Leaders Prepare To Go Head-To-Head In Second Election Debate
Four days after their first leaders' debate, Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will start their second contest under pressure for different reasons.
The two leaders will campaign in Melbourne on Friday morning before flying to Brisbane for the Sky News-Courier Mail people's forum with 100 undecided voters.
Shorten was declared the winner of the first debate in Perth on Monday night despite not being able to put a figure on the cost of his climate policies.
READ MORE: Bill Shorten Takes Out First Leaders' Debate
"If we leave the problem of climate change any longer it's going to cost more to fix it," Shorten told reporters in Burnie.
"The reality is, the single greatest reason why energy prices have gone up in Australia is there's just a lack of energy policy."
Morrison has had to deal with losing two Victorian candidates after they made anti-Muslim and anti-gay comments online.
A third candidate, Jessica Whelan in Lyons, says derogatory social media comments she allegedly made about Muslims were doctored and she will refer the matter to federal police.
"I don't think it's hard to believe in this day and age that images can be doctored," Morrison told reporters in Launceston.
But his staff were careful to shield Whelan from the media during an agricultural show outside Launceston on Thursday, and she escaped in a car rather than answer questions.
Morrison said this week he would give Shorten "enough rope" to kill off Labor's chances with his own policies.
But the prime minister denied he was running a small target strategy in the campaign.
"We launched an entire budget going into this campaign with 700 individual measures that equate to almost $500 billion worth of expenditure across every element of government activity," Morrison said on Wednesday.
The prime minister will announce $203 million to protect Australia's waterways and threatened species, including a fund to develop more efficient ways of recycling.
"We have the best beaches, parks and rivers in the world, and these measures support practical and meaningful activities that protect our environment and gets results," Morrison said.
Shorten will set up a National Disability Insurance Scheme Future Fund to guarantee that every dollar budgeted for the NDIS goes to the program.
"This year's budget projects an underspend on the NDIS of $1.6 billion because of the Liberals' delays and caps," Shorten said.
"When money budgeted for the NDIS isn't going to the NDIS, it's a cut."
Shorten is also promising to pump $2 billion into the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, Victoria's largest public transport project.