It was a warm day and Malcolm Turnbull was feeling the heat in Nowra on Friday.
“It’s hot,” the Prime Minister said as he arrived to address the media at a South Nowra chemical manufacturing business about 2pm.
Little did he know, things would get even more heated during a walk-through of the annual Nowra Show about half an hour later.
Mr Turnbull – with Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis by his side – took a stroll through some exhibits, met competitors and opened a recently-refurbished kitchen.
However, it was outside under a 40-degree sun where a political fracas was cooking.
Enter Labor’s 2016 federal election candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips.
“I went up and all I did was ask two very legitimate questions that people have asked me: when are you going to vote for marriage equality and why did you cut the pensions of 3480 pensioners in Gilmore?,” Ms Phillips said.
The Labor Party member was then moved away from Mr Turnbull’s entourage, but made a second attempt to get the PM’s attention by yelling “no politics at the show”.
That comment prompted security to again step in.
Earlier, Ms Phillips said she had attempted to enter the show with one of her ‘Fiona Phillips for Gilmore’ balloons and was told to get rid of it.
The Nowra Show Society (NSS) last year implemented a blanket ban on political campaigning after unions became involved ahead of the federal election.
NSS president Wendy Woodward said the show was a community event and “not the forum” for politics.
“We allow politicians, they’re very welcome, but no political material,” she said.
Meanwhile, the PM offered little when asked about progress on the new Nowra bridge.
Mr Turnbull said the government had “made a $10 million contribution to the very elaborate planning and design work on the bridge”.
“When that is complete and there is a proposal that is properly costed, obviously we’ll consider it,” he said.
“You’ve got to do the homework first – it’s a lot of money.
“You wouldn’t expect any government to be committing funds to a project until it has actually been planned.”