Travelling light across Gladys's wall Alice WorkmanFollow @workmanalice
Anthony Albanese and Daniel Andrews face (covering) off.

DJ Steve Bowden started a countdown at the Albury-Wodonga border before blasting That’s Freedom by John Farnham after the fall of the Berejiklian Wall at 12.01am on Monday. Was DJ Albo not available? Horns beeped, police turned on their sirens and people literally boogied over the border line. For an unexplained reason one Mexican chose to drive over in a limo after 137 days south of NSW. Anthony Albanese was on one of the first Qantas flights from Sydney to Melbourne, for a face-to-face-covering sit down with Daniel Andrews. In a snap shared on social media, the Victorian Premier was pictured with a lamp shade millimetres above his head. So close to a light bulb moment! At Mascot, drag queens Penny Tration and Coco Jumbo distributed doughnuts to arrivals (including comedian Dave Hughes and American actor Adrian Grenier) with the help of Bondi life guards. With one ring of steel down, Gladys Berejiklian turned her passive aggression to the north. “Some state premiers are making up advice as they go,” the NSW Premier shaded. “Again, I just ask other premiers to exhibit some compassion as I know when I visit communities and people come up to me and burst into tears when they think about the fact that they can’t see their relatives.” Watt watt!

Well sooted

Joel Fitzgibbon has slapped a new slogan on his website and social media: “Putting labour back into the Labor Party”. And the newbie backbencher has been backed in by NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay: “Yeah, I think he has a point.” Fitz is in Byron Bay but managed to drop his catchphrase not once, but twice, during his weekly appearance on Sunrise. “Have you been there? You couldn’t afford a cup of coffee in Byron Bay,” Barnaby Joyce quipped about the quinoa capital. “Yeah, I’ve found that,” Fitz replied. But back to the rebrand. “Well every day I get text messages, emails and letters from people all around the country saying thank you for talking again about Labor’s traditional base. Thank you for trying to put the labour back into the Labor Party,” Fitz espoused. When asked about left powerbroker Murray Watt’s coal hugging speech, Fitz said: “And the irony is that the Labor Party always supported the coal mining industry. It always supported the gas sector, the oil sector, our manufacturers. But for some reason we haven’t been that keen to say that loudly and proudly. And if that’s what we’re about to start doing, well, I’ll be very, very pleased.” Albanese was asked again if he plans to keep Mark Butler in the climate portfolio, after Fitz helpfully suggested the South Australian be shown the door. “Yes, he’s doing an outstanding job. I’ll have a minor reshuffle after the government has its announcement that they’ve foreshadowed at the end of the year.” Watch this space.

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Can’t letter go

The final results from the Queensland state election are in and ABC election guru Antony Green has calculated some curious facts. Just over 27 per cent of people cast votes on the day (55.6 per cent for Labor, 44.4 for LNP). That’s down from 57.2 per cent in 2017. And a whopping 43.6 per cent pre-polled (51.4 per cent for Labor, 48.6 for LNP) and 23.8 per cent postal voted (54.8 per cent Labor, 45.2 for LNP). More than half the ballots in Broadwater, Buderim, Bundaberg, Burdekin, Cairns, Cook, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Hill, Kawana, Mackay, Maroochydore, Mulgrave, Noosa, Pumicestone, Southern Downs, Surfers Paradise and Traeger were cast before the day. And the top mail in town was (drum roll please) Chatsworth, outside Gympie.

Kids these days

Oh to be young again! A teen in Dalby (nestled within Queensland’s Darling Downs) was arrested for twerking “so much” at Maccas. “She was asked to leave by staff numerous times and she refused,” Dalby police senior constable Brad Davidson said of the 18-year-old’s public nuisance performance last Thursday. “She’s then continued to (allegedly) twerk, and then grabbed a mop and began mopping the floor.” Doing the Lord’s twerk, we presume?

Scale back

Up in Cape Cleveland, Science Minister Karen Andrews popped in to the Australian Institute of Marine Science. But the media was more interested in George Christensen and his any fin goes Facebook posts.

Q: “Do you still believe that the Democrat vote fraud cost the election?”

Christensen: “I think that there’s a lot that’s going to play out in the US, there’s legal cases and all the rest of it. So, we’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, it gets declared by, um, their institutions over there, their Electoral College. So, just let it play out.”

Q: “Do you recognise Joe Biden as the president-elect now?”

Christensen: “If the Electoral College elects him as president, he’s president. That’s a fact. So, the Electoral College is yet to meet, and they’ll do that, and then he’ll be essentially president-elect at that point, and then he goes on to be inaugurated, if that’s what happens. But that plays out mid-December.”

Nein lives

marks 15 years as Chancellor of Germany this week. The 66-year-old has served alongside a sushi train of world leaders. Two Chinese presidents (Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping); three US presidents (George W. Bush, Barack Obama, ) and three Canadian prime ministers (Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau); four French presidents (Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande, Emmanuel Macron) and four New Zealand prime ministers (Helen Clark, John Key, Bill English, Jacinda Ardern); five British prime ministers (Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson) and five Russian prime ministers (Mikhail Fradkov, Viktor Zubkov, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Mikhail Mishustin); seven Australian prime ministers (John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Rudd 2.0, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison) and eight Italian prime ministers (Silvio Berlusconi, Romano Prodi, Berlusconi again, Mario Monti, Enrico Letta, Matteo Renzi, Paolo Gentiloni and Giuseppe Conte). But according to Bob Hawke, back in 2016 at the Woodford Folk Festival: “Some people talk about Merkel, and I do not run her down in any sense at all, I simply make the point that if you compared with the chancellors of Germany in the post-war period, she’d rate about sixth.” Ouch!

strewth@theaustralian.com.au

Travelling light across Gladys's wall Alice WorkmanFollow @workmanalice

Strewth Editor

Sydney

Alice Workman is an award-winning federal politics reporter and commentator. In 2018 she was named the Young Journalist of the Year in the Canberra press gallery by the National Press Club and Journalist of the… Read more

Travelling light across Gladys's wall Alice WorkmanFollow @workmanalice

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Travelling light across Gladys's wall Alice WorkmanFollow @workmanalice

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