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Campaign Diary: The hills are alive...


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Politics shifted to the hills and valleys Tuesday as the respective major parties popped up in unexpected places.

And an unexpected visitor will lob into the Adelaide Hills on Friday night: Pauline Hanson is coming to Hahndorf (more on that royal visit shortly).

First up yesterday was Labor’s Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis who invited the media pack to turn their eyes to Mount Barker where he asked them to decipher several letters that detailed some bureaucratic shuffling of federal road funding.

Tom’s issue was smack bang in the middle of Kavel, a seat the Liberals hold by a margin of 15 per cent.

The yarn – about who can get the best financial deal out of the federal government – ultimately meant that regardless of who the locals vote for, their long-awaited second freeway interchange will go ahead.

The Libs, who seemed stunned that the ALP knew where Kavel was, rolled out a federal MP, Jamie Briggs, to assist the quiet and reserved state MP Mark Goldsworthy.

Briggs loves a scrap, as does Koutsantonis and it would have been more fun if they had held a joint press conference.

On the other side of the hill and down in McLaren Vale, the Liberals chose Labor MP Leon Bignell’s seat of Mawson to announce a wine trail.

The wine trail notion has been rolled out before – by Labor.

Have the two sides run out of ideas already? And have they lost their political bearings?

Labor can’t win Kavel and if the Libs start pulling seats like Mawson then they will have already dragged in another 10 with it.

The much-awaited negative campaign against the Opposition Leader started in earnest last night when Labor rolled out a TV ad that featured a press conference stumble by Steven Marshall and the tag line “Premier? Seriously?”.

You can see the ad here.

The Campaign Diary’s social calendar, meanwhile, is overflowing with the option of spending either $500 to mix with some Liberal heavyweights at the Unley home of Michael Hickinbotham this Monday, or $50 for an “all you can eat” night with Pauline Hanson on Friday.

The Ipswich fish and chip lady who surged into the Australian political scene as an independent in 1996 is special guest at a gathering of monarchists, bikie freedom fighters, Katter hatters and Palmer dinosaur trainers at Hahndorf’s Old Mill.

Dubbed “A Night for We The People”, it’s organised by FLAG Australia, which, as it turns out, is nothing to do with flags.

FLAG stands for Food Producers Landowners Action Group (which by our reckoning should be FPLAG, but each to their own).

Perhaps it’s time to renew our membership of CACOA (The Council Against Contrived and Outrageous Acronyms).

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