Federal election 2016: a battle of 'policies not personalities', Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says

A federal election, likely to be called by the Prime Minister this weekend, will be fought on "policies not personalities", the Opposition Leader says.

Malcolm Turnbull is expected to head to Government House tomorrow to ask the Governor General to dissolve both houses of Parliament and call an election.

The Coalition and Labor have attacked each other this week over the costing of policies, including the Coalition's plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25 per cent over 10 years and Labor's cost estimates of introducing a tobacco excise.

Speaking in Sydney today, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Australians should realise Mr Turnbull favoured wealthy people.

"When you hear some people say more money doesn't fix things, the only people who have that view are people who already have enough money," Mr Shorten said.

"The more [people] look at the policies, not the personalities, and they see our positive plans, I'm optimistic that despite our underdog status people will realise that a Labor government will put people first," he told Channel Nine.

Federal Government frontbencher Christopher Pyne said the anticipation of waiting for the election to be called was "killing everybody".

He said the Government's election pitch would be to grow the economy and encourage investment.

"It's about lower taxes, it's about encouraging enterprise, it's about creating more jobs and removing the burden of government," Mr Pyne said on Sky News.

When Mr Turnbull calls the election, it will kick-off an unusually long eight-week campaign in the lead up to polling day on July 2.

People don't want weasel words: Xenophon

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said voters may become tired with a long election campaign if parties were not honest about their policies and costings.

"People don't want weasel words, they want honest and accountable government," Senator Xenophon said.

He said the future of Australia's steel industry would be a major policy focus over the next eight weeks.

"This will be the election where we decide whether Australia is going to remain a manufacturing nation or not.

"We've got our steel industry in crisis, the very basis of manufacturing. That needs to be the defining issue of this election."

'I'm focused like a laser beam'

Speculation around when Mr Turnbull will make the trip to Government House, commonly known as Yarralumla, is bringing out the light-hearted side of some politicians.

On Sky News, Mr Pyne was quizzed by Opposition frontbencher Richard Marles about whether the Industry Minister would have a tipple during the campaign.

"I'm very abstemious at the best of times and hardly a drop of liquor passes my lips," he said.

"But during the election campaign, I don't drink at all because I'm focused like a laser beam, like a laser beam on winning my seat and getting back to Canberra."

Senator Xenophon described the long election campaign as "cruel".

"Please Malcolm put us out of our misery although an eight-week election campaign is really a cruel and unusual punishment," he said.

Source: ABC News

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