“Shambolic” might be just a tad harsh, but this wasn’t the most glamorous performance of all time.
To start with, the media (myself and the reporter from The Pastoral Times) turned up early and noticed that all of the Mayors from the region were out the back of the tourist centre, which is closer to the banks of the river than the front of the centre is (the press release said the press conference would be on the banks of the river) so we waited out there. A small group of locals waited out the front and informed us that Penny and her entourage had come and gone again. I called Penny’s media person who said that she thought the media hadn’t turned up, and said they would “come straight back”.
A few minutes later, Penny Wong, Mike Kelly, a person from Penny’s department and the media rep turned up in a taxi, much to amusement of those who had gathered. Penny was approached by locals with questions both before and after the press conference…she didn’t seem to be interested in answering questions, but instead wanted to palm them off to the bloke from the department. She seemed to have trouble getting away from one of the people who approached her after the press conference.
The press conference itself lasted about five and a half minutes, in which time the media managed to get in three questions, and Penny managed to not quite answer any of them. The press conference was cut short by the media rep who said they were late for a meeting with Murray Irrigation Limited.
The press conference audio is below for your listening pleasure.
Download MP3 
I’m reliably informed that the Shepparton media (she’s flying to Shep this afternoon for a 3:45 press conference) will be asking her why she is bothering to visit the region if she won’t answer questions from the locals.
At this stage it looks like Penny’s visit will still be the lead story in the morning, probably containing a number of peoples’ reactions to the flying visit.