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Nothing to hide: Albanese defends failure to release costings with poll five days away

Politics

Anthony Albanese has defended Labor over not yet formally releasing the opposition’s costings just days out from the election.

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The opposition leader said each of Labor’s election policies had the costings announced upfront, but the full costings would be released in the “usual way” before election day.

Albanese, who will spend all of Monday campaigning in Perth, started the day visiting a hospital in the crucial seat of Swan, announcing $150 million for a surgical centre.

Swan, currently held by the Liberals on a margin of 3.2 per cent, is one of three seats Labor is actively targeting in Western Australia.

The opposition leader did not say the exact timeframe of when Labor’s costings would be announced, or if deficits would be higher.

“One of the things that we have done this entire election campaign is with each policy, we announce what the costings are,” he told reporters in Perth on Monday.

“The idea that we don’t have costings out there is, quite frankly, absurd.”

Albanese used the press conference to criticise the government’s spending and rorts.

However, he did not indicate whether a deficit under Labor would be lower compared to the coalition.

“What we will have is a fiscally responsible policy. You can’t say on the one hand that Labor isn’t announcing enough expenditure, enough big things, and then on the other hand say we’re not being fiscally responsible,” he said.

“Everything we are investing in is about boosting productivity.”

Appearing alongside Albanese was WA Premier Mark McGowan, who claimed victory at the state election last year in a landslide.

McGowan was the third state or territory leader Albanese has appeared alongside campaigning during the election in as many days.

He was with Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles on Saturday and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Sunday.

However, the WA premier denied Albanese was trying to piggyback off his own popularity in the state.

“I’d like to see Anthony Albanese win the election on Saturday. I think the latest policy of the commonwealth government around superannuation is dangerous for the country,” he said.

“(The policy is) dangerous for our future and dangerous for people nearing retirement and bad for our productivity.”

After some Labor MPs, including Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Griffith MP Terri Butler said a vote for the Greens would lead to another term for the coalition, Albanese said the only way to change government would be to vote for opposition candidates.

Albanese spent time later on Monday at a childcare centre in the seat of Hasluck, another seat the opposition hopes to take.

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