Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has launched a competing scare campaign over Labor's asylum seeker policy, warning of "chaos" on Australia's borders if the ALP is elected on July 2nd.
With just 11 days until Australians cast their vote, both major parties have now flicked the switch to negative and are ramping up competing scare campaigns over asylum seeker boats and the privatisation of Medicare.
Labor leader Bill Shorten's campaign has focused for most of the past week on a scare campaign that has suggested some or all of Medicare would be privatised under a re-elected Turnbull government, despite Mr Turnbull having categorically, repeatedly ruled out such a decision.
The Opposition Leader dismissed suggestions he was running a "giant scare campaign" on Medicare, even as he accused the government of effectively doing exactly that over asylum seeker boats.
Speaking in Cairns on Wednesday, Mr Turnbull went on the offensive as he confirmed the Coalition had turned back 28 asylum seeker boats in the last three years.
That figure included a boat, carrying 21 people, that has just recently been turned back to Vietnam, but did not count a vessel in Aceh that is attempting to come to Australia.
Mr Turnbull dismissed the fact that Labor formally changed its policy in 2015 and adopted asylum seeker boat turn backs and argued the opposition "doesn't have the willpower to do it".
"Bill Shorten is weakening already. He has 50 candidates and members and senators who are on the record as being opposed to our border protection policy. How can he, in government, in alliance with the Greens and Independents, possibly resist that?" the Prime Minister said.
"The challenge of people smuggling is greater than it has ever been. The only thing that stops them is the steely resolve of my government to turn those boats back."
Mr Turnbull said Labor's plan to abolish temporary protection visas would mean the 30,000 asylum seekers who had come by boat under the Labor government, who are in Australia, will get permanent residence.
"This will send an absolutely unequivocal signal to the people smugglers that under a Labor government, anyone who manages to get to Australia on a boat will be able to stay here permanently. It will be used aggressively as a marketing tool by people smugglers," he said.
"Imagine the chaos that we would be presented with under a Labor, Greens, independent government? Even now, before the election day, they are abandoning critical elements in our border protection policy."
Asked on Wednesday if the flow if asylum seeker boats would restart under Labor, Mr Shorten said: "no".
"You have to love the Liberal Party central headquarters. It is the break glass issue. Spread concern and say somehow Labor has a different policy to the Liberals when it comes to deterring boats. This is proof positive that the Liberals have run out of anything positive to say about themselves," he said.
"Mr Dutton and Mr Turnbull have tried to run a line on July 3 with a different government there will be a different policy. They should be ashamed of themselves ... I led my party and I said we will turn back boats. We will deter people smugglers."
Pivoting to Medicare, Mr Shorten said the future of the health system was "a key question in the July 2 election".
"There is no issue any more important than Medicare. Voters will make a decision about the future of Medicare in this country," he said.