02 June, 2023
‘It’s time for a change’: Anthony Albanese stumps for Minns and NSW Labor


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Polling booths have closed in NSW after a gruelling election campaign.

Now the wait begins to learn if the Liberal-National coalition has been returned to government or if Labor has ended its 12-year stretch in opposition

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese entered the fray in a big way on Saturday, traversed Sydney as he tried to secure Labor’s supremacy not just in NSW but in every state on the Australian mainland.

A fired-up Mr Albanese shook hands with voters at a polling booth in West Ryde alongside local federal member Jerome Laxale, who won the Sydney seat of Bennelong for Labor at the 2022 national poll.

He later returned to his federal electorate of Grayndler, in the city’s inner west, to cast his vote and bolster his party’s candidates.

Polls and bookmakers have the Labor opposition positioned to win the NSW election, a victory that would install a Labor government at federal, state and territory level everywhere except in Tasmania.

When asked about the prospect of Labor being in ascendancy across the mainland, Mr Albanese said he would work with whatever government was elected.

“But I’m very confident that I would work very closely with (NSW Labor leader) Chris Minns,” he told reporters.

‘He’ll make a great premier’

“I think he will make a great premier of NSW and I hope that he is successful today.”

Mr Albanese said the Dominic Perrottet-led state government was at the end of its life and had become consumed with infighting.

“It’s time for a change of government and I hope that happens today,” he said.

Mr Albanese’s repeat appearances alongside Mr Minns on the campaign trail have been in contrast to Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s notable absence from the coalition’s state push for re-election.

Premier Dominic Perrottet batted away questions about Mr Dutton’s absence on Saturday, telling Seven’s Sunrise program that he didn’t need a “wingman” for his election pitch.

“This is an election on NSW issues, it’s a NSW election,” he said.

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor, who was campaigning in the state seat of Goulburn that forms part of his federal electorate of Hume, said Mr Dutton had been busy with what needed to be done at a national level.

Labor from coast to coast?

“There has been no shortage of federal representatives out there over the last couple of weeks and today,” he told Sky News.

Mr Taylor said there was a real risk that Labor would be installed in government across the mainland, which would be dangerous at a time of heightened cost-of-living and budget pressures.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison was photographed alongside southern Sydney Liberal state MPs Mark Speakman and Eleni Petinos on the hustings.

With the election result expected to be close, Greens leader Adam Bandt said a shared-power government was likely and a vote for his party would help ensure the coalition didn’t strike a deal with One Nation to secure victory.

“Today’s a big day for NSW. By voting for the Greens, you can kick out the Liberals and push the next government further and faster on climate action,” he said on Twitter.


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