WHO WON THE DAY?
Bernard Keane, Crikey politics editor: The continued fallout from the NBN raids, including the Communications Minister in effect revealing that the AFP Commissioner had lied or been badly misinformed about his own investigation, meant it was a bad weekend for the government. Labor’s concentration on health funding, and particularly the PBS announcement, is a potent strategy, and the government has been working hard to get voters to think about how it will all be paid for. For the short term, though, a definite win for Labor.
Eva Cox, Australian writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator and activist: A weekend that showed different tactics. Fewer discussions of Dutton’s dog whistle, or whatever, and the police raid, so now clear differences of approaches emerge. Shorten is gaining by emphasising healthcare cost-cutting versus repetitive “the economy, stupid” responses from PM. Voters not really showing engagement but Shorten is, at least, not annoying them, so his approval goes up!
Dr Zareh Ghazarian, political scientist at Monash University and author: It’s a pattern that I don’t think many people foresaw, but Shorten seems to be having a purple patch. Running a very traditional Labor campaign by promising service delivery, the message from Shorten seems to be cutting through, as today’s Newspoll shows.
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Dr Dennis Glover, veteran Labor speechwriter and fellow of Per Capita think tank: The problem with eight-week election campaigns is that there are only enough policy announcements for about 30 days and the resulting void has to be filled somehow. This is why long campaigns are the devil’s playground, giving the nasties on all sides their moment to shine and do maximum damage to our body politic. So they open those dirt files on each other they’ve been saving up for so long, and probe all those dark parts of voter psychology they’ve learned from the strategists they hire from the U.S. and all those campaigns they run for the Tories. Hence last week, whose big losers were (in ascending order of magnitude) Di Natale, Feeney, desperate refugees, the souls of Morrison and Turnbull, and Australian democracy.
Labor continues to make big spending promises with another significant infrastructure project on the agenda if they win government. Turnbull and the LNP didn’t go nearly as big, but they did find plenty of money for a key swinging seat.
- $30 million funding package to support local parks, nature reserves and coastal areas;
- $44 million to expand Port of Eden; and
- $5.6 million to upgrade Merimbula airport.
- $1 billion over six years to complete the Perth Metronet rail project; and
- $1.2 billion saved by scrapping the proposed Perth freight link.
Malcolm Turnbull. The Prime Minister is back on the trail in New South Wales, and he’s hitting the bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, held by every government since 1972. Whether or not you believe that Eden-Monaro holds the key to government, it does often tell us a lot about voting trends. Turnbull is there to support sitting Liberal MP Peter Hendy, who holds the seat with a very slim majority. He announced funding to upgrade the Port of Eden and Merimbula Airport in conjunction with the New South Wales state government. His message was about jobs and growth for the Bega Valley Shire, but he was also on the defensive about Medicare rebate freezes.
Bill Shorten. Shorten hit Western Australia for the first time in the campaign, where he will outline Labor’s plan to create more jobs and improve the city’s transport system through the Metronet project. He’ll be spruiking his party’s plans in three different electorates: Perth, seat of retiring Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan; Hasluck, held by Liberal MP Ken Wyatt; and Burt, a new electorate. All of these seats could prove crucial if Shorten hopes to take government.
Richard Di Natale. The Greens leader is touring regional Australia again today; he hit the remote mining town of Broken Hill in western New South Wales. Meanwhile, his party launched its new plan to make Australia the “Innovation Nation“, outlining proposals to fund education, industry and science.
ISENTIA DAILY LEADER INDEX
Just one mention on radio for the poor old Greens leader, and just 23 in the press.
Senator Jacqui Lambie faces an uphill battle to retain her Senate seat in this election. The feisty Tasmanian burst onto the political scene after her surprise victory in the 2013 election, when she stood for the Palmer United Party. She’s since ditched Clive to go it alone, and now she’ll be hoping to extend her stay in Canberra where she can discuss the issues that matter, like finding a “well-hung” man with a lot of money. Lambie might be onto something with her new slogan. It’s a simple message that really gets to the heart of her political philosophy.
ZINGER OF THE DAY
MALSPLAIN OF THE DAY
MALCOLM GETS THE SHORTEN OF THE STICK
Bill Shorten’s a cheeky bugger. As if it weren’t bad enough that he keeps teasing Malcolm Turnbull with his endless barrage of zingers, now the Opposition Leader has quite literally started trying to steal Turnbull’s friends. Shorten arrived unannounced and uninvited to Bondi beach in the heart of Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth. He pulled on his runners and went for a nice jog along the beach with Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles. No sign of the local member, though — apparently he was at a wine and food show over in Watsons Bay. It will be good to see Turnbull repay the favour and visit Shorten’s electorate of Maribyrnong; he’d be right at home watching the footy at a local pub in Niddrie.
AN INCONVENIENT TIM
Who let the social justice activist loose? Tim Costello is at it again — he’s brought up human rights issues in the middle of an election campaign. He just won’t let the Prime Minister have a break. Costello blasted the Australian government’s treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru, describing it as “psychological torture”.
I’LL MAKE HIM A POLICY HE CAN’T REFUSE
Politicians meet all sorts of interesting people while serving their country, perhaps even themselves dining with members of “La Cosa Nostra”. A story has emerged about a certain Prime Minister having lunch with a certain slain underworld lawyer. Now this is hardly Tony Soprano, but we imagine this is a headache Turnbull could have done without. Let’s just hope nobody left a horse’s head in the master bedroom of the Lodge.
QUIRK OF THE DAY
The ACTU hasn’t held back on the class warfare, releasing this video of the “laughing billionaire”. He represents the business interests of the Liberal Party, which, apparently, seeks to cut education funding, slash penalty rates and give tax breaks to big business. We await the next instalment, where he will surely be killing puppies and eating babies.
TWEET OF THE DAY
After flooding recent scorecards with references to the @ it’s probably best to focus on something else. So here’s a little sting from Mack’s other half, Tony Windsor, who took aim Barnaby Joyce and the apparent failure of his government to bring NBN to his constituents.
A friendly reminder to our younger readers, and recent additions to Australia, who are set to vote for the first time: if you haven’t enrolled yet then you only have a few hours left, as the deadline to enrol or update details is 8pm tonight. For more information visit www.aec.gov.au. And remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome later. Please make sure you sign up — South Park taught us all what to expect if we need to start celebrity campaigns to get people to vote:
If you’re not a South Park fan, at least check out the song.
The Prime Minister is in the bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, where he promised to upgrade the (sea) port and the airport. Shorten was in Western Australia, where he’s targeting some new seats with another big-spending promise. Di Natale is in Broken Hill, continuing his rural campaigning, while his party unveiled its new innovation plan.