Awkward moment Scott Morrison fails to pronounce the name of Liberal candidate for Parramatta – and appears to try and cover it up by coughing
- PM Morrison mispronounced candidate’s name for the seat of Parramatta
- His candidate is a local businesswoman in what could be a crucial seat
- He tried to cover his mistake over Maria Kovacic’s name with a cough
- The LNP chose Ms Kovacic to run against Labor’s ‘drop-in’ candidate
In an awkward moment Prime Minister Scott Morrison struggled to pronounce the name of anew Liberal candidate for a crucial seat at the next election.
During a press conference in Tasmania on Saturday at which Mr Morrison talked about the new India-Australia trade deal, he stumbled over the name of Maria Kovacic, his pick as the Liberal candidate for the Federal seat of Parramatta at the next election.
Ms Kovacic has been chosen to go head to head with Labor’s pick, economist Dr Andrew Charlton.
Asked by a reporter if he was pleased with the pre-selections his party had made, Mr Morrison responded that he ‘particularly pleased’ with Parramatta candidate ‘Maria Vaca-m-Maria-m…’
Mr Morrison then appeared to disguise the mispronunciation with a cough before apologising and making a successful attempt at saying her name.
Mr Morrison said his candidate for Parramatta was the perfect opponent for Dr Charlton who was ‘dropped-in’ to the seat to run for the Labor party.
‘She is from Western Sydney, about Western Sydney, she has always been for Western Sydney and I think she provides a contrast to Anthony Albanese for the captain’s pick from the eastern suburbs of Sydney,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘Our pick is a very strong, effective woman with small business experience [and] with a background in community sport.’
Scott Morrison was speaking about the new trade deal with India when he was asked about NSW pre-selections for the Liberal Party in a press conference outside Nutrien Ag Solutions in Western Junction, Tasmania (pictured)
Maria Kovacic (pictured) will run as the Liberal candidate in Parramatta and is a local to the area
Labor Party candidate Mr Charlton is an Oxford University graduate and high-profile economist who lives in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in what some have called a ‘tone deaf’ selection for the people of Parramatta.
The pre-selection issue was a sideline to the subject of the press conference as the prime minister talked up the benefits of the fresh Australia-India trade deal.
He told reporters that the Indian economy is one of the biggest ‘doors’ in the world that has now been opened to Australians.
‘There are many countries who want to do more business with India. But it’s actually Australia that has been able to secure the agreement that we’ve been able to reach,’ Mr Morrison said.
Pictured: Scott Morrison inspects a wool sample during a tour of Nutrien Ag Solutions before his press conference
Anthony Albanese’s ‘captain’s pick’ for Parramatta is Oxford-educated economist, Dr Andrew Charlton (pictured right)
‘This agreement is an agreement that ensures that whether you’re producing wool or whether you’re producing crayfish or mining resource, critical minerals and rare earths. Whether you’re growing berries or avocados or cherries or beans, producing alumina.
‘All of this is part of the important trade agreement that we’ve been able to reach with India,’ Morrison said.
The trade deal with India will be signed today by trade ministers of both countries and witnessed by both Mr Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The deal will axe tariffs in India on multiple Australian exports and allow more Indian nationals to achieve working holiday visas.
The trade deal will come as a relief to Australia’s wine industry who will welcome a heavily reduced tariff on their products and Australian lobster farmers who will face no tariffs following decreased export demand amidst trade tensions with China last year.
AUSTRALIA-INDIA TRADE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is expected to see Australia’s exports to India grow over the next few years.
There are 1.4billion consumers in India.
Tariffs on Australia’s sheep meat exports of 30 per cent tariffs will be cut once the deal is in effect. Australian sheep meat already accounts for 20 per cent of India’s market.
Australian wine producers will see the tariff dropped from 150 per cent to between 75 and 100 per cent.
The deal will immediately cut tariffs on Australian rock lobsters.
Fresh produce will have tariffs removed ‘over time’.
Tariffs on Australian mineral resources including coal, alumina, manganese, copper, nickel, titanium and zirconium will be dropped immediately.
The deal will allow around 1,000 Indians a year to participate in the Work and Holiday Maker program.
Up to 96 per cent of Indian goods entering Australia will be tariff-free.
Australia and India started discussing the deal over 10 years ago in 2011.
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