The Prime Minister and the Albanian are preparing for the confrontation of the polls | Liverpool City Champion

Australia’s political leaders remain in full campaign mode, even though the starting gun for the May election has yet to be fired.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Tasmania on Sunday to announce additional funding for the Marinus Link power interconnector, days before the Governor General’s visit to trigger the start of the election.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese was in Queensland for a rally of party loyalists, a state he must win to secure the election.

“A place as big as Queensland deserves great representatives,” Mr Albanese said in his speech.

Mr Morrison announced $75 million for the Marinus Link project, which will export hydropower from Tasmania to other parts of the national electricity market, delivering expected benefits of $4.6 billion across the board. of the market.

“This will have huge benefits for Tasmanians and Victorians, strengthening the economy, creating thousands of jobs, lowering electricity bills and easing cost of living pressures,” he said.

But the Prime Minister remains dogged by claims he made a racist comment against an opponent during his 2007 shortlist, alleged in a speech by outgoing Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells last week.

She brought the charges under parliamentary privilege, saying Mr Morrison had told party members they could not have a Lebanese as a candidate for Cook’s seat in New South Wales.

Mr Morrison has repeatedly denied the charges.

“These are quite malicious and bitter insults, which are deeply offensive, and I absolutely reject them,” he told reporters on Sunday.

But shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers doubts anyone will believe him.

“I don’t think people believe more widely in the prime minister,” he told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda.

Dr Chalmers also tried to kill what he described as another government fear campaign by ruling out tax increases if Labor won the election.

“We have made it very clear that we have no proposals for tax increases beyond working with other countries to make the tax regime for multinationals fairer,” he said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said his government had worked on the multinational agenda and created a minimum global tax through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Otherwise, he said the coalition government was still looking to cut taxes.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to cut taxes and in this budget we’ve done that for both small businesses and households,” Frydenberg told ABC’s Insiders program.

The coalition government is repeatedly extending the tax plan that Labor presented in the last election, which Mr Frydenberg’s office said amounted to $387 billion.

“This latest scare campaign from Scott Morrison speaks volumes about a government that has been in power for nearly a decade, entirely bereft of ideas for a better future,” Dr Chalmers said.

But Liberal MP Anne Ruston called his comments “weasel words and throwaway lines”.

“What Labor needs to do in this election campaign, it needs to tell us how it’s going to pay for the things it promises,” Senator Ruston told Sky News.

Mr Albanese used his budget response speech to promote his aged care reform plan, which Labor says will cost $2.5billion.

But Senator Ruston said $2.5 billion “won’t hit the sides.”

Despite this, Mr Albanese reinforced his plans for elder care in his speech on Sunday, announcing a general duty of care, which will set minimum standards to protect residents and workers.

“We will introduce criminal penalties – including jail time – for elder care providers who seriously and repeatedly facilitate or cover up abuse and neglect,” he told the rally.

Australian Associated Press

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