Monday, 22 October 2007
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 LEADERS DEBATE
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Kevin Rudd was in the western Sydney seat of Werriwa (Mark Latham's old seat) to announce an aspect of Labor's housing affordability policy. Rudd said he would release up to $6 billion worth of Commonwealth land for housing development to ease the affordability crisis. In doing so, a Labor Administration would require every government department to audit all its land and "show cause" why any surplus land should not be released for housing.
The Government continued to promote their $34 billion cut cut package and pressure Labor to release it's tax policy with the Prime Minister and Peter Costello campaign in the marginal NSW seat of Eden-Monaro.
DEBATING THE DEBATE(S)
The usual debate over the Leaders' debates began in earnst with the Prime Minister wanting one debate of 90 minutes this Sunday and Labor Leader Rudd wanting three debates later in the campaign. Rudd has so far refused to accept the one debate only rule and has not indicated if he will attend. The PM has said he will turn up on Sunday regardless of Rudd's decision. Labor also announced it would established an Independent Debate Commission for future elections.
Labor took the unusual step of using the Liberal Party's first negative TV commercial in its own commercial to warn that there will be more negative campaign from the Liberal Party. Labor's latest advertisement is below.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
The Liberal Party TV ad focused on the economy and revived the "L-Plate" they used effectively against Mark Latham in the 2004 Federal election.
See it here.
Labor's campaign ad focuses on Rudd's "positive" plans for the future highlighting education, health, the environment and the workplace.
Watch it below.
Labor started its campaign with Leader Kevin Rudd visiting the marginal Coalition seat of Blair in Queensland, focusing on Workplace Relations and challenging the Government to rule out any further chances if re-elected.
Both Rudd and Howard appeared on the ABC's 7.30 Report to outline their camping priorities.
Howard's first campaign stumble occurred on Nine's A Current Affair when he was asked about the Reserve Bank's official interest rate. Watch it below.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
This election is about Australia’s future. It’s about the leadership Australia needs right now to stay strong, prosperous and secure.
Australia has come a long way in the last decade based on the hard work of all Australians and the tough decisions of the Coalition. Now we must make Australia even stronger.
This will not happen automatically. It will not happen through new leadership or old leadership. It requires the right leadership.Full details of his announcement can be found here.
Labor Kevin Rudd countered making his claim for election by saying:
This election is about Australia’s future and it’s an election about a choice about who offers new leadership for Australia’s future.
New leadership to help working families, new leadership with fresh ideas to deal with Australia’s future challenges.
And what I’m offering the Australian is new leadership, both to help working families under financial pressure and new leadership for a plan for our country’s future.
His full statement can be found here.
The latest poll result has the ALP with 56% of the two-party preferred vote and the Coalition on 44%.
Additionally, the Coalition's primary vote has been stuck at on or below 40% for several months as the graph of the primary vote polling shows below:
On the matter of preferred Prime Minister, Howard trails badly behind Rudd with the latest results showing Rudd is preferred by 48% compared to Howard on 39%. The graph below similarly plots these Newspoll results since Rudd assumed the leadership in late 2006.
The election will be for the full House of Representatives and half the Senate.
Key dates for the conduct of the election are as follows:
|Announcement of election:||Sunday 14 October 2007|
|Issue of writ:||Wednesday 17 October 2007|
|Deadline for new enrolment:||8pm, Wednesday 17 October 2007|
|Close of rolls for updating address:||8pm, Tuesday 23 October 2007|
|Close of bulk nominations:||12noon, Tuesday 30 October 2007|
|Close of nominations:||12noon, Thursday 1 November 2007|
|Declaration of nominations:||12noon, Friday 2 November 2007|
|Election day:||8am to 6pm, Saturday 24 November 2007|