An awkward encounter
Today, Wingate community centre in Ascot Vale launched its recycling program for public housing residents. Council staff have worked on beaut looking boxes for residents. The Wingate staff are working on community education and soon all residents will be able to do their own household recycling. All very rosey. Right?
Enter the state and federal elections to complicate the cheerful event. The retiring state MP brought along the new candidate for the area - he is the Minister for Re....spect after all. Respect for milk cartons and cat food cans and public housing residents and anything else beginning with 'R'.
That's all fine - not a big deal. Except that someone at Council was upset that Council was felt to be sidelined in the event. Wingate staff were already upset that political protocals and egos potentially upsetting the recycling bin before the day had begun.
I accepted an invitation to attend, was informed the Mayor was not attending and turned up with some stats on recycling in Moonee Valley up my sleeve.
All smiles. Photos snapping. Not sure whether to move right into the frame or left out of it: "Did you want me in or out of this shot?"
An unexpected response: No. Rose just wants to be in photos because she is standing in the state election. You'll get your chance later Rose.
"I am here filling in for the Mayor and didn't know if you wanted Council in the photo."
"You can be in 40 photos later" and some more about me wanting to be in photos for the election. It's hard to think of a punch line when ambushed in front of four cameras. Now feel sorry for all Chaser victims. I should have stood firm and said cheese. But I walked away.
Does this petty behaviour really happen? From sitting Victorian MPs? Lucky it wasn't from the Minister for Respect.