Rudd ducks questions at school

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has declared he’ll be steering away from national issues during the election campaign.

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Mr Rudd made his first foray into the August 21 election campaign, visiting Coorparoo State School in his eastern Brisbane seat of Griffith.

But while the Labor backbencher chatted with the school principal Greg Kretschmann and addressed students in their new hall, funded under the Building the Education Revolution program, he ducked reporters’ questions.

“I will be speaking only about local issues here in my community, here in Griffith,” Mr Rudd said before leaving the school.

“As for national issues, that lies properly with the province of others and I won’t be commenting on those.”

Asked what he intended to do during the rest of the campaign,

Mr Rudd said: “Visit schools like this.”

The school has received about $3.2 million for a new hall and library.

“It’s not just here at Coorparoo we’ve been able to do this – what we are trying to do is make sure that these things are done for all schools in our area and in fact right across Australia,” Mr Rudd told the school assembly.

Asked by Mr Rudd about the benefits of the hall, one student said: “It’s much cleaner and smoother and we don’t have to sit on the concrete.”

The school’s Year Sevens are on a study tour to Canberra.

“I was there recently too,” Mr Rudd said.

The former prime minister has largely kept out of the media since stepping aside last month in favour of Julia Gillard.

Griffith is the safest Labor seat in Queensland, with Mr Rudd holding it by a margin of 12 per cent.

The Liberal National Party is standing 30-year-old candidate, finance and administration manager Rebecca Docherty.