LNP unleashes secret weapon against Hanson

FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott was unleashed in Longman in a direct bid to reach out to disaffected Coalition voters flirting with voting for Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

It comes as analysis from The Courier-Mail shows Labor is outspending the LNP two-to-one in election promises in the crucial seat Longman, but both parties are splashing double the cash in the Tasmanian seat of Braddon.

Mr Abbott hit the campaign trail with LNP Longman candidate Trevor Ruthenberg this morning.

Starting with morning tea at the Woodford RSL, Mr Abbott then joined the LNP candidate in a street walk through the sale yards in Woodford.

Mr Abbott’s presence is intended to help counteract the growing One Nation vote in the region. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Mr Abbott’s presence is intended to help counteract the growing One Nation vote in the region. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

It is understood Mr Abbott's presence is intended to help counteract the growing One Nation vote in the region, but the Woodford RSL had reached out to the former Prime Minister.

"It's no secret that disaffected Coalition voters and those thinking of voting for One Nation have a lot of time for Mr Abbott," a party source said.

Today's YouGov-Galaxy poll revealed the right-wing party's primary vote has doubled to 18 per cent since the 2016 election.

 

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has joined campaigning for LNP candidate for Longman Trevor Ruthenberg. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has joined campaigning for LNP candidate for Longman Trevor Ruthenberg. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

 

The polling booth of Woodford attracted more than a 12 per cent One Nation vote in 2016, well above the 9.4 per cent average and one of the highest booths in the electorate.

Mr Abbott said Mr Ruthenberg was "the kind of no-nonsense community minded person" the Parliament needed.

"He supports all the right things like strong borders, lower taxes and more efficient government and that's the message that Canberra needs to hear," he said.

Meanwhile both parties have been splashing cash in the lead up to the five crucial by-elections to be held on Saturday, July 28.

In Longman, to help Susan Lamb win back her seat Labor has promised $86.1 million including a super lab for the university, and medical facilities.

The LNP is seeking to woo voters with just $43 million in roads funding and job creation projects.

But their cash commitments are half of what is promised in Braddon - with Labor putting $179.05 million on the table and the Coalition $108.85 million.

There have been expensive projects committed to by both parties in Braddon, including a $30 million cableway and $60 million upgrade to the Bass Highway.

PROMISES INCLUDE:

Labor:

- $50 million of Labor's investment will help build a state-of-the-art super laboratory that will transform the Moreton Bay region into a high tech education hub.

- $10 million commitment to establish a chemotherapy treatment service at the ­Caboolture Hospital

- $4 Medicare-subsidised MRI licence

- $1.5 million to build a brand new hospital training ward at Caboolture TAFE to train nurses and health workers

- $17 million for an urgent care clinic at Bribie

- $3.6 million for 50 extra staff at Centrelink offices in Caboolture

TOTAL: $86.1 million

LNP:

- $11 million for drug and alcohol support services in Caboolture and Bribie Island

- $500,000 for domestic violence response unit

- $20 million for Bribie Island Road upgrades

- $10 million grant for sawmill expansion

- $1 million for Aboriginal education fund

- $750,000 into advanced welding training centre to train 200 apprentices each year

TOTAL: $43.25 million



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