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He then made the short trip to Parliament House to address the media and make his first official pitch to voters.
Mr Morrison said he is aware that “people are tired of politics” but urged Australians to take the election and their democratic rights seriously.
“This election and this campaign is incredibly important,” Mr Morrison said.
“Because there is so much at stake for Australia and our future.
“This election is about you. No-one else.
“It is about our country and it is about its future.
“And above all, this election, as all elections are, this election is a choice.
“It is a choice between a strong economy and a Labor Opposition that would weaken it.”
He used his first speech after setting the election date to compare the incumbents as proven performers against the “risk” of voting for the opposition.
“It is a choice between a government you know, and a Labor opposition that you don’t,” Mr Morrison said.
“Our government is not perfect.
“We have never claimed to be, but we are upfront.
“And you may see some flaws but you can also see what we have achieved for Australia in incredibly difficult times.”
Campaign to last 41 days
The May 21 polling day means a 41-day campaign – but that period does include the Easter holidays and Anzac Day.
The Prime Minister goes into the election campaign as the underdog, with polling showing Labor in a strong lead.
Unlike the last federal election, Labor’s lead in the polls is outside the margin of error.
Bookmaker TAB is offering $1.40 for the ALP to win the election, with the Coalition claiming a fourth term in government paying $3.
The election ending in a hung parliament is currently paying $2.80.
The declaration of an election date comes after months of shadow campaigning.
Albanese visits Easter Show in Sydney
While the theatre of Australia’s electoral process unfolds in Canberra, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese chose to visit the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.
The Labor leader has so far run a small target campaign, with a $2.5 billion aged care plan the centrepiece of his budget reply.
More to come.