“If we hold this seat, then we will be returned to Government.”
With those words, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed Lindsay as the seat that will decide the Federal Election.
Mr Turnbull made the bold declaration with sitting MP Fiona Scott by his side at Penrith Regional Gallery on Wednesday morning.
Lindsay has been won by the party that has formed government since 1984, and Mr Turnbull said it’s crucial it’s held for the Coalition to carry out their “national economic plan”.
Mr Turnbull caught the train to Penrith Regional Gallery, in what is expected to be the first of many visits during the eight week election campaign.
He was forced to defend Ms Scott after intense questions from the press pack, asking who she voted for in the leadership spill in September last year, and if a visit from the Prime Minister was a reward for her backing him.
“Those party room ballots are secret ballots, and they’re secret for a reason, so that people can confidentially make a choice,” Mr Turnbull said.
Ms Scott deflected the questions and is adamant she will not say who she voted for, though it is widely rumoured she backed Mr Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull’s visit to the Gallery was to meet with western Sydney businesswomen, who raised a few questions and concerns of their own.
Women With Altitude founder, Andrea Turner-Boys, said there are challenges around superannuation contributions for women in business.
“Women who leave the workforce to have babies stop contributing to super, and when they start a business they don’t have extra funds to add to super, so there’s two areas where we have removed ourselves,” she said.
Mr Turnbull said women can use the concessional contributions they would have used if they had been working later, to double up and catch up.
He also agreed to meet with Penrith psychotherapist and counsellor, Melissa Ferrari and her colleagues, to hear first hand issues surrounding mental illness.
“We are working with it all the time, and I want to have the opportunity to deliver it to you,” Ms Ferrari said.
With Minister for Education, Senator Simon Birmingham in attendance, the Luke Priddis Foundation’s General Manager Tamara VanAntwerpen asked Mr Turnbull for a school for autism in western Sydney.
“Regular schooling doesn’t work for children with autism,” she said,
Mr Turnbull reportedly planned to walk through the streets of Penrith after his visit to the Gallery, but cancelled the opportunity.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten weighed in on the leadership issue.
“The divisions in the Liberal Party were again today on display because she (Ms Scott) famously was supported by Tony Abbott,” he said on Wednesday.