The announcement made by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday to have a double dissolution election on July 2 officially kick-started an eight-week long election campaign.
Turnbull paid a visit to Governor General Peter Cosgrove who has accepted the prime minister’s request of having a double dissolution of the Parliament and holding the federal election on July 2.
“At this election Australians will have a very clear choice; 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,” Turnbull said at a press conference after his visit to the governor general.
In his address at the press conference, he listed the government’s major policy arrangement which covers science and innovation, trade, defense, youth and women employment, taxation, among others.
The major economic policies have been released under the budget 2016-17 which was unveiled by Treasurer Scott Morrison on May 3. The center piece of the budget is the tax break for small businesses and raising of personal income tax threshold.
“Our tax system is a key part of our plan. It is one of the biggest influences the federal government has on our economy. We are reforming our tax system to make it more sustainable and fit for purpose in the 21st century,” Turnbull said.
“We have established and are establishing the toughest anti-avoidance laws in the developed world. We believe in lower taxes. We do. But it is not optional to pay them. Multinationals will have to pay their fair share in Australia. The laws we are setting in place are the world’s best.”
He said the Innovation and Science Agenda, unveiled a few months ago, will ensure that Australians are more innovative in business, in academia and in government.
Under the Agenda, the government will encourage more collaboration between researchers and businesses in the transferring research achievements into business opportunities.
He urged the Australians to seize the opportunities brought by the remarkable growth in Asia.
“Little more than a generation ago, China was an impoverished nation barely part of the global economy. It is now the world’s largest or on some measures the second largest economy. That is just part of the changes we have witnessed.”
“In a few years more than half of the world’s middle class will be living in Asia. The opportunities for Australia are enormous. But we have to have the means to seize them. And we have established export trade deals right across the region with Korea, Japan and with China itself.”
Turnbull warned that his opponent, Labor leader Bill Shorten, will make very big promises or continue to make very big promises of higher spending.
“And I ask Australians when they hear these promises from him and from Labor to remember that Labor has no credible or coherent way to pay for them,” he said.
Shorten has fired back at a press conference held in Tasmania after the prime minister announce the date of election.
He promised to protect schools, hospitals, workers’ pay and conditions and to act on climate change while stressing Labor’s unity of purpose and commitment to fairness.
He said Labor would deliver “fairness twinned with economic growth,” whereas re-electing the Coalition would deliver three more years of dysfunction and dithering.
“Trust Labor to stand up for schools, TAFE, child-care, universities. Trust Labor to protect Medicare and bulk billing. Trust Labor to take real action on climate change.”
Turnbull said he called the double dissolution is because the Senate has twice refused to pass legislation relating to the accountability of unions and employer organisations, and has twice refused to pass legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
A double dissolution election will see that both houses of the Parliament dissolved and all of the 150 House of Representatives seats and 76 Senate seats up for grab. Enditem