PM hits Victoria for roads, small business

Scott Morrison left safe gravel to climb aboard a digger as his penchant to jump in the driver’s seat continued at a small business in Melbourne.

Daisy’s Garden Supplies has been no stranger to Liberal politicians over the years.

The prime minister joined the club on Monday when the election campaign hit Victoria for the first time.

Mr Morrison visited the business in the Liberal-held seat of Deakin, which the government is in danger of losing despite holding it with a 6.4 per cent margin.

“I am confident about the good judgment of Australians here in Deakin,” he told reporters.

He was there to spruik the coalition’s tax cuts for small business and increasing and expanding the instant asset write off.

After getting behind the digger’s controls, the prime minister also lugged a few bags of sand on to the back of a truck.

Deakin MP Michael Sukkar initially refused to answer questions, but relented when cornered with cameras.

Mr Morrison dumped the Peter Dutton-backer from the front bench after getting the top job, while union advertisements have targeted Mr Sukkar for his role in deposing Malcolm Turnbull.

“I’m very focused between now and the election on ensuring that we have a Morrison government continuing because I think he’s the person to lead us,” Mr Sukkar told reporters.

Mr Morrison is expected to visit a road project in the area later in the day after promising a $154.5 million “congestion busting” package.

He will announce $80 million to extend Dorset Road to Lysterfield Road in Ferntree Gully.

A further $50 million will be allocated to link Dorset Road between Hull Road and the Maroondah Highway in Croydon.

The roads package also includes $24.5 million to construct a third lane on Canterbury Road between Dorset Road and Liverpool Road in Bayswater.

Mr Morrison said the projects would get people home sooner and safer.

Infrastructure spending has formed a key plank of the coalition’s election platform, with the “congestion busting” mantra receiving heavy airplay from ministers and MPs.

Tight races loom in Melbourne’s east and south, with Victoria shaping as a key battleground for the first time in years after voters savaged the coalition at last year’s state election.

BY AAP

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