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Abbott's New Year message

Prime Minister Tony Abbott wishes Australians a new year 'full of optimism' and prosperity. Nine News.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott says we should begin the new year full of optimism, reminding Australians we are ''a great country and a great people''.

In his first New Year's Day address as the nation's leader, Mr Abbott said he hoped more of us than ever would ''have a go'' this year to build a stronger and more prosperous country.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

New year enthusiasm: Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks towards scrapping bad taxes and commemorating the Centenary of Anzac in 2014. Photo: James Brickwood

He said he hoped the nation took part in the commemoration of the ''Centenary of Anzac'' beginning this year, which marks 100 years since Australia became involved in World War I.

He also promised to ''start the conversation'' about changing the constitution to recognise indigenous Australians.

''A strong country always has a deep appreciation of its history and this year we commence the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac and I hope that you will take part,'' Mr Abbott said on Wednesday.

''I will also start the conversation about a constitutional referendum to recognise the first Australians. This would complete our constitution rather than change it.''

Mr Abbott did not avoid politics in his address, saying he would use the new year to scrap ''bad taxes'', cut ''red and green tape'', end waste, build infrastructure and strengthen the federal budget.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said people should celebrate what was achieved last year, while also looking forward to the new year.

He said one of the biggest challenges the country faced would be keeping people in work this year.