Election Week 4

This week saw an array of significant events spread across State and Federal politics, with both major party leaders kicking off campaigns.

As the campaigns entered their final three weeks, Newspoll TPP had little change, with Opposition leader Hon Anthony Albanese MP sitting at 53% and Prime Minister Hon Scott Morrison MP at 47%.

With 15 days to go, below the Nexus Team reviews the last week, outlines the current state of the campaign, discusses the battles in New South Wales, and provides some Insights!

 

Week in Review

Victorian Election Prep: Looking forward to the next BIG ELECTION in Victoria, the Victorian State government released their 2022-23 State Budget this week. After two years of stringent lockdowns, the Budget outlined a Pandemic Repair Plan with a strong focus on rebuilding Victoria’s health system. Emergency services received $333 million to hire almost 400 triple-0 workers and $124 million more for paramedics. The budget further predicted employment growth in the coming years, with a record 3.5 million Victorians in work by June. This will increase the payroll tax, worth $6.8 billion in 2022-23. The Andrews government also announced millions to be invested in Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, and Gippsland as part of the total $2.6 billion to be spent on preparing for the 2026 Commonwealth Games

Historic Federal Move: On a Federal level, for the first time in more than a decade, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a decision to increase the cash rate target by 25 basis points to 35 basis points following their Board Meeting. The RBA also increased the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances from zero per cent to 25 basis points.  As one insider remarked “enough of a rise to make Australian voters think carefully about the economy, but not enough to blame the government”.

 

Campaign in Review

Opposition leader Hon Anthony Albanese MP officially launched his campaign this week in Western Australia. Having recovered from COVID-19, Mr Albanese flew west, launching his campaign in Perth and outlining his key focuses of cheaper medicines, progress on gender pay equity and domestic manufacturing. He also addressed the Labor’s plan to relieve pressures from the rising cost of living and processing resources to encourage a move to renewables.

The Coalition this week announced another 50,000 older Australians to get access to seniors’ health cards under a re-elected Coalition government. The $70 million expansion is part of the Coalition’s plan to deliver affordable and practical cost of living relief. Following the announcement made by Prime Minister Hon Scott Morrison, the Opposition agreed to match the Coalition’s promise. Both parties showcased an agreement on the need to aid older Australians through more accessible access to healthcare.

AND LET THEM DEBATE – This week also saw two more portfolio debates at the National Press Club. Coalitions Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP and Opposition’s Dr Jim Chalmers MP went head-to-head on Wednesday to deliver their respective plans. On Thursday, Coalitions Defence Minister the Hon Peter Dutton MP and the Oppositions Hon Brendan O’Connor MP took to National Press Club to announce their plans for Australia’s defence policy.

 

State Watch:

New South Wales

Just under a third of the House of Representatives is elected from New South Wales, a weight of numbers that ensures the state is always a crucial battleground in Federal elections.

For the Labor Party, the state’s south coast poses a mixed bag following years of COVID-19 and bushfires. Bellwether electorate of Eden-Monaro, Ms Kristy McBain MP (0.8%), was won narrowly in the 2020 by-election. Elsewhere, Labor is defending two retirees’ seats, with Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP retiring from the electorate of Hunter (3.0%) after 26 years and Ms Julie Owens MP in Parramatta (3.5%). For the Liberal Party, they are facing threats from a rise in Independents in Mr Dave Sharma MP defending Wentworth (1.3%) from high profile independent Allegra Spender.

Seats to Watch

Coalition – Reid, Dr Fiona Martin  MP (3.2 %). Wentworth, Dave Sharma MP (1.3%). North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman (9.3%).

Labor – Parramatta, Ms Julie Owens MP (3.5%), Eden-Monaro, Ms Kristy McBain MP (0.8%), Hunter, Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP (3.0%).

Others for the ALP

Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP (2.6%) with high profile former NSW Minister the Hon Andrew Constance presenting a challenge.

Fowler, Retiring MP Chirs Hayes (14%) with former NSW Premier and Senator Kristina Keneally running as the new ALP candidate.

 

Ind – Warraigah, Zali Steggall MP (7.2 %) Likely to hold. Hughes, Craig Kelly MP (9.9%) Likely to be gained by the Liberal party.

 

Nexus Insight: Nelson Mandela’s Inauguration

Next week on the 10th of May, marks the 27th anniversary of President Nelson Mandela’s inauguration.  Nelson Mandela was a renowned political activist and was instrumental in ending South Africa’s apartheid.

He was famously imprisoned from 1962 to 1990 for his activism in Robben Island Prison. He proceeded to win the Nobel Peace Prize in conjunction with F.W de Klerk for successfully leading the transition from apartheid to a multiracial democracy. His presidency also marked the first black president of South Africa, serving from 1994 until 1999.

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