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Albo wastes no time hot-footing it to Queensland to chase lost votes

Politics

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has hot-footed it to Queensland to campaign, making up for lost time due to shut borders.

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Albanese will start his unofficial campaign in Caboolture on Monday as the party tries to turn around its 2019 electoral woes.

Queensland was a main factor in the coalition’s unlikely win three years ago, flipping two seats – including Longman where Albanese is campaigning with Labor candidate Rebecca Fanning.

Shadow Treasurer and Queenslander Jim Chalmers said Labor needed to do better in the state to chart a path to government.

“There is no way we can win the election without doing better in Queensland, we’ve recognised that for some time,” he told the Nine Network.

“(The government) take the place for granted. Anthony Albanese is an honorary Queenslander, he comes back every time he can. He has a real affinity with Queenslanders.”

The coalition holds 23 out of 30 seats in the state, compared to Labor’s six.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also expected to head up to the state later in the week after he hosts the South Korean president on an official visit until Tuesday.

Labor has pulled further ahead in the polls and will need to pick up eight seats to form a majority government.

But if independents are needed to form government, it may be on more uncertain grounds than when Julia Gillard was in power, with Independent Andrew Wilkie ruling out any formal governing agreement.

The Tasmanian parliamentarian says he would not do any formal deals like he did with Gillard a decade ago if there is a hung parliament.

“I am older and wiser,” he told the ABC. “I will approach every vote on its merits.”

Wilkie says he will push for stronger action on climate change and a strong federal anti-corruption commission.

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