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PM denies abandoning inner-city seats

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Scott Morrison has denied he’s abandoned Liberal prospects in inner-city electorates under threat by so-called Teal independents.

While many prominent senior moderate Liberals are facing the risk of losing their once-safe seats, the prime minister has yet to campaign in electorates such as Wentworth and North Sydney ahead of the May 21 federal election.

Mr Morrison started Thursday in the western Sydney electorate of Parramatta, a marginal Labor seat he has travelled to five times since the election was called.

While visiting a Lebanese sweet store in Granville, Mr Morrison sought to emphasise the contest between the two major parties, and not election tussles between Liberals and independents.

“I’m particularly focused on the contest that is happening between your two alternatives for government,” he told reporters.

“Now I’ve made the point very clear about independents, that’s a vote for chaos.”

During his visit to the sweet shop alongside Liberal Parramatta candidate Maria Kovacic, the prime minister helped to pack food at the store.

Mr Morrison is using day 25 of the campaign to spruik his party’s pledge to support the creation of 400,000 new small businesses across the country in the next five years.

Mr Morrison stressed the business figure would be a net increase, as many small businesses battle rising inflation levels and cost of living pressures.

“100,000 (businesses) were created in the last 12 months, pretty tough times,” he said.

“They see the same opportunities that I see as we come out of this pandemic.”

Many of the new businesses would come from people from multicultural communities.

“Some of the biggest participants in that will be those who have come to Australia and have been born overseas,” he said.

“Almost 10 per cent of those who have been overseas actually run their own businesses in ethnic communities.”

Mr Morrison will spend the rest of the day campaigning in Sydney and is then expected to fly to Perth.

– AAP

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