Clad in a white lab coat, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was in science heaven, extolling the many benefits of advanced medical research.
He warned it would all be at risk under an Abbott government.
Holding aloft a 3D printed section of plastic DNA for the cameras, the prime minister explained it could be used as a scaffold for the eventual construction of new body organs such as kidneys.
“It’s complex and it’s hard work,” he told researchers at the University of Queensland Translational Research Institute at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
He was launching a $250 million Medical Research Innovation Fund plus $70 million in additional funding for medical research centres.
Returning to a standard campaign theme, Mr Rudd told his audience Mr Abbott believed he had already won the election.
Mr Rudd says if Mr Abbott was upfront about planned spending cuts to medical research and much more under the coalition government, people wouldn’t vote for him.
He says he worries about the possible fallout if a Liberal government is elected.
“I worry about people’s jobs, I worry about health workers, I worry about researchers, I worry about teachers, I worry about the real human beings who are affected by all of this.”
Polling has not gone Labor’s way since the campaign started but Mr Rudd says the campaign hasn’t even reached the half time hooter.
“I am determined to fight and fight hard,” he said.
Earlier in Brisbane, the prime minister received an enthusiastic response from party members, parents and students at Nyanda State High School in the electorate of Moreton, held for Labor by Graham Perrett on a margin of just over one per cent.
Nyanda, with some 300 students, is having to justify its existence as the LNP state government of Campbell Newman undergoes a process of rationalisation, Mr Rudd claimed.
Mr Rudd said the Newman government was planning to abolish 50 schools while the Liberal government in Victoria shut 300 schools and sacked 900 teachers.
“That’s what Mr Abbott is offering right across the country,” he said.
That prompted a speedy response from coalition campaign spokesman Christopher Pyne who said there were no such plans.
Mr Perrett, once a supporter of former prime minister Julia Gillard and now right behind Mr Rudd, said the mood in his electorate was buoyant and positive.
“And much of that is the Kevin factor,” he said.