Adam Bandt is on the ABC. The Greens leader is asked about his message on mining yesterday in his national press club address, and how it might be seen as being less aggressive than previous leaders, such as Bob Brown.
Look, my history before I came to this job, I actually represented coal-fired power station workers in their battles to preserve their wages and conditions. It’s something that has been close to my heart for a long period of time and my message is very clear – coal and gas workers are not the enemy.
In fact, we owe a debt of thanks to coal and gas workers for helping power our country and create the products that we all use, but we just know now that we can’t keep going with coal and gas.
The scientists have been crystal clear. The floods, the fires, the droughts that we’re all living through are fuelled by coal and gas.
So we need to get out of it and we need to do it quickly, but we need to do it in a way that supports people and communities who are currently dependent on coal and gas.
And so our message has been very clear – let’s get out of coal and gas, let’s stop opening new coal and gas mines, but let’s do it in a way that supports those workers, ensures they don’t lose pay and income, and also creates the jobs that will be secure high-paying jobs in areas where they need because we’re blessed in Australia with so many minerals that the world is going to need to create batteries, to create green steel, and the best job in many instances for a coal worker is another mining job.
Barnaby Joyce is also campaigning in the Hunter today.
He is in Morisset this morning. The Nationals really, really, really want the seat Joel Fitzgibbon (who is retiring) barely held on to last election, so the good burghers of Hunter can expect to see a lot of Joyce this election.
The ABC is now reporting that people who are not travelling for hours are not being allowed to check-in to Sydney airport to try and make room for those with earlier flights.
The footage is absolute chaos.
(This is why it pays to have no friends, like me. You don’t have to deal with travel chaos. Win for the grumpy people among us!)
Melbourne airport seems more ordered. Except when it comes to the coffee lines. They look brutal.
Meanwhile on the Nine Network, Peter Dutton was asked about a story in the Financial Review, which reports focus groups have found undecided voters are leaning towards voting for Scott Morrison, but only because they think he is the least worst option.
Here is what Dutton had to say about that ringing endorsement:
In politics just by definition because you are a member of a particular party some people would never consider you. I think that people look at the runs that the government has on the board.
The fact that we have been able to turn around the budget, 700,000 jobs saved during the course of Covid with jobkeeper and the fact that unemployment rate is at 4% and hopefully going lower soon, when it was predicted to be 15%. The figure that Anthony Albanese was stumbling for which was 5.4% which was the unemployment [rate] when he was in government.
You look what is ahead of us and the risk that people face in turn to Anthony Albanese to run this country in the next few years. We have had incredible challenges in the past few years. People don’t want to risk going to a significant unknown in Anthony Albanese come the next election
Jane Hume on the ABC also defended her leader as the “least worst option”:
That’s an easy target and I don’t think that the quiet Australians have yet spoken. Scott Morrison has been an amazing leader throughout the most difficult periods of time and I think when it comes down to election day, when you get into that ballot box, I think people will make the right decision.
Michael McGowan has had a further look at some the previous social media posts of Scott Morrison’s handpicked candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves.
On ABC News Breakfast, Jane Hume was asked about the candidate who Morrison had lauded for standing up for “common sense” earlier in the week when it came to her support for banning trans women from participating in women’s sport.
Hume tried to avoid it at first, by saying she would not comment on social media posts she had not seen. Pushed by Lisa Millar, Hume said Deves’ position was not the position of the government.
I think she’s – you know, a very capable candidate, but on this particular issue, I think her positions are wrong.
Millar: “She said last year she was triggered by the rainbow flag. Well, what do you say to that?”
I think that’s an exaggeration at best, and probably inappropriate language at worst.
Anthony Albanese is kicking the morning off in Cessnock in New South Wales, with Hunter candidate Dan Repacholi talking healthcare – Labor is hoping to retain the seat Joel Fitzgibbon is retiring from, which the Liberal party is also heavily targeting.
Scott Morrison is in northern Tasmania where he will promise a $220m forestry package, to take advantage of the timber shortage across the world and promising 73,000 forestry jobs.
It should be pointed out that the jobs Morrison has promised so far have been in traditional male dominated industries or used those industries as a backdrop.
It is day four (of full campaigning) and the last day before the campaigns put the tools down for Good Friday.
But the biggest story is airport chaos on the eve of the Easter long weekend. Queues are out the door at Sydney airport, as staff shortages impact on just how fast the airport can process travellers through the gates.
The Transport Workers Union says the government dropped the ball by not helping firms get enough staff in time, pointing out that not everyone received jobkeeper, while companies like Qantas received more than a billion dollars in assistance and still sacked staff.
Liberal senator Jane Hume who has been sent out this morning to spread the government’s messages, said that’s not fair:
Well, I heard the criticisms of the TWU boss and, you know, quite frankly [her] suggestion that the federal government should have stepped up with jobkeeper for companies that were, in fact, owned by other countries, you know, sovereign entities which is entirely inappropriate.
The federal government supported Qantas, we supported Virgin, we supported Jetstar, we supported the industry with a $5.3bn rescue package and, in fact, this was the biggest rescue package for any industry in response to Covid-19. So while we know that there are delays now and often those delays are, in fact, caused by absences because of, you know, the continuing Covid restrictions and the isolation rules, we’re hoping that the industry will be able to sort itself out and find an equilibrium.
Probably not a lot of solace for travellers right now, but here we are. If you are travelling, the advice is to get to the airport as early as you can to allow enough time to move through check-in and security. And remember the staff who are there are doing the best job they can.
The campaigns don’t have to worry about airport chaos, having their own planes.
The Liberal campaign is in Tasmania, where Labor was earlier in the week, to talk forestry plans, while the Labor campaign is in Sydney, where the Liberal campaign was earlier in the week, to talk healthcare.
We’ll keep you updated with the blow-by-blow, with Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp, Daniel Hurst, Sarah Martin and Josh Butler taking a look at the campaign in depth.
You have me, Amy Remeikis, on the blog for most of the day.
Breakfast has been a piece of Toblerone and three coffees, so it’s all going well.
Ready? Let’s get into it.