Albanese scoffs at Eden-Monaro foes

Colin Brinsden
1 / 2

EdenMonaro

Anthony Albanese has had a dig at the infighting between Nationals and Liberals over Eden-Monaro

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has taken a swing at the infighting of his coalition opponents while campaigning with his candidate for the upcoming Eden-Monaro by-election, Kirsty McCain.

In another part of the vast NSW seat that surrounds the ACT, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack was campaigning with his Nationals party candidate Trevor Hicks, spruiking a regional airports funding package.

Mr Albanese mocked the initial build up to the poll among his Liberal and National opponents, with tensions between two NSW government frontbenchers John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, before both coalition MPs pulled out of the race.

"What we've had during this campaign is National fighting National, Liberal fighting Liberal, Liberals fighting Nationals, and Nationals fighting Liberals, and everyone fighting each other," Mr Albanese told reporters in Queanbeyan on Saturday.

"In the meantime, Kirsty McBain has been out talking to people, developing a jobs plan, developing a positive agenda."

He said Labor will give its preferences to the Greens candidate Cathy Griff in the July 4 poll, saying the last thing parliament needs is another climate change denier in it.

"The Liberal candidate (Fiona Kotvojs) is on the record, making various statements that question the science of climate change and question the impact," Mr Albanese said.

"Well, the people of Eden-Monaro have seen, smelt, and felt the impact of climate change over the bushfire crisis."

Mr McCormack was campaigning in Tumut, announcing a $41.2 million funding package for 60 regional airports.

Tumut airport, where Mr McComack was addressing journalists, will get $152,884 for stage one of the Tumut Aeordrome infrastructure upgrade.

"For our regional communities, the local airport is an essential link to the rest of Australia," Mr McCormack said.

"The government is investing in regional airports because we know this infrastructure is key to securing our regional aviation network now and into the post-COVID future."

Questioning quickly turned to the growing tensions between Australian and China after Chinese authorities this week told students to reconsider travelling to Australia, warning of a rise in racist attacks.

Mr McCormack said his message is "quite loudly and quite clearly" that Australia is a very multi-cultural nation.

"We embrace Chinese students, we embrace peoples or all races and all faiths, we want them to come here when the COVID restrictions are lifted," he said.

There is a field of 14 candidates for the seat that was made vacant by the resignation of Labor MP Mike Kelly for health reasons.These also include Matthew Stadtmiller from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, Michael Balderstone from Help End Marijuana Prohibition, Dean McCrae from the Liberal Democrats, and Riccardo Bosi of the Australia One Party.