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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Yes, and I think that Geelong mascot speaks for a lot of voters who are well and truly over this very, very long campaign already. I'm joined now in Torquay by the sitting Labor Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman. Good morning to you.Good morning.Before we have a chat you would be aware that you were mentioned in despatches at the Liberal Party campaign launch by Julie Bishop yesterday, let's hear what she had to say.The Labor candidate was handing out leaflets, the cameras were rolling and a man came up to him and said, "You Labor?" He then turned around, pulled down his track pants, bared his buttocks to the world and said, "Well Labor can kiss my..."Julie Bishop there at the Liberal Party campaign launch, that candidate was Darren Cheeseman. Well Darren Cheeseman, here's your chance, were you mooned by a disgruntled voter? Well at the point in time in which that happened I was actually being interviewed by Channel 9 so I actually did miss it though I am informed by people that there was a Liberal Party voter who did come up and moon us. I missed it. I'm grateful that I did.What do you make of that sort of behaviour? Look, I think it's just part of the rough and tumble of politics. I'm not overly offended by it. I just get on with doing putting in a really strong case as to why we should be re-elected. Our strong jobs plan for the region, and the important issues that affect people across this seat.Let's focus on that now. You won the seat in 2007It's over history a conservative seat. Why should voters re-elect you? There's been more happening in the last 5 years since I first one the seat in 2007 than happened for 25 year prior to that. We're duplicate ing the Princes Highway to Colac, we're investing in in all our schools, we've built new buildings in all of our schools and we have a really strong jobs plan for this region to take advantage of the fantastic people we have in this community. We're bringing the DisabilityCare head office to
here, we're of course investing to bring the Epworth private hospital here. We've got a strong jobs package for this region. Jobs is the number 1 issue when I get out and door have
knock and the fear that people have of Tony Abbott and the job cuts that will come if he's elected. What sort of job opportunities could be create fd Labor is re-elected in this area? We're bringing the DisabilityCare here, that's 400 jobs where we're bringing the Epworth Hospital here. That's 700 ongoing jobs. We've got a $24 million Geelong innovation and investment fund. That's around attracting manufacturers here for this region. We're doing a lot on the jobs front. We're very proud to be working hard to create new employment opportunities for people. On the other hand, of course, we know what the Liberal Party stands for. We've seen it in Victoria, we've seen it in NSW, we've seen it in Queensland. They stand for job cuts. Cuts to services, cuts to key programs that are important to working families across this community.You're one of the major supporters of Kevin Rudd, in fact you argued very strongly his return to the prime ministership would boost your chances in Corangamite and certainly boost Labor's chances across Australia. As the polls show it hasn't turned out this way. Are you worried that that support for Kevin Rudd who a lot of voters switching off from are going to turnaround and bite you? We've still got 2 weeks to go in this campaign, 2 weeks is a long time in any political campaign. Absolutely the caucus made the right decision to switch to Kevin Rudd. He's a very strong leader. He's certainly well liked across the broader here in community, certainly well liked made absolutely the here in Geelong. I think we made absolutely the right
made absolutely the decision to support Kevin Rudd's return to the leadership. Labor's highly competitive, we've still got competitive, we've still got a lot of work to do. We are the Underdog. But we can win this election.And win this seat because based on the polls you would be the first Labor domino to fall on September 7? Well for us to win Government we need to win this seat. We are starting as the underdog, no doubt about that, but we've got a very strong campaign here. We've knocked on a lot of doors. People are talking to us about their concerns about what a Tony Abbott Government will mean. The cuts that they're proposing and that's what is resonating really strongly with people. We're intending on having a really strong final 2 weeks of this campaign, both locally and as a national campaign and we think we can run down Tony Abbott.This seat is pretty diverse, of course, it's not just this fantastic surf coast area, it goes all the way into inland dairy farming community around Colac, dairy farmers have been struggling, as we all know, of late, what can a Labor Government offer them if you are re-elected? We've got low interest loans on offer to dairy farmers to help them restructure their businesses to return to profitability. The dairy farming sector is very similar to the manufacturing sector. They've been doing it particularly tough because of the high Australian dollar. Pleasingly enough the dollar is coming down and that is easing the burden on dairy There's a lot of work still to
do. We've got There's a lot of do. We've got those low
interest loans on offer. It would be fantastic if the State Liberal Government stepped-up and matched what the Commonwealth are doing. They haven't to date. They should do that to alleviate further burdens on those dairy farming communities.And this is a return bout, if you like, between yourself and Sarah Henderson. You faced off against each other in 2010 and I've noticed that the campaign has been quite bitter, quite personal between you two over the last three weeks or in fact longer, given the lead up to the campaign. Why is that? I'm a very positive person and I certainly get out there and campaign on Labor's really positive strong message for this community. The positive things that we're doing, the investment we're making in people's jobs. I've been working really hard on that. I'm not sure why the Liberal Party have turned this into such a bitter contest down here. They have. But I'm going to continue to talk about the important issues to people across this community, about jobs, about what Tony Abbott will mean to this community if he is elected as the PM. The cuts that they will implement, whether it will be cutting the Medicare locals across the community, the cuts that will come to the higher education sector and the pain that that will cause to Deakin university and their employees. So we'll be working hard on those things. I'm a positive person, I campaign in a positive way. I don't reflect on my political opponents locally. Darren Cheeseman, thanks for your time this morning. You're in one of the most picturesque electorates in the country.It's a fantastic place to live.Darren Cheeseman there