Turnbull, Shorten To Face Off In ABC Leaders' Debate

The PM and opposition leader will spar on TV on Sunday night.

29/05/2016 8:13 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
The debate will be on ABC at 7.30pm (AEST).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are gearing up for the election campaign's first free-to-air television debate.

The leaders' debate will take place tonight at the National Press Club in Canberra and will be televised on ABC television at 7.30pm (AEST).

The pair are expected to clash over health and education and spar over who's best able to manage the Australian economy.

The leaders will be questioned by 3 senior political journalists in the hour-long debate -- a format change from the town hall-style clash held in Sydney's west earlier this month.

Both major parties are set to make election spending commitments for sport on Sunday in the lead up to the debate.

A Labor Government would give the ABC $21 million to boost coverage of women's sport on television, Shorten said.

"A Labor government if elected will fund an extra 5000 hours of live coverage of women's sport on television," he told reporters.

"We are doing this because we believe that our women athletes deserve comparable coverage to our male athletes."

The coalition is expected to pledge a further $60 million for a scheme providing structured sporting activities in schools.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister's wife, Lucy Turnbull, made her debut on the campaign trail joining her husband as he opened a government-funded mental health facility in Sydney.

She told NewsCorp Australia that the relationship with her husband of 36 years had not changed since he took the top job in September.

"It's not an official position or title that comes with a job description so I think the role of [First Lady] is to do what you usually do but also be a companion to somebody who happens to be the Prime Minister," she told The Herald Sun on Saturday.

"Whatever I do as a private citizen I've continued to do."

Both the Prime Minister and Shorten were in Melbourne yesterday and took part in The Long Walk for Aboriginal reconciliation.

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