Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by ACM executive editor James Joyce.
Did you see the footage of the kangaroo spotted bounding at high speed through the CBD streets of Canberra at the weekend?
Crossing lanes of traffic and zipping past city shoppers, Skippy seemed to be heading in the general direction of Parliament House.
What's that, Skip? ScoMo fell into the dam?
Nature, as we know, abhors a vacuum, so we're presuming the Bush Capital Kangaroo was leaping into action in Canberra as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack focused on preparing for their weekend photo opportunity in the drought-ravaged New England region of NSW.
More in a moment on the dam-building drought-busters.
But first, if you will pardon the ScoMo-ism, how good is Skippy? The National Film and Sound Archive's online exhibition celebrating more than 50 years of the much-loved TV series includes some wonderful clips reminding us just how resourceful and dexterous our Skip was a crisis.
She was a very paws-on hero who could open doors, start a car, collect the mail and, after every exciting episode, kick back with best mate Sonny and play the piano or the drums.
When he's not holding hands with President Tweet, there is much that a PM who wants to be hands-on can learn from our Skip.
Like, managing your media message and subtlety in a photo opportunity, for example. You would have thought the people of New England had suffered enough with the Big Dry but there they were on Sunday swimming in grinning Liberals and Nationals leaders.
And Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Morrison blew into Tamworth to appear alongside NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian, her deputy John Barilaro, as well as Deputy PM Mr McCormack, and avowed dam fan New England MP Mr Joyce.
"IT'S DAM TIME," the Northern Daily Leader proclaimed from its front page today after months of campaigning through its "Water Pressure" series for urgent action to address the region's drought dramas.
As parts of NSW go into extreme water restrictions (four-minute showers and no watering the lawn in the central-west town of Bathurst from today), Berejikilian and Morrison promised that a new 22.5 gigalitre storage will be built about three kilometres downstream from the current Dungowan Dam, which is owned by Tamworth council.
"I love working with premiers that want to build dams," a beaming ScoMo told reporters.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese couldn't resist raining on the parade after six years of federal coalition governments: "Tony Abbott's come and gone, Malcolm Turnbull's come and gone, Barnaby Joyce's come and gone, Scott Morrison's there, they haven't dug a hole yet."
(Of course Albo and Labor have a few holes of their own to worry about at the moment, including a review by former commonwealth attorney-general Professor Michael Lavarch of what's "fundamentally wrong" with NSW Labor's ICAC-tainted party head office, Joel Fitzgibbon's sensible suggestion that the ALP revise its climate policy and the prospect of disgraced former NSW Labor minister Milton Orkopolous, convicted of 30 child sex and drug offences in 2008, getting out on parole.)
On the drought, maybe both sides of politics would be wise to heed the practical ideas being put forward by the young men and women living on the land.
Like 15-year-old William Thomas, who was among the 88 young people who came together last week to brainstorm ideas at the UNICEF NSW Youth Drought Summit.
"We are a generation that won't give up easily but we shouldn't have to fight for everything," William, who lives on a large cattle, sheep and cropping property near Condobolin, told Newcastle Herald journalist Phoebe Moloney.
"Australia is a global leader in farming and agriculture and our generation wants to be global leaders in drought response and planning."
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