For most of us regional 'mushrooms' the Australia 2020 Summit suddenly appeared on the horizon trailing wisps of the 2001 Australia 2020: Foresight for our Future research paper.
The summit sounded like a good idea when it was first announced, but its obvious elitism was troubling.
The death knell for summit credibility came at the beginning of the week for me, when Kevin Rudd announced the steering committee members who will issue invitations for the 10 topic discussions and also chair the working groups.
Yeah, there he was - Tim Costello of World Vision fame. The meister of self-promotion.
A man renown on the NSW North Coast for his verbosity and ego.
A man who in the early 2000s, acting as co-facilitator at a Maclean community meeting, alternatively insulted and patronised.
A WASP who so dominated the meeting time that he left only 15 minutes for the entire community to put its views and discuss issues.
Then after milking the event for every drop of media coverage he b*ggered off back home, leaving a community asking why it had bothered to spend a night with Tim and Chris.
So strike off 2020 achieving anything except hot air and a plethora of buzz words when it comes to the topic on "strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion".
Oh and by the way, our Kev is allowing the unwashed masses 2 pages per topic in any not-so-eagerly-awaited submissions.
Why should we on the NSW North Coast bother? It's obvious we'd be talking to a corporatised brick wall surrounding a set of 'solutions' decided weeks, months or even years ago.