6 Aug 2013

Election campaigning underway in Australia

5:57 am on 6 August 2013

Political parties in Australia swung into campaign mode on Monday with the economy the key focus for both sides.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a $A200 million package to assist the car industry.

Coalition leader Tony Abbott pledged to repeal the carbon tax at his first campaign event in Brisbane.

Polls currently put the opposition Coalition ahead of Labor by 52% - 48%.

The election is on 7 September. The BBC reports the economy is expected to be a key issue, along with asylum and climate change.

"I'm a believer in manufacturing's future," Mr Rudd told the ABC, after the funding package for the car industry was announced.

In Brisbane Mr Abbott reiterated the opposition's pledge to scrap Australia's carbon tax.

"If the Coalition is elected our first legislative priority will be to scrap the carbon tax," he said.

The BBC reports the opposition remains the favourite to win the election, although opinion polls show that Labor has significantly narrowed its lead since Mr Rudd ousted his predecessor, Julia Gillard, in June.

The front page headline in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney on Monday told voters to ''Kick This Mob Out''. It was critical of Labor for causing "political chaos and economic decline".

The paper supported Mr Rudd in the 2007 election.