Don't miss




Aux Champs-Elysées: The story behind France's most famous avenue

Read more

#TECH 24

Foosball gets its own social network

Read more


Inlays and veneers: The art of French cabinetmaking

Read more


How should companies respond to a Trump Twitter attack?

Read more

#THE 51%

Trump abortion funding ban: Europe tries to fill the breach

Read more


Video: India’s Kuki people, possible descendants of one of Israel's lost tribes

Read more


France: Migrants offered financial incentives to return home

Read more


Annette Bening on Hollywood, Donald Trump and new film '20th Century Women'

Read more


Hong Kong divided over its future, 20 years after UK handover

Read more


Economy dominates Australian election debate


Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-11

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott went head to head in their first televised debate on Sunday ahead of national elections. The debate, which focused on the economy, failed to produce a clear winner.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott held their first televised debate of the week-old election campaign Sunday night without either candidate emerging a clear winner. 

The cordial hour-long debate, broadcast nationally by several television networks, focused on Australia’s worsening economic outlook as a mining boom fed by Chinese industrial demand cools.

Rudd has conceded that his center-left Labor Party is the underdog in the Sept. 7 elections, and successive opinion polls show that the conservative opposition coalition led by Abbott’s Liberal Party is more popular. But Labor takes comfort in Rudd outpolling Abbott as preferred prime minister.

An audience of 100 undecided voters polled by Nine Network television immediately after the debate said Rudd had won, by 59 votes to 41.

“I think Rudd won the debate, but he needed to win it significantly in order to take back the momentum in the campaign,” former Rudd adviser Lachlan Harris told Nine. “He needs to win the campaign conclusively to win the election.”

Abbott, a 55-year-old former Oxford University amateur boxer and Roman Catholic seminarian, claimed Rudd had “killed” the mining boom by imposing a 30 percent tax on iron ore and coal mining companies’ profits plus a tax on their carbon emissions last year.

He also argued that it was the mining boom that kept Australia out of recession during the global financial crisis, not the Rudd government’s economic management and stimulus spending.

Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former Beijing diplomat who was deposed as prime minister by his own party in 2007 and then restored to power in June, accused Abbott of concealing spending cuts he would make as well as taxes he would increase to pay for his election promises if he wins.

Rudd is keen to have more televised debates, but Abbott has yet to commit to another.

Abbott introduced his passion for physical fitness to the campaign on Sunday by joining with 85,000 runners on the 14-kilometer (9-mile) Sydney to Bondi Beach annual fun run. Abbott acted as a support runner for a blind athlete.

Rudd attended a Sunday church service in Canberra before announcing funding for a youth employment program in neighboring Queanbeyan.


Date created : 2013-08-11


    Australian election rivals set to face off in TV debate

    Read more


    Rudd takes on Murdoch as Australian election heats up

    Read more


    Australia's Rudd calls general election for Sept 7

    Read more