EDITORIAL: SUBTLE details are often more informative than what is actually said at election campaign launches.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews spoke to the Labor true believers a fortnight ago and yesterday it was Premier Denis Napthine’s turn to rally the Liberal faithful.
Money galore was splashed around, pledges made and criticism of the opposing side was abundant and scathing.
Behind the theatrics, two regional centres are at the heart of both the Premier and Opposition Leader’s election strategies.
Labor held its rally in Geelong. Yesterday’s Liberal launch was in Ballarat. The two cities have a swag of marginal electorates ripe for the picking and the leaders are working hard to win them over.
This week, we’ve seen Dr Napthine splash the cash on Ballarat Base Hospital and Mr Andrews tip a bucket of dollars on the city’s Eureka Stadium.
The Premier outlined four major policies in yesterday’s speech.
The largest cash pledge was to pump out new VLocity trains which are used on the Geelong, Ballarat, Traralgon and Bendigo lines.
The Warrnambool-Geelong link cannot accommodate the new carriages, it is understood, so Transport Minister Terry Mulder pledged to get Public Transport Victoria to “examine options” for the line. So little joy for the south-west there.
On to youth unemployment: Dr Napthine detailed a new rebate system to encourage more school leavers into the workforce. With this region’s higher rate of jobless kids, this package will be welcomed.
Young families were the beneficiaries of a plan for a $100 a rebate for an estimated 200,000 parents of four-year-old children. Parents of young children make up the largest proportion of swinging voters so this may be an attractive sweetener for the undecided.
We have three weeks of the campaign to go before Victorians vote on November 29. Labor is in front if the polls are to be believed but it’s still a reasonably tight race.
South-west voters are still waiting to see what the major parties have to offer.They should not be ignored.