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Australians vote in key federal election

Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 01:52

Sept. 7 - Australians head to the polls with Tony Abbott's Liberal-National coalition threatening to end six years of government by the Labor party. Sarah Toms reports.

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Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott had much to smile about on Saturday. Pollsters tip his Liberal-National coalition to bring an end to six years of Labor government. Abbot -- accompanied by his wife and daughters -- exuded confidence as he cast his ballot shortly after polling began. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION LEADER, TONY ABBOTT, SAYING: "The best leaders are leaders who reach out to everyone and appreciate. If you are Prime Minister of a country you have to be a Prime Minister for everyone." Opinion polls suggest Kevin Rudd, who returned to head the Labor party three months ago is trailing his opponents. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, KEVIN RUDD, SAYING: "My job as prime minister and as leader of our party is to put forward our positive plans for the country's future, so that the good people watching your program get to make up their mind. And I am very confident in their judgment, because they will assess what is best for our countries future, what's best for their community's future, what's best for their family's future, what's best for their individual future. And what has always been my number one priority in politics is jobs." The rivals are split on how to tackle Australia's budget deficit, but both have pledged tough action to stop asylum seekers arriving by boat....A devisive issue that saw the two politicians heckled by protesters, as they tried to drum up support. Kevin Rudd ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard from the ruling Labor Party in June. The move reinvigorated the campaign but as Labor's political infighting continued more voters swung to Abbot's coalition. And if Abbot wins an overwhelming majority, as predicted it means voters have rejected Labor's carbon pricing and mining tax in favour of Abbott's coalition policies of less debt and a smaller government.

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Australians vote in key federal election

Saturday, September 07, 2013 - 01:52

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