Australian rivals take part in televised debate in run up to election
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and leader of the opposition Tony Albott have spoken about issues such as the economy and immigration in the first televised debate of the Australian election campaign.
The debate, which took place on Sunday, is the first of three such meetings that are set to occur prior to polling day. Each debate involves the two candidates facing an hour of questioning from a panel of journalists.
Although a somewhat heated exchange between the two men had been predicted, the Australian media have reported that the tone of the debate was more amicable than originally expected.
Mr Rudd stated in his opening comments that the election was “a clear choice on the economy, on jobs, on how we support families under pressure and how we support education and health.” He added that he was offering “a new way to take Australia forward” after the decline of the economic mining boom.
Mr Abbot, however, stated: “Mr Rudd talks about a new way. Well, if you want a new way you’ve got to choose a new government.” He explained to viewers his opinion that the election shouldn’t be about personalities but instead about “who can make your future more secure.”
Each candidate will discuss further their electoral promises over the next two debates.