Monday, 22 October 2007

Day 7

Prior to the evening's Leaders Debate Kevin Rudd released Labor's Affordable Child Care Plan which they said would will slash parents’ child care costs by lifting the Child Care Tax Rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent and paying it every three months rather than once a year.

The much anticipated leaders debate was held in the Great Hall at Parliament House and hosted by the National Press Club. The debate was broadcast by Sky News, Channel 9 and the ABC. Kevin Rudd and John Howard's opening address can be seen below.

The full debate can be viewed here.

Despite attempts by the Prime Minster and the Liberal Party to prevent the use of the "worm" - a people metre of swinging voters attitudes to the speakers - Channel 9 broadcast the worm live throughout the debate despite several attempts to cut Channel 9's feed. The "worm" clearly gave the debate to Rudd and much of the time was in negative territory while John Howard was speaking.

The broadcasting of the "worm" created significant controversy and became the main talking point of the debate.

Channel 9's reporting on their debate coverage and the surrounding controversy is available below.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Day 6

John Howard campaigned in his own marginal seat of Bennelong to open the Eastwood Granny Smith Festival. The Festival was almost taken over by political campaigners with both Howard and his challenger Maxine McKew sending teams of supporters to the event.

Kevin Rudd campaigned in the Victorian seats of La Trobe and McEwan.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Day 5

Labor responded to the Coalition's $34 billion tax cut package announcing it would provide $31 billion in tax cuts and introduce a 50% Education Tax Refund for working families supporting their children’s education. Peter Costello attacked Labor's tax plan saying Labor had simply copied 91.5% of the Government's policy.

The Coalition released a water safety policy including an increase of more than $17.5 million in funding for water safety programmes, as well as the creation of a $10 million Beach Safety Service Development Fund to target drowning black-spots.

Morgan released two polls - one face-to-face and the other a telephone poll both showing Labor with a comfortable lead. Sportsbet Australia shortened the odds of the Coalition winning the election from $2.65 to $2.35.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Day 4

The debate about the debate was resolved with both parties agreeing to Howard's terms of having one debate on Sunday night.

John Howard promised $13 million for a new medical training centre at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Kevin Rudd's seat of Griffith. Howard then travelled to Mal Brough's seat of Longman north of Brisbane.

Kevin Rudd used the Housing Industry Association report showing a seven-year decline in housing affordability to its lowest level on record to attack the Howard Government while campaigning in Adelaide. The report showed that first-time buyers on the average household wage are spending 31.7 per cent of their income to pay for a home.

Two national polls were released showing a increase in the support for the Coalition, but still indicating a comfortable Labor win. The Galaxy poll had Labor on 53% to the Coalition's 47% while the ACNeilsen poll had Labor leading 54% to 46%.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Day 3

Kevin Rudd launched another aspect of Labor's health policy with the announcement that a Rudd Government will aim to put 9,250 extra nurses into Australia’s hospital system in a new $81 million commitment.

Treasurer Peter Costello announced Australia is the eighth lowest taxing country in the 30 member OECD according to the latest edition of OECD Revenue Statistics. It is also one of 7 countries that reduced their tax level for the most recent reporting year, 2005 (Australia’s 2005-06 financial year).

Labor announced they provide $2.5 billion for major roadworks in Brisbane and South-east Queensland, including $1 billion southern missing link of the Gateway Motorway from Mt.Gravatt-Capalaba Road south to the Pacific Motorway and $1.5 billion Northern Link tunnel from the Western Freeway at Toowong to the Inner City Bypass at Bowen Hills.

The Prime Minister announced the Government would allow plebiscites in Northern Territory for local government reform.

Howard and Rudd cross paths at the funeral for Australian soldier David Pearce in Brisbane who was killed in Afghanistan earlier in the month.

The advertising battles escalated with Labor releasing another counter-ad to the Liberals commercials on the ALP's links to unions. Later in the day the Liberals responded to the ALP response with another video on You Tube. More to come on the looming "Fear or Facts" campaign tactics unfolding in the campaign.

Watch Labor's counter-ad below

And see John Howard returning fire here