From newborn babies and cavoodle puppies to war veterans, Salvation Army volunteers, young shop workers and mums, federal shadow minister Joe Hockey had no shortage of new friends during a stroll through Westfield Penrith on Thursday.
He toured a small part of Westfield during the 40 minute visit, with many passers-by stopping to chat and wish the Coalition the best in the upcoming election.
Mr Hockey came out to support Liberal candidate Fiona Scott in the heartland of the Lindsay electorate, a marginal seat currently held by assistant treasurer David Bradbury.
‘‘There’s no part of Australia that isn’t important,’’ Mr Hockey said
‘‘But Lindsay is a very symbolic ballot and has had a huge impact on politics over the years.’’
He hailed the Penrith visit as successful.
‘‘The reception I got is that people are looking for change,’’ he said.
‘‘David Bradbury doesn’t properly reflect the values and aspirations of people. What struck me was that many people had voted Labor all their lives. They’re sick of the chaos in Labor. Everyone was offering heartfelt support.’’
He defended the Coalition’s plans to scrap the School Kids bonus and said his party has no plans to build a airport at Badgerys Creek.
But he stands by his personal view that Sydney needs a second airport.
‘‘Personally, I’m in favour of creating jobs and infrastructure opportunities in western Sydney,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not going to apologise or lie about. My position has always been about jobs.’’
He took a final parting shot at Mr Bradbury about misleading voters about a surplus budget.
‘‘He has let people down,’’ he said.
‘‘He’s only into holding onto his job, rather than the people.’’
Check out next week's copy of the Star for more community reaction to Mr Hockey's visit. Will Lindsay MP David Bradbury be re-elected? Comment on this story online.