It’s that time of year again. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have laid out their plans for the year and now it’s time for Australians to decide who’s ideas are best.
Mr Shorten spoke at the National Press Club yesterday to pitch his agenda to the public. Today, Mr Turnbull had his chance to bite back, issuing a detailed plan to increase jobs and drive down costs.
So who really has our best interests in mind?
Mr Turnbull spoke about a number of major issues, including immigration, energy prices and national security, while Mr Shorten made a plea to the people.
Notably, neither made mention of seniors or those on the pension and how they would help them. Mr Turnbull made it clear that energy prices and creating jobs were big ticket items for the year and tried to angle himself as a businessman, not a politician.
“The battlelines have been drawn: it is clear that the coalition stands for cheaper energy. We are approaching this issue clear-eyed, pragmatic and objective. Labor’s approach is driven simply by ideology, heedless of cost or the thousands of jobs that it will destroy,” he said.
“I came into politics at the ripe old age of 50. My interest is in results, I’m not a political hack, I’m not a political animal. You’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. What do we want to achieve? We want to achieve affordable energy, you’ve got to achieve reliable energy. Yes, coal does have a role in the future. You’d think if anyone had an interest in doing something smart with clean coal it would be us, but we don’t have one power station capable of doing it.
“We need to strip the ideology out of it.”
He also took a swipe at Labor, saying he was committed to keeping health affordable for everyone.
“Contrary to Labor’s lies we are strengthening Medicare,” he said.
While the PM mostly kept it focused on the economy, Mr Shorten took his chance to have a go at the antics of pollies over the past year, saying Australians were fed up.
“There is one certainty in 2017, people are disengaged from politics and distrustful of politicians,” Mr Shorten told the room.
“Too many Australians think the political system is broken and more than a few don’t trust us to fix it. We need to lift our game.”
He said that Labor’s big focus for the year will be jobs and helping the country’s middle class.
“In 2017, my team and I have three major economic priorities, jobs, jobs and jobs,” Mr Shorten told the National Press Club today.
“It is all priorities – our priorities are people, our priorities are jobs.
“We think if you look after the working-class, middle class of this country, the work looks after itself.”