Anthony Albanese has revived a key line of attack against the prime minister as he ramps up efforts to woo voters in a crucial state.
Anthony Albanese took aim at Scott Morrison for comparing Western Australia to giving in to people because of tight border closures.
As the opposition leader prepares to officially launch the Labor campaign in Perth on Sunday, he has revived an attack on the prime minister.
Morrison sparked outrage in WA when he was pushing for states to follow the national reopening plan in August of last year.
“Now it’s like that movie The Croods,” he told the Today show, referring to the children’s movie about cavemen.
“Some wanted to stay in the cave and the young woman wanted to deal with the challenges of living in a different world. Covid is a different world… we cannot stay in the cave.”
While the prime minister denied that the comment was specifically about WA, Albanese refuses to let it go.
“Western Australians often understandably feel that the East Coast doesn’t give them the respect they deserve,” he told Sky News, which is available to stream on Flash, on Sunday.
“Over the last couple of years, if you look at how the Australian economy has held up, Western Australia and Queensland in particular have done exceptionally well in keeping people in jobs.
“Here in WA, when the prime minister was referring to cave people, they were scratching their heads.”
The labor leader said people were going to work, study, dine out and drink in bars when Morrison made the comment.
Attorney General Michaelia Cash – the most senior WA minister in the Morrison administration – reacted to Albanese’s speech to voters in her home state.
“Oh please. Just because you land on Western Australian soil doesn’t mean you support Western Australia,” she told Sky.
“The fact that Anthony Albanese is prepared to campaign with Kevin Rudd – none of them are friends with Western Australia.”
Senator Cash pointed to the previous Labor government’s superprofit tax on miners and infrastructure finance as reasons for Western Australians to be wary of Albanese.
The main announcement of the launch of the Albanese campaign will be a radical policy that will allow the government to jointly buy a slice of the people’s property.
Albanese will present the $329 million scheme, which is similar to a proposal from the Grattan Institute earlier this year.
Labor argues that its “Aid to Buy” scheme will bring more low- and middle-income people into the market with a lower deposit and mortgage.
“After nine long years in government, housing affordability only got worse under the Liberal-National government,” said Albanese.
“Aid to buy is part of the Labor Party’s plan to tackle the housing crisis.”
Under the plan, a Labor government would provide a “capital contribution” of up to 40% of the price of a new home and 30% for existing housing.
The landlord would not have to pay rent on the government’s share of the property.
Under the proposal, the government would recoup its share of the investment when the house is sold.
Owners will also be able to purchase additional shares during the ownership period.
To qualify, the buyer would only need a two percent deposit and would be eligible for a loan for the remainder of the purchase price.
It would be open to individuals earning up to $90,000 a year and couples earning $120,000 a year.
There would also be a cap on the value of property that could be purchased under the scheme – up to $900,000 in Sydney, $850,000 in Melbourne, $650,000 in Brisbane and less for other states and regional areas.
The policy is aimed directly at young people who have been prevented from owning a home due to soaring home prices amid low interest rates.
From 1981 to 2016, home ownership rates among 24- to 34-year-olds dropped from 60% to 45%, according to census data.
Earlier this year, the Morrison government expanded its First Home Guarantee scheme, under which potential homebuyers can purchase a property with a deposit of just 5%.