Labor still confident of campaign momentum

Anthony Albanese is confident he’ll hit the ground running when he emerges from isolation next week, just in time for Labor’s campaign launch.

The opposition’s campaign has been dealt a major blow after Mr Albanese tested positive for COVID-19, with Labor frontbenchers stepping in for the next few days.

Labor is expected to be campaigning in NSW on Saturday during the second day of the opposition leader’s isolation period.

Mr Albanese said the timing of the positive test was unfortunate, but he was ready to get back on the campaign trail as soon as possible.

“We were getting momentum, but I’ll be back for the second half,” he said.

“This is a long campaign, and if I was going to get COVID, it is better to have got it now than in the last three weeks of the campaign.”

Mr Albanese will spend time in isolation at his home in Sydney, before Labor’s campaign launch in Perth on May 1.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will spend day 13 of the election campaign in marginal seats on the NSW Central Coast.

Mr Morrison spent much of Friday defending the government’s response to the Solomon Islands signing a security pact with China.

The prime minister reiterated that Australia would not “throw its weight around” and tell other countries what to do.

“These are not simple issues. I mean, if it was just as easy as picking up the phone or sending a foreign minister, then these issues wouldn’t occur (but) it’s not that easy,” he said.

However, Mr Albanese said he would look to strengthen relationships with neighbouring Pacific nations, should Labor win office at the election.

The Australian Electoral Commission has finalised the ballot draw for all 151 lower house seats and eight Senate races ahead of the May 21 poll.

However, the commission referred former WA senator Rod Culleton to federal police for potentially making a false declaration on his nomination form.

Mr Culleton, who intends to represent the Great Australia Party, declared in his nomination he was not an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.

The commission said it noted Mr Culleton was listed as an undischarged bankrupt on the National Personal Insolvency Index.

© AAP 2022