Goodbye to the first day of the last week of the campaign.
Let's recap before heading off:
- Coalition leader Tony Abbott used a speech in Canberra in which he said September 7 would be a referendum on the carbon price;
- Mr Abbott also said he would drop the Coalition's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets if they turned out to be more costly than originally thought;
- earlier in the day Mr Abbott released the Coalition's defence policy;
- Labor leader Kevin Rudd was in his home state of Queensland where he declared the campaign was far from over despite another discouraging poll;
- Mr Rudd said if he is re elected he will examine the cuts to the single parent payment as soon as the budget allows; and
- both leaders have high profile media engagements tonight - Mr Abbott on ABC television's 7.30 and Mr Rudd on Q and A.
I know you will probably all be at election night parties on Saturday but Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I will be on deck to bring you the outcome.
We will also be back in the morning. Until then, thanks for joining us.
Also in this office:
As we are now in the final week I'd like to redirect you to some of the cool data journalism the Fairfax Media team has produced over the campaign.
This allows you to follow the money trail (aka the pork-o-meter).
The interactive election map can be found here (spy on electorates).
The thirty seats to watch (one to bookmark for Saturday night).
If you are keen to see what Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen got up to on the campaign trail over the weekend here is their picture gallery.
(By the way - neither have had a day off since the campaign began. Many congratulations on the herculean effort lads.)
According to the latest information from the Australian Electoral Commission 715,665 people have already cast their votes.
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Breaking news reporter Jonathan Swan has filed this wrap on Mr Abbott's speech to the National Press Club in which Mr Abbott said he would break the Coalition's promise on greenhouse gas emission reductions if it cost more money than he had budgeted for.
Before the speech, the Coalition launched its Great Barrier Reef policy.
I did but see him passing by.
The Age's national affairs editor, Tony Wright, writes the only thing that could save Labor's campaign at this point is "Tony Abbott biting the head off a kitten on live TV".
Mr Rudd is sticking to the more traditional campaign strategy of as many public appearances as possible between now and 6pm on Saturday.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard was not, as previously announced, at yesterday's Labor launch.
Mr Rudd is outlining his beliefs about leadership.
A good guiding principle is having sympathy for people who are worse off than you no matter where they are, Mr Rudd says.
Next comes: "What can I do about it?"
"Unless you go out there and do something about it, frankly, you're not developing as a leader," Mr Rudd says.
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"No one is ever terrifically good at everything," Mr Rudd assures the students.
Mr Rudd is addressing Year 11 and 12 students in Caboolture, Queensland.
"Solidarity for all nerds," Mr Rudd says.
Spare a thought for our cartoonists - they are having a tough campaign.
That's it from Team Abbott for today.
Meanwhile, Team Rudd has just arrived in Brisbane.
Mr Abbott has finished his address.
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Should all decisions to send Australian troops to war be put to Parliament, Mr Abbott is asked.
"Absolutely," Mr Abbott says.
But "whether a parliamentary vote happens before or after combat happens very much depends on the circumstances".
"If Australia was subject to imminent threat it would be irresponsible for a prime minister not to act swiftly."
Mr Abbott is asked whether he would support his daughters if they wanted to enter politics.
"I think politics is a marvellous vocation," Mr Abbott says after a pause.
"I think if they were interested I'd give them every encouragement but the first time they expressed interest I would also want to warn them that it is a pretty tough field."
"In this business you need a tough skin and a strong ego."
Mr Abbott is asked what he would change about the national curriculum.
The history curriculum contains things he would like to see amended, Mr Abbott says.
There is a "lack of references to our heritage other than indigenous heritage," Mr Abbott says.
"The unions are mentioned far more than business. There are a couple of Labor prime ministers that get a mention, from memory not a single conservative prime minister does."
However it would be up to teachers to decide what should be in the curriculum, Mr Abbott says.
Mr Abbott says a Coalition government would proceed with the sale of Medibank Private at the best time for the taxpayer.
"If it's called Medibank Private it may as well be in the private sector," Mr Abbott says.
He then demurs when asked if he would the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Security Council as previous prime ministers have done.
Mr Abbott says he is not presuming he will become prime minister but that if he does get elected the domestic agenda might take precedence.
The secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ian Watt, is in the audience for Mr Abbott's address.
This time next week Mr Watt could be working for Mr Abbott.Back to top