Well, here we are. Three weeks into an election. We’ve made it (just).
That means we’re officially halfway, and so understandably the key battle lines have now been drawn.
What has the Federal Election 2022 campaign brought us so far?
So what is the election being fought over?
No surprises here, given Labor made aged care the focus of its Budget reply speech earlier this year.
The Party put $2.5 billion towards fixing aged care, which really will just bring commitments the government has, like getting a registered nurse into every facility, forwards.
Labor has also been more vocal about a wage rise for aged care workers.
Anthony Albanese on Sunday announced in Perth he would commit to closing the gender pay gap, which is hugely important for aged care given so much of the workforce are made up of woman.
The Coalition have a lot to spruik about their past record on health, and getting us through COVID-19.
But Labor says it wants to do better on health by strengthening Medicare, creating dozens of critical care clinics that will ease pressure on emergency departments and reduce the cost of medicines.
The opposition accused the government of “getting wind” of its intention to cut medicines on the PBS, prompting the Coalition to announce a $10 cut to all scripts.
Possibly out of spite, Labor on Sunday announced it would cut medicines by $12.50.
It was a real moment of “I’ll do you one better, son”.
Defence and National Security
As expected, the Coalition has targeted Labor for being “soft” on China, pointing to comments where the opposition said it wanted to resolve trade disputes with Beijing.
But that line has been heavily criticised by heads of intelligence, who say comments suggesting Labor is China’s Party of choice are unhelpful and inaccurate.
The Coalition is also attacking Labor for being soft on border security, pointing to concerns raised pre-2015 by the opposition about boat turnarounds and offshore detention.
The fact is, Labor has now adopted the almost identical position to the Liberals on border security. Yep, we’re talking boat turnbacks, detention, the whole lot.
Funnily enough, Labor has its own campaign against the government on national security, thanks to the Solomon Islands striking a deal with China allowing Beijing forces to be stationed in the island nation.
The fact this wasn’t prevented by Australia and its allies is a really big deal and gives China a foothold in the region.
Labor has absolutely capitalised on this and announced it would increase aid to the Solomons by more than $500 million to bolster Australia’s relationship with its island nation.
Both parties are getting asked a lot about how they’re going to make houses more affordable, particularly for first home buyers.
The government has a Home Loan Guarantee Scheme, which allows hundreds of thousands of first home buyers, single mothers and others to take out a loan of just 2 per cent of a property’s value rather than 10 to 20 per cent.
The government will then act as a guarantor for the banks to allow such a low loan.
Labor on the other hand has said it will create a national equity scheme, where the government would essentially own a stake in your home of up to 40 per cent to reduce the loan you’d need by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Over time you have the option to buy back the stake, or else when you sell, Labor gets back that equity.
It’s a pretty huge announcement which mirrors schemes in the UK and some States in Australia, but the government has attacked it for having too few places and allowing a Labor government to “own part of your home”.