Federal Election: Labor MP steals show at campaign launch

·4-min read

Labor's Jason Clare has stolen the show at the party's election campaign launch on Sunday, delivering a rousing speech where he took aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison with a series of savage remarks.

The campaign spokesperson's address in Perth before Labor leader Anthony Albanese's showpiece was lapped up by Labor supporters watching at home, who described him as "outstanding" and "on fire".

Others online went as far as envisaging him as the party's next leader.

"This bloke [Scott Morrison] is all tinsel, no tree. Nothing about this bloke is real, except his ability to let you down," Mr Clare told a raucous audience that included former Labor prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating.

Jason Clare received a raucous reception from the audience. Source: ABC
Jason Clare received a raucous reception from the audience. Source: ABC

Mr Clare honed in on Mr Morrison's response to the bushfires and floods and his handling of the nation's Covid vaccine rollout.

"A prime minister who thinks the way to win the trust of Pacific nations is to play the ukulele," he said.

"And thinks climate change is when you check out the April sun in Cuba."

His reference to the prime minister's appearance on Channel Nine playing Dragon's hit song prompted a chorus of laughter and applause.

"We're the party that turns the Australia of your imagination into something real. An Australia Labor is led by a man who is all of that. An honest man. Someone who doesn't treat politics like it's a game. Someone who didn't make up his own nickname!" he quipped.

Mr Clare has been a prominent figure in recent days with Mr Albanese in Covid isolation, driving the campaign forward in his absence.

ABC RN’s Patricia Karvelas described him as a "very smooth talker" and said people had been "mesmerised" by him.

Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan also spoke before Labor Leader Anthony Albanese's speech, both receiving warm welcomes with the latter unsurprisingly receiving a standing ovation in his own state.

'Australia deserves better,' Albanese says

Addressing the lively audience, Mr Albanese told them he knows Labor can do a better job than the Coalition.

"I know Labor can do better, and I know Australians deserve better," he said.

Mr Albanese used his speech to spruik Labor's plan to cut the cost of living and shore up manufacturing capability in Australia.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese received a standing ovation. Source: AAP
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese received a standing ovation. Source: AAP

"Vote for an Australia that believes the doors of opportunity should be open to every Australian, no matter where you live, who you pray to or who you love," he said.

"Vote for hope and optimism over fear and division."

Mr Albanese made promises on electric vehicles, national resources, gender equality, cheaper and better quality healthcare and housing.

READ MORE: Labor's policies in detail

He also took aim at the strength of the Coalition's Cabinet, saying he could depend on the competency of his MPs, including Ms Wong.

"But who has he got? Alan Tudge and Peter Dutton. The unspeakable and the unthinkable. And then of course, there is Barnaby Joyce, the inexplicable," he said.

Morrison slams 'Harry Potter' Labor

Reaching the halfway point of the campaign, Mr Morrison returned to the issue of online safety on Sunday and defended the government's record on addressing cost of living pressures.

On broader economic issues, asked what the coalition would do about rising grocery prices, Mr Morrison said he had already halved the petrol tax, provided cash payments to pensioners and implemented an income tax break to start on July 1.

He said the war on Europe and the ongoing impact on supply chains of the COVID-19 pandemic were key pressures on inflation.

"The Labor Party think they have some kind of Harry Potter wand that you can just raise in government and it changes the price of a lettuce - it's ridiculous," Mr Morrison told reporters.

"That shows a complete lack of understanding of what is driving prices."

With AAP

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