Scott Morrison has lived up to his self-appointed nickname of “bulldozer” by colliding with a young boy while playing football on the campaign trail in Tasmania.
The premier had the mid-match clash with the under-8 player at Devonport City Soccer Club on Wednesday afternoon.
Morrison visited the Strikers club in the Liberal-owned fringe seat of Braddon to secure a $3.5 million grant for the club’s Valley Road grounds, including a new grandstand.
Invited to join a training match with the under-8s, Morrison kindly meandered onto the pitch as his side scored a goal with little help from the prime minister.
Morrison then became more active executing a successful tackle on the wing.
But when the prime minister got even more involved, he tripped and knocked one of the players, Luca Fauvette, to the ground.
Morrison didn’t land directly on Luca, who got up, apparently unharmed.
Luca’s coach, Keegan Smith, later told Guardian Australia that his young player “jumped up with a big smile and kept playing”.
Morrison joked in the clubhouse: “Where’s Luca? Please tell me he hasn’t been to the hospital.
The prime minister also mocked the incident in reference to his recent attempts to reinvent himself when he vowed to be more empathetic and acknowledged that he could be a “little bulldozer”.
“I hope to return another time. I think when that grandstand collapses, I heard it might take a bit of a bulldozer to bring it down, so I might be able to help with that,” he told the assembled parents and players.
Labor campaign spokesman Jason Clare made a similar joke at Morrison’s expense.
Many others on Twitter also made fun of Morrison, including The Chaser.
Wednesday’s incident was reminiscent of when Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, ran over a boy while playing rugby in Tokyo in 2015.
Johnson was participating in what was advertised as an informal game of street rugby with adults and children on the last day of a trade mission to Japan at the time.
On Tuesday, Liberal MP Gavin Pearce announced a $3.5 million grant for the Tasmanian Football Club to carry out a substantial refurbishment of the grounds, including lighting and pitch improvements, construction of a new grandstand and refurbishment of club rooms. Existing club and kitchen. Pearce has Braddon with a 3.1% margin.
The Devonport City Soccer Club received $385,000 in the Community Sports Infrastructure Grant programme, which the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) found was used by the Morrison government to improve their position in marginal seats ahead of the 2019 election. .
Last week Guardian Australia revealed that the two main parties had made $40m worth of commitments to clubs already benefiting from the “sports rots” programme.
The Devonport club’s initial grant proposal had received a score of 77.5, which the ANAO said meant it deserved funding.