Gillard denounces Abbott's economic credentials

10:00 pm on 19 August 2010

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard has denounced the economic credentials of opposition the Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott after he described the global economic crisis as "an eight week crisis".

The political leaders spoke at a people's forum at the Broncos' league club in Brisbane on Wednesday night, organised by Sky Television and the Courier-Mail newspaper.

The audience was made up of about 200 undecided voters, who asked the questions.

In answer to one, Mr Abbott denounced Labor's stimulus package, saying the economic crisis at its height had lasted just eight weeks, Radio New Zealand's political editor reports.

When Ms Gillard spoke later that evening she seized on Mr Abbott's comment to criticise his understanding of the economy. She told the audience she had an economic plan; Mr Abbott did not.

At the end of the night the audience scored in Ms Gillard's favour, 83 to 75.

On Thursday, Mr Abbott continued to try to drum up votes on a whirlwind tour of Queensland and has vowed to campaign non-stop until Friday night.

Ms Gillard was delivering her final set-piece speech of the campaign at the National Press Club on Thursday.