Here we are in the midst of a federal election campaign. There’s a lot to take in especially considering Queensland is shaping up as a fierce battleground for votes come polling day. We’ve taken a whip around the coverage to help you get to the core of the issues, what they mean for you and what our politicians are promising.


What key policies do we know about so far?

The parties have released their positions on several major policy areas as well as announcing some local spending. If you want to get across the issues, the hotly debated big-ticket items are a good place to start. They include:

The parties are divided over whether to drop the current freeze that stops rebates being increased with indexation.

Schools funding
To Gonski or not to Gonski? Labor says yes.

Company tax
The two main parties agree the company tax rate should be cut but, according to Labor, only for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $2 million, the Coalition says that threshold should be $10 million.

A lot of retirees could lose some of the tax concessions their savings have been attracting.

Negative gearing
The Coalition wants to keep it. Labor says only new investment properties should be eligible.

Penalty rates
This all comes down to the Fair Work Commission and whether penalty rates need to be protected by legislation. Only the Greens say they do.

This is complex but essentially the parties’ positions on the National Broadband Network differ over the combination of technology that should be used. “Fibre to the home” sound familiar? This explainer should clear it up.

What are the big parties promising?

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten started their election campaigns in Queensland. It’s a key state for the leaders and it means there have been some big spending promises.

The Coalition pledged $150 million towards water plans in the state which would mean a new dam for Rockhampton and feasibility studies into other possible dam sites.

Also in Rockhampton, Mr Shorten served up some spending meat for the region’s Beef Week expo, ensuring it funding until 2018. He also used the regional visit to announce Labor’s prized $1.8 billion education policy.

The Medicare debate has centered around the current freeze on rebates. The Coalition wants to extend that freeze – meaning rebates would not increase with inflation – until 2020. Despite being the party to introduce the freeze in 2013, Labor says it will drop it from January 2017. The Conversation does a great job of explaining it all.

For a full breakdown of where the Coalition, Labor and the Greens stand on the big-ticket items, check out this interactive piece from ABC News.

What does it all mean to me?

It’s difficult to watch the news each night without seeing politicians shaking hands, holding babies and standing in front of microphones. The words they say are sometimes meaningful but sometimes we need a little help cutting through the jargon.

Perhaps most importantly we need to know how what they’re saying aligns with our personal values. How will these promises affect my life and consequently influence me come polling day?