Both houses of Federal Parliament were officially dissolved this morning, signalling the start of the eight-week election campaign. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are in highly-contested marginal seats hoping to win over crucial Queensland votes. Education, youth unemployment and asylum seeker policy are high on both leader’s agendas.

On day one of the campaign, Newspoll figures show the Coalition trailing Labor on a two-party preferred basis.

Ben Brew reports.


Malcolm Turnbull spent day one in Brisbane, visiting the marginal seats of Petrie, Bonner and Moreton.

First stop, the Rocklea markets.

The Prime Minister ate watermelon, signed photos and chatted with workers about his first job as a banana-seller.

All the while, selling the government’s ‘jobs and growth’ mantra.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “We’ve got an election on the second of July. We’ve got about eight weeks and we’ll be talking about our national economic plan every single day.”

Then it was on to Petrie, held by the Liberal’s Luke Howarth with a margin of just 0.5 per cent.

Youth unemployment is an issue in this electorate.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “What they need is a chance. What we’re giving them is the best chance to get started.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten kick-started Labor’s campaign in Cairns.

Senator Pat Dodson joined him at a local school.

Mr Shorten answered questions about native title laws and accessible education in regional Queensland.

He announced 400 scholarships for Indigenous Australians.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “Making sure that every child in every school gets every opportunity, regardless of their background or postcode that they live in.”

Both leaders continue their campaigning in Queensland tomorrow.

54 days remain until the July 2nd election.

Ben Brew, QUT News.