August is normally a prime time of year to visit Queensland – but the Prime Minister has decided he prefers the political climate in Tasmania. The PM is touring marginal Tasmanian electorate of Braddon, ahead of this weekend’s state Liberals conference.

He was due in Brisbane this week to showcase the gee-whiz neutron scanner being trialled at Brisbane Airport.

The scanner can examine entire containers of cargo in one sweep, identifying explosives, weapons and drugs – the perfect background for a national security photo-op at a time of heightened tensions.

No doubt, however, the PM realised he’d be asked why the local Liberals didn’t have a machine to check for leaders likely to detonate their election hopes – and gave the do a miss.

Meanwhile, it appears that the ACTU’s own research shows that there’s fertile ground for an anti WorkChoices vote in the north. “Whose side are you on Bruce? Email QLD Liberal leader Bruce Flegg now,” a union flyer doing the rounds reads: