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Kevin Rudd's off on his 16th overseas trip and abandons Werrington [Sep. 12th, 2008|07:16 pm]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |blahblah]

From the Daily Telegraph today..

Kevin Rudd's off on his 16th overseas trip

By Malcolm Farr and Alison Rehn
September 12, 2008 12:00am

Mr Rudd's globe trotting has come at the expense of western Sydney, which the PM hasn't visited since a community cabinet in Penrith in April.

And it will leave the Government under siege from pensioners wanting an immediate increase in their benefits and supporting Opposition legislation for a $30 jump in the single aged pension rate.


Werrington pensioner Margaret Thomas voted for Mr Rudd at last year's election but is so far disappointed with her choice.

"I think myself and many other pensioners really thought we'd be better off under this government," Mrs Werrington, 73, said.

"But we're struggling and we shouldn't be struggling at our ages."

Mr Rudd had more official engagements overseas in June, July and August than he did in Sydney, where he stays at Kirribilli House.

There were nine prime ministerial engagements in Sydney in those three months - two related to World Youth Day, four speeches, one book launch and two press conferences. But in the same period Mr Rudd had several engagements in Japan, Indonesia, Japan again, Malaysia, Beijing, South Korea, Singapore, Niue and New Zealand.

The Prime Minister, who will address the UN General Assembly, believes it is vital for ministers to attend international conferences.

Meanwhile Mrs Thomas has just $50 to last her the next week after spending most of her pension on bills (phone and water - $280), hiring someone to mow her lawn ($40) and her diabetes medication ($40). Like the rest of Australia's 1.2 million single aged-pensioners, Ms Thomas lives on $546.80 a fortnight.

"I'm sick of hearing about green papers and white papers, we need something now," she said.

bob of blogspot ( and Werrington )