As he sat surrounded by dough and filling, Bill Shorten was trying to convince voters to give him a job he’s long desired.
But he may have a back-up plan if that doesn’t eventuate this weekend.
“You can get a part-time job here,” a man said to the Opposition Leader, as he turned his hands to dumpling-making in the marginal Sydney seat of Reid.
“I’m going for another job, but I’ll get in touch Sunday if something unforeseen happens,” Mr Shorten replied.
It’s dough of another kind he’s keen to be in charge of.
The job Mr Shorten’s seeking would make him the nation’s 31st prime minister and he’s resulted to invoking arguably Labor’s most famous leader in his bid to get there.
But the man already holding the top job has other plans for Mr Shorten.
And today, Scott Morrison offered his own interpretation of Gough Whitlam’s “It’s Time” speech to convince voters to keep him in power.
Scott Morrison takes in an early breakfast while campaigning in Reid. (ABC News: Marco Catalano)
‘It’s time’ — depending on who you ask
Mr Shorten hopes channelling Mr Whitlam’s “It’s Time” campaign rally would bring with it similar good fortunes.
That speech set Mr Whitlam up for his electoral victory in 1972.
It was a moment clearly not lost on Mr Morrison, who used his own take of “It’s Time” to blunt Mr Shorten’s attacks.
“There will be a bit of talk today about ‘It’s Time’,” Mr Morrison said at a National Press Club address.
“Let me tell you what it’s time for. Let me tell you what it is really time for today. It is time to create 1.25 million new jobs.”
Mr Shorten opted against uttering the words “it’s time”, but his pitch to voters was clear.
Saturday, he argued, offered the nation the chance for change.
“My fellow Australians, the door to a better, bolder, and more equal and exciting future stands ajar,” Mr Shorten said.
“Do we have the capacity to push through it?
“The chance for a smarter, more progressive Australia is before us.
“The choice for Australia to be a leader in the world is ours to make and the power is in your hands. Stop the cuts. Vote for change.”
Bill Shorten invokes Gough Whitlam’s famous Blacktown “It’s Time” speech. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)
Accused tourist murderers settled in Australia
It’s the deal that US President Donald Trump thought was bad. Very bad.
Mr Morrison could be forgiven for having a similar belief in the refugee swap deal his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull struck with Barack Obama.
As he prepared to deliver his final major speech of the campaign, Mr Morrison awoke to international headlines that Rwandans accused of tourist murders had been brought to Australia under the deal.
US media outlet Politico reported the men were involved in the killings of eight tourists in Uganda in 1999, before spending 15 years in US immigration detention.
The swap eased a political headache for the Turnbull government, which faced criticism of its offshore immigration processing system.
But on the eve of an election it’s proved haunting for a government keen to promote a tough approach to immigration as a key pillar of its re-election bid.
Mr Morrison, after hours of not doing so, confirmed late in the day the men had arrived last year after having undergone security checks.
Labor said it was unaware of the matter until the media reports emerged.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen wants the Government to “thoroughly” explain the matter and said Labor would demand an urgent briefing it it’s elected on Saturday.
The seats shaping the election
Police respond to polling booth dispute
Police were called after the altercation and spoke to former senator Katy Gallagher (right). (ABC News: Tom Maddocks)
Population growth in the nation’s capital has the ACT set to gain another seat this election.
It’s expected to be a safe Labor gain, giving the ALP full control of all the Territory’s Lower House seats.
But that did little to prevent tension boiling over at early voting in Canberra today.
The police were called in after Liberal candidate Mina Zaki and a Labor volunteer got into an altercation.
Ms Zaki reportedly told Labor Senate candidate Katy Gallagher to “put a leash on your dog”, when referring to the volunteer.
“Will you take some responsibility for once in your life and actually do something, Katy?” the Liberal candidate was recorded yelling.
Ms Gallagher is a former ACT chief minister who later lost her seat in the Senate in the dual citizenship saga.
Analysts expect she will be comfortably re-elected to the Senate, with Liberal senator Zed Seselja vying against minor party candidates for the second ACT seat.
There are two days to go.