Victoria Votes 2018 – Issue 4
Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy joined the family and friends of Sisto Malaspina at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne this week, to pay their respects at the well-known restaurateur’s state funeral. The Bourke Street terror attack of 9 November continues to attract campaign media attention. The Herald Sun revealed over the past weekend that Victoria Police were unaware the assailant, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, was considered a terror threat by federal authorities before granting bail for a driving offence just weeks prior to the Bourke Street incident. The revelation has caused a back-and-forth debate between the Government and Opposition campaigns, with bail laws, Commonwealth security agencies, and information sharing from Victoria Police whilst in caretaker mode leading the agenda over the past few days.
Meanwhile, the betting market has remained relatively unchanged since the campaign launch. BetEasy has wagered odds of $1.15 for Premier Andrews to be re-elected and $5.00 for Liberal Leader Matthew Guy’s success, while odds of $3.20 have been offered for an outcome where neither Labor or the Coalition will form a majority government.
Social policy and health-related announcements have dominated Labor’s campaign this week, with the Government committing $31 million to expand the Royal Children’s Hospital and create a winter flu ward. The Government has also pledged free dental coverage for state school children, as well as $230 million for seven baby sleep centres, baby hampers, a 24-hour sleep specialist phone line, 7,000 home visits from maternal and child health nurses, and first aid training for 26,000 new parents. These announcements were made against the backdrop of attacks on Labor’s handling of law and order and bail policy.
The Liberal campaign bus continues to clock up kilometres across Melbourne, with Matthew Guy firmly prosecuting the Coalition’s law and order agenda in the final week. At the Heidelberg Magistrates Court, the Opposition promised to provide greater access to the sentencing records of judges and magistrates, including information such as the number of judgments overturned on appeal, decisions and sentencing records and time taken to deliver judgments.
Earlier today, the Coalition vowed to shut down medically supervised drug injecting rooms within a week of their election to government, and promised to arrange a special pre-Christmas sitting of Parliament to start work on implementing their most urgent policies, including the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for a raft of violent offences. This and other priority actions were released in the ‘Our First 100 Days’ transition to government manifesto.
A live televised debate between Premier Andrews and Matthew Guy will be aired tonight from 8.00pm. The People’s Forum, hosted by Sky News and the Herald Sun, will take place in Frankston – one of the State’s most marginal battleground seats. The 100-strong audience of undecided voters will have the opportunity to ask questions on issues that matter most to them, in a Labor electorate held on a margin of just 168 votes. The event will be followed by a Leaders Debate tomorrow morning at 8.30am on ABC Radio, providing undecided voters a final opportunity to make up their mind before heading to the polls on Saturday.