JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Cuddles and critics as Kevin Rudd tours the Top End

A heckler shouts at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during a visit to a GP Super Clinic in Darwin.

A heckler shouts at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during a visit to a GP Super Clinic in Darwin. Photo: Andrew Meares

''Get out of here!'' an angry man, dressed for the tropics in shorts and a T-shirt, bellowed at Kevin Rudd.

The Prime Minister was trying to conduct a press conference on Labor's support for Darwin hospitals, but the man in the shorts had other ideas at the Palmerston Health Centre.

Dianne Day meets Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at a GP Super Clinic in Darwin.

Dianne Day meets Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at a GP Super Clinic in Darwin. Photo: Andrew Meares

''Stop spending!''

Rudd did an excellent impression of ignoring the voter feedback and continued talking about his belief in ''co-operative federalism'' and $110 million in funding that Labor would provide for a hospital at Palmerston. The shorts-wearer eventually gave up.

But the Northern Territory government also had a similar message for the Prime Minister on Saturday, denying Rudd the right to campaign at the GP super clinic.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd turns his back on wheelchair bound Dianne Day.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd turns his back on wheelchair bound Dianne Day. Photo: Andrew Meares

This meant Rudd could tour inside the facility, but the media (who had been invited to cover the outing and were arguably the point of it) had to wait outside, filming the PM at ridiculous angles through windows and doors.

Despite an NT government spokesman saying the ''protocol'' was agreed to on Friday by Rudd's office and clinic and also applies to Coalition MPs, Rudd later roused on Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles, describing the campaign ban as ''base'' politics. ''What have you got to hide?'' he asked Giles through the magic of TV.

Diana Day might ask the same question of the PM.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd hugs Virginia Rudd at Parap markets in Darwin.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd hugs Virginia Rudd at Parap markets in Darwin. Photo: Andrew Meares

Rudd's press conference had been watched by Day – who was wheelchair-bound – and helped by her partner, Ross.

At the end of his remarks, Rudd – who as recently as Friday had visited a disability care organisation, talking up Labor's credentials in the area – shook hands for only the briefest of moments with Day.

Day had a question for the PM about what she argued were different standards of healthcare available for white and indigenous Australians – but Rudd had turned and gone before she had got the chance to ask.

Media outside a GP superclinic in Darwin. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd criticised the NT government for refusing permission for the media to enter the clinic during his visit.

Media outside a GP superclinic in Darwin. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd criticised the NT government for refusing permission for the media to enter the clinic during his visit. Photo: Andrew Meares

''Prime Minister . . . Mr Rudd!'' she called after him, later describing his behaviour as ''very rude''.

''Because I'm not Aboriginal I can't get the assistance with a disability that they can,'' Day told reporters.

A spokesman for Rudd said the PM did not ignore Day.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott prepares for a dawn run. Click for more photos

ELECTION 2013 - Day 27

The Opposition Leader began day 27 of the Federal Election early, with a dawn run up Townsville's Castle Hill, before dressing up in a trademark safety vest to inspect a transport company in Rockhampton. Meanwhile the Prime Minister was forced to leave his media entourage behind as he visited the Palmerston Health Centre in Darwin. He made up for the missed photo opportunities with an impromptu stop at the Parap markets. Like these photos? Go to fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Rudd had only the health event scheduled in Darwin on Saturday, but a surprise stop at the Parap markets was soon added to the itinerary. Nothing like a few selfies to lift the mood and the video footage.

The PM was crowded and at times, crushed, by locals, as he sampled coconut rough fudge (he made sure he bought some for son Marcus) and toured the stalls selling indigenous art, candles and spices.

Among the barely contained chaos, he was especially keen to see seven-year-old Virginia, who shares a last name with the Prime Minister, giving her a ''cuddle'' from ''one Rudd to another''.

As he climbed up on the car to say goodbye to the Parap crowd, anti-nuclear waste protesters yelled at the Prime Minister. Despite this, and the undeniably humidity, he still managed a wave that was almost royal-like.

It was time to zip.

Related Coverage

Libs stall on costings as Labor stumbles

Tony Abbott, whose campaign has been buoyed by Labor's failed attack on the Coalition's supposed budget black hole, has revealed he will not release detailed costings of his policy promises until the last few hours before the poll.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. ELECTION 2013 - Day 27

The Opposition Leader began day 27 of the Federal Election early, with a dawn run up Townsville's Castle Hill, before dressing up in a trademark safety vest to inspect a transport company in Rockhampton. Meanwhile the Prime Minister was forced to leave his media entourage behind as he visited the Palmerston Health Centre in Darwin. He made up for the missed photo opportunities with an impromptu stop at the Parap markets. Like these photos? Go to fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH

Whatever happened to the famous Kevin 07 mojo?

Rudd has floated a series of unrelated, unfunded and potentially contradictory longer-term ideas.

Glasson challenges Rudd to commit to full term

The man who wants Kevin Rudd's seat in Brisbane has challenged the prime minister to reveal whether he will commit to a full term if re-elected.

Rattled Rudd's last stand as lights go out on his chances

Kevin Rudd faces the nearly impossible task of using his Sunday campaign launch to turn back the raging tide against Labor, trying to overcome an error-strewn week.

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo