OPERATION reclaim Indi hit overdrive on Wednesday when Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his second visit to the must-win electorate for the Coalition in the space of eight days.
In an unprecedented focus on the seat which has been held by Cathy McGowan since 2013, Mr Morrison visited its second biggest population base, Wangaratta, to tour front-end loader manufacturer, Burder Industries, and called on first home builders, Andy Grant and Caitlyn Cose, to spruik the government's loan guarantees for first home buyers.
But without doubt the real reason for his latest trip was to support Liberal candidate Steve Martin, who is trying to win back the seat from Ms McGowan's Voices for Indi successor, Helen Haines.
Asked if the visit was more about confidence or concern, Mr Morrison said he had great faith in Mr Martin being victorious.
"I am confident because of Steve's great credentials, I'm confident because I believe the people here in Indi do want to see a government member here in Indi that can be part of the plans we continue to roll out," he said.
"We need to win the seat to ensure we can retain government and form a government.
"What we don't need is a government that will be pushed to and fro by the whims of Independents.
"It is why more than ever we need a stable government, a responsible and safe pair of hands in myself and my Cabinet term, supported by local, strong government members like Steve Martin.
"There has been a lot of talk here in Indi about the Independents and people are asking a lot of questions.
"I've been around the Parliament a while and every time I've seen Independents come into the Parliament, you just don't know what you are going to get."
Dr Haines immediately hit back at Mr Morrison's claims.
"We heard in 2013 that a vote for Sophie Mirabella was a vote for Tony Abbott," she said.
"Then in 2016 we heard that a vote for Sophie Mirabella was a vote for Malcolm Turnbull.
"The fact is you don't know who you're going to get with the Liberals and Nationals because they've had three Prime Ministers and three Deputy Prime Ministers in six years.
"People are sick of this chaos.
"If you vote for Helen Haines, you get Helen Haines."
Mr Morrison's visit to Wangaratta, the first by a Prime Minister for more than a decade when former Liberal leader John Howard toured the bushfire ravaged King Valley in 2007, began at Burder Industries, owned by Adam Fendyk and his father George since 1991.
The business has grown from five staff and building 25 front-end loaders and forklifts in its first year to 56 staff today making about 1000 front-end loaders and forklifts last year, primarily for the agricultural sector.
"It is such a treat for the Prime Minister to come along and have a view of what we do," Mr Fendyk said.
"But as the Prime Minister mentioned we are really passionate about what we do here.
"We could quite easily import, but we choose to make here and have a big workforce around us."
Mr Grant and Ms Cose have built their home in Baltimore Park Estate.
Mr Morrison did a similar visit on Wednesday in another Victorian marginal electorate, Corangamite, where Liberal Sarah Henderson is trying to retain the seat before heading for Wangaratta.
Meanwhile, Labor committed $700,000 to Totally Renewable Yackandandah on Wednesday for the purchase of a solar generation and battery storage facility if elected on Saturday.
"Labor wants to make sure that Australia embraces a renewable future, and maximise the jobs, industry and environmental benefits of renewable energy," Labor candidate Eric Kerr said.
"Labor will work with local communities, local councils and renewable energy groups to realise the benefits across Indi.
"Australia is in an energy crisis under the Liberals. Electricity prices have increased by nearly 19 per cent over the past three years."
Earlier in the day, Mr Martin and the Coalition promised $100,000 to social enterprise project, Cultivate Farms.
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