Federal election 2022 LIVE updates: Voters head to the polls as battle between Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese set to go down to the wire

Key posts

  • Morrison and Albanese almost at election finish line
  • Cancer patients still waiting on treatment centres promised at last election
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Morrison and Albanese almost at election finish line

Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese will begin their final days of campaigning in Melbourne before voting in Sydney, as the leaders bid to win last-ditch votes ahead of the close of polls on Saturday night.

Where can you expect to see Morrison and Albanese popping up today? The marginal Victorian seat of Chisholm, held by Liberal MP Gladys Liu, is in Labor’s sights. Meanwhile, the Coalition is likely focusing on the fight to win Corangamite from Labor’s Libby Coker.

Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison

After six weeks of campaigning, neither side has expressed much confidence they will win the required seats for a majority government. Labor is ahead in the published opinion polls, but the experience of the shock loss in 2019 has made the party cautious.

One Tasmanian Liberal, who asked not to be named so they could discuss the Coalition’s election prospects, said there was a genuine possibility the government could lose the seats of Bass and Braddon and fall short of winning Lyons from Labor.

In a tight election that both sides expect will go right down to the wire, the loss of those three seats would leave the Coalition with a mountain to climb to retain government.

A senior source in Labor’s campaign HQ, who asked not to be named so they could discuss the party’s election prospects, said the ALP believed Morrison was being sent to seats he was unlikely to win, such as Werriwa in Sydney and McEwen in Melbourne because “they need a narrative to keep the show together”.

“They’re trying to stop outbreaks of disunity. Two things are clear, Morrison is not liked by voters and Anthony has had a better second half of the campaign”.

Cancer patients still waiting on treatment centres promised at last election

Many cancer patients promised radiation therapy treatment centres ahead of the last federal election are still waiting as tens of millions of dollars worth of grant money gathers dust.

The federal government promised $63 million during the 2019 election campaign for radiotherapy centres in 13 locations across regional Australia, described at the time as “a significant win for local cancer patients”. But many of the projects have not progressed.

Former Cancer Council chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda.Credit:Peter Braig

While contracts have been signed to build radiotherapy centres in Griffith, Taree and Kempsey in NSW and another is being built at Tweed Valley Hospital on the state’s far north coast, sites where promised centres never appeared include Gladstone in Queensland, Armidale, Grafton and Bega in NSW, and East Gippsland in Victoria. Plans for a centre in Geraldton, Western Australia have stalled amid a funding dispute.

Former Cancer Council chief executive Professor Sanchia Aranda said the lack of access to regional radiotherapy meant patients faced travelling long distances for potentially life-saving care.

“There is a disconnect between state and federal planning on these issues and the cost for radiotherapy in the country is going up exponentially,” she said.

“These are extremely expensive facilities to put in place. And it’s not as simple as just providing the machine. It’s all about the broader infrastructure that sits around that.”

Read the full article here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company on this federal election day. After a six-week election campaign, we’ve finally made it to polling day.

It’s Saturday, May 21. I’m Ashleigh McMillan and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day. Roy Ward will be with you just after 1.30pm, before Latika Bourke takes over this evening to cover the blow-by-blow of election night.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started.

  • Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese will begin their final day of campaigning in Melbourne before voting in Sydney, as the leaders bid to win last-ditch votes ahead of the close of polls on Saturday night. The marginal Victorian seat of Chisholm, held by Liberal MP Gladys Liu, is in Labor’s sights, while the Coalition is trying to win Corangamite from Labor’s Libby Coker.
  • Many cancer patients promised radiation therapy treatment centres ahead of the last federal election are still waiting. The federal government promised $63 million during the 2019 election campaign for radiotherapy centres in 13 locations across regional Australia, but many of the projects have not progressed.

  • One Nation is poised to reap a public funding boost to underwrite its first recent nationwide election campaign, riding major party dissatisfaction alongside fellow right-wing parties. Paul The Sunshine State-based party, which marked its 25th anniversary this year, is contesting almost every seat across the country today. During the 2019 election – which delivered Malcolm Roberts to the Senate but no lower house seats – the party netted more than $2.8 million in public election funding.
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