Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Glasson on the Griffith campaign trail at the Carindale Westfield shopping centre.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Glasson on the Griffith campaign trail at the Carindale Westfield shopping centre. Photo: Cameron Atfield

Same shopping centre, different candidate.

Twenty days after Labor Griffith candidate Terri Butler led Opposition Leader Bill Shorten through the Westfield Carindale shopping centre, it was Liberal National Party candidate Bill Glasson's turn on Wednesday.

And this time, the special guest star from the Australian Parliament was Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Two SPC workers, including Sarah Ross-Edwards (left), shadow the LNP walk-through at Carindale.

Two SPC workers, including Sarah Ross-Edwards (left), shadow the LNP walk-through at Carindale. Photo: Cameron Atfield

The bemused reactions from those enjoying a mid-shopping coffee were reminiscent of Mr Shorten's visit.

Although Mr Turnbull's appearance did seem to attract a few more double-takes of recognition and unsolicited messages of support from punters, along with the attention of SPC Ardmona workers.

If former prime minister Kevin Rudd was the rock star of the Labor side of politics, Mr Turnbull can lay claim to the Coalition's keyboard axe, at least within an inner-city electorate such as Griffith.

Little wonder then that Dr Glasson would enlist the Member for Wentworth in his bid to wrest Griffith from the Labor Party's grasp.

With Prime Minister Tony Abbott notably absent from the Dr Glasson's how-to-vote cards, this has been a byelection campaign that the LNP has been at pains to insist will be decided on local issues.

It was a message the Communications Minister was keen to communicate.

“The choice in this election is not about who's going to govern Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Tony Abbott will be the prime minister after Saturday, regardless of the result.

“The real question is will Griffith have an effective, a capable and influential voice in Canberra and Bill Glasson will be that voice.”

Mr Turnbull did concede that every ballot, including the Griffith byelection, was influenced by events at the political epicentre.

“Every election, whether it's a byelection or a general election, is a judgement to some extent on the major parties and the government, so undoubtedly people will form a view about the Abbott government, but it is also very much a choice of candidate,” he said.

When asked if Mr Abbott was a liability in the LNP's Griffith campaign, Mr Turnbull laughed off the suggestion.

“Tony Abbott is the prime minister, he's doing an outstanding job,” he said.

“He is a great asset to Australia and to Griffith.”

Dr Glasson, contesting the seat for the LNP for the second time in four months, said people appeared to be less engaged this time around.

“I believe the people who are going to decide this election haven't decided,” he said.

“People haven't really engaged. The vast majority out there have just come back from holidays, have just got their kids back to school and suddenly we're hitting them with a byelection.

“The reality is, the next two days are going to be critical in terms of getting this message across, that this is not about changing a government, it's about electing the new member for Griffith and I believe I have those credentials.”

While Dr Glasson was keen to stick to local issues, a small but visible protest shadowed him and Mr Turnbull during their Westfield walkabout.

SPC Ardmona worker Sarah Ross-Edwards, the daughter of the late Victorian Nationals MP Peter Ross-Edwards, travelled to Brisbane for the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union-organised protest against the federal government's decision to reject a bailout of the company.

“We've come up from the Goulburn Valley to let Queenslanders know that Bill Glasson will be a puppet to Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott,” Ms Ross-Edwards said.

“The baked beans are grown in Queensland and if we get canned in the Goulburn Valley, the jobs will be affected here in Queensland, so we're trying to fight the good fight like (Liberal Murray MP) Sharmon Stone, to keep Australian jobs and manufacturing in Australia.”

Ms Ross-Edwards, a National Party member, said the government's decision had divided the Coalition.

“The National Party were very behind the payment – it's the Liberal Party that seems to be divided,” she said.

But Mr Turnbull said SPC Ardmona was capable of surviving on its own.

“SPC Ardmona is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the biggest companies in Australia with a $9 billion market cap,” he said.

“It is more than capable of providing the additional capital this business needs to go forward.

“The grant, the handout, Coca-Cola Amatil was seeking from the federal government was designed not to turn SPC Ardmona from loss into profit, but to increase Coca-Cola Amatil's return on its investment by 1 per cent.”

Both Dr Glasson and Ms Butler will take part in a candidates’ forum at Davies Park, West End, on Wednesday night, along with eight of the other nine candidates.

The other candidates expected to be in attendance are Geoff Ebbs (Greens), Ray Sawyer (Katter's Australia Party), Christopher Williams (Family First), Timothy Lawrence (Stable Population Party), Melanie Thomas (Pirate Party), Anne Reid (Secular Party) and independents Travis Windsor and Karel Boele.