Wine, TV on election agenda as poll nears
Wineries, distilleries and breweries will share in a $20 million top-up as part of a coalition tourism pledge as the federal election campaign enters its final two weeks.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday outlined further support to bring more tourists to cellars hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan would see $15 million for wineries, distilleries and breweries with $100,000 grants to build or upgrade on-site facilities such as restaurants and tour areas.
A further $5 million would go to tourism and local governments.
Mr Morrison, campaigning on Saturday in Perth, said tourism operators would be supported to bring more people in.
"Tourism is key to our plan, and this funding will help bring in more tourists to local businesses, meaning more people touring our breweries and wineries," he said.
"There are huge opportunities for our wineries and distilleries to take advantage of the plane loads of tourists looking for a new experience as we emerge from COVID lockdowns."
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese on Saturday touched sown in northern Tasmania, where he is due to continue showcasing Labor's policies to drive down the cost of living through childcare and energy initiatives.
The opposition has sought to turn the campaign spotlight back towards the cost of living amid rising inflation, low wage growth and the first official interest rate rise for more than a decade.
It comes as Mr Albanese tried to downplay a fumble where he couldn't remember his party's NDIS plan when pressed by reporters.
He said the coalition was divided and led by a leader who many MPs did not want to campaign alongside with.
The coalition on Saturday added a $26.9 million promise for expanded research into allergic diseases and anaphylaxis.
"The National Health Survey estimates that hay fever and allergic rhinitis alone affects 4.6 million Australians, with chronic sinusitis affecting a further two million people," outgoing Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
The funds will go to the the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia to establish a National Allergy Council.
Money will also go to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
Labor wants to expand free-to-air TV access for major sporting events.
Mr Albanese said too many events of national and cultural significance were guarded by paywalls.
"For a whole lot of Australians, free-to-air TV is essential to seeing those moments which lift us up as a nation, that inspire us, that help define who we are," he said.
A Labor government would consult stakeholders, including media and sport, to back media "so it can compete and thrive in the era of big tech, global streaming services".
In Sydney, mining magnate and United Australia Party founder Clive Palmer is in town to launch several of his local candidates.
Speaking at the launch of his Warringah candidate, Andrew Roberts, Mr Palmer said he would be open to forming government with either of the major parties in a hung parliament.
"We'll do a deal with anybody to get these (UAP) policies enacted," he said.
UAP is preferencing One Nation and controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves in Warringah ahead of the other candidates, including high profile independent MP Zali Steggall.
Across Australia, Mr Palmer said the party was preferencing Labor candidates in 40 per cent of the seats his party were running in and the Liberals or other candidates in about 60 per cent of the rest.