11 Apr 2019

Australia election: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces 18 May date

10:42 am on 11 April 2019

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 18 May as the date of the federal election, sending the Federal Parliament into campaign mode.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: AFP

Mr Morrison visited Government House early this morning to ask Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove to trigger an election.

Mr Morrison said the election would offer a "clear choice" for voters between the economy the Coalition had overseen for the last six years versus "Bill Shorten's Labor Party".

He argued it had taken five years to repair the economy Labor left behind when it lost government in 2013.

"Now is not the time to turn back," he said.

"Keeping our economy strong is how we secure your future and your family's future.

"Keeping our economy strong ensures that we can secure your wage, your job, your business and, importantly, the business you are going to work for today."

A ceremony will be held outside Parliament House to prorogue, or officially end, the 45th Parliament.

In making his pitch to voters, Mr Morrison channelled former prime minister John Howard and the "who do you trust" campaign slogan he made famous during the 2004 election.

"So the choice to be made by Australians on May 18 is like it always is at every election, and that is, who do you trust to deliver that strong economy which your essential services rely on?" Mr Morrison said.

"Who do you trust to deliver the strong economy and the budget management that these services can be funded, that the business that you work for will be there in three years, in five years, in 10 years?"

More to come.