Liberal candidate 'not across' policies
The Liberal candidate for Wakefield, Tom Zorich has admitted he 'is not across' his party's climate change policy while colleague Fiona Scott tries to put Tony Abbott's 'sex appeal' gaffe to rest.PT2M20S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2s6fz 620 349 August 19, 2013
Following Jaymes Diaz's infamous interview and another Liberal candidate's admission he does not know how the Coalition's Direct Action policy works, Fiona Scott might have made a hat-trick, had Tony Abbott not blocked an attempt to put Ms Scott on the spot over his economic policy.
There is no need to apologise for what is an absolute charming compliment between friends
Ms Scott, who made national news last week when Mr Abbott commented on her ''sex appeal'', was asked on Monday whether she could name the Coalition's five pillars for building a diverse economy after the end of the mining boom.
Tony Abbott and Liberal candidate Fiona Scott visit the St Marys police station in western Sydney on Monday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The ever-helpful Opposition Leader said Ms Scott would speak in a moment but first he'd just offer a few thoughts – which turned immediately to the five pillars: manufacturing innovation, advanced services, agriculture exports, education and research and mining exports.
''The great thing about voting for Fiona Scott in Lindsay is that you are voting for policies that will turn the tide for this economy from an aspiration to a reality,'' Mr Abbott finished, putting his arm around her.
Ms Scott took over, explaining how it applied in the western Sydney seat of Lindsay, which she is contesting against Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.
Fiona Scott: flattered by Tony Abbott's compliment. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
''That's why the five-pillar approach here in Lindsay is going to be really important to get more jobs here locally to actually improve our economy,'' she concluded.
That gave Mr Abbott the opening he'd no doubt been looking for since last week.
''Obviously from that answer, she ain't just a pretty face,'' he said with a grin.
Unable to answer: Tom Zorich. Photo: Screen grab
Asked whether Mr Abbott had apologised for his sex appeal comments, Ms Scott said: ''There is no need to apologise for what is an absolute charming compliment between friends. I think it's a sad day when a man cannot compliment a woman in what is a charming compliment so . . . there's no need to apologise.''
On Monday morning, a clip of another Liberal candidate was doing the rounds on social media, after he was unable to explain how the Coalition's climate change policy worked.
During a debate on Sunday night, Tom Zorich, who is standing against Labor MP Nick Champion in the South Australian seat of Wakefield, was asked how Direct Action worked.
Last week: Tony Abbott said Fiona Scott had "sex appeal". Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Mr Zorich was not able to answer, replying instead: ''I'm not across all those issues ... I will say to you as a candidate and a businessman, I'm not across everything.''
This came as Mr Diaz was an apparent ''no show'' during a radio debate with his Labor rival in Greenway, Michelle Rowland, on Fairfax Radio in Sydney.
Alice Workman, a producer at 2UE posted on Twitter: ''Labor candidate for Greenway @MRowlandMP coming up ... but despite 2 weeks notice her Liberal rival Jaymes Diaz is a no show ...''
During the first week of the campaign, Mr Diaz made headlines around the world after he was unable to articulate the six points of the Coalition's asylum-seeker policy during a TV interview.
On Monday afternoon Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defended Labor's latest round of "negative" advertising, saying they focused on policy differences between the two major parties.
Mr Rudd accused Mr Abbott of trying to turn himself into a "tiny target" to avoid scrutiny during the campaign.
"Right now they’ve got a guy wrapping himself into a tiny ball, refusing to have public debates on free-to-air television … wrapping his candidates in cotton wool so they don't come out and say anything about what they really think and what they really feel," he said in northern NSW.
At the weekend, there were reports that the Liberal Party had banned candidates from speaking at events in multicultural communities, in the wake of Mr Diaz's gaffe.
In response to a Fairfax Media inquiry on Sunday about the reported ban, a Liberal Party spokeswoman said: ''Our candidates are running strong local campaigns, they have very busy campaign schedules including local events, door-knocking and candidate forums. Where possible our candidates attend all local opportunities however this is not always possible.''
As Mr Rudd accused the Opposition Leader of trying to avoid scrutiny, Mr Abbott did his first "street walk" of the campaign, where he met voters in Liverpool.
In a doorstop on Monday afternoon, Mr Abbott was also confronted by a man who wanted to talk to him, raising concerns about his wife and Liverpool Hospital. The Opposition Leader talked to the man for about 10 minutes, before the man ended their conversation with a hug.