From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Election wrecks everything. The early election campaign has caught no one by surprise, with July 2 pencilled into our diaries since the Herald Sun's Ellen Whinnett broke the story in February. But just because it’s been expected doesn’t mean that the election campaign isn’t messing with well-laid plans. The Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group has cancelled its event scheduled for June 24. The parliamentary friendship group, supported by the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, had invited MPs and media to the shooting event, to be held at the Jim McKinley Range at the SSAA’s ACT Majura Shooting Complex. The Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group was launched last year and is chaired by Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie and Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, but now we won’t get to see their skills until after the election. The annual Midwinter Ball, hosted by the parliamentary press gallery to raise money for charity, has also been postponed, to be held when all this democracy kerfuffle is over. 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.'”
Di Natale's mining for turds. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was indeed at a mine Sunday, 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? Barnaby here, there and everywhere. Election campaigns are busy times, with party leaders flying across the country to cover as many marginal seats as possible. Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is already racking up the miles, flying to the nation’s capital yesterday solely for the purpose of the election announcement. Here he is at the Nemingha pub (yes, at a urinal) on Saturday night:

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