Australia’s prime minister on Sunday officially called a July 2 election and put economic management at the forefront of his campaign to win a second three-year term for his conservative coalition during an era of extraordinary volatility in the country’s politics. Kicking off a two-month election campaign, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said a center-left Labor Party win would prevent the Australian economy diversifying from a mining industry that had been hit hard by the Chinese slowdown and the associated falls in the prices of iron ore and coal, Australia’s most lucrative exports.
“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 high-taxing, higher spending, debt and deficit agenda which will stop our nation’s transition to the new economy dead in its tracks,” Turnbull told reporters.
Climate change, gay marriage, climbing house prices, company tax rates and union corruption in the national building industry are also shaping into key issues.
Labor leader Bill Shorten later said a re-elected Turnbull government would mean another three years of “dithering and of disappointment.”