20 April 2018

Move Parliament House to Bawley Point

| Ian Campbell
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I love that regional New South Wales is said to be the setting of Bill Shorten’s epiphany and has perhaps helped turn the 2016 Federal Election into a contest.

In Michael Gordon‘s article in Saturday’s (May 28 2016) Sydney Morning Herald, Faction man becomes the running man the author and his subject – Bill Shorten, detail “a moment of clarity” on a beach at Bawley Point, south of Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast.

The article suggests that the Shorten family summer holiday crystallised the steps the Opposition Leader needs to take to be a serious contender for the prime ministership come July 2, and that indeed those actions are starting to pay off.

Don’t bullshit seems to be at the heart of what Gordon describes as Mr Shorten’s “epiphany.”

Gordon’s article points to a pre-holiday opinion poll (November 2015) where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had an 81 point lead over Mr Shorten.

Murmurings of discontent from within the Labor Party would escalate come February if the polls didn’t improve, according to the author.

Mr Shorten’s leadership was a risk if things didn’t change.

In the article Mr Shorten outlines three critical decisions the salty air of Bawley Point helped him make.

One was to loose weight and take an early morning run (so far he has lost 10kg), the other two in my mind go to the heart of regional living.

Gordon writes, “Every answer, at every media event, he (Shorten) resolved, would be directed at those whose trust he is seeking to win, not the media gang in front of him or the talkback host asking the questions.”

Gordon says the other decision Mr Shorten made was, “To rely on those whose advice has served him well over the years.”

The most recent opinion poll (May 2016) quoted in the article shows the Prime Minister’s approval lead has shrunk to 16 points, compared to the pre-Bawley Point 81 points, while a two party preferred vote shows “Labor a whisker in front.”

Mr Shorten says “It’s a lot easier to be authentic, and a lot easier to remember your lines, if you are true to who you are, to your values.”

The Opposition Leader suggesting that one of the reasons for Mr Turnbull’s slide in the polls is that he has had to bury his values in order to keep control of and lead a right leaning the Liberal Party.

I am not suggesting that Mr Shorten has been successful in making the changes that his Bawley Point getaway inspired, only time will tell but I think it says something that a regional setting can inspire such simple and forgotten truths – be true to yourself, don’t beat around the bush, seek wisdom from people you trust, don’t lose sight of who is important.

The environment of regional Australia does call on you to stop – slow down at least. That’s why people like the Shorten’s escape the city when they holiday. What comes in those quieter moments makes us smart again.

Perhaps we should move Parliament House to Bawley Point.

Pic of Bill Shorten from: https://twitter.com/billshortenmp

Pic of Bawley Point from: http://www.bawleybushretreat.com.au/gallery

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Ian Campbell10:52 pm 31 May 16

Something has changed hasn’t it Robyn, my 13 year old was the first to draw my attention to it. Great to have that sense of a contest, good for our democracy and election night parties!

I must admit, I have found his oratory more….ummmm……natural of late, easier on the ear, worth listening to !

Ian Campbell10:44 pm 31 May 16

Me too Robyn, something has changed. My 13 year was the first to draw my attention to it. Great to have that sense of a contest. Healthy for our democracy.

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