Australians will go to the polls on September 7.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd confirmed this afternoon that the election will be held on the first Saturday of next month, ending speculation over the poll date and confirming Australia’s first September election since the 1940’s.
It begins an intense five week campaign and Lindsay will be one of the hottest and most speculated about seats in the country given it is held by sitting Labor MP David Bradbury by the narrowest of margins.
“The time has come for the Australian people to decide on the nation’s future,” Mr Rudd said.
“This election will be about who the Australian people trust to lead them through the difficult economic challenges that lie ahead.”
Mr Rudd acknowledged that mistakes had been made during the Labor Government’s tenure over the past six years.
“We’ve made our mistakes in the past – that’s true. Most governments do… the key is to learn from the experience,” Mr Rudd said.
Mr Bradbury held his campaign launch in Penrith this afternoon – an event planned before it was known that Mr Rudd would call the election today.
“I have represented the community for 14 years as a Councillor, Mayor and Member of Parliament,” Mr Bradbury said at the launch.
“I have delivered for our local community… all that Mr Abbott offers are some three word slogans. Australia deserves better than that.”
Former Prime Minster Bob Hawke was Mr Bradbury’s guest of honour.
“To have good representation and to have good government there are two things you need. First of all, a good representative. I know the facts and you all live with the facts of what has been achieved with David Bradbury bring the Member for Lindsay,” Mr Hawke said.
“But you have to also be representative of good policy. You need a government in Canberra that understands the Australian economy and the context in which the economy operates.”
Mr Bradbury wants people to judge him on results and experience.
“On election day, I will be asking the people of our electorate to judge me on my experience and on the results I have delivered for our community,” Mr Bradbury said.
“I have the experience to keep getting results. As a former Mayor of Penrith and the local Federal Member for the last six years, I have shown that I am prepared to stand up for our local community and make sure we get our fair share.
“My wife, Kylie, and I are raising our four children in Claremont Meadows and as someone with strong roots in our local area I understand the needs and concerns of local residents.”
Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said he welcomed the election date.
“I want to build a better Australia,” he told the ABC.
“We’ll have a stronger and more prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia and the choice in this election is positive plans from the Coalition versus more of the same from Labor.”
The election being on September 7 means that the Local Government Referndum can no longer go ahead.