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Abbott launch: small hand-outs, but big promises

Tony Abbott has targeted self-funded retirees and western Sydney, with modest promises at his campaign launch in which he…

Tony Abbott made his pitch for voters at the Coalition’s official party launch in Brisbane. AAP/Dan Peled

Tony Abbott has targeted self-funded retirees and western Sydney, with modest promises at his campaign launch in which he appealed to Australians to “choose change” on September 7.

A Coalition government would index the thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to give more self-funded retirees access to cheaper medicines.

The initiative, costing A$100 million over the forward estimates, is partly a counter to fears among this group that they will be losers from the Coalition paid parental leave scheme, because its levy on business won’t attract franking credits.

Abbott also promised that in government apprentices would be able to complete their training with interest free loans of up to A$20,000, costing A$85 million over the forward estimates. This should appeal to people in western Sydney, where Labor is battling to hold a number of seats.

In another promise, Abbott pledged an extra A$200 million over five years for research into dementia, saying the best people to find treatments and cures “are our world-beating medical researchers.”

At his Brisbane launch to the party faithful, the opposition leader pledged that within a decade, a Coalition government would have a budget surplus at 1% of GDP, defence spending at 2% of GDP, the private health insurance rebate fully restored and “each year, government will be a smaller percentage of our economy.”

He said that within 10 years, if the Coalition’s vision was realised, Australia would have “lower, simpler, fairer taxes. There will be two million more jobs, in manufacturing as well as in agriculture, services, education and a still buoyant resources sector.

“We’ll have a more functional federation where the states are sovereign in their own sphere.

“The infrastructure gap will be filled… Public schools and hospitals will have far more freedom to be as good as their private rivals. Childcare will be more affordable and more available.”

Abbott said his vision for Australia “is not that big brother government knows best; it’s that our country will best flourish when all of our citizens, individually and collectively, have the best chance to be their best selves.”

He highlighted his controversial paid parental leave scheme, which Labor is targeting in its advertising. The opposition leader said if he were elected, by the end of his first term, there would be a “fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme… because factory workers and shop assistants deserve to get their actual wage while they are on leave - just like public servants do.”

He promised he would run a “no surprises, no excuses government”, And said “you could trust us in opposition and you will be able to trust us in government.”

Abbott was introduced by his daughters Frances and Bridget, who gave testimonials for their Dad; Abbott’s parents were also at the launch. Former Prime Minister John Howard was enthusiastically received by the crowd.

Earlier, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd handed ammunition to the opposition when he said Labor had not had a “mandate” for its carbon tax.

In an interview on the ABC, Rudd said “I don’t think our actions on the carbon tax were right. That’s why I changed it and moved towards a floating price.” Asked what was wrong with it, he said, “Well, to begin with we didn’t have a mandate for it. Furthermore a floating price is the best response to changing international markets.”

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39 Comments sorted by

  1. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    So after "Hope" we have "Change".
    Are we really sure that Abbott isn't Obama's long lost half brother from Kenya.
    Don't trust the birth certificate.
    Not short on audacity either.
    Did over Australia's Hillary.
    Oh, and yes, Big Promises!
    Tony Obama, change you can believe in!

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    1. Eddie Jensz

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to James Hill

      Seems that I have been banned from the site because there is no room for criticism here. Journalists are somehow now Gods.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      Some people do hope for things at times Jimmy and many might even change their ways as much as the biggest challenge to change is the inherent resistance to it.
      It seems that Rudd has not really changed, offering little hope and so where thou art ye!
      RUOK Bro?

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Eddie Jensz

      The purpose of the TC Eddie is to have discussions about topics and as much as you may not like how your side of politics is doing, that is nothing to do with the authors of the articles and TC is definitely not here just so as you can air your grievances in blaming those who do report.
      There is a tendency for many leftish style people to resort to abuse and really, if that is a picture of you, you ought to be able do better.
      Just show us how old dogs can learn tricks eh!

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    4. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Now Greg, why haven't you ben claiming credit for that Buy the Boats scheme we were discussing some time back on The conversation.
      You did promote it to the coalition, didn't you Greg?
      Come on admit it!

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    5. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Again, Greg anticipates the motives of the moderator.
      Not being rather presumptious are you Greg?
      Surely you understand that the moderators can explain themselves without your intervention.
      And harassing other posters with those presumptions, as if you were speaking on behalf of said moderators, might be something of which to complain?

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    6. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Eddie Jensz

      Eddie, the difficulty is that the deleted comments are no longer available for discussion.
      But the power of modern journalism is something of concern to all citizens, and your criticisms, in general and on principle, are most appropriate
      However Mr North's unseemly gloating over your dilemma, more appropriate to a junior high school teacher's toady, does seem to be outside the criteria for civil, adult debate.
      Perhaps a complaint is in order?
      Standards must be maintained.

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  2. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    Those Western Suburbs of Sydney trades apprentices might have the promise of money from Abbott, but hasn't it been Liberal policy and practice to shut down TAFE colleges?
    So where will they train?
    That must be what 457 visa's are for then, to get tradies for a season or two, while closing down the local colleges.
    It's only words and words are all Tony needs to steal the hearts and minds of Sydney's West away.
    Hollow and weasel words, but that's just the journalist in Tony coming to the fore; why change something long proven to be extremely effective.
    Never hurt Rupert did it? or Howard? both Abbott's successful mentors.
    Hail to Machiavelli's "New Prince", like Cesare Borgia, once slated to be "Pope" then, instead, off to the "Battlelines".
    History never repeats!

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      If you hadn't noticed Jimmy, whilst TAFE colleges can do some training on the theory side, an apprentice learns his craftmanship from another craftsman.
      Meanwhile, you may have also not noticed in recent times about how apprentices can do it a bit tough on apprentice wage rates and that is likely more applicable these days as many apprentices will go to school to an older age.
      So there is something to having an allowance available.
      Do try and focus your words instead of the hocus pocus for with all that rage you're brewing, you'll soon be stark naked on a street corner sing All the Hokey Pokey, what;s it all about!

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    2. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      If you haven't noticed, Mr North, those TAFE's have been closed down by conservative administrations up and down the Eastern seaboard States.
      Your blind faith and trust in operation once more?
      Keep your focus on the hocus pocus that represents your conservative's economic credentials.
      The naked truth of sorcerer's apprentice economics.
      Tony will be opening that college soon?
      If it were not impolite to say so on this site I'd be tempted to use "incorrigibly cretinous" as an apt descriptor.

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  3. Shane Beck

    Railways

    Abbott is a madman. He is going to feed the middle class to upper class family handout junkies in order to produce a new baby boom without costing the attendant infrastructure (maternity wards, childcare places, school places) at the same time the baby boomers are retiring with all the attendant stresses upon the budget (pensions, health care, PBS etc). Forget about the budget surplus being 1% of the GDP within the decade, there is never going to be a budget surplus, ever

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Shane Beck

      I guess if there is never going to be a surplus it makes no difference then whether ALP or LNP form Government. So probably LNP will get the guernsey on 7th September.They might as well get 6 years to see what they can do.

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  4. Ted Kilby

    Small Business Owner

    Reading the comments from ALP supporters is like reading a fundy christian blog. Full of "facts" that only exist in their own mind inspite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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    1. John Fraser

      logged in via email @iinet.net.au

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      Show everyone some of Murdoch's "evidence"

      On second thoughts don't bother.

      Free advertising/Editorials from Murdoch apparently doesn't count when "Slick" Abbott is adding up election costs.

      Hockeynomics rules.

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    2. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to John Fraser

      I think the "evidence" is in the unanimous results of the polling companies - left or right of the spectrum - that the ALP is headed for a loss this election. I knida think the results for the ALP will be worse than the polls predict - just seems likely based on the thrashing dished out to Labor in QLD where pollsters said they would end up wioth 20 seats and instead got a tarago's worth.
      And as for the LIB's launch - Abbotts lucky that he has such a supportive family - his girls are great examples of todays young people.

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    3. Ted Kilby

      Small Business Owner

      In reply to John Fraser

      Thanks John Fraser for proving my point.
      For a start I very rarely read News Ltd Papers, I mostly read the SMH and I note that even Fairfax are realising that their left leaning reporting is becoming more and more fantasy than fact.

      You are the high priest of Fundy ALPism. In spite of the facts you continue on with your own agenda to the point where any thinking person must assume that you have more than just a voters interest in these things.

      This may be above your technical understanding ( maybe you can get advice) but you are the Ash Grebanorous of newspaper commentators.

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    4. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      "Fundy ALPism". Dude, you are, like, so cool and hilarious. Ignoring facts and going for simple slogans is the new "oh so superior" mark of the LNP voting intellectual, is it? Perhaps further investing in upper middleclass welfare and now modernising the Indonesian fishing fleet by buying their clunkers is seen as investing in our nation building infrastructure. And just what is the business case for upgrading copper wire in lieu of the fibre optic NBN? And pray tell how will we ever address…

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    5. John Fraser

      logged in via email @iinet.net.au

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      @ted kilby

      If you are going to name call .... at least get the spelling right, otherwise you just look like a dummy.

      Oooops ! too late.

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    6. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      I know ted & Brett are going to rail against the biased ABC, but Anthony Green has the best record of poll prediction in Australia and his calculator shows a hung parliament (72 ALP, 75 LNP & 3 "independent" - Katter, Wilkie, Bandt) if the election had been held now. So, there is evidence and there is evidence and what evidence you choose to believe is probably a figment of your ideology, your imagination and your degree of paranoia.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      " "Fundy ALPism". "
      Well, funny could become hilarious Ronald and you must admit that sexy Tony can give us a laugh or too just as bubble gum Kevo can.
      I suppose it can now be said you can chew gum and have bubbles of thoughts all about Kitchen cabinet shows with international security briefs as long as you get your priorities right.
      It's just as funny swanning about up in northern Qld. because he knows he is never going to be a gunnabe back south.
      " And just what is the business case for upgrading…

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    8. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greggie (seeing as how you are calling me Ronnie again) I was not attempting to be funny. Howard is not history. His legacy for middleclass election bribing welfare at the expense of infrastructure spending has left us with a structural deficit of tens of billions into the future out years. With Abbott we are looking at a recession disguised by slogans and coyness about cuts and costings. As for Labor's infrastructuire spending in respect to GDP debt it is amongst the lowest in the world - something the hilarious LNP supporters and sloganeering Abbott can't get their heads around.

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    9. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      May I interrupt, Ted, to ask, in all sincerity what affect the massive national mortgage debt is having on your small business?
      It is your own business so you are under no obligation to divulge any details.
      But the amount of money that is going into banks as interest on those mortgages in heading towards $100 Billion every year.
      And will be worse when interest rates rise as is the policy of Joe Hockey.
      Small businesses, in general, could use some of that money.
      Right, Ted?

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    10. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      And the third daughter, is she the one who made unfortunate remarks about her father, that are well known and need not be repeated here?
      Private family business is really private family business, what should any of it have to do with public elections?

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    11. Dave Satterthwaite

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ted Kilby

      Hey Ted,

      You appear to be full of 'facts'.

      Care to tell everyone how the LNP are going to pay for all their extravagant promises and give Australia a prosperous future?

      If you answered 'SELL EVERYTHING TO FOREIGN COMPANIES AT ROCK BOTTOM PRICES' that only answers the first half of the question.

      Good luck with the second half, you'll need it.

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    12. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      Hi Dennis - no I dont have any issue with media - they will all have som edegree of biases I suppose but in the overall scheme of things there are swinga and roundabouts and I think it is worthwhile reading across the spectrum so as to get a better context of how things are.
      Antony Green's calculator does as you say show 72 ALP 75 LNP and 3 Independant - however that is based on no change to the electorate swing ie 0% chnage in vote. If you slide the swing indicator with jus a 2% swing and a 2PP of 51.9% then the seats show ALP 64, LNP 83, Independants 3. SO its not going to take a lot of change to result in a big chnage in numbers.

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    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Dave Satterthwaite

      " Care to tell everyone how the LNP are going to pay for all their extravagant promises and give Australia a prosperous future? "
      You seem to have something of a misunderstanding about LNP beliefs for it is not so much extravagant promises but developing an environment where businesses can prosper as much as they can, given the far greater international challenges that present more and more.
      You do the developing but cutting red tape and reducing government costs which in turn means that yes there…

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    14. Ron Bowden

      Entropy tragic

      In reply to Greg North

      "Joe Hockey has already made it clear there is not really anything worth selling."

      Yeah? And you believe him, Greg?
      What about the following from the IPA/LNP songsheet? Is this flea market stuff?

      Privatise SBS
      Privatise Australia Post
      Privatise Medibank
      Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
      Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
      Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built
      Privatise the CSIRO
      Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme

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    15. Janeen Harris

      chef

      In reply to Ron Bowden

      I know someone in the corporate section of Australia Post. They are preparing to privatize now. They are expecting a change in government and they are getting it ready to sell..

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  5. John Fraser

    logged in via email @iinet.net.au

    I thought Australia was totally up the creek without a paddle.

    And in debt up the wazoo as well.

    "Bulldozers on the ground" ... doesn't look good for the environment.

    But looks good for Gina and the miners.

    Realign the slogan to .... No Hope ... No Reward and No Boats.

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to John Fraser

      I see what you mean when on IA you say you are over at the Conversation waging the fight against Abbott.
      IS that the A NEW WAY slogan for the ALP? No Hopers No Rewarding hard work, No boats PLEASE.
      How is your mate Swanny doing BTW - what is ALP internal polling saying about his seat? We know what the other pollsters are saying but curious if internal polling supports the mainstrean poll companies? ALp polling elsewhere that leaks is more in keeping with the pollsters than many would believe - I mean over at IA they are in complete denial that polls are correct in saying negative trends are showing up for the ALP.

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    2. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      actually I see from Antony Greens assessment of Lilley - The Libs Candidate last election got more primary votes than Swan. I am thinking it isn't going to look good for him this time around?

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  6. Dennis Alexander

    logged in via LinkedIn

    And still nobody has asked either Pyne or Abbott what it actually means to encourage state schools to become independent. Really, isn't it time journalists actually grew some braincells and asked some questions that matter. Not only is this campaign shite, the coverage is utter shite.

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      Hi Dennis - In WA we have Independant Public Schools operating already - means the Principal runs the show - staff are merit selected - budgetting is done at the school level - there is a Community Board which oversees the process. Works well. It is after all a State Government responsibility and not a Federal one. Where the Feds may be involved is to have all states impliment and similar strategy to that in WA and use that as a basis for funding.

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  7. wilma western

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    What does Michelle's article add to the TV and newspaper reports?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to wilma western

      Less viewers and readers Wilma and of course lets not forget you have graced us with your presence here instead.
      Enjoy!

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    2. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Eddie Jensz

      Surely we are entitled to know what is going on in the world of politics? and if we don't read any other media or watch TV etc then surely The Conversation like any other media outlet should report on the Abbotts Campaign Launch after all he is the alternative PM and to not report on the launch would be irresponsible journalism.

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