Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tried his hand at a few different kinds of jobs as Labor’s election campaign travelled to mainly coalition-held seats in Queensland on Monday.
On day 29 of the campaign Mr Rudd played builder, hairdresser and baker in a bid to woo voters in the battle ground state where the government needs strong support to retain power.
Beginning the day in Townsville, Mr Rudd flew south to Gladstone and donned a fluoro yellow vest before telling a group of young building apprentices how Labor will boost their government-funding tool allowance to $6000.
Then a local radio DJ gatecrashed his media conference and asked Mr Rudd if he would marry Opposition Leader Tony Abbott if they were in a same-sex relationship.
“Pass,” a stunned Mr Rudd said, before embracing the Labor candidate for the Nationals-held seat of Flynn Chris Trevor.
Later at St Columban’s College in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, Mr Rudd dropped in on a hairdressing class and blow dried the red locks of student Ryan Rosenberger.
“I do this everyday,” Mr Rudd said.
Ryan said having the prime minister style his hair “felt like victory”.
Then it was time for a spot of cake decorating as Mr Rudd piped blue icing onto some cupcakes.
Mr Rudd was campaigning alongside Michael Caisley, the Labor candidate for Longman – a marginal seat held by the youngest MP in federal parliament, Wyatt Roy, for the Liberals.
Mr Rudd also met student Sarah Matthews who named her cat Kevin Rudd after the 2007 election.
Kevin Rudd the cat was flourishing, she said.
During afternoon tea in the Labor-held marginal seat of Petrie with MP Yvette D’ath, Mr Rudd met with patients and Queensland nurses to highlight cuts to the state’s health system.
He sympathised with the experienced nurses, many of whom lost their jobs after being replaced by graduates.
An estimated 4000 jobs have been lost in the Queensland health sector under Premier Campbell Newman and Mr Rudd has been keen to draw parallels to what might happen under an Abbott-led government.
Mr Rudd said a re-elected Labor government would “fight for fairness”.
He appeared unfazed by the latest Newspoll showing the government remains the underdog in Saturday’s election.
“If you’re uncertain about what Mr Abbott’s putting out there, then I think listen to your instincts and don’t vote for him,” he said.
The prime minister will begin Tuesday in Brisbane.