PICTURE this: the Prime Minister of Australia is snuggling up on the couch on a Saturday night when her mobile phone beeps.
Tim, she sighs, it's Shayne again.
Julia Gillard was special guest yesterday at Ipswich racetrack at a fundraising breakfast for Shayne Neumann's re-election campaign.
And she quickly had the room in stitches speaking about her connection with the Blair MP.
"I'm here once again with Shayne," the PM began.
"Now you might say, 'You're always here with Shayne' and you might be right because Shayne is one of our most feisty advocates in Parliament for his community."
Warming to her story, she remembered him saying that during the floods he could find her day or night when he needed something.
"If he was telling the full truth, Shayne can find me any time day or night on any day of the year," she joked.
"Shayne is known to be able to get on the texts. There are probably many of you who understand that.
"When my mobile beeps when I'm at the Lodge with Tim, I say to Tim, 'I bet you that's going to be Shayne', particularly when it happens on a Saturday evening.
"And I am very rarely wrong."
Turning more serious after the laughter died down, the PM said she was glad to be visiting Blair for the 10th time since Mr Neumann was elected.
"I always feel very much at home when I come on these visits with Shayne and I think one of the reasons is because it's a community of such resilience," she said. "As someone who very much believes in resilience, and I think personally I've had to show a bit myself, that is a valuable trait.
"This is a community that gets back up and keeps working together, strengthens its community bonds and gets on with it. That's the kind of community bonds that I most cherish."
The Prime Minister, who walked around the room chatting and posing for photos before her speech, also spoke about opportunities in Asia and the State Government's "incredibly short-sighted" cutbacks.
She also praised the upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway and the Blacksoil Interchange as Labor achievements.
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