Federal Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull announces double dissolution poll as Bill Shorten lays out plan Day 1
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australians will go to the polls on Saturday July 2, after Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove accepted his request for a double dissolution election.
The Governor-General is set to dissolve Federal Parliament tomorrow morning with an eight-week marathon election campaign now officially underway.
Mr Turnbull told reporters at Parliament House in Canberra the election would be a "clear choice" for voters.
"To keep the course, maintain the commitment to our national economic plan for growth and jobs, or go back to Labor, with its higher taxing, higher spending, debt and deficit agenda, which will stop our nation's transition to the new economy dead in its tracks.
"It is the most exciting time to be an Australian.
"But we must embark on these times, embrace these opportunities, meet these challenges, with a plan and we have laid out a clear economic plan to enable us to succeed."
Mr Turnbull said Labor had "no credible or coherent way" to pay for promises of higher spending.
"Labor claiming to speak for fairness, but in really speaking for nothing more than increasing taxes, stands in the way of Australians getting ahead," he said.
He said "every measure" the Coalition had set out in the budget last week would deliver stronger economic growth and more jobs.
"And that is why we are asking the Australian people for the privilege of governing this country for three more years to secure our prosperity, to secure our future," he said.
Labor has a 'positive plan': Shorten
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he stood for a "fair go" for all Australians.
"A choice between Labor's positive plan for the future and three more years of dysfunction, dithering and disappointment," he told reporters near Launceston.
Mr Shorten said he would fight the election on issues "vital to Australians", such as schools, Medicare and climate change.
"Trust Labor to deliver better jobs and reasonable conditions. Trust Labor to stand up for schools, TAFE, childcare, universities. Trust Labor to protect Medicare and bulk billing," he said.
Mr Shorten has promised "budget repair that is fair" if Labor is elected to office on July 2.
"My opponent's views and those of his party are a real risk to the living standards of all Australians," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told reporters in Canberra that the election indicated the "start of the nation's journey to decide where it will go and how it will determine its future".
Mr Joyce said the Coalition would walk "humbly with our people ... not in a way that doesn't let us have fun, not in a way that doesn't mean that we ... turn into some peculiar creature that is completely scripted."
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said his party would be focusing on ensuring no new coal mines would be established in Australia.
"Working with the community, standing against those vested interests, saying, 'No more new coal'," Senator Di Natale told a protest at a beach in Newcastle.
"Let's make the transition to a 21st century economy, and let's get this country moving in the direction that's more sustainable, more prosperous, and more caring."
Documents released by the Governor-General's office confirm the writs will be issued on May 16, the electoral roll will close on May 23, and nominations for candidates will close on June 9.
The latest date for the return of the writs after the election will be August 8.
Source: ABC News