Editor:highway jaunt ill-conceived
POLITICIANS need immaculate timing to maintain their profile. The crafty entry from stage left into a photo shoot is a classic. The appearance at an event to which they have contributed nothing is stock in trade.
Issuing press releases to announce funding that has been provided by the other side of politics is a well-polished gambit. Timing distasteful happenings to fall outside the major news cycle is common place.
A well-timed SMS can cause substantial disruption - remember Julia Gillard being rushed out of a January gathering by security after a staffer had tipped off indigenous rights activists to the presence of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott who was at the same shindig.
Timing can also provide historic moments. Anybody who can recall Gough Whitlam's dismissal speech on the steps of Parliament House in 1975 as he lacerated the absent hide of Governor-General Sir John Kerr has witnessed one.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson's trundle up the Bruce Hwy in a truck will be viewed rather differently to Whitlam's oratory. And it is largely about timing. Mr Emerson is due to set off today to tour the Bruce after the weekend accident near Howard between a truck and a vehicle that killed five people.
Even with the best intentions in the world, Mr Emerson's jaunt is ill-conceived when the tragedy is fresh in Fraser Coast minds. Immediacy will be mistaken for opportunism.
Anyway, he could have simply asked the locals about the state of the Bruce and saved himself a trip.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville says he has recently surveyed his constituents on the subject of the local roads. Of them, 450 nominated the section of road between the Buxton turnoff and Pig Creek as the worst.
Or he could have just asked Mr Neville, who has been on a Bruce road trip himself recently, along with Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss.
The two travelled from Brisbane to Cairns as part of the Bruce Highway Federal Coalition Parliamentary Bruce Highway Action Group.
If the findings and associated surveys had been passed along to Mr Emerson, he may not have had to put himself at risk.