Next, Zimmerman is asked about Katherine Deves, and in particular about earlier comments he’s made, where he has said he was “angry” and “disappointed” at her previous comments.
Asked if her comments have put his re-election in doubt, here is what Zimmerman had to say:
I don’t think so. I obviously condemn the language she has used and I think it is inappropriate, but voters in my electorate know where I stand on these issues. It is one of the reasons I crossed the floor on the religious discrimination act, to protect gay and trans students and also teachers. I have no regrets about that and I would exactly same thing again if I were re-elected.
… I think it also points to why electorates like mine wants to have a moderate voice in parliament.
Sticking with Zimmerman, he’s asked if Morrison isn’t a liability, would Trent have him campaign in his seat of North Sydney?
I have said I would be happy for a promise to join me. Of course, he puts his head down on a bed in my electorate every night that he is in Sydney. But my campaign has really been a grassroots campaign, and I am focused on talking to voters about what we are going to offer them in the next parliamentary term and also what I am offering them locally.
First out of the blocks this morning Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, appearing on ABC News, and was asked to what extent Scott Morrison’s unpopularity was affecting the Coalition (this being after the PM promised to change his approach yesterday).
This is what Zimmerman had to say:
Well, I think what is more important is the performance of the government and how we keep the economy strong, how we provide the services that our communities need.
And over the last two years we have seen circumstances that no government has faced in our lifetime, and that has meant that has been crisis decision-making, so there have been decisions which have happened in those circumstances like closing our international borders, like investing the money into jobkeeper, the largest economic support program run by I think any government in the world, so that has required a very firm and strong leadership by the prime minister.
In a process that you would normally expect to see happen in the normal run of affairs, and I think the point the prime minister was making was that the next term of parliament, we will be going back to the normal decision-making process so long as we are out of the woods with the pandemic.
The Greens have referred three Labor campaign ads to the Australian Electoral Commission over alleged “misleading and deceptive” conduct, in the latest escalation of election hostilities in a trio of three-cornered contests in Brisbane.
Greens senator Larissa Waters has written to the AEC to complain about Labor communications in the seats of Brisbane, Ryan and Griffith, which claim the “only way” to remove the Coalition from government is to vote for the ALP. Waters claims this is incorrect, and accused Labor of misleading voters about how to fill in their ballot papers.
“The Greens are concerned that this misleading and deceptive information confuses voters about the consequences of giving their first preference to a minor party,” she wrote in a letter to the AEC on Thursday.
The Greens have explicitly ruled out supporting the Coalition in the event of a hung parliament.
It is clearly incorrect that the “only” way to change the government is to mark the ballot paper with a 1 for Labor … I believe that Labor’s messaging goes beyond encouraging people to vote Labor and seeks to directly mislead electors about how to mark their ballot paper to achieve a change of government.
Labor’s campaign headquarters has declined to comment.
An AEC spokesman confirmed the commission had received the complaint, and would “look at it and respond as required”.
Good morning, Mostafa Rachwani with you for the last Saturday blog before the election. With only seven days to go, the finish line is within view, and both leaders are gearing up to finish with a flourish.
We begin with Labor, who will enter the final week of campaigning with a new $970m investment in primary health and a boost for infrastructure upgrades in GP practices. Labor leader Anthony Albanese is promising greater access to GPs under the plan.
Meanwhile, prime minister Scott Morrison is preparing for his campaign launch, and is expected to announce financial support for 700,000 children to play sports, part of a $20m plan to expand sporting programs.
Elsewhere, we’ll keep our eyes on Covid numbers, especially as the flu season begins to pick up, with many people questioning what is making them ill if they keep testing negative to Covid.
There is still much going, so let’s dive in.