And the first howler of the campaign belongs to Greens leader Richard Di Natale. In his response yesterday to the calling of the election, Di Natale let this pearl drop:

“On a day when Bill Shorten is out at a mine, kicking off his election campaign we say, ‘No more new coalmines if we are to make the transition to a 21st century economy and save the Great Barrier Reef.’ We are here with the community, so we stand as Greens with the community on the first day of the election campaign. You will see the two old parties standing with vested interests, saying, ‘Let’s continue to dig coal out of the ground.'”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was indeed at a mine yesterday, or very close to one, because he responded to the calling of the election from Launceston, while on his way to Beaconsfield, about 40 minutes away, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Beaconsfield mine collapse, which killed one miner and left two others trapped for two weeks before they were rescued. So, not exactly Shorten launching his campaign from a mine. It might have helped make Di Natale look less of a dill if Beaconsfield were a coal mine, but, um, it’s a gold mine. Or, more correctly, it was a gold mine — it’s been closed since June 2012.

So how does Di Natale go on the fact check there? Shorten wasn’t kicking off his campaign there, Beaconsfield’s not a coal mine, and it hasn’t been open for nearly four years. Maybe the Greens leader should have spoken to his Tassie colleagues before opening his mouth?

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