Usually intense political rivals, Macquarie's sitting MP Susan Templeman and her Liberal opponent, Sarah Richards, swapped politics for sandbags in Windsor yesterday.
The pair, who in a matter of months will go head to head in one of the country's most marginal federal seats, joined the emergency operations on Wednesday afternoon at McQuade Park, Windsor, Sarah manning the shovel and Susan holding open the bags.
It was something the women had done less than a year ago, during the devastating floods of March 2021.
Then, Ms Richards sourced emergency accommodation for scores of people cut off from their homes by floodwaters and helped to engage private helicopters to fly food, and other supplies, to people trapped west of the Hawkesbury River.
At the same time Ms Templeman supported residents east of the river assisting with evacuations, filling sandbags and loading the helicopters with supplies.
The pair led by example, leaving their differences behind, coming together as members of a resilient community, who are facing yet another major flood event.
Ms Richards said it was important for her and Ms Templeman to work together in a time of crisis and emergency for the community.
"I think it is a crucial message to send to our community, that Susan and I have very different political views, and that is definitely no secret, but when the community needs us both ... we can put all of that aside and just do the job that needs to be done," she said.
"West of the river ... interestingly enough people are a bit calmer this time. I think the panic that was there last time isn't there this time.
"But the dread of what is going to happen and the clean up as well, and the recovery, people know what that was like last time, but it has been a different situation not seeing the panic."
Ms Templeman commended the work of the state and community services and groups on the ground in the Hawkesbury, working hard to support each other during such a difficult time.
"The escalation of the flood warning for the Hawkesbury Nepean is concerning, and I've been out today (Wednesday) checking in on locals as they prepare for the worst," she said.
"A briefing today with police, SES, the Bureau of Meteorology and Water NSW let us know that the low is sitting just north of Sydney and moving slowly over the next 24 hours, so it's likely to keep raining and it's likely to be heavier.
"Sandbags have been distributed by the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) from McQuade Park in Windsor this afternoon for those in need, and the Back to the Bush bags are filling more to take to people who can't get to the park."
The two candidates intend to remain on the ground throughout the floods, Ms Templeman working out of Windsor, while Ms Richards supporting those stranded west of the river.
Ms Templeman said that the water had risen quickly overnight and noted how many people are "doing it really tough" a year on from the last floods.
"I think I'm being triggered back to last year, as will so many people," she said. "A street in Windsor where there are historic houses, and they're already, their backyards are already inundated.
"The waters cut about a quarter of the way up the street. It's really heartbreaking. These are people who went through it all a year ago and I can just see the exhaustion.
"One of them has been up all night, clearing the house. They've rebuilt kitchens, and so this time they've removed the whole kitchen, but there's just so much more that can still be lost in their home."
Ms Richards noted how much the Hawkesbury community has had to endure over recent years, with catastrophic fires, the pandemic and now the third straight year of devastating floods.
"It sounds a little cliche when you say it, but it is true ... and it does blow your mind a little bit, how this can keep happening to our local community," she said.
"It's almost hard to believe that it is happening again, but because we now know what to do, we're just getting on with the job of getting through the next few days.
"Making sure that everyone's got sandbags who need it, making sure that those who do have evacuation orders are listening to those orders and are actually evacuating, making sure those who are in evacuation centres have what they need.
"Of course it comes down to supplies where I am west of the river and having the basics that people need."