Scott Morrison’s attempt to cut Labor’s grass almost ended in tears.
The prime minister made an early morning visit to the New South Wales growth suburb of Googong to spruik $25,000 cash grants for residential construction.
The government’s HomeBuilder announcement doubled as a campaign event for the Liberals’ Fiona Kotvojs in the Eden-Monaro by-election battle.
It wasn’t just Thursday’s sub-zero temperatures that gave the assembled press pack with a chilly reception.
A bearded man braved the elements to interrupt the prime minister as he extolled the virtues of stimulating the building sector.
“Can everyone get off the grass please? Come on,” the exasperated Googonger said.
“Guys, I’ve just reseeded that.”
— Christine Vanden Byllaardt (@cvbyllaardt) June 4, 2020
A sideways shuffle seemed to satisfy him.
Thumbs ups exchanged, Mr Morrison cranked back into gear talking up tradies’ chances in a sector weathering the coronavirus storm.
Googong’s sea of colour-bond roofs is exactly the type of place the Liberals are trawling for votes ahead of the July 4 poll.
A victory would make it the first time for 100 years a government has won a seat from an opposition in a by-election.
The coalition is reviving its pitch to so-called aspirational voters through a $688 million renovation and new house scheme aimed at saving 140,000 jobs.
“Those Australians whose dream it was to build their home or to do that big renovation, a dream that they thought might have been crushed by the coronavirus,” Mr Morrison said.
But Labor doubts HomeBuilder, which covers projects worth more than $150,000, will do the trick.
“There aren’t too many battlers out there who have a lazy $150,000,” Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said.
Hopefully, no more lawns will be harmed in the fight for political turf.