Election stunt backfires on Victorian Libs

November 02, 2022 02:15 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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The Victorian coalition has tried to breathe life into its attack on Labor's health record as Premier Daniel Andrews headed for the regions on the first full day of campaigning. 

As Mr Andrews' official campaign bus travelled to Ballarat, the coalition's only election vehicle appeared to backfire. 

A union cast doubt over whether the Liberals' 1970s white-and-red "ambulance" emblazoned with "Ditch Dan" decals was legal.

The "Ditch Danmobile", set for a month-long "mission" to find 4000 promised ICU beds, was parked near state parliament with the title "ambulance" on its front and rear.

"No beds in here," Liberal frontbencher David Southwick said in reference to Mr Andrews' March 2020 pledge.

Ambulance union secretary Danny Hill questioned if the stunt was legal.

Under the Ambulance Services Act, it is a criminal offence to use the word "ambulance" on any vehicle not owned or operated by an ambulance service without the health department secretary's written authorisation.

In Parkdale to promise $100 off Victorians' water bills by freezing fixed supply charges for five years, Mr Guy refused to say whether the party had sought or obtained consent.

He claimed Labor and union officials used a "fake" fire engine and hospital beds at a voting centre in the seat of Mordialloc during the 2014 election.

"Now, of course, when the Liberal Party do it it's a big scandal," he told reporters.

"I'm sorry. I won't be lectured from the Labor Party when it comes to political advertising."

Victoria Police refused to comment.

Behind in published opinion polls and needing 18 seats to win government outright, the coalition has a mammoth task ahead to win the November 26 poll.

Labor hit the road on Wednesday in different style, with its bus bearing its "doing what matters" slogan. Mr Andrews was on board with wife Catherine and advisers.

On arrival at manufacturer Alstom's Ballarat factory, the premier joined a sea of hi-vis to announce regional train fares would be brought into line with metro fares from March 2023 if his government secures a third term.

Fares across the state's entire train network would be capped at $9.20 a day for adult passengers and $4.60 for concessions, at an estimated cost of $203 million.

V/Line passengers are currently charged based on total distance, meaning it can cost up to $69 a day to travel between Melbourne and Bendigo or $46 between Melbourne and Ballarat.

"This is parity - absolute equity," Mr Andrews said.

The $1 billion proposal includes $600m to buy 23 new VLocity trains and a promise to run 200 extra services each weekend on major regional lines, costing about $207m.

The government is working towards moving the entire state on to Melbourne's Myki ticketing system from March.

The coalition last month pledged to cap the daily price of public transport fares in Melbourne at $2, with the cost estimated at $1.3b over four years.

Department of Transport analysis found it would be double that, a claim dismissed by Mr Guy as the advice was requested by Labor.

Mr Andrews defended the use of public servants to cost an opposition policy, given the Liberal-requested assessment document from the independent Parliamentary Budget Office is yet to be publicly released.

"You guys are all asking us to match this ... so we want to know a bit about it," he said.

After Labor debuted multiple attack ads targeting Mr Guy, the coalition began the day with separate pledges to build new hospitals in Melbourne's southeast and outer north if elected.


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