Eden-Monaro fight boils down to delivery

Katina Curtis, AAP Senior Political Writer
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ANTHONY ALBANESE EDEN MONARO

Anthony Albanese and Labor candidate Kristy McBain say local issues are a big factor in Eden-Monaro

Labor has kicked off a final blitz of Eden-Monaro before Saturday's by-election questioning the government's ability to meet local needs.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says people across the Labor-held electorate have consistently raised concerns with him and candidate Kristy McBain about their economic situation amid the coronavirus pandemic and the bushfire recovery.

"It's about the local impact of those national events," he told AAP on Wednesday, before heading off for a driving tour across the electorate.

"It's about how people are being impacted, how they feel, whether the government has been there to support them.

"And for many people, they feel as though they've been left behind."

He's accused the government of doing a lot of preparation for big announcements and market-testing slogans but then having little follow-through.

"Once Saturday comes that pressure (to deliver) will be off," he said.

"Announcements don't make a difference to people's lives, delivering programs does."

Coalition leaders have focused on the fact their candidates - Liberal Fiona Kotvojs and National Trevor Hicks - would be on the government benches if they wrested the seat from Labor.

"A coalition candidate will get you an ear into the government," Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told reporters in Sydney.

"I would urge and encourage those people to make sure you vote for a coalition candidate who can make a difference to your lives."

And Prime Minister Scott Morrison has linked voting for Dr Kotvojs to the thousands of jobs the government promises the Snowy 2.0 project - in the works for three years - will create for the electorate.

The electoral commission says it will do all it can to get a clear indication of the Eden-Monaro by-election winner on poll night this Saturday.

The counting of votes is expected to take longer than usual due to coronavirus safety measures at polling places and the counting centre.

More than 16,500 people in the southern NSW seat, vacated by former Labor MP Mike Kelly due to illness, have applied for postal votes and another 28,400 have cast their votes early.

The law requires the Australian Electoral Commission to wait 13 days after election day for the return of postal votes.

"It is likely to take longer to formally declare a final result in this by-election compared with previous federal by-elections," an AEC spokesman told AAP.

"But, as per our normal practice, the AEC will do everything possible to provide an indicative result on polling night."