Australia will be heading to the polls to elect a federal government on November 24, 2007. Wikipedia summarises the 2007 Australian federal election as:
- The opposition centre-left Australian Labor Party, currently led by Kevin Rudd and deputy leader Julia Gillard, will be the main challenger to the incumbent centre-right coalition government in power since the 1996 election, currently led by the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, John Howard, and his coalition partner the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the National Party of Australia, Mark Vaile.
- Following the 2004 election outcome, Labor with 60 seats require 16 additional seats in the 150-member House of Representatives to form a majority government.
September 13, 2007
- Speaking on the ABC's 7.30 report on Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, admitted that if he is re-elected at the forthcoming election he will not serve a full three-year term as Prime Minister.
- The announcement follows a Liberal party meeting early on Wednesday where Mr Howard told his party that they needed to unite behind him before the election amid intense leadership speculation. Mr Howard told his party that he would step aside in favour for treasurer Peter Costello late into his next term if re-elected.
- If Howard is re-elected he will enter his fifth consecutive term as Prime Minister. Mr Howard is now aged 68.
September 27, 2007
- Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has announced that he will run for the Australian senate in the upcoming federal election. Kruszelnicki will be number two on the Climate Change Coalition's New South Wales Senate ticket.
- "I'm in the business of communicating important ideas. I've dedicated my life to it. This is another way to continue that dedication. And I'm looking forward to the opportunity to talk about the big questions in a political context. The personal is political," Mr Kruszelnicki said in a media release.
October 4, 2007
- Australian Treasurer Peter Costello said today that he was "a lot of fun" while he was outlining his plans for Australia as a possible future Prime Minister.
- During an interview with ABC Radio, Mr Costello was asked to say something about himself that the public didn't know. Mr Costello's replied "That I'm a lot of fun - a lot of fun and good company."
- Costello, who is considered current Australian Prime Minister John Howard's likely successor when he retires, said he was not expecting an easy rise to the Prime Ministership, admitting that the forthcoming federal election would be difficult.
- The treasurer said "If you read polls, then Rudd is in front and he's already carrying on as if he's got the election in the bag,"
- "I would say an election is not over until all of the votes have been counted on the polling day, and I think it will be a hard-fought election."
October 14, 2007
- The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard has announced that the Australian federal election will be held on November 24, 2007. Howard visited the Governor General of Australia Michael Jeffries earlier today and then announced the news.
- Mr Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia for over 10 years now, said that the country's "best years lie ahead", but only if the "right leadership" team is in power.
- "Is it a Government that has a proven track record in those areas? Or is it an inexperienced group of men and women, 70 per cent of whom are former trade union officials?", Mr Howard said. "The right leadership has the experience to further expand the prosperity of the Australian economy."
October 15, 2007
- In late September, the Howard government announced that it would fund a $20 million engineering study into the construction of a Bells Line expressway across the Blue Mountains, linking Sydney to the Central West of NSW. At the time of the announcement, Federal opposition transport minister, Martin Ferguson accused the federal government of "pork-barreling" on the issue.
- In an interview with Wikinews, the shadow transport minister warned that a Bells Line expressway could not be built for many years, regardless of the outcome of any study and that people in the Central West want "better roads now". Mr Ferguson said that a Rudd Labor government would upgrade the Great Western Highway now and spend up to $5 million investigating the Bells Line expressway proposal as part of a broader study into the transport needs of Central Western NSW in the medium to long term. He said that $200 million had already been promised by the opposition to upgrade the Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow.
October 16, 2007
- With the election campaign just beginning, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has promised $34 billion in personal income tax cuts over the next three years. That is on top of $31.5 billion announced in May, and $36.7 billion announced in 2006.
- The new tax cuts are based on new projections for growth in the Australian economy. The Treasury estimates that the economy will expand by 4.25% in the 12 months to June 2008, up from growth of 3.75% predicted in May.
- The Government has challenged the Labor opposition to announce their tax policy immediately.
- "The biggest, boldest tax plan that we've seen in a long time is presented yesterday, it deals with participation, competitiveness, building capacity in the Australian economy, and what does Kevin Rudd say? Nothing," treasurer Peter Costello said. "He better have an answer today."
October 19, 2007
- Labor has released its tax plan, following the announcement from the Liberal/National coalition that they would provide tax cuts costing $34 billion if re-elected. The government has placed pressure on Labor since their announcement on Monday, urging Mr Rudd to release the opposition's tax plan.
- Under Labor's system, the government's planned tax cuts for Australians earning more than $180,000 per year would be scrapped, saving $3 billion. The savings would be spent on health and education for working families.
- Speaking in Canberra today, Mr Rudd announced that if elected he would spend $2.3 billion on tax rebates for parents with children in primary and secondary schools. The refunds would be available to those who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit A. Mr Rudd claims the plan would be available to around two million children.
October 22, 2007
- With Australian Prime Minister, John Howard and Labor leader Kevin Rudd facing off in a leader's debate on Sunday night, political analysts and body language expers declared Mr Rudd the clear victor. Experts said that Mr Rudd came across as believable and enthusiastic while Mr Howard appeared too negative.
- The focus of the debate was on the economy, Iraq war, leadership and climate change.
- On the economy, the Labor leader said that the cost of living had increased in Australia and that increasing the childcare rebate to 50 percent would help struggling families.
- "Thats putting several thousand dollars extra into the family budget," he said.
- The Prime Minister tried to reassure voters on industrial relations, one of the key topics of the election saying that despite his Workchoices legislation being controversial it has largely achieved what the government aimed it to do. "Our whole design with WorkChoices was to underpin further growth in the Australian economy. It wasn't easy. It was heavily criticised, but the general evidence is WorkChoices has been good for the Australian economy," said the Prime Minister.
- Australian Treasurer, Peter Costello has attacked the opposition Labor party's tax cuts saying they contain a "basic error". The error Mr Costello claims could cost 45 percent of Australians an additional $600 a year in tax.
- Speaking at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, Mr Costello accused Labor of failing to increase tax thresholds. "In order to meet the goal of having 45 per cent of taxpayers on a 15 cent threshold or less you have to keep lifting those thresholds ... and they made a basic error," said the Treasurer.
November 4, 2007
- The Leader of the Opposition Kevin Rudd has promised to ease the strain on first home buyers if elected.
November 5, 2007
- The PM and Kevin Rudd almost cross paths on New South Wales' Central Coast today.
November 22, 2007
- campaigners have been accused of a smear campaign against the Labor Party after pamphlets were distributed in the federal electorate of Lindsay that implied Labor supported Islamic terrorists. The pamphlets claimed to be from the non-existent "Islamic Australia Federation" and praised "Labors support to forgive our Muslim brothers who have been unjustly sentenced to death for the Bali bombings".
November 24, 2007
- Early results in the Australian federal election held today show that the opposition Labor party led by Kevin Rudd looks set to take government. Such a result would end 11 years under the leadership of the Liberal/National coalition led by John Howard.
- Early results indicate a 5.25 percent swing to Labor, with 12 percent of the vote counted. If the pattern is continued through the night, Labor could end up with a ten seat majority in the Australian House of Representatives allowing Mr Rudd to form government.
November 25, 2007
- Kevin Rudd is set to become Australia's 26th Prime Minister after his Labor party defeated John Howard's Liberal/National coalition on Saturday. Mr Howard was Australian PM for 11 years.
- Mr Rudd easily secured the 16 seats in the House of Representatives, recording a nationwide swing of 6.3 percent.
- Speaking in Melbourne today, outgoing Australian treasurer - Peter Costello made a shock announcement that he will not stand for leadership of the Liberal party following the Howard government's crushing defeat in Saturday's election. Mr Costello had been touted by outgoing Prime Minister John Howard as his likely successor.
- It is believed that Mr Costello had long dreamed of becoming Prime Minister. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr Costello "looked strained" and that "Tears appeared to brim in his eyes" as he made his announcement.
November 26, 2007
- Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Mark Vaile today announced that he will resign as leader of the National party, following the Liberal/National party coalition government's defeat on Saturday. Mr Vaile took leadership of the National party after John Anderson's resignation in July, 2005.
- With his wife by his side, an emotional Mark Vaile said that he had considered his future in wake of the coalition's defeat and that he believed it was time for change within the National party.