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Morrison and Shorten deliver final big pitches

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Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten are preparing to pitch their contrasting visions of Australia’s future ahead of the federal election in two days’ time.

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The prime minister will be at the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday to make his final major speech of the five-week campaign.

Voters go to the polls on Saturday but almost one-third have already cast their ballots.

Morrison is expected to focus his pitch on the coalition’s central theme of economic growth.

“My message is this: now is not the time to turn back,” he is expected to say.

“Now is the time to get on and keep on with the work of building our economy by backing in the choices Australians are wanting to make every day and to enable them to plan for their future with confidence.”

The prime minister will also take aim at Labor’s alternative “big taxing, big spending” agenda.

“This week is about focusing Australians on that choice and the price of that choice.”

Meanwhile, the opposition leader will deliver a speech in Sydney, at the same venue used by Gough Whitlam in 1972 for his famous It’s Time address.

Shorten said he wanted to speak at a place “that means something to Labor and Australia”.

His speech is not expected to hark back too heavily to the Whitlam address, rather draw parallels between the two contests as a “generational decision” facing voters.

The key theme of his speech is a “vote for change”.

Climate change is expected to be a major focus, while the Labor leader will also seek to differentiate the “coalition of chaos” with his “united and stable” alternative team.

He will be joined by Labor’s leadership group, western Sydney MPs and hundreds of party faithful.

As of Wednesday morning, about 27 per cent of enrolled voters or 4.5 million people had either sought a postal ballot or lodged a pre-poll vote.

It’s widely predicted the record of 31 per cent set in 2016 will be beaten before the polls open on Saturday.

-AAP

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