PM gets sporty, Albanese looks to health
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his leadership style will become more empathetic as he makes a pitch to voters days out from polling day, which includes an expanded program to get more students into sport.
On Saturday, Mr Morrison claimed Australia needed "strength and resilience" to get through the past couple of turbulent years, but acknowledged the bulldozer approach he had during the pandemic would need to change.
Speaking from the Victorian seat of Deakin, held by the Liberals on a 4.8 per cent margin, the prime minister said that voters could expect a changed leader if re-elected.
"I will seek ... to explain my motives and my concerns, and empathise a lot more," he said.
"I'm looking forward to a shift in gears of our government to secure those opportunities that are ahead of us."
In Melbourne, he announced the expansion of a program designed to get more high school students into sport.
The Sporting Schools program expansion would see up to 700,000 more students play sport in school, with more than $20 million being spent on the initiative.
The program, currently available for year 7 and 8 students, will be expanded into years 9 and 10.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is pledging $750 million to boost Medicare across the country to deliver better healthcare and access for patients.
The Strengthening Medicare Fund would provide $250 million a year over three years from 2023/24, and would seek to deliver more affordability for patients and provide better management for complex and chronic conditions.
Labor would also set up a strengthening Medicare taskforce that would be chaired by the health minister and bring together policy leaders in health, such as the Australian Medical Association.
A grants program of $220 million will also be spent on local GP clinics to upgrade systems, purchase equipment and upskill staff, with grants of $25,000 or $50,000 available for practices, depending on their size.
Mr Albanese, who is campaigning on Saturday morning in Darwin, said the funds would make it easier for people to see a GP.
"General practice is the cornerstone of the Australian health system," he said.
"Australians trust their GPs. It's a vital relationship in ensuring all Australians get the quality healthcare they deserve."
One week out from polling day, Scott Morrison faces an uphill battle to retain office, with polls indicating Labor is on track to win government on May 21.