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Hey Mister Prime Minister ... Scott! Can you get off my lawn please, mate?

Aussie homeowner moves press conference off freshly seeded grass

In these dark times, at least we still have the no-nonsense attitude of Australians to lift the mood – though the country's prime minister found himself at the pointy end of it this morning.

Scott Morrison was in the town of Googong, New South Wales, touting the government's AU$25,000 (£13,077.50) HomeBuilder grant, which aims to give the nation's construction sector a shot in the arm by helping Aussies build or renovate their homes.

So far, so good – until a local homeowner bluntly interrupted the press conference, which happened to be partially taking place on the bloke's freshly seeded lawn.

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Cutting the PM off mid-sentence, he said: "Can everyone get off the grass please?"

"Sure, let's just move back from there," Morrison quivered, visibly embarrassed.

The fed-up resident added: "Hey guys, I've just reseeded that," gesturing at the area of his land being trampled by journos, camerapersons and photographers.

Cue some very awkward shuffling and dead air before Morrison offered: "All good? That's all good, thanks!" flashing a thumbs-up at the chap, which was returned in kind.

We suspect Brits would have some choicer words if they found Boris Johnson wrangling the press on their property, and US prez Donald Trump might well receive a flaming trash can sailing through the air these days, but there's something warmly mundane about the exchange.

It's reminiscent of how The Simpsons depicted Australian politics, when a citizen finds he's been charged $900 for an international collect call and complains to his MP.

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Morrison, however, is lucky the homeowner was so polite because he's not exactly the most popular guy in the antipodes right now.

If you cast your mind back to the beginning of the year when the world looked equally apocalyptic but for different reasons, you might recall that much of Australia was burning.

Morrison had refused to provide any additional funding to quell the bushfires and went on holiday to Hawaii in December while flames claimed many an Australian's home.

There's no such chumminess in this footage of another visit to New South Wales, when much of the region was being evacuated.

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With bushfire season over, Australia is faring much better on cases and deaths than the rest of the Anglosphere through the coronavirus pandemic, but the crisis has stopped the country's record growth in its tracks, which is part of the reason for the home-building stimulus package.

We bet Australians can't wait to see what the next disaster of 2020 will be on Morrison's watch. ®

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