The Costello-Swan debate, thought by most non-worm judges to have produced the usual no-big-errors-and-no-killer-blow result, can be viewed at The Australian.
The Australian’s economics correspondent David Uren reports that election promises for new roads through politically sensitive electorates have reached $15 billion, but government modelling suggests there is a high likelhood much of it will be wasted. The past week has been Western Australia’s turn, with Labor outbidding the Coalition with funding promises said by The West Australian to total $589 million. The marginal seats of Hasluck and Swan have been targeted with a promised $180 million contribution to an upgrade of the Great Eastern Highway from Graham Farmer Freeway to Perth Airport.
Garry Parr, Labor’s candidate for the Bundaberg-based seat of Hinkler, has apologised to the parents of a soldier serving with British forces in Afghanistan for calling them English warmongers. Parr was also in the news last week when Brian Courtice, who held Hinkler for Labor from 1987 to 1993, appeared at a press conference with Joe Hockey to urge a vote for the Coalition.
Labor has reportedly abandoned an idea to help shore up its budget bottom line through the sale of the Badgerys Creek site, earmarked as the possible location of a second Sydney international airport. The site is in safe Labor Fowler, but its sale would also have been very popular in neighbouring Lindsay and Macarthur.
Simon Jackman crunches the last-minute enrolment numbers at The Bullring, concluding that the national electoral roll, as a proportion of the number of Australians eligible to vote, is about the same as it was as of the close-of-rolls in 2004. However, it might have been a different story if the government hadn’t left three days between the announcement of the election and the issue of the writs, in which time there were 77,000 new enrolments.
Also at the Bullring, a review of Coalition morale from Paul Daley. Money quote: Another senior Liberal said it was ‘ridiculous’ that the party hierarchy was telling MPs that support in the marginal seats was ‘holding up’ when all the publicly available research suggested the Coalition was ‘completely f**ked’.
A good overview of the Senate contest from Tim Colebatch in The Age.