There may not have been a clear winner of the second leaders’ debate in the federal election campaign, but there were certainly triumphs and difficult times for the prime minister and opposition leader when they went toe-to-toe.
These are some of the key issues discussed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese at The Great Debate in a 60 minute special Sunday night.
Unsurprisingly, the first question for the pair was about how each leader would alleviate the rising cost of living that is affecting people across the country.
The prime minister cited “international factors” such as the war in Europe and the COVID-19 pandemic as having a major impact on the price of groceries, fuel and other essentials.
“We can’t control all the forces that come from outside, but what we can do, managing money well, puts downward pressure on inflation,” Morrison said.
He also said that the Coalition will not extend the fuel tax beyond six months.
Albanese said the fuel tax was a “temporary measure” and essentially confirmed that Labor would not extend it if elected.
“We have said that we will maintain the same position on this,” he said.
The opposition leader said his party will focus on job security.
Asked if this week’s interest rate hike was his job, the prime minister again referred to pressure from abroad.
Albanese was then asked why Labor attacks the government on its spending but matches it in many policy areas.
He pointed to investments in areas such as childcare and other female-dominated industries, which the Labor Party says will ease pressure on inflation.
In connection with this, the leaders were asked about the price of electricity and soon began to shout at each other.
The Labor leader accused the PM of not having a plan for Snowy Hydro 2.0 to come online on opening day, which the PM denied.
“He won’t, you don’t have a plan to get into the net on day one and that’s the problem,” Albanese said.
“The ripe fruit, you haven’t addressed it. The ripe fruit when it comes to fixing power in this country is fixing transmission.”
The pair then yelled at each other for about 30 seconds before Abo cut them off and said, “We’ve given you both freedom. Plenty of time to discuss this.”
Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann asked the prime minister about his leadership and said he should unite his party.
“The hard truth is that a lot of people don’t like you,” he said, adding that people on Morrison’s own side of politics had called him a hypocrite, a liar and a horrible person.
“When I became Prime Minister our party needed to be united and that is what I did,” Morrison responded.
“We have not seen the revolving door under my leadership.”
“How do you define a woman?” Deb Knight asked the leaders.
Morrison said: “A member of the female sex.”
Albanese’s definition was “a grown woman,” which she said she did not think was “misleading.”
Knight then asked a question about the women’s issues that dominated the last parliamentary year, but did not receive much mention during the election campaign.
“Prime Minister, do you think you have a problem attracting women?” she asked.
Morrison responded by citing statistics on the rate of domestic violence against women, citing government funding in this area and for diseases that predominantly affect women.
The prime minister was asked if the issue of the treatment of women in parliament has been resolved.
“No, I don’t think it’s been resolved,” he said.
Albanese was asked why she would not investigate the late Senator Kimberley Kitching’s claims of bullying.
He described her death as a “tragedy” and referred to Kate Jenkins’ Respect@Work report, saying Labor would implement recommendations to improve the safety of women at work.
The main political correspondent of Sydney’s morning herald Y AgeDavid Crowe asked leaders what they are doing to help young Australians facing “rising rents, out of reach house prices, student debt”.
One leader spoke about housing while the other focused on jobs.
“The youngsters are making it really difficult, there’s no doubt about that,” Albanese said.
He said that Labor has a “comprehensive plan” that includes greater investment in social housing through 20,000 additional homes.
“We have a plan for 10,000 affordable housing units for essential workers,” he said, before Crowe pointed out that the policy is for all Australians, not just young people.
Morrison said: “I think the most important thing we can do for young Australians is to make sure they get jobs.”
“That’s why we have 800,000 training places as part of our budget, this year alone, and that guarantees those training places to the tune of $3.7 billion which is on top of the support we’ve been providing to apprentices in business training. “, said. saying.
“We have more apprentices in trade training today, 220,000 of them, than we have since records began in 1963.
Old photos of federal politicians
Morrison said his mission was “to put young Australians to work”.
“I know from being the minister of social services that if you don’t get a young person into a job before they are 20, the chance of them spending their whole life on welfare skyrockets,” he said.
After a faltering vote count, the final figures had the leaders sitting neck-and-neck at 50 percent when Nine viewers were asked who won the debate.