For a moment there, we thought we were seeing a new sense of purpose, a new maturity, in politics. The COVID-19 crisis seemed to hit pause on the usual point-scoring and silly antics of our politicians.
Sadly, it wasn't to be. As the restictions on our freedoms are lifted, it appears we are seeing a return to normality we'd have rather consigned to history: poorly behaved politicians.
On what should have been a red-letter day for Shoalhaven, the ceremonial sod-turning for the Nowra bridge works was marred by the decision to not invite the federal MP Fiona Phillips.
This partisan pettiness was more the behaviour of squabbling eight-year-olds than elected representatives who should be unifying us in a time of deep crisis.
Mrs Phillips decided to crash the party, which she only heard about on radio.
These schoolyard antics have no place. They had no place when then Gilmore MP Jo Gash, in opposition at the time, was frozen out of the opening of Main Road 92, for which she'd campaigned so hard. Back then, it was the Labor government behaving like children.
At the heart of this juvenile behaviour is the lust of all politicians for that "photo opp". They want all of what they perceive as glory (which those who elect them see as doing their job). They don't want one momentary glint of that glory to go elsewhere and will get as catty as possible to ensure it doesn't.
It's all quite ridiculous really, especially when you consider all politicians look pretty much the same in hard hats and high-vis and voters really don't care who's lining up with the chrome plated shovel.
What the electorate wants to see is all levels of government working together for the interests of the community. And, in times of crisis such as the one we're in, they want governments and oppositions to work together for the common good.
We saw it briefly at the beginning of the pandemic, when miraculously the parliament was civil and the debate reasonable. Unfortunately, this brief respite from the usual combative carry-on seems to be over.
Fiona Phillips should have been invited to this important moment in Shoalhaven history. To have done so would have shown maturity, respcet and grace.
Instead, what we saw was pettiness, childishness and poor form, none of which cast our politicians in the good light they'd been seeking.