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Labor hits winnable seats as Liberals sandbag NSW heartland

Chris Minns tours regional seats

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor opponent Chris Minns are campaigning feverishly in the final hours before election day to win over undecided voters.

Mr Minns made a pre-dawn visit on Friday to the Sydney Markets, ahead of meeting manufacturing workers to spruik Labor’s plan to rebuild domestic manufacturing.

Mr Perrottet, meanwhile, headed to the seat of Willoughby on Sydney’s lower north shore, where local MP Tim James is seeking to head off a challenge by independent Larissa Penn.

Both leaders later focused on Sydney’s west, where several key seats are likely to decide Saturday’s election.

Mr Perrottet stopped by the Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre with local MP and former minister Stuart Ayres, again promised 10 new indoor basketball courts funded by the $5 billion Westinvest program.

Mr Ayres said Labor had neglected western Sydney, saying the area was missing out on 1900 hours of local sport every week due to a lack of facilities.

“We solve that problem with our commitment to this community through Westinvest,” Mr Ayres said.

“Chris Minns wants to rip it out of the heart of every single kid and family who comes to this centre every single week.

“You could not get a better example of why the Labor Party doesn’t care about western Sydney.”

Mr Minns said unallocated WestInvest funds, from $5 billion in proceeds from the sale of WestConnex, would rebuild critical infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and transport to the new Western Sydney airport.

“Our priority is health, and in particular, the physical infrastructure for hospitals in western Sydney,” he said.

“The Liberals have promised a brand new hospital in Rouse Hill three elections in a row. It’s time for decisions to be made.”

Heading full steam into the election, he jumped into the driver’s seat of a Tangara at a rail manufacturing site in Auburn.

“We just want to see the next generation of trains built here in NSW,” the Labor leader said.

Perrottet tours Drummoyne and Ryde

Mr Perrottet’s first stop was at a pre-polling booth in the marginal lower north shore Sydney seat of Willoughby, where he greeted voters with local MP Tim James.

The seat, previously held by former premier Gladys Berejiklian, was once considered blue ribbon territory for the Liberals, but faces a strong challenge from Independent candidate Larissa Penn.

Asked if Ms Berejiklian’s popularity would affect the local vote, Mr Perrottet said Mr James had taken after his predecessor.

“Glad (Gladys) has been a great servant to the people of Willoughby, and Tim has followed very well in Glad’s footsteps,” Mr Perrottet said.

Pollsters have predicted Labor will form minority government, while Mr Perrottet’s personal approval is also on the slide. He said there was a lot at stake and he would fight to the end.

Mr Minns said that while he sensed there was a mood for change, the election would come down to the wire.

A day after Mr Perrottet visited Eastwood, Mr Minns was treading the same ground in the Liberal held seat of Ryde.

He has done enough to convince Eastwood local Dilak, 55, to give Labor his vote on Saturday. The father of three wants to see whoever wins government do more to address housing supply and affordability.

“There are a lot of Australians who have toiled for this country and even they are struggling, especially single women,” he said.

“I can’t think of housing for my children, unless we help them. But it shouldn’t be that way.”

– AAP

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