Tony Abbott Declares Labor Has A Better Climate Change Policy Than The Coalition

    We've got just three sleeps until the election, but there's still plenty going on.

    What you need to know:

    - Tony Abbott has said in a newspaper interview that Labor has a much better climate change policy than the Coalition

    - The Liberal party is releasing its costings tomorrow, two days before the election

    - Supporters of Liberal senator Jim Molan are causing waves within the Coalition as he tries to overcome his unfavourable position on the party ticket

    - Bob Hawke has written a letter praising Bill Shorten's leadership and saying he is ready to be prime minister

    - The Clive Palmer advertising blitz continues as the ad blackout looms

    - Around three million people have already voted

    It's Wednesday, which can only mean one thing — three more sleeps until the election! Fantastic news for everyone.

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

    We've entered the frantic, manic stage of the election campaign where politicians are running around the country speaking to anyone who will speak to them and grabbing any photo opportunity possible.

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    This morning the country, on Twitter at least, was much more interested in making it into the final of a music competition held on another continent than the looming election, but I'm sure that will all change soon. Let's go take a look at the campaign updates today:

    Twitter / Via wi

    Former prime minister Tony Abbott, once again, features heavily in the news today. In one striking interview with the Sydney Morning Herald he declared Labor had a much better climate change policy than the Coalition.

    From SMH political editor Peter Hartcher: 'We had a good chat' - Tony Abbott has been giving his mobile number in fight for Warringah https://t.co/xusXzHsndj via @smh

    Abbott has campaigned on the claim a vote for independent Zali Steggall, his main rival in the seat of Warringah, would be a vote for Bill Shorten and the Labor party.

    When it was put to him that Steggall had actually said she would support the Coalition, over Labor, in the event of a hung parliament, Abbott delivered this rather eye-catching response:

    "She's not said that in writing or with any degree of conviction. I don't believe her, given that she's said her biggest issue by far is climate change and Labor has a much better climate change policy than the Coalition."

    In response, Labor told BuzzFeed News: "Yes, we agree, there’s no doubt that Labor has a much better [policy] than Scott Morrison’s chaotic government."

    The Coalition did not respond to a request for comment.

    Abbott also revealed that after he read a doctor's letter in a newspaper advocating against Abbott, the Liberal MP promptly phoned the doctor and had a discussion.

    "I'm not sure I persuaded him, but we had a good chat."

    In a separate interview with the Daily Telegraph, Abbott also had this to say on multiculturalism:

    "Before I got into parliament I was never a great fan of multiculturalism although my time working for the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy changed my view on that because I discovered that people from very different backgrounds had chosen Australia for our traditional strengths, including the crown, and that was a bit of an eye-opener for me,” he said.

    “It ... turned me from being a critic to a supporter of a mild version of multiculturalism.”

    Also in the papers today is the unrelenting advertising for Clive Palmer's United Australia Party. The adverts are plastered across many of the pages.

    Another day, another newspaper takeover by adverts for Clive Palmer. Front page and pages 2&3. #ausvotes #ausvotes19 #auspol

    Prime minister Scott Morrison has said he isn't running for Pope after the party leaders criticised each other in a row over whether gay people go to hell.

    .@ScottMorrisonMP responds to @billshortenmp in an argument over whether gay people go to hell: I’m not running for Pope, I’m running for Prime Minister. MORE: https://t.co/cnxAXrLKY3 #Speers

    Independent candidate Rob Oakeshott tried to extend some love to the Nationals after their rather bewildering tweets about his campaign in Cowper.

    Dear @roboakeshott I’m leaving today. Went swimming and I should lose some weight then I thought what you would say, “beautiful in its ugliness”. So many memories Rob; picnics, sunblock, you supporting the Green/Labor/Independent alliance. Now a future of electric cars. Cheers

    And former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke lavished praise on Shorten, saying: "Bill Shorten is ready to be prime minister of Australia. He will serve our nation well."

    Bob Hawke in an #ausvotes open letter to voters today: "While Bill's political opponents argue his trade union background is a liability for a future Prime Minister, I consider it an asset, as it was for me." https://t.co/kLNeurrnzB

    The fascinating trend of early voting shows no signs of slowing down, with another 400,000 people casting their votes yesterday, taking the total to around three million. If it continues at that rate, we could see around 4.5 million votes, out of 16 million, already cast by election day.

    As of COB Tuesday approximately 3m people had cast their vote at an early voting centre for the 2019 federal election. Around 400k voted yesterday. #ausvotes #auspol

    Not that the prime minister seems to mind.

    PM @ScottMorrisonMP asked whether pre-polling has gone on for too long. 'No. These are matters that are looked at after every election and I'm happy for the consultation to be done.' @SBSNews #auspol #ausvotes19

    By the way, in case you need a reminder, here's how to vote:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Supporters of Liberal senator Jim Molan are causing waves as he tries to overcome his unfavourable position on the party ticket.

    Liberal volunteer at pre-poll for Jason Falinski (moderate), wearing t-shirt urging voters to ignore ticket & vote 1 Jim Molan in the Senate.

    Molan is currently in an unwinnable fourth position on the Liberal Senate ticket and so is urging people to vote below the line for him, in an attempt to be re-elected.

    Volunteers are being urged to hand out how-to-vote cards for Molan which, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, has upset some Abbott supporters who think it will undercut the Warringah MPs campaign for re-election.

    The New Daily has also reported that the Nationals in NSW are upset at the Molan campaign as it could affect the chances of its candidate in the third position on the ticket.

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was asked the eternal question: Why was Malcolm Turnbull ditched?

    .@mjrowland68: "Why was Malcolm Turnbull dispatched by your party?" @JoshFrydenberg: "I'm focusing on the future. You can ask me this six or seven ways..." @mjrowland68: "I'll ask again. If you give me a straight answer, we can move onto the next topic." #AusVotes #Auspol

    And TV host Kerri-Anne Kennerley declared if Shorten was elected it would be "the end of life as we know it".

    Kerri-Anne Kennerley has hinted that she probably won't be voting for Labor this weekend... saying it will be 'the end of life as we know it' if Bill Shorten gets elected. https://t.co/E3hRh7TarR

    Comedian Michael Hing's campaign for the Senate is over, because, you know, he works for SBS. Here's his video announcing the news:

    Facebook: video.php

    And The Feed has come up with a novel tactic — campaigning with a cardboard cutout of Chloe Shorten.

    With the #Election2019 only days away, there's way too much Bill. It's time to save Labor. It's time for Operation Cardboard Chloe. #ChloeShortensHusband #Auspol @jennaown @VZerbst

    Mrs Shorten was on the campaign trail today, showing her husband how it's done.

    Chloe Shorten involves in brickwork too - talks about lack of women in TAFE @9NewsAUS #auspol19 #auspol

    Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

    Oh and Burt the crocodile has picked Shorten as the winner ahead of the big vote.

    Update! Burt the Croc DID pick Shorten as the winner.

    Come back tomorrow to find out what other mad, and important, developments have happened on the election campaign. Not long to go now!

    Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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