Scott Morrison has fired up the party faithful with a focus on jobs for young people as the election campaign made its first stop in the crucial battleground of Queensland.
AC/DC’s Back In Black – to remind voters of the government’s forecast surplus – blared over the speakers as the prime minister entered a campaign rally in Brisbane.
About 150 LNP members chanted “ScoMo!” before he preached to the converted in a shed at Brisbane’s showgrounds.
“Friends, we have a big fight ahead of us, a very big fight ahead of us but I can tell you, my team all around the country, we are up for this,” Mr Morrison said.
Earlier, the prime minister met with success stories from a government program to help people get skills and work experience which has come under heavy fire from Labor for being ineffective and exploitative.
Mr Morrison championed the PaTH program after promising to create a quarter of a million jobs for people aged 15 to 24 over five years.
The government on Sunday also released the location of 10 training hubs it announced in the budget earlier in the month.
The training centres – in both marginal and safe electorates – will work with local schools and employers to identify skills demands and encourage students to sign up for vocational training.
After leaving a Redcliffe cafe – and his breakfast behind – Mr Morrison hit the markets outside with local MP Luke Howarth who holds the seat of Petrie by a slender margin of 1.7 per cent.
Queensland is a key state, with the coalition facing a tough battle to retain its 21 of the state’s 30 seats. Labor has almost 10 LNP-held marginal scalps in its sights.
Mr Morrison made the most of the sunny autumn day, meeting children and patting a dog called Mouse, a 68kg Saint Bernard which timidly dealt with the spotlight’s glare as he walked through a local markets.
The prime minister’s wife Jenny joined him on the campaign trail for the second day in a row.
One man urged Mr Morrison to ensure there was stability in government.
“That’s what has to f***ing change,” he said before apologising and cracking the prime minister up.
Margaret, 69, who is no fan of Bill Shorten, took the chance to question Labor’s electric vehicle policy.
“What are they going to plug it into, a bloody gum tree?” she asked Mr Morrison.
THE COALITION’S TRAINING HUBS
* NSW: Gosford and Grafton
* Victoria: Shepparton
* Queensland: Townsville and Maryborough
* SA: Port Pirie
* WA: Wanneroo and Armadale
* Tasmania: Burnie
* NT: Alice Springs
© AAP 2019