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Australian Election Campaign Switches to Health
Source: abc.net.au
Source Date: Monday, July 26, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Aug 01, 2010

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has begun the second week of her election campaign by focusing on health policy, as she tours marginal seats in the southern island state of Tasmania.

Ms Gillard has chatted to patients and staff at a health clinic in Devonport during a quick trip to northern Tasmania.

The centre, only officially opened last week, is one of four of the 36 promised since the last election to be fully operational.

The Labor Government has already vowed to build another 23 clinics.

Earlier, Ms Gillard announced $US86 million in training places for emergency doctors and nurses.

First time

It was the first time the Prime Minister has focused on health in the campaign, and she chose to do it in the two most marginal seats in Tasmania.

At the same time, the leader of the opposition Liberal-National Party coalition, Tony Abbott, promised to spend $US79.6 million to help make childcare more affordable for parents.

Mr Abbott said a Coalition government would index the childcare rebate to inflation, a move which he said would give families as much as $US268 a child more at the maximum rate of the rebate.

The announcement was made at a childcare centre in the marginal Brisbane seat of Petrie, which is held by Labor's Yvette D'Ath.

He said the Coalition would also reverse what it says is a $10.7 million cut to occasional care funding.

"The government has let families down when it comes to child care," Mr Abbott said.
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