Scott Morrison has invited the media into his his Pentecostal church in Sydney for the first time, as both party leaders paused their official campaigns on Easter Sunday.
At the Horizon church’s communion service in the city’s southern suburb of Sutherland, Morrison clapped to the opening song.
The senior pastor, Brad Bonhomme, said the church aimed to provide the Morrison family with a space to express their faith. “We just treat them like every other family,” he said.
The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, started his Sunday at a suburban Brisbane church, St Andrew’s in Indooroopilly, for the Easter Sunday Anglican service.
It has been a stop-start campaign with Morrison and Shorten calling a truce to electioneering on Good Friday and again on Sunday – although both have made public appearances.
On Saturday, Morrison and his wife, Jenny, handed out Easter eggs to sick children at Westmead hospital. The prime minister also promised $100m for clinical trials in regional Australia that would tackle life-threatening cancers, diseases and conditions and $65m for a new cystic fibrosis centre at the hospital in Sydney’s west.
On Saturday night, Shorten announced a $118m package for veterans and their families. Labor has promised more than 84,000 veterans a $10,000 boost to the amount they receive for funerals. Some veterans currently receive just $2,000 in public assistance.
Labor has also promised $20m for local communities to upgrade their war memorials, recognising those who served in lesser-known and modern conflicts.
When the Easter pause expires, Shorten will launch an electoral blitz in Queensland, where the Coalition holds eight key seats on margins of less than 6%. Shorten will also need to sandbag three Queensland seats Labor is clinging on to by wafer-thin margins.
The Adani coalmine is expected to be a major issue during his visit, with the Greens founder, Bob Brown, also in the state to lead a convoy against the Carmichael project.