100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Real Housewives of Parliament House: Labor meme sparks fury from reality star Gina Liano
Former Real Housewives of Melbourne star Gina Liano is reportedly furious after Labor used a clip of her in a…
LETTERS: Trams, traffic, transformation: What's true?
Newcastle Herald readers have their say
Anthony Albanese narrows scope of pledge to support 5.1% pay rise to match inflation
Labor leader says stance only relates to those on minimum wage of $20.33 an hour and is conditional on industrial…
Federal election campaign: The penultimate week with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, in pictures
The 2022 Federal Election campaign is racing towards the pointy end, with early voters already having their say. This collection…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The Undecideds: Anthony Albanese wins favour with our voters’ panel after final leaders’ debate
The 2022 Federal Election is right around the corner and for our undecided voters' panel, it is starting to become…
Michael Pascoe: Everyone is wrong about a 5.1 per cent minimum wage rise
The government knows how miserable the real-world outcome is for people on low wages suffering excruciating effective marginal tax rates.
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
'I did it': Alleged killer spoke of going 'on the run', court told
The boy denies murdering an 18-year-old man during a fight at a Canberra skatepark.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Jets Beqa Mikeltadze and Daniel Penha confirmed in A-Leagues All Stars team to play Barca
The pair were among 13 named on Thursday.
Labor defends $7.4bn increase in deficit to fund election promises
Jim Chalmers says investments in childcare and cleaner energy are necessary and further budget savings could be identified
Major shake-up for Newcastle Catholic high schools
The move was announced to teachers on Thursday afternoon.
Australian federal election 2022 live: thousands with Covid may not be able to vote; Albanese says Labor spending ‘will produce a return’
Follow all the day’s developments live
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
'Cash and casino chips' found after 18-year-old allegedly steals $50K from Gateshead pub
A man has been arrested at a Sydney casino after allegedly breaking into a hotel at Gateshead last week and…
Charges against alleged football club fraudster dismissed
However, the 50-year-old still stands accused of stealing from the Canberra club.

One week out and our Pub Test panel is still searching for campaign answers

By Ethan Hamilton
One week out: The Newcastle Herald's Pub Test panel talk politics at the Clarendon Hotel. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

ONE WEEK out from the 2022 federal election and the Newcastle Herald's "Pub Test" panel are left wanting in a number of areas.

For all our panelists, both debates between Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison were nothing more than "slanging matches" with "no real substance".

Tea Gardens retiree Gordon Grainger, a staunch Liberal, said the personal nature of both campaigns has been disappointing thus far.

"Both leaders are playing the man not the ball. I find that very poor in an election process," Mr Grainger said.

"Party philosophy is far more important and where they are going to take the country."

Bernie Wilson, an avid Newcastle surfer, said he "had to laugh" when Mr Morrison referred to the Opposition Leader as a "loose unit".

"If it someone got a called me a loose unit in my circle of friends you would wear it as a badge of honour," Mr Wilson said.

The Prime Minister used the term to describe Mr Albanese when speaking about the Oppositon Leader's economic policy, specifically minimum wage.

There has been much debate between the leaders this week around whether or not the minimum wage should be increased the 5.1 per cent required to remain in line with inflation and avoid a "real wage cut".

While all panelists the Herald spoke with supported the notion that minimum wage earners deserve a pay rise, Mr Grainger was concerned with the impact this may have on a stable economy.

"The idea of a 5.1 per cent increase across the board for wages is spelling a potential disaster," he said.

"We are already uncompetitive in a number of manufacturing industries and that would make us even more so."

Business owner and conveyancer Leah Stevens described Mr Morrison's refusal to agree to the wage increase as "a bit rough and could be quite harmful to his chances".

Mr Wilson and university student Jasmine Stuart both said that after more than three years spent relying on essential services during COVID-19, it would be "shameful" not to raise the minimum wage.

"It is disgusting that raising wages at the rate of inflation is a controversial issue," Ms Stuart said.

Both Ms Stuart and Ms Stevens want to see an increased focus on climate action in the final week of campaigning.

Ms Stevens, who has already taken the opportunity to vote early and cast her lot with the Greens, supported Scott Morrison's funding announcements while in Warners Bay this week but remains "cynical".

"It is pretty convenient that ScoMo is interested in renewable technology two weeks out from an election. But where has this been for the last two decades? We could be so far ahead on this issue," Ms Stevens said.

Mr Wilson, who works as a coal miner at Myuna Colliery, is looking for action from both parties in re training coal workers through Tafe.

"It's a good thing that they are investing in universities and technology but for many of the people I work with uni isn't an option they will consider," Mr Wilson said.

Both televised leaders debates this week made particular mention of corruption and accountability in the political system.

While the lack of action on a corruption inquiry didn't even come close to passing the pub test, all the panelists noted a lack of empathy as a defining factor in the shift away from major parties.

"I think as a Prime Minister their role is to represent as much of the population as they can," Ms Stuart said.

"Managing the economy might be a part of that but if you are neglecting the millions of Australians that are on welfare and minimum wage by prioritisng big businesses and your own re election over understanding the experiences of people that aren't as privileged then I think you are failing at the job of representing."

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Real Housewives of Parliament House: Labor meme sparks fury from reality star Gina Liano
Former Real Housewives of Melbourne star Gina Liano is reportedly furious after Labor used a clip of her in a…
LETTERS: Trams, traffic, transformation: What's true?
Newcastle Herald readers have their say
Anthony Albanese narrows scope of pledge to support 5.1% pay rise to match inflation
Labor leader says stance only relates to those on minimum wage of $20.33 an hour and is conditional on industrial…
Federal election campaign: The penultimate week with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, in pictures
The 2022 Federal Election campaign is racing towards the pointy end, with early voters already having their say. This collection…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The Undecideds: Anthony Albanese wins favour with our voters’ panel after final leaders’ debate
The 2022 Federal Election is right around the corner and for our undecided voters' panel, it is starting to become…
Michael Pascoe: Everyone is wrong about a 5.1 per cent minimum wage rise
The government knows how miserable the real-world outcome is for people on low wages suffering excruciating effective marginal tax rates.
Get all your news in one place