Pitching to the press: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd takes the podium at the National Press Club in Canberra, two days before the 2013 election. (Tap to view panorama.)
Down to the wire: Only days before the election, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd highlights one of the few issues on which Labor seems to hold an edge, the National Broadband Network. Visiting the Clayton-based Corning, a company making optical fibre hubs for the NBN, Rudd might have mentioned that Labor will bring fibre to every home, while the Coalition will leave homes connected by copper wire. (Tap to view panorama.)
Hoping for the re-birth of his government on Saturday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pitched Labor’s plans for Tasmanian jobs and services during a visit to the school of nursing and midwifery at the University of Tasmania in Launceston on Tuesday. (Tap to view panorama.)
With his back to the sharp objects, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tried to pound home his jobs and training pitches (a feature of yesterday’s ALP campaign launch) during a morning stop at Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Ltd. The surrounding media pack asked about single mothers and Syria’s “bad guys”. (Tap to view panorama.)
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, education spokesman Christopher Pyne, and New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell launched the Liberal-National schools policy this morning at Penrith Christian School. Abbott said he “disagreed” with the school’s policy that homosexuality was “an abomination unto God, a perversion of the natural order and not to be entered into by His people”.
Abbott was not asked about other aspects of the school’s Statement of Faith, such as divine healing (“we trust our heavenly Father to protect and heal our bodies from sickness and disease”), the punishment of the wicked, “We believe in the everlasting punishment of the wicked (in the sense of eternal torment) who wilfully reject and despise the love of God manifested in the great sacrifice of His only Son on the cross for their salvation” and creationism (“We believe that the heavens and the earth and all original life forms, including humanity, were made by the specific immediate creative acts of God as described in the account of origins presented in Genesis, and that all biological changes which have occurred since creation are limited to variation within each species”).
The Liberal schools policy included $70 million to help around 1,500 existing public schools to become independent public schools by 2017, on the basis that this will allow communities to have a greater say in schools.
Indeed Penrith Christian School advocates the separation of church and state, saying, “Each local community of believers is competent under Christ as Head of the Church to order its life without interference from any civil authority.” Penrith Christian School’s 2012 annual report notes that 66 per cent of its total budget came from government, including state (15 per cent) and commonwealth (41 per cent) recurrent funding and a capital grant (10 per cent). That’s $6.2 million from the government of a total budget of $9.3 million.
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Another day, another hairnet fest: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott checks the conveyor belt of sugar at Tasmania’s Cadbury Chocolate factory this morning. (This, a day after his health spokesman Peter Dutton “promised a softer touch on alcohol, more collaboration on obesity”, as The Australian’s Sean Parnell noted in a sweet tweet.) (Tap to view panorama.)
No emergency here: Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, looking cruisy in the polls, takes media questions during a tour of the Mills-Tui heavy vehicle manufacturing factory, at Narangba, north of Brisbane, on Monday morning. (Tap to view panorama.)
Top End talk: PM-in-waiting Tony Abbott on the site of a proposed hospital at Palmerston, near Darwin (flanked by Peter Dutton, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles, the Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs). Tap to view panorama.