Labor targets Abbott over health care

Health Minister Nicola Roxon on Sunday urged Australians to re-elect Labor so it can continue with its reform agenda.


Labor had introduced a range of reforms, including establishing GP super clinics, increasing elective surgery theatres and boosting investment in hospitals, Ms Roxon said.

“There’s certainly a lot more to be done but unfortunately Mr Abbott has said that he will cut all of those services,” Ms Roxon told Network Ten.

“Mr Abbott pulled money out of our hospitals when he was the health minister and he’s already told us as the leader of the opposition that if he’s the prime minister he’ll pull money out there again.”

However, Ms Roxon also conceded that there was unlikely to be a deal anytime soon with Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett on Labor’s national health reform agreement.

“I think it’s unlikely by election day, we will be able to say that,” she said.

“We are certainly continuing our negotiations but premier Barnett has made clear that he supports our health reforms.

“He supports the content of the health reforms. He doesn’t agree to our proposals for the GST and that’s been the stand-off for some time.”

Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Mr Barnett were committed to trying to reach an agreement, Ms Roxon said.

Labor starts off strong

Meanwhile a Galaxy opinion poll for News Limited has revealed Labor has an election winning lead going into the first day of campaigning.

A Galaxy opinion poll for News Limited has Labor maintaining a two-party preferred lead over the coalition 52 to 48 per cent.

But Labor’s primary vote support has dropped two points to 39 per cent while the Liberals have 42 per cent and the Greens 13 per cent.

Top bookies have unanimously picked Labor to win, with Centrebet predicting the coalition to take back up to 14 marginal seats – not enough to win government.

Campaigning underway

Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott will waste no time today, making sure they get out in two key states as day one of the election campaign gets underway.

The prime minister will be in Brisbane where she’ll begin the job of retaining the seats Labor picked up in Queensland at the last election three years ago.

The opposition leader will be in Sydney where he’ll continue the process of turning back the tide which swept Kevin Rudd to victory in 2007.