Australian election: Businessman or listener?

By Elise Scott in Canberra

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, left, and Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten. Photo / AP
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, left, and Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten. Photo / AP

One wants you to think of him as a businessman, not a politician. The other wants you to know he listens to the people.

The two men contesting Australia's top job yesterday made their final broadcast media pitches to voters as the eight-week election campaign mercifully draws to a close today. It's basically what they've been saying all along - with a slightly more personal touch.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) reckons his credentials as a businessman give him the know-how to guide the economy to a better future.

"I understand what makes the economy hum," he told Sunrise viewers on the Seven Network. "I am not one of these lifetime politicians."

Labor leader Bill Shorten would rather voters think he cares about the people. "I have spent all my adult life talking to people, listening to people."

Newspaper editorials are backing the Liberal-National Coalition as the polls predict a contest too tight to call.

The opposition leader isn't worried. "I know what is really happening out in the suburbs and regions of Australia," he said.

Shorten promises more spending for health, education and climate change action. And, of course, Labor will save Medicare from a coalition plan that doesn't exist.

His election-eve pitch was littered with accusations Turnbull was "not telling the truth" about Medicare.

But he stopped short of calling the prime minister a liar.

Turnbull was not so shy, calling Labor's Medicare campaign a "disgraceful lie" that's been called out and mocked by media.

The Prime Minister, while quietly confident of remaining in the top job, reminded Australians to treat their vote like it's the outcome changer.

He's promising stability, economic growth and jobs. "The alternative is the chaos, the uncertainty, the dysfunction, higher deficits, higher debt, higher taxes," he said.

Turnbull warns global uncertainty, risk, volatility and rapid economic change needs the Coalition's financial management.

One thing is certain after today's poll - the GST rate won't budge from 10 per cent for at least three years.

Turnbull again ruled out revisiting a hike in the tax if the coalition retains government, matching a Labor promise.

"We did not kick it into the long grass for political reasons," he told the Nine Network.


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