Rudd at home for 2nd day on campaign trail

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had the advantage of a home town crowd for the second day on the election trail.


Kicking off Tuesday with a debate in his Brisbane seat of Griffith, Mr Rudd commanded a rock star arrival, swamped by media.

But if he thought all the electorate – which Labor holds by an 8.5 per cent margin – was going to open its arms to their standing member, he was wrong.

“Don’t be so ignorant,” came repeated calls from the audience as Mr Rudd attempted to sell his credentials and those of federal Labor.

“I haven’t got everything right, but you know something, I’ve got a few things right,” Mr Rudd said, adding that he loves his community.

One audience member, Lisa Huntly, who rushed for a photograph with Mr Rudd as soon as the forum finished, admitted she had heard nothing new.

“They talk over the top of each other, they don’t listen, they don’t answer the questions they’re asked,” she told AAP.

“They’re all the same. I just feel like knocking their heads together.”

Mr Rudd answered questions on local and national issues alongside other candidates running for Griffith.

Then he was off to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens alongside Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor’s candidate for the seat of Brisbane, Fiona McNamara.

The Liberal party holds Brisbane with a margin of 1.1 per cent.

Mr Rudd spruiked Labor’s multi-billion dollar transport infrastructure plans for the city, which he said would fall over under a coalition government.

He slammed Queensland’s LNP government led by Premier Campbell Newman and warned voters plans to expand Brisbane would stall altogether under a coalition federal government.

“With Mr Newman you get the entree and with Mr Abbott you get the main course,” he said.

The next visit was to the neighbouring electorate of Bonner – also currently Liberal by a 2.8 per cent margin – and would have left Mr Rudd wishing school children could vote.

“Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd,” chanted crowds of primary school children at Brisbane Adventist College.

It left Mr Rudd beaming and clearly in the mood to tell tales.

The prime minister read a children’s favourite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to a small group of students.

He told them Labor was making life easier for their families with a new after-school package.

Throughout Tuesday, and even before the Reserve Bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.5 per cent, Mr Rudd championed Labor’s economic management and plan to reduce living costs for Australian families.

As for Mr Rudd himself, election 2013 is also proving less arduous.

“I’m a lot more relaxed about it than I was in 2007,” he said, remembering the last time he was campaigning for the top job.