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Labor launches first TV ad ahead of poll

Labor has fired the starting gun on its campaign pitch ahead of the upcoming federal election, launching its first TV ad.

It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday sought to use new unemployment figures to position the government’s economic experience over Labor.

Labor’s TV ad, spruiking a four-point plan for the opposition, will be rolled out from Friday afternoon and will run in prime time, as well as during NRL and AFL matches, until Tuesday.

The ads will air nationally from Friday with the exception of South Australia, which is having its state election on Saturday, with the commercial running in that state from Sunday.

“Australians deserves a prime minister who shows up, who takes responsibility and who works with people,” Mr Albanese will say in the advertisement.

The commercial also includes a pitch to voters on core policies, including making childcare cheaper, boosting manufacturing in Australia, strengthening Medicare and increasing job security.

Meanwhile, as the unemployment rate fell to four per cent, the lowest level since 2008, Mr Morrison used the figures to spruik the government’s economic credentials.

“As a country, we have come through together but it hasn’t just been the saving of lives, it has been the strength of our economy,” he said.

“What we have seen in today’s unemployment figures is the exact proof of that.”

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the figure was a remarkable achievement, coming off the back of a recession and COVID downturn.

“It’s a demonstration of the effectiveness of the economic supports our government put in place to keep businesses afloat,” he told Sky News on Thursday.

“It isn’t just creating jobs today, but will drive productivity in the years to come.”

It comes as the treatment of women in politics is back in the spotlight following allegations of bullying within Labor.

Frontbenchers in the party are refusing to launch an investigation or comment on reports the late senator Kimberley Kitching was bullied or ostracised within Labor.

Labor senator Murray Watt said members of the party’s Senate leadership team who were accused of bullying did not have a case to answer for.

“This whole debate and turning it into a political issue is a really disrespectful way to handle a tragic event,” he said.

“I’m not going to engage in any of the politics surrounding this.”

Senator Kitching’s funeral is on Monday.

The reports have led to attacks from the coalition, with Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews lambasting the opposition for failing to stand up for women.

“The Labor Party likes to portray itself as the party to represent women. That could not be further from the truth,” Ms Andrews told Sky News.

“They don’t stand up for women, they don’t support women, and they need to.”

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