Australian PM on the attack

2010-08-03 14:02

kalahari.com

Sydney – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard went on the offensive on Tuesday, putting the economy at the fore of her re-election bid and accusing rival Tony Abbott of cowardice for refusing to debate her.

Gillard, the country's first female leader, said the August 21 poll would be fought on economic issues, and claimed the conservative Abbott was afraid to debate the issue because it was "not his strong suit".

The former industrial lawyer originally agreed to just one televised leaders' debate during the election campaign, but on Monday night agreed to a second debate on the economy in a bid to stem her flagging popularity.

Critics seized on the move as cynical, saying Gillard had agreed to spar with Abbott on Sunday night knowing it was the same night as his party's campaign launch and he would have to refuse.

But Gillard said she was prepared to make herself available on any night, at any time, to debate Tony Abbott on the economy, promising it would be a "fast and free flowing" battle.

"I know Mr Abbott is bored by economics... but you can't be prime minister of this country without having an economic plan," Gillard said.

Happy to debate

"I'm happy to debate it with Mr Abbott anywhere, any time."

Abbott said he had booked out his schedule with campaign events after Gillard refused more than one debate, and accused her of "chang(ing) the rules just because you're in trouble".

"Unlike the prime minister, I don't have to re-invent my campaign halfway through," he added.

A feisty Gillard said she was coming good on her promise to tear up the rule book of traditional campaigning, turning personal with an attack on her rival as someone who struggled with the basics of "economics 101".

Gillard sought to shift the campaign to economic management – seen as a strong point for the ruling centre-left Labour party – after a damaging week of high-level party room leaks which sent her popularity into freefall.

She seized the leadership from elected prime minister Kevin Rudd in a June coup after a series of policy mis-steps on climate change and the powerful mining industry shattered Labour's polling with voters.

Australia was the only advanced economy to avoid a recession during the global slump and Labour has credited its $50bn stimulus package with driving growth – a measure opposed by Abbott's party.
Read more on:    tony abbott  |  julia gillard  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!

Watch as two guys jump off the world's tallest building!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.