Federal Election 2016: Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten take on first campaign day in Queensland
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will both campaign in Queensland today, on the first full day of the marathon eight-week federal election campaign.
PM heads to Bonner, Petrie and Moreton
Labor has sights set on at least seven Queensland seats
Schools, Medicare and climate change Labor's key concerns
PM asks to back Government that works for "strong new economy"
Labor has its sights set on at least seven Queensland seats, including Petrie on Brisbane's outskirts, held by the Coalition with a margin of 0.5 per cent.
Further north, the Coalition will struggle to hold on to Herbert and Capricornia.
Mr Turnbull will head to three electorates in the Brisbane area today — Bonner, Petrie and Moreton.
Mr Shorten is expected to make an announcement on education, in line with the central themes Labor is hoping to campaign on.
"I will fight this election to make Australia a fairer place, where the needs of families, small businesses, the great bulk of Australians, are placed at the top of the priority list," the Labor leader said yesterday.
He nominated schools, Medicare and climate change as Labor's key concerns.
"Will this country be a country that ensures that the fair go is for everyone, or that the fair go is just limited to the fortunate few?" Mr Shorten asked.
The first Liberal Party campaign advertisement appeared in prime time on free-to-air television networks last night, featuring the Prime Minister making the Coalition's pitch to voters to stick with the Government to manage the economy and deliver jobs and growth.
"Back the Liberal plan that's working for a strong new economy," the advertisement said.
Mr Turnbull made the economy his key message at a press conference held in Canberra yesterday to announce the July 2 poll.
"Our economic plan for jobs and growth is as clear as it is critical, to support this transition to the new economy of the 21st century," he said.
He nominated the Coalition's plans in the areas of innovation and science, defence investment and free trade agreements struck with China, Korea and Japan, as key Government economic initiatives.
Mr Turnbull warned several times about the threat to the economy if Labor was elected.
"At this election Australians will have a very clear choice," he said.
"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," Mr Turnbull said.
He also attacked Mr Shorten's history as a union leader and key factional player in the Labor Party during the turbulent Rudd-Gillard era.
"They have learnt nothing from the failure of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, in which Mr Shorten, of course, was a leading player," Mr Turnbull said.
'Liberal Party changed Turnbull,' Shorten says
In his reply Mr Shorten stressed Labor Party unity since the last election, and pointed to at-times open divisions within the Coalition since the leadership change last year, warning the divisions were likely to erupt again after the July election.
"The Liberal Party will go to war with itself again," Mr Shorten said.
"They view this election as a skirmish before they can settle scores with each other.
"Mr Turnbull's problem is that eight months ago, many people hoped that he could change the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party has changed him," he said.
All major political parties are going to the election with leaders who have not led them to a poll before, and whose stamina is untested.
Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce yesterday said voters wanted their political leaders to be real, and not overly scripted.
"They want us to be real people fighting for their real issues with a real heart that reaches to them," he said.
"That is what we will continue to do."
Source: ABC News