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Tony Abbott launches Liberal campaign
Tony Abbott launches Liberal campaign

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's daughters, Frances and Bridget Abbott, have made a personal pitch to voters, imploring them to elect their father as Australia's next Prime Minister.

"He's the man, along with our mum, who has helped us to become the women we are today," they told the party faithful at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane.

"Like all dads, he knows how to embarrass us... well today, we get our chance", Mr Abbott's daughters said to nervous giggles in the room.

They told the story of their father as a 'netball dad' - a vocal supporter of his daughters' teams.

"He thought netball was just another form of rugby... he could be heard from the sidelines, if not hundreds of metres away, calling 'Run Forrest run!'" they said.

"He always thought it was funny."

Mr Abbott's daughters made a heartfelt plea to voters, saying their father would make a great PM for all Australians, before welcoming their father to the stage to a standing ovation.

"I am so proud of my girls", an emotional Mr Abbott opened his speech, before making his pitch to the people of Australia. "This election is about making a great country even greater", Mr Abbott said. "And that starts with changing the worst government in Australia's history."Mr Abbott said this election is not about him, or Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, it's about the Australian people. The Opposition Leader decried Labor's 'scare campaign', saying we can't afford another three years like the last six. "We need a new way, but to get a new way, we have to choose a new government""A new government with a positive plan to restore the hope, reward and opportunity that should be your birthright."Mr Abbott said his government would build a stronger economy, scrap the carbon tax, stop the boats, end the waste and build the roads of the 21st century."I want to be an infrastructure Prime Minister who puts bulldozers on the ground and cranes in our sky", he said. Mr Abbott vowed to scrap the carbon tax, begin his 'Operation Sovereign Borders' plan, and reverse Mr Rudd's changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax on day one of an elected Coalition government.Within 100 days, Mr Abbott vowed to legislate the end of the carbon tax, change the NBN business model, and chart a 'credible' path to a surplus. Mr Abbott also promised to implement his 'fair dinkum' paid parental leave scheme. "It's all upside for small businesses and families", he said. The Opposition Leader announced his government would give senior citizens access to cheaper medicines, and would commit $200million to dementia research. Mr Abbott also announced a HECS-style scheme for Australian apprentices. "Trade Support Loans" from July 1 next year would provide apprentices with interest free loans of up to $20,000 over four years."I want young Australians to be equipped with the skills they need to secure their long-term job prospects in a dynamic economy," Mr Abbott said.The Opposition Leader also pledged to recognise indigenous Australians in the constitution, and to spend one week a year living in remote indigenous communities. "It's something that should have been done a century ago. It would complete our constitution, rather than change it", he said. Mr Abbott attacked Mr Rudd's alleged failures on the economy, asylum seekers and government chaos. "Mr Rudd knows that his government has failed, that's why he never talks about his record", he said. "Not only is Mr Rudd running the most incompetent government in our history, he's running the most dishonest election campaign in our history".In contrast, Mr Abbott promised to govern for all Australians, pledging to lower to the cost of living, secure our borders and run a mature government. "Choose change, and the last six years will seem like an aberration", Mr Abbott pledged. "I won't let you down. This is my pledge to you."NEWMAN WELCOMES PARTY FAITHFULQueensland Premier Campbell Newman kicked off the event, welcoming the party faithful to Queensland to a rousing ovation. Mr Newman said his government had a good story to tell, saying he is ‘unashamedly pro-jobs, pro-growth and pro-development’. Mr Newman said his government would be a model for a future coalition government – an argument which may play into Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s hands. Mr Rudd has previously argued that Mr Newman’s public service cuts will be replicated nationwide if Mr Abbott is elected. Mr Newman attempted to defend himself from Mr Rudd’s attacks, saying it was a smear on his government. “Kevin Rudd talks about my government being the entrée, to Mr Abbott’s main course”, Mr Newman said, before attacking Mr Rudd’s negative campaigning. “No plans, just more smear and fear” Mr Newman said of the Labor campaign. The Australian people want a grown up government, he said. “Tony Abbott and his team are offering a fresh start”, he said, saying the coalition will end Labor’s economic mismanagement. Mr Newman also promoted the opposition leader’s controversial Paid Parental Leave Scheme, saying it is a policy for the future. “All pioneers face resistance, but to run a 21st century government, you need to think outside the square. “ “Tony, you will make a great Prime Minister”, he said. “The time has come to elect a grown-up government”BISHOP ATTACKS 'FAKE' RUDDDeputy Liberal leader Julia Bishop then ramped up attacks on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, saying he’s unfit for office and economically irresponsible. Ms Bishop mocked Mr Rudd’s 2007 claims that he’s an economic conservative, saying he’d spent like a drunken sailor as PM. Ms Bishop also attacked Mr Rudd’s record on asylum seeker boats, and his negative campaigning. Ms Bishop said there’s nerdy Kevin, ocker Kevin, abusive and arrogant Kevin. “The trouble with Kevin is, he’s a fake. All these multiple personalities", she said, in a speech peppered with a few jokes.Ms Bishop told the story of a man who bared his buttocks to a Labor party campaigner in Victoria, saying the ALP could ‘kiss his a***’. Before joking the next day’s headlines suggested the first cracks were appearing in the campaign. The Deputy Liberal Leader also praised Mr Abbott, saying he is brave, generous, and brings out the best in people. Ms Bishop mentioned Mr Abbott's work for charity and time spent in indigenous communities, as wel as his devotion to his family. Mr Rudd believes it’s all about him”, Ms Bishop said. “But we know, believe that it’s all about you, the Australian people, and we stand ready to serve."TRUSS MAKES PITCH TO REGIONSNationals Leader Warren Truss said the only way to bring about real change in Australia is to change the government. The man who would be Deputy Prime Minister in an Abbott government said all Australians are ready for a change in government. Mr Truss criticised the carbon tax, the collapse of the manufacturing industry, red tape and high taxes under the Rudd government. The Nationals Leader made a pitch to regional voters. "We've had Kevin, Julia and now Kevin again", he said. "Well, for regional Australia it's all been the same. We've been ignored by all three of them".Mr Truss said an Abbott government would be a boost for regional Australia. He said a coalition government would boost infrastructure in regional Australia, announcing a $300 million scheme to repair and build regional bridges. Mr Truss said the Coalition's broadband plan would bring broadband to the bush better, faster and cheaper. Mr Truss also said an Abbott government would boost foreign investment in the regions while protecting Australian farmers.Mr Truss said this election is about trust. "Who do you trust to get Australia back on track?" he asked. "Labor's rot must stop here. It must stop now."