The Governor-General of Australia has accepted the Prime Minister’s recommendation to dissolve Parliament and to set an election for 7 September 2013.
A half Senate election will be held at the same time as the election for the House of Representatives – the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, commented that the arrangement “will spare the Australian community the additional expense and disruption that would result from holding two separate national elections within months”.
Newly returned to his post as Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd took the opportunity to pay tribute to Australia with its “deep sense of a fair go for all”, but also pointed ahead to challenges facing the Australian economy as the resources boom comes to an end:
…This election will be about who the Australian people trust to best lead them through the difficult new economic challenges which now lie ahead.
New challenges brought about the end of the China resources boom.
New challenges also that have to be confronted.
The boom, of course, has fuelled so much of our nation’s wealth. That boom is over.
This election will also be about who the Australian people trust to steer our economy through the great economic transition that therefore lies ahead.
If as a nation we fail to manage this transition well, it will hurt the jobs and living standards of all Australians.
So this election will be about who the Australian people best judge to get the balance right.
By keeping our economy strong while at the same time, protecting jobs, ensuring we have fair wages and fair conditions, continuing to invest in health and education and above all ensuring there’s a fair go for all.
Managing the big economic transition that lies ahead will be difficult – but it is definitely do-able.
Charting a course through the choppy economic waters that lie ahead will require a steady hand, and a clear cut plan for the future.
The new challenges facing our economy will require new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of planning.
One thing I know for certain is that the old politics of the past just won’t work for the future.
Wall to wall negativity doesn’t create a single new job. Negative personal politics doesn’t build a single new school. The old politics of division doesn’t build a single hospital.
Clinging to the past is not going help build a National Broadband Network of the future.
Three word slogans won’t solve complex problems. They never have. And they never will.
So Australia needs a new way of dealing with the new challenges we face in the future…
…On the economy, with the end of the China resources boom, we can no longer afford to have all our eggs just in one basket.
For the future we must broaden the economic base, diversify our economy.
This will be critical for business, for jobs and for managing cost of living pressures for families as well…
Mr Rudd’s Australian Labor Party will go head to head with the The Liberal and National Parties as well as trying to make gains over the Greens. Tony Abbott took the opportunity of the election announcement to spell out the difference in policies that his Liberal and National Party coalition offers:
…taxes actually cut, more for families, better local services, stopping the boats and two million new jobs. Real action means new roads underway in major cities within 12 months and more help for small businesses to create jobs and get the economy moving.
The polls will open on a Saturday and a major government advertising campaign is already underway to make sure that as many voters as possible are registered, in a country where voting is compulsory for registered eligible adults.