Prime Minister Scott Morrison heads to Tasmania on campaign box-ticking exercise

ANALYSIS: Tasmanians are famously straight shooters, which might be why they were ready to tell the Prime Minister exactly what they thought of seeing him in town.

“Up yours, Scomo”, a disgruntled elderly resident shouted from his car window, down by the Tamar River in George Town at the weekend.

“What three-quarters of Australians think of him, not much,” he said, when asked his thoughts on Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses with a lobster in Tasmania. (Supplied)

Plenty of other locals were excited to see and take selfies with the current leader of the country.

The PM was here because northern Tasmania’s three seats will be crucial for his bid to hang onto the top job.

During a two-day blitz, he hit the electorates of Bass (0.4 per cent), Braddon (3.1 per cent) and Lyons (5.2 per cent). The first two the Liberals need to hold, while Lyons is a seat the party thinks it can pick up from Labor.

Scott Morrison announces new free trade deal with India.
Mr Morrison visited Tasmania. (9News)

On Saturday, the Prime Minister video-called his Indian counterpart from a Launceston hotel to sign a major free trade deal 10 years in the making.

The location choice might seem a little odd, but his decision to visit a wool warehouse and a crayfisherman earlier in the day offer an explanation.

This combination photograph released by Indias Press Information Bureau shows Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a virtual summit, march 21, 2022. Modi said Monday that the success of a U.S.-led bloc in countering China's rising influence was critical, after he met with Australia's leader to discuss the war in Ukraine and a major trade deal. (Press Information Bureau via AP)
Australia and India will sign a historic new free trade agreement. (AP)

Northern Tassie is one of the regions that will benefit most from the tariff-slashing agreement, and farmers were more than curious about the opportunities on offer.

The PM has a reputation for being a gun campaigner and that was on full display on Saturday night as he returned to a local footy club to watch the Bridgenorth Parrots play their season opener.

Chugging a Boag’s Red while mingling with the crowd, one player in particular was in his sights.

Mr Morrison reunited with J-Rod, the local legend with the luscious mullet who he first met on the campaign trail in 2019.

A visit to Devil’s Gate power station on Sunday allowed the PM to don the traditional campaign attire of hi-vis and a hard hat, before mixing with apprentices at a half-built house near Devonport.

Not deterred by previous criticisms of his welding attempts, he was straight on the circular saw and hammer drill, not missing an opportunity for an action shot.

“Who needs fingers,” the PM quipped.

The weekend felt like a box-ticking exercise of campaign must-dos.

While the Prime Minister is yet to set a date, there can be little doubt this election race is off to a flying start.

One thing at risk of clipping Mr Morrison’s wings is more bruising claims about his character.

Sunday allowed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to don the traditional campaign attire of hi-vis and a hard hat. (Eliza Edwards)

He strongly denied the claims, and gave a lengthy defence. He can’t afford people believing them.

And he can’t afford more voices from his own side adding to a chorus of character attacks, on the eve of an election.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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