Labor leader Anthony Albanese has called on his election opponent to show he's not allergic to the country's public broadcaster after failing to appear on ABC during the campaign's first 32 days.
In the central Queensland city of Gladstone on Thursday, Mr Albanese visited an oil refinery where he announced the party's plans to kick-start an onshore battery manufacturing industry if elected, where Labor is trying to win the seat of Flynn held by a margin of more than 7 per cent.
But Mr Albanese used his first post-leaders' debate appearance to take aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has yet to appear on any ABC programs since the election was called.
The 2022 federal election will also be the first in nearly two decades without a leaders' debate being hosted on the public broadcaster.
The Labor leader was asked whether he was heartened or sceptical about recent opinion polling indicating he was on track to win the election, which would make him just the fourth Labor opposition leader to do so in Australia since the World War II. He dismissed what the polls, adding they "come and go", but launched an attack on Mr Morrison's snub of the ABC.
"It is like he has an allergy to the ABC," he said.
"No debate on the ABC. No appearance on Q&A. No appearance on [Radio National] Breakfast. No appearance on ABC Breakfast. No interviews on Insiders, on the major programs, and no appearance yet at the National Press Club."
The two leaders hoping to be elected on the evening of May 21 disagreed on whether wage rises should be in line with the rate of inflation and the government's role in those decisions.
"If the Fair Work Commission, that operates independently of government ... makes the decision to not cut real wages and to keep up with the cost-of-living, that is something that I would welcome," he said.
The centre-left party is seeking to make inroads in Queensland, where the Coalition gained much ground in its 2019 election upset.
Labor's messaging has focused its efforts on spruiking the benefits of a shift to clean energies while reassuring voters in coal country the sector would not be phased out.
Mr Albanese was joined by Labor's candidate for Flynn, Matt Burnett, a former Gladstone mayor, who stressed the party's shift to new energies would be worked through in concert with the sector.
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