PM and Justine Elliot kiss and make up after spill
JULIA Gillard said yesterday she was "made of pretty strong stuff" and given the company she was keeping, she must be.
Kisses and hugs replaced Thursday's political controversy as Kevin Rudd supporter, Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot greeted the PM in Bangalow yesterday.
"I am someone who is made of pretty strong stuff and I think that has been on display...politics is not an easy business," Ms Gillard said.
Ms Gillard came to the Northern Rivers on a trip that was planned before about 20 MPs, including Ms Elliot and Member for Page, Janelle Saffin knocked on Mr Rudd's office door urging him to run in a leadership spill.
Ms Gillard inspected work on the $862 million, 17km, Tintenbar to Ewingsdale section of the Pacific Hwy upgrade.
"It's an important project for safety," Ms Gillard said. "This section of road, unfortunately has seen far too many accidents."
Only hours after she said she was disappointed that Mr Rudd did not run in the spill, Ms Elliot declared her full support for the PM.
"Absolutely she has my full support," Ms Elliot said. "We are going to keep working hard every day to deliver for locals."
Despite the fact both Ms Saffin and Ms Elliot had been supporters of Mr Rudd in a previous leadership spill and Thursday's spill, Ms Gillard said the Northern Rivers certainly won't suffer as a result.
"I am proud to be to be here alongside Justine Elliot and the very fact that we are here looking at the biggest infrastructure project that has ever been created in this region of Australia says something about Justine's advocacy and something about how much we value working in partnership with these communities."
The decision by Janelle Saffin to step down as a government whip, Ms Gillard said was entirely made by Ms Saffin.
Yesterday Mr Rudd described Ms Saffin and her fellow deputy whip Ed Husic as great friends and fantastic local members.
Ms Gillard said decisions about a cabinet reshuffle, including a replacement for Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean, were yet to be made.