Australia

What issues were ignored in the campaign?

Pat Dodson (l) is likely to be Bill Shorten's indigenous affairs minister if Labor wins on Saturday. (AAP)

While health, tax and housing were prominent during the election campaign, a number of issues were swept under the carpet.

IGNORED ISSUES IN 2019 ELECTION CAMPAIGN

* Foreign policy

Apart from a brief debate over whether China is a "customer" or something more complex, there's been little mention of Australia's place in the Indo-Pacific region and the world more generally. Whoever wins the election will need to get up to speed quickly with a G20 summit due in June and the China-US trade war escalating.

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* Refugees/border security

"Stopping the boats" got a couple of mentions, but Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton spent most of his time defending his Brisbane seat of Dickson (Labor described him as being in "witness protection"). Labor's immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann was largely silent as well.

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* Poverty

Apart from Labor flagging a review of Newstart, with a view to increasing its rate, the complex issue of poverty has barely been discussed. Welfare groups have tried to put it on the agenda, but much of the talk from the coalition has been along the lines of "the best form of welfare is a job".

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* Indigenous

Apart from Bill Shorten's announcement that Pat Dodson, dubbed the "father of reconciliation", would be his indigenous affairs minister there has been little talked about in terms of closing the education, health and employment gap with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. There was mention of policies to address indigenous youth suicide.

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* Power prices

Despite being a major issue leading up to the election, bringing down power prices only rated a brief mention. Energy Minister Angus Taylor has kept a low national profile to focus on his seat of Hume. The coalition tossed out its national energy guarantee, along with Malcolm Turnbull, while Labor embraced it. Voters are still in the dark as to what will happen with their next bills.

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