Labor to maintain the rage on disasters

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Anthony Albanese will seek to highlight Scott Morrison’s inaction on disaster response as the second week of the election campaign continues.

The opposition leader will remain in marginal Queensland seats, areas where Labor will need to make up ground if it wants any chance of forming government.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison will continue to campaign in crucial marginal seats in Western Australia.

Mr Albanese will use the ninth day of the campaign to spruik a $38 million funding pledge over three years to Disaster Relief Australia, a veteran-led organisation assisting communities after natural disasters.

The funding would allow for the organisation to have 5200 more volunteers join the ranks, along with helping to cover recruitment, training and equipment.

The announcement comes off the back of the opposition leader attacking the prime minister for his handling of the Black Summer bushfires and the recent floods in Queensland and northern NSW.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton rejected claims Queensland flood victims were receiving less income support than residents of Lismore in northern NSW.

Mr Morrison will spend the day in WA spruiking the government’s economic management, including an address the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.

The West Australian reports the prime minister will pledge $200 million for four new hydrogen hubs in WA and $50 million for mineral supply chain jobs.

“Australia is one of the world’s great resource nations,” he is expected to say.

“Here in WA, generations of visionaries have built one of the world’s most advanced, successful resource sectors. This is an enormous source of strength, prosperity and security that all Australians have benefited from over many decades.

“Our government has a plan for an even stronger resources sector.

“Now is not the time to risk our $2.1 trillion economy with someone who doesn’t understand our economy.”

But after criticising Mr Albanese for an economic gaffe, the prime minister made one of his own when asked about JobSeeker.

Mr Morrison said the JobSeeker rate was $46 a week when the unemployment benefit was in fact $46 a day.

He later clarified he had misspoke, but declined to answer questions on whether he was out of touch.

Fresh polling shows both Labor and the coalition losing primary votes after the first campaign week.

Newspoll results published in The Australian on Monday night show 36 per cent would vote Labor, down one point from 37 per cent on April 10.

The coalition’s primary vote support fell by the same margin, dropping from 36 per cent to 35 in the same period, to April 18.

The electoral rolls have now closed ahead of polling day on May 21, with more than 63,000 new voters added since the election was announced, the Australian Electoral Commission said.

Agriculture takes centre stage at the National Press Club on Tuesday, where the coalition’s David Littleproud and Labor’s Julie Collins will square off.


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