News Election 2019 Campaign diary: Border protection, Murdoch media and another candidate out

Campaign diary: Border protection, Murdoch media and another candidate out

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Another day and another one bites the dust …

Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Scullin Gurpal Singh resigned on Thursday evening after controversial social media comments surfaced.

In the comments Mr Singh appears to make a rape joke. The candidate was already in hot water after making homophobic remarks.

Liberal candidate for Scullin Gurpal Singh resigned on Thursday. Photo: Twitter

“Based on new information that has come to light, Mr Gurpal Singh has been asked to resign as the candidate for Scullin,” a Liberals spokesman said.

“Mr Singh sincerely apologises for his previous comments and has tendered his resignation.”

He is the seventh Liberal candidate to be disendorsed by the party. Two have stepped down from ALP and two from the Greens.

Where were they?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Port Macquarie in the NSW seat of Cowper.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was in Brisbane, visiting the seats of Petrie and Bonner.

Promises … promises

Labor: The ALP focused on plans to reduce costs for cancer patients.

Mr Shorten chats to cancer patient Judy Dixon at Retcliffe Hospital in Brisbane. Photo: AAP

Liberal: Mr Morrison focused on the impact of Labor’s policies on older voters. He was particularly well received while helping out with bingo.

Quotes from the road

“I wonder if it was Malcolm Turnbull. He did give $1.5 million to the Liberal Party last time and they thanked him by giving him the boot.”
– Mr Shorten on the punter who placed $1 million on the ALP to win

“All I’m seeking to do is have a direct conversation with Australians about the future. It’s not a party hoopla event.”
– Mr Morrison on Sunday’s Liberal launch in Melbourne

“Just how much power will Clive Palmer, the unnamed minister at the Morrison cabinet table, actually have?”
– Mr Shorten on the United Australia Party leader’s influence

“Peter Dutton has been let out of his cave.”
– Labor Senator Kristina Keneally

Elsewhere on the election trail

Offshore detention: The issue of refugees reared its head, with indications the government have not ruled out New Zealand’s offer to take 150 refugees from offshore detention centres.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek suggested a Shorten government could ask the US to take more refugees from offshore detention, and revisited the idea of settling some in Malaysia.

nz refugee offer dutton
The government remains open to New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees.

‘Beds are Burning’ Peter Garrett: The one-time environment minister called on a future Labor government to call climate change “a bona fide national emergency”.

Mr Garrett said a standalone committee should be created to ensure the nation transitioned to zero carbon emissions.

Morrison on Palmer: Mr Morrison denied discussing big-business tax cuts with United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer.

“Never had a discussion with the UAP about it. Weren’t looking to have one. They didn’t ask for one. So that is an absolute thing I can categorically, completely rule out,” The PM said.

Scott Morrison Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer and Mr Morrison have not discussed tax cuts. Photo: AAP

Murdoch media: ABC Radio’s Jon Faine queried Josh Frydenberg about a “dirty tricks unit” and if the Murdoch media has it in for Mr Shorten. The treasurer swiftly denied any involvement.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said News Corp was trying to block funding increases for schools and hospitals while protecting “tax loopholes”.

ALP national president Wayne Swan told The Guardian that the global news enterprise was “an additional political party hiding behind the pretence of objectivity and public interest”.

Other News …

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised the lack of bipartisan action on climate change and praised the United Kingdom for moving away from fossil fuels.