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Latham interrupts political debate again. -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Federal Opposition has promised to have its policies independently
tested and submitted to treasury by next Wednesday.

The two major parties have been locked in a tussle over campaign promises, with the Coalition
resisting calls to submit all its plans to scrutiny.

Both leaders were focused on the economy today as the latest jobless numbers revealed an unexpected
rise in unemployment.

But once again a bothersome former Labor leader stole the limelight.

Hayden Cooper reports from Canberra.

PHOTOGRAPHER: On the count of three - one, two, three push...

PENRITH RSL MEMBER 1: Every time they open their mouth it's a lie.


PENRITH RSL MEMBER 2: Tony... Tony...


PENRITH RSL MEMBER 2: (Laughs) Oh...

TONY ABBOTT: Yeah, good to see you.

VOICE OFF CAMERA: Give her a kiss...

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: As the two leaders continue their daily charm offensive, Labor's former
leaders are out there with the same idea.

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER PRIME MINISTER (With fire fighters): How are the blokes treating Tegan?

BOB HAWKE, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: I like Tony personally but he's mad as a cut snake.


BOB HAWKE: Hello darling, give us a kiss. Good on ya.

HAYDEN COOPER: But charm is not this man's tool of trade. Today Mark Latham tried his circus act on
Tony Abbott.

TONY ABBOTT (to aid): Now should I just say anything to Latham or just ignore him?

AID: No, no. He's going to come. He'll come.

TONY ABBOTT: Okay, yeah...

HAYDEN COOPER: He did just that.


TONY ABBOTT: It is a long time now, mate.

MARK LATHAM: Are you brave enough to shake my hand?

TONY ABBOTT: I'm happy to shake your hand, Mark. I'm happy to shake your hand.

MARK LATHAM: I'm glad to hear it.

TONY ABBOTT: No, no. No worries, mate.

MARK LATHAM: You won't end up in hospital.

TONY ABBOTT: Ha ha ha ha!

HAYDEN COOPER: Tony Abbott was there to announce free pharmaceuticals for veterans. The audience
didn't appreciate the Latham intervention.

MARK LATHAM: What about a real policy? A fair dinkum policy the level of migration back to where it

VETERAN: Oh piss off Latham! Get out of here will ya?

This is about veterans Mr Latham not about bloody you! How about taking off?

HAYDEN COOPER: His own party wishes he'd do that too.

BOB HAWKE: Oh Mark Latham is an irrelevancy in this campaign.

HAYDEN COOPER: But the appearance did distract once again from Labor's main message...

JULIA GILLARD (to students on screen): Back to class!


In another re-announcement of the National Broadband Network the Government claimed it'll now be
ten times faster than first thought - a gigabit per second.

JULIA GILLARD: The future is here and the future is this national broadband investment.

TONY ABBOTT: This idea that hey presto - we are suddenly going to get ten times the speed from
something that isn't even built yet, I find utterly implausible.

HAYDEN COOPER: The Prime Minister frames her broadband plan as an economic no brainer - a certain
job creator.

And every one counts.

The July unemployment rate has surprised the Government by going up to 5.3 per cent.

TONY ABBOTT: I note that there has been an uptick in unemployment and obviously I'm disappointed.

HAYDEN COOPER: But the numbers reveal an increase of more than 20,000 jobs last month - most of
them part time.

That's the figure the Treasurer is highlighting.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: Now I'm told Mr Abbott described our job numbers today as disappointing. I
think the job creation figure of 23,500 more Australians getting a pay cheque is pretty

HAYDEN COOPER: The economic debate has taken centre stage.

The Coalition has unveiled another 1.3 billion in savings.

But they're mostly Labor measures, including one - an increase in passport fees - that Joe Hockey
was attacking just days ago.

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: For some people it seems insignificant. For those people who are
buying passports it is significant.

HAYDEN COOPER: The two would-be economic managers are slugging it out over policy costings.

The Opposition is yet to release all its policies to Treasury for scrutiny because it says it fears
they'll be leaked.

WAYNE SWAN (7:30 Report): This excuse is comical. What is Mr Hockey afraid of?

JOE HOCKEY (7:30 Report): We've already submitted 52 policies for costing to Treasury.

KERRY O'BRIEN (7:30 Report): Okay...

WAYNE SWAN (7:30 Report): This is farcical and comical. It's just stupid.

JOE HOCKEY (7:30 Report): If it's not resolved by next Wednesday we will release all of our
policies with an independent third party giving verification.

HAYDEN COOPER: The costings kerfuffle is the inevitable showdown in the final days of any campaign.

But it reflects the Government's determination to talk about one issue and one issue alone over the
next nine days.

It all comes back to the economy.

Hayden Cooper, Lateline.