It’s beginning to look a lot like…anything but Christmas.

Early 2019 looks set to be a busy time, with the New South Wales election held in March, the Federal election likely to be held in May and the Federal Budget brought forward to April.

As such, the usual holiday period enjoyed by politicians and their staff after a long year will be short-lived this season, with many taking only the prescribed public holidays off, if they take a break at all. The NSW Premier and the Prime Minister’s annual January retreats are likely to be a day at the cricket rather than a week at the beach.

Advoc8 is already seeing signs that the pace is not letting up, even though both Federal and NSW parliaments have risen for the year. At a recent Friday lunch event attended by Advoc8 and a number of NSW political staffers, two thirds had to excuse themselves early for yet another strategy meeting.

Media

Usually the media circus dies down over the Christmas break, with most holiday yarns focusing on the cricket, the beach and the heat of summer.

This year however, we can expect only a brief pause in political reporting as journalists follow the politicians’ lead and prepare for the raft of exclusives, door stops and leaks synonymous with the lead up to election campaigns.

This is good news for advocates looking to keep their issue on the public agenda heading into the elections. While some organisations shut up shop for the holidays, there will be ample media opportunities for those willing and organised enough to feed stories to journos through the break.

Issues

Focus on some issues will wane slightly over the break, resurfacing when 2019 starts in earnest. However, there are a few topics that will stay relevant over the break.

As the heat intensifies throughout summer, affordable and reliable electricity generation will remain front and centre in the media. This is perhaps the one issue that will play a huge role in both NSW and Federal politics during the upcoming campaigns.

Infrastructure spending will also remain on the agenda in NSW as construction companies work through the holidays to complete the myriad of projects currently underway, particularly road and rail.

Getting started quickly in 2019

The bottom line for advocates is to get back on the tools as soon as possible in 2019 to ensure your issues are in prime position for the faux, and then actual, election campaigns. This will also ensure they are front and centre during the ‘so what now?’ period that always follows the jubilation and heartbreak of an election.