes?

Sightseers almost being swept into the ocean?

What’s not to love?

While enjoying the view of raging waters all the way to Julian Rocks, the PM may have been able to nut out some ideas about how we can tackle this pressing problem.

4. Get a bit Zen

2020 has been a lot.

The people on the ground have been freaking out about jobs disappearing, catching a deadly virus, having that deadly virus brought into their tourist hotspot by one of the millions of tourists who want to come here every year.

I have no doubt it’s been basically 12 months of dread for ScoMo.

Trying to make a country look like it’s holding its sh--t together during a pandemic is no small thing.

So why not channel a bit of Northern Rivers Zen?

The airport is just a short drive from Byron (obviously, it’s in the name), arguably the yoga capital of the world (if you forget India exists).

The place practically has more yogis than there are grains of sand on the beach.

5. Hit the road

I’m sure ScoMo’s entourage wouldn’t let him drive through floodwater but if the coast is clear, I highly recommend a trip to check out Clarence Way in the Kyogle Shire.

Beautiful countryside, lovely people, and “horrendous” road conditions.

The council has been trying to wrangle together $33 million to make this a respectable, safe route for modern-day vehicles.

Yes, we even have cars in the bush. But some of them are only as big as our potholes.

Last time I was in Canberra, the pavements there were not too shabby.

But not all of Australia looks like that and this particular road is an example of longstanding rural neglect; it can’t be blamed on any recent weather event.



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