Australian election briefing: Labor reveals costings as Morrison bulldozes through wage questions – plus a painted rabbit | Australia news

It was Labor costings day – and the party took a gamble with a pledge to deepen the deficit to invest in effective measures such as childcare. And the government seized on new data showing unemployment had dropped to 3.9%, the lowest in decades. Scott Morrison demonstrated his bulldozer persona at a press conference, while one of his ministers blamed both sides for Wednesday’s tackle of a child playing football.

Two sleeps to go: here’s how Thursday unfolded.

Postcard from the Albanese campaign

By Josh Butler

Labor promised a “final sprint” of marginal seats until election day. Still, it started with a stumble after the opposition initially planned to send Anthony Albanese to campaign in Brisbane while his traveling press pack was sent to Canberra. The decision was fueled by fury on the campaign bus, with journalists upset at being split up from the prospective PM less than 48 hours after polls opened.

The decision was quickly reversed after reporters threatened to boycott Albanese’s morning press events, with some media claiming it was an unprecedented plan. The bus went to Brisbane to see him hit marginal seats.

A mutiny averted, Albanese held another visit to a childcare center in the marginal Sydney seat of Bennelong, joining kids as they painted. He asked a young girl what he should paint – she thought momentarily, replying, “a big, big, big bear”.

Albanese responded,d “I’m going to draw a bunny rabbit”, whipping out a quick depiction (if hardly an impressionistic masterpiece) of his footy team’s mascot.

Anthony Albanese visited a childcare center in Bennelong, joining kids as they painted. He asked a young girl what he should paint – she thought momentarily and replied, “a big, big, big bea. r”

Albanese: “I’m going to draw a bunny rabbit.t.”

The final result, with his signature:

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 19, 2022

There ares no ball sports so that you won’t be tripping over anyone,” a staff member at the center joked, with Scott Morrison’s run-in with junior football player Luca still making headlines (and memes) half a day later.

A flock of squawking cockatoos overhead interrupted Albanese’s press conference as he talked up his record of transparency and media appearances against Morrison’s for comparison.

Earlier,r he’d doubled down on last night’s criticism of the Coalition for making “fun of someone’s name in their advertising”, criticizing the government’s main attack ads. After claiming an address to an Italian community event in Sydney, he repeated it in TV interviews and the presser, claiming the rhetoric “bothers members of the community”. It was a criticism Morrison shrugged off, calling Albanese “precious”.

Hopping up to Brisbane, Albanese held an event before his press bus even arrived, meeting with the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, at a pre-poll booth.

Australian election

A second pre-poll visit in Dickson – Peter Dutton country – saw Albanese reunited with several Labor candidates in Brisbane’s north to take selfies and rev up volunteers. He then held a quick presser in a nearby park to comment on Labor’s costings, which were announced in Canberra while he was on the road.

Albanese said his extra $7.4bn in spending wouldn’t be inflationary because the money – for reforms like childcare – “will produce a return that produces economic activity”.

He denied his campaign was “worried”, spruiking his visit to numerous Coalition-held marginal seats to win new MPs.

“I’ll see you in other non-held seats tomorrow across three states,” Albanese said.

Postcard from the Morrison campaign

By Paul Karp

Scott Morrison started the day at a tennis club in the tiny town of Whitemore in the Labor-held seat of Lyons in Tasmania.

Morrison had a hit of tennis with the Liberal candidate, Susie Bower, and a few children – another non-contact sport that, this time, fortunately for all, involved no contact.

Courtside and in numerous radio spots, Morrison said he’d spoken to Luca Fauvette, the young football star he had bowled over in Devonport on Wednesday, and confirmed that he was OK.

“He came off better than I did,” Morrison said, eager to stress he landed on his shoulder (not Luca).

The next stop was Island Block and Paving, also in Lyons, where Morrison confirmed he would make a trip to the Solomon Islands if re-elected and faced a barrage of questions about the cost of living.

Confusion mounted about Morrison’s attempted self-reinvention as he told 2SM being a bulldozer “helps get stuff done” and proceeded to bulldoze through numerous media questions asking about real wage cuts and what, if anything, he had changed.

After visits to Braddon and Lyons, Morrison did not drop in on the most marginal Tasmanian seat of Bass. The MP Bridget Archer has rebranded to use the color purple, de-emphasizing the Liberal party in her bid for re-election.

Instead, he flew to Sydney and went to Carnes Hill, southwest Sydney, in the Labor-held seat of Werriwa (5.5%).

Morrison did a second presser to boast about the unemployment rate – something he didn’t do after Wednesday’s dismal wages figures.

A “multicultural afternoon tea” in the community center became more of a rally for the Liberal candidate Sam Kayal. Numerous young Liberals in blue shirts shouted “vote for Sam” and cried “shame” when Morrison spoke about unions wanting to control your superannuation rather than give it away. There weren’t many undecided voters there. Morrison was swamped for selfies and then left to fly to Perth.

Today’s big stories

Labor costings: Labor says the party’s decision to post $7.4bn in higher deficits than forecast over the next four years was not “made lightly”, but the spending is necessary to grow the economy. As he released the costings on Thursday, the shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, said Labor had been through the budget carefully to identify savings to offset most of its proposed spending, which it has emphasized will help boost productivity.

Pandemic powers: Experts have denounced a “totally misleading” claim perpetuated by government MPs and the United Australia party that the World Health Organization will use a possible pandemic treaty to control Australia’s health system, including arbitrarily imposing lockdowns.

Taking stock: It’s been a marathon campaign, but the finish line is in sight. Over the past couple of months, Guardian Australia reporters have fanned out in marginal seats to try to capture the mood and dynamics of the 2022 election. The result of this exercise has been the illuminating Anywhere But Canberra series.

Jingle jangle: This week, as the campaign period draws to a close, we asked Dr. Andrew Hughes, a political marketing lecturer at the Australian National University and the University of Canberra’s D.r Chris Wallace, to talk about the best and the worst advertisements of this election. Both swiftly picked the one they hated the most: the Coalition’s holey bucket. But will it work?

Quote of the day

There was a high-five afterward, so it was just an error from both of them

– The government frontbencher, Stuart Robert, described on ABC Radio National Morrison’s accidental knocking down of a young child while playing football.

By the numbers: 740,000

The number of people who worked reduced hours in April because of illness was almost double what was normal in April before the pandemic, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

How social media saw it

It’s getting close to election day & we’re getting a lot of questions from COVID+ voters.

Here are some answers. 🧵

— AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) May 19, 2022

The big picture

Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers and shadow finance minister Katy Gallagher release their election promise costings. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Watch Factcheck on wages claims.

FactCheck: is Scott Morrison right about a minimum wage increase hurting inflation? – video

Listen: Full Story’s campaign catchup

.If elected, Labor has released its policy costings, revealing a $7.4bn increase in the deficit over four years. Political editor Katharine Murphy joins Jane Lee to discuss the political risks and consequences.

Full Story

Campaign catchup: how will voters judge Labor’s $7.4bn of extra spending?

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Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.