Labor’s new attack advertisements personally target Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and paint him as a “negative” leader who plans to slash spending that will hurt families.
Opinion polls show the coalition leads Labor by an average 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent, ahead of the September 7 federal election.
Now government strategists are trying to capitalise on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s personal popularity and edge over Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister with two new television ads.
One features a mum preparing a meal for her children and asking, “what are you hiding Mr Abbott?”.
The other raises the prospect of cuts to fill a $70 billion hole in the coalition’s costings, which it denies.
“This is going to be something that resembles the Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury told Sky News on Thursday.
Asked to weight the tone of the ads against Mr Rudd’s recent call to drop negative and destructive personal politics, Mr Bradbury said: “The truth is not negative.”
Mr Abbott told reporters that Mr Rudd had promised on his return to the prime ministership to be positive.
“He said: `With all my heart I want to get away from this negativity’,” Mr Abbott said.
“Was Mr Rudd telling us a fib then or has he simply lost control of the party organisation?”
Mr Abbott is spending day 11 of the campaign in Tasmania, where he’s launched the second phase of an economic plan for a state which has the highest jobless rate in the country and is growing below the national average.
“Tasmania shouldn’t be like this,” Mr Abbott said in Launceston, in the Labor-held seat of Bass.
“We have a growth plan that has been tailor-made for Tasmania.”
Mr Abbott is advocating spending on the Midland Highway, a better funded Antarctic Research Centre and a $38 million upgrade of Hobart airport so it can handle more air freight and major aircraft.
The plans build on Mr Abbott’s $6.5 million Tasmania job scheme, which offers subsidies to businesses to employ the long term unemployed, announced last week.
The prime minister is in the Northern Territory to discuss economic development, before heading to outback Western Australia and Perth.
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