Albo’s ‘curious choice’ of helper to win back Qld voters
Kevin Rudd has refused to reveal whether under-pressure Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese can win Queensland despite the former Prime Minister joining him for day one of a whirlwind 'jobs tour' across the state.
Mr Albanese's six-day Queensland 'jobs tour' kicked-off in Brisbane on Saturday morning with a visit to the Southbank Collective Markets before travelling north to the struggling Far North Queensland.
"One of the things I'll be saying to Queenslanders during this visit is we're on your side - we're on your side when it comes to jobs," he said.
The Opposition leader will attempt to use the popularity of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's COVID-19 response to win back Queensland voters who deserted Labor at the 2019 election.
Mr Albanese was joined by Mr Rudd on the pre-campaign hustings at Southbank - however the former Prime Minister declined to comment when asked by The Sunday-Mail about how or whether Labor could win the state.
Labor holds just six seats in Queensland compared to the Coalition's 23.
The Labor leader's northern trip comes after a similar visit in January by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to promote the state's resources industry.
Despite hundreds of jobs at New Hope's Acland mine hanging in the balance, Mr Albanese would not reveal whether he agreed with Labor colleagues the mine should be approved.
"I agree once any project is approved by the appropriate environmental standards it should go ahead," he said.
Griffith University Political Scientist Paul Williams said campaigning with a former Prime Minister this far away from an election was "unusual".
"I think this suggests Labor is leaving no stone unturned in Queensland," he said.
"It's a curious choice to use Kevin Rudd because he went out as a fairly unpopular Prime Minister - but it's because he's a Queenslander."
Mr Albanese again dismissed questions about the direction of the Opposition and whether he could win the election.
"We need to focus on holding the government to account and putting forward alternatives each and every day," he said.
"We're in a strong position to advance in 2021 and whenever Scott Morrison calls the election we'll be ready."
Mr Albanese also reinforced the Opposition's commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and accused the Morrison Government of making the nation pariahs on the international stage.
Scott Morrison this week said his goal was to reach net-zero emissions "preferably by 2050", prompting Labor to seize on his lack of commitment.
"When it comes to these issues that they shouldn't be allowed to hold the entire country back," he said.
"We are in the naughty corner by ourselves when it comes to action on climate change. It's embarrassing."
Originally published as Albo's 'curious choice' of helper to win back Qld voters