Queenslanders are used to tropical cyclones at this time of year but the activity in the atmosphere increased considerably this week with some whirlwind political action in the outback.
With very little notice, Cyclone ScoMo arrived early on Tuesday morning, firstly taking a quick trip around the Qantas Founders Museum at Longreach, which is planning to celebrate 100 years of the national airline in fine style this year.
Local government reps lost no time in sharing their views with the Prime Minister on the need for more regional tourism product to aid the COVID recovery, and to put in a good word for regional skilling via the mothballed $50m Longreach Pastoral College.
Then it was time for the PM and three federal colleagues with regional responsibilities - deputy PM Michael McCormack (Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development), Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud (the entourage flew across his enormous electorate of Maranoa for most of the day), and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz - plus their advisors and representatives of media outlets to load into an RAAF Spartan to visit the outposts of Quilpie and Winton.
The Spartan is our Defence Force replacement for the Caribou and can carry a five tonne payload, making it a very utilitarian aircraft.
It allowed what's becoming a traditional year-starter for Mr Morrison - a regional check-in - to touch down on the smaller bush airstrips.
He was among friends in both communities - rural Queensland has benefited to the tune of millions of dollars in both drought and flood recovery initiatives from the federal government in recent years.
One of his most popular visits was to Cloncurry early in 2019 while the monsoon floodwaters were still subsiding and graziers were still trying to come to terms with the scale of their loss.
He promised then to stand by them and this week said he'd been wanting to return for some time to gauge the community resilience levels.
@ScottMorrisonMP in the driver's seat and blowing his horn! The PM got a few tips from Searles Cattle Transport driver Col Rayment and shared views on the best play list for the long hauls when he was at Winton this week @qta_trucking@ScottBuchholzMP#ruraltransportpic.twitter.com/JZLaLbCK4K— Sally Gall (@sallyQCL) January 21, 2021
He also paid tribute to the leadership of outback Queensland's mayors, saying it was their example that helped when it came time to put bushfire and COVID recovery plans in place.
This time around it was mining and gas production that Mr Morrison wanted to talk about when he stopped in at Cloncurry.
He arrived in western Queensland just as the second cyclone of the season, Kimi proved to be a fizzer, teasing the North Queensland coast before making landfall.
I'm sure regional Queensland hopes this week's political whirlwind proves more fruitful.
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