Albanese: Labor’s path to the government benches begins in Western Australia

Anthony Albanese pumps up the crowd in Perth, where Labor is hoping for three additional seats. <i>Photo: AAP</i>

Anthony Albanese pumps up the crowd in Perth, where Labor is hoping for three additional seats. Photo: AAP

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has mapped a path to victory through Western Australia as he addressed local supporters at a BBQ in Perth.

The party is launching its campaign in WA for the first time since John Curtin in 1940, with Labor hoping to pick up the seats of Pearce, Swan and Hasluck while sandbagging marginal Labor seats like Cowan.

“We’ve got the quality, there’s one thing we’re missing. Quantity. We want more Labor seats in WA,” Mr Albanese told the party faithful alongside Cowan MP Anne Aly, who holds the seat on less than a one per cent margin.

The opposition leader targeted the cost of living as he tried to piggyback off the popularity of state Labor leader Mark McGowan.

Mr Albanese announced $125 million in funding for 135 locally made electric buses, as part of a plan to shore up onshore manufacturing.

“A core part of my pitch to the Australian people is making more things here,” he said.

“One of the lessons of the pandemic is we have to stand on our own two feet. We’re vulnerable if we’re at the end of supply chains.

“And every time a state Liberal government has gone and invested in rail carriages and other transport infrastructure overseas, it’s never fit for purpose.”

As the same time, the prime minister was lauding the government’s economic plan in Tasmania on Saturday.

Taking the stage at a Launceston campaign rally, Scott Morrison told the crowd the election is about a strong economy underpinning a strong future as he urged Australians to stay the course with the current government.

Morrison: ‘You may not like me’

“You may not like everything we’ve done, you may not like me that much, but that’s not the point,” Mr Morrison said.

“The point is you know what our plan is … now is not the time to take a risk on what you don’t know.”

Mr Morrison earlier announced a $150 million cash splash from next year on medications listed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The measure means $10 savings per script, with PBS listed medicines dropping from $42.50 to $32.50 for everyday conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol.

But Labor’s finance spokesperson accused the Prime Minister of playing politics with the announcement.

“I suspect it’s the fact that we’ll have more to say about this that has focused Mr Morrison’s mind on making the announcement he has today,” Senator Katy Gallagher said.

Cost-of-living issues are dominating the campaign as inflation spikes to a 20-year high, power prices rise and a interest rate lift looms as early as next week.

Senator Gallagher said the opposition’s plans would put downward pressure on household budgets through cheaper childcare and energy prices.

“They’re the levers available to us in government,” she said.

Meanwhile in South Australia, independent candidate Jo Dyer has confirmation she’s eligible to run for the seat of Boothby after fears she hadn’t renounced her UK citizenship in time.


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