Was Channel 10 the first to break the election media blackout with a Family First advertisement at 12:03am Thursday morning?

Hi Crikey, it’s 12:05am and I just saw two Liberal party advertisements (from 12:04am – checked using telephone time service) on Channel 10. One about unions, the other I hadn’t seen before about Labor’s effect on young people e.g. 17% rates etc. Just when I thought I’d seen the last of those ads.

In the carpark beneath the parliament house ministerial wing, boxes upon boxes are this morning making their way to staffers’ cars.

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The Brethren appear to be finally active in Bennelong — posters have been cropping up on bus shelters throughout the electorate, free of any authorisation and quoting lines that are virtually identical to lines they used in 2004 against Wilkie. Also spotted this morning on Epping Rd (about a stone’s throw from the old Maxine McKew billboard site), an advertising truck parked with a “Don’t vote for Greens dodos” message, directing passers-by to the website http://www.imsure.com.au, the website of the Focus on Australia Foundation, where visitors are treated to such delights as Ballot Papers for “Union Parties” eating the voter. All with nothing but a PO Box in Queensland by means of contact details, and sans authorisation or any form of identification. I’m amazed that these groups have taken so long to emerge, frankly.

Parliament House has more to worry about with regards to security than small knives. I regularly deliver reports to the House using a foldable flat bed trolley. I dutifully take the reports off the trolley for them to be scanned via the conveyor belt. I then push the trolley through the metal detection gate and go through separately myself. The trolley sets off the detector (of course) but is ignored because it is expected. Not once in all the numerous times I’ve made my deliveries has anyone checked under the trolley for whatever firearm or explosive that could be strapped there.

Form a queue! I am told there are more than 900 people who have volunteered to man the polling booths for Maxine McKew and there is a waiting list if you want to help! Is this unprecedented? They may not be waiting for the PM with baseball bats but there is certainly a rush on to meet him at the frontline!

I voted at the Australian Embassy in Rome today. The Liberals had available a glossy How to Vote brochure for every seat in the country. The only Labor how to vote form was for the relatively safe Liberal seat of Herbert. Even the Greens had more election literature on display. Who said the ALP was very active abroad?

I understand that Barbara Bennett will spend Thursday and Friday visiting various offices of the Workplace Authority to discuss with staff the Strategic Plan for 2008. Why is this woman bothering?

With dodgy dossiers and falsified brochures dominating the closing days of the campaign, it’s a funny coincidence that one of the brains behind the Willis letters – allegedly – is a Victorian Liberal Party candidate for a winnable position in this election. Why doesn’t someone approach him for a comment?

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