An all-star Labor campaign team, featuring the high-profile partners of the Prime Minister and the NSW Opposition Leader, was at a busy Sydney train station on Thursday morning in an attempt to prise a long-held Liberal seat from the Coalition.
Jodie Haydon, the partner of Anthony Albanese, and the wife of Opposition Leader Chris Minns, Anna Minns, handed out leaflets and spoke to voters with Labor Oatley candidate Ash Ambihaipahar at Mortdale station in Sydney’s south.
Labor operatives believe they have a good chance of turning the seat red despite the safe 6.8 per cent Liberal margin. Oatley is held by longtime MP Mark Coure, who was first elected in 2011.
An industrial relations lawyer and Georges River councillor, Ms Ambihaipahar spoke to voters on the cancellation of express services, and “bread and butter issues” like tolls and hospital funding.
“Train services is a huge issue locally and privatisation. It’s quite fascinating to see our community engage on the conversation around privatising Sydney Water,” she said.
“I don’t take any vote for granted. One of the best part of the campaign is having these conversation with the community and they’ve been pretty loud and clear they want a fresh start.”
She said she’d been thankful for the support of Labor heavyweights, including Mr Albanese and Mr Minns himself, who visited the electorate on Monday.
“It’s really important to be around people who are really supportive,” she said.
“I’ve been getting that from day one of the campaign and it’s made it really enjoyable.”
Former premier Gladys Berejiklian was also seen getting dinner with Penrith MP Stuart Ayres and his partner and federal senator Marise Payne on Wednesday.
“Happy Inn always a good choice for a fun dinner,” Mr Ayres shared in a social media post.
While Mr Ayres resigned from his ministerial portfolio following his involvement in the John Barilaro $500,000 trade appointment scandal, Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Penrith MP would be given a senior ministerial portfolio if Mr Ayres retained his seat and the Coalition won government.
Mr Perrottet was quizzed about Ms Berejiklian’s absence from the campaign trail on Thursday and said she was “very busy” in her senior executive role at Optus. The former premier was notably absent at the Liberal Party campaign launch on Sunday.
“She was a great premier of NSW and to see her campaigning in Penrith will make a difference,” he said.
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