Morrison eyes optimistic Australian future
The prime minister has focused on optimism and putting Australians back in charge of their financial security in a major pitch to the nation days out from polling day.
Addressing party faithful at the official coalition campaign launch, Scott Morrison sought to put Australians at the centre of his re-election pitch, speaking directly to their aspirations.
“That’s where I’m focused. On the future. On your future,” he told the event in Brisbane.
“This election is about you. It’s about how we create the right conditions for you to reach your goals, the ones you have set for you and your family.
“Despite what we’ve faced, we remained true to the promise of Australia. And Australia has prevailed.”
The 50-minute speech mainly focused on the government’s economic credentials and strong stance on national security.
The centrepiece was changes to superannuation, allowing first home buyers to take 40 per cent of their superannuation up to $50,000 to buy a house.
Those over 55 will also be able to put $300,000 into their superannuation if they sell their house and downsize in the hopes of freeing up stock for families.
“The best thing we can do to help Australians achieve financial security in their retirement is to help them own their own home,” Mr Morrison said.
“This is about increasing the choices available to you, within your super. It’s your money.”
The government would also spend an additional $454 million to bolster the Air Force’s combat ability with seven drones within the next two years.
Mr Morrison reiterated his mea culpa, two days after he acknowledged he would need to change aspects of how he handled the prime ministership after admitting he can “be a bit of a bulldozer”.
“You don’t get everything right. I’ve never pretended that I have. But I tell you what, I never leave anything on the field,” he said.
“(The future) requires a different approach from us as a government to the mode we’ve had to be in over these many difficult years but it’s also been one that we have been preparing for.”
Mr Morrison also sought to dispel critiques the Liberals were running a small policy platform that would lead to “more of the same” if re-elected.
“I appreciate your patience today, ladies and gentlemen but as you can see, I’ve got a big plan,” he said midway through the speech.
“I’m seeking a second term because I’m just warming up.
“Together, we are building a strong economy and a strong future. Let’s not turn back now.”
Campaign spokeswoman Anne Ruston said the prime minister clearly articulated what the government had done and its plan for the future when asked if the campaign had started off too negative.
“In the final week we have to continue to go out there and sell our strong message and our strong plan for the future of Australia,” she told AAP following the address.
“We will continue to talk to Australians about what their decision on Saturday means for them, for their families, their communities and for Australia itself.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warmed up the crowd, while former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott were given standing ovations when they entered.
Mr Joyce used his address to attack Labor’s policies as interventionist, while spruiking what the coalition had delivered for regional Australia.
“We believe the individual is above the state. The state is a servant of the individual. The Labor Party believe the state is above the individual and the individual is a servant of the state,” he said.
Mr Frydenberg focused his attacks on Labor’s economic credentials.
“In an election about jobs, Anthony Albanese does not know the unemployment rate. In an election about the cost of living, he doesn’t know the cash rate,” he said.