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Street walks, soccer and schooners as NSW poll nears

The two men looking to lead NSW for the next four years have hit the campaign trail as the March 25 election approaches.

NSW LABOR CAMPAIGN Anthony Albanese joined NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns for a cold one in the seat of Balmain.
March 18, 2023
By Luke Costin and Phoebe Loomes
18 March 2023

From street walks to soccer and a St Patrick’s Day pint, the two men looking to lead NSW have hit the hustings in the frantic final stretch to the election.

Starting the day with a tour of TAFE, Dominic Perrottet rolled up his sleeves and jumped on the tools as reporters tried to drill down on his shift away from selling state assets.

The premier was later spotted reading the tea leaves during a visit to a herbal medicine shop as he pounded the pavement in Chatswood.

Chris Minns kicked off his day putting junior footballers through their paces, before switching gears to help blow out the candles on a 100-year-old’s birthday cake.

But it was the Labor leader’s not-so-secret weapon that caused the most stir on Friday, with Anthony Albanese joining him on the campaign trail and coming out all guns blazing.

“There comes a time when a government reaches the end of its life,” Mr Albanese told reporters in the inner Sydney seat of Balmain.

“This government in NSW is showing all of those signs.”

The prime minister said it was remarkable federal Liberal leader Peter Dutton had stayed away from the state election.

“The truth is that the Liberal Party are a dysfunctional party,” he said.

“They’re riven by division. They’re not fighting for the people of NSW because they’re too busy fighting each other.”

The prime minister bagged the premier’s key election pledge to launch a superannuation-style fund for the state’s children, saying it would create a greater divide between rich and poor.

“It just reinforces inequality rather than addressing what is needed,” Mr Albanese said.

“A Labor policy would be giving support to the most disadvantaged and the most vulnerable.”

The prime minister also sharpened Labor’s pitch to reclaim Balmain as the local Greens MP retires.

“This is an opportunity to return the seat of Balmain to where it should be – a Labor seat.”

With the mercury pushing past 30C, the Labor team swapped handshakes for handles, having a drink for St Patrick’s Day at the Unity Hall Hotel.

A lunchtime walk through Chatswood Mall was the focus for Mr Perrottet and Willoughby MP Tim James.

The area was Liberal heartland until Gladys Berejiklian resigned and independent Larissa Penn almost snatched victory in 2022.

Jess Sanger, holding her nine-month-old Alham, appreciated meeting the premier but didn’t think it wouldn’t sway her vote.

She and several other voters told AAP they were still undecided eight days from election day.

Mr Perrottet declared the governing coalition the party of the tradies, warning the future of 4000 apprentices would be at risk if Labor won government.

Labor has not committed to building two Sydney Metro lines – Westmead to Western Sydney Airport and Bankstown to Glenfield – until it has clarity on the cost blowouts that occurred during the construction of existing lines.

“Labor’s decision to scrap those business cases has real consequences,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Good governments build today and plan for the future.”

NSW goes to the polls on March 25.

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