Labor promises cash payments to high-achieving students pursuing teaching careers as Coalition remains focused on defense

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The pledges come after a heated debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese on Sunday prompted politicians on both sides to admit the event was undermined by chaotic interjections between the leaders.

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The election campaign is entering its final two weeks and the stakes are rising as the pre-ballot opens to voters from Monday ahead of the May 21 ballot.

Mr Albanese and Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek announced her teaching policy at St Mary’s Cathedral College in Sydney on Monday.

It would see students who score an ATAR of 80 or higher who choose to do a degree in education receive $10,000 a year for the duration of the course, or $12,000 if they commit to teaching in a regional area.

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The pledge would be offered to 1,000 students a year over five years as part of a Labor plan to double the number of high achievers studying education over the next decade from 1,800 to 3,600.

“It’s about attracting people who will become the best teachers in the profession,” Mr Albanese told reporters.

The Morrison government also continued its campaign focused on expanding the reach of the national defense force, revealing a plan to secure a fleet of new helicopters.

The investment would go towards 12 H-60R Romeo maritime helicopters and 29 new Apache AH-64E armed reconnaissance helicopters to replace the Navy’s existing fleet.

The government will also invest up to $500 million to modernize facilities related to the use of helicopters.

However, none of the new aircraft would be available until 2025.

fallout from the debate

After Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese clashed in Sunday’s election debate, politicians on both sides acknowledged that the affair had sometimes turned into shouting matches.

The two leaders were seen regularly shouting at each other at length during the debate as they tried to get their points across.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said messages from Messrs. Morrison and Albanese “got lost” and that the debate could have been more politically focused.

“We believe we have a superior political position and record,” Mr Littleproud told Channel Nine’s Today.

“But, unfortunately, it sometimes resulted in an attitude where, you know, I think people would have been a little disappointed.

“But that’s the nature of these combative debates.”

Labor campaign spokesman Jason Clare also called the debate “full”, saying he could have used the “interrupting superpowers” of ABC journalist David Speers.

“It was pretty screaming,” he told ABC Radio.

Mr Clare claimed Mr Morrison’s performance reminded him of Donald Trump’s past debate performances with all the ‘rudeness and shouting’.

He suggested that Mr Albanese had been engaged to Mr Morrison because ‘you have to fend off tough bullies like Scott Morrison’.

But Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie described the debate as a bit “irregular” from the two candidates.

Viewers for the Nine Network debate airing Sunday night were evenly split 50-50 between the men vying for the nation’s top job.

Police investigate election-related cases

A police task force set up to ensure the safety and freedom from harassment of politicians and candidates received and assessed 47 complaints.

Operation Wilmot was launched at the start of the election campaign and involves a team of Australian Federal Police officers and specialists.

An AFP spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday that there were 23 ongoing investigations.

So far, one charge has been laid, involving a man who allegedly threatened to assault an officer in Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s security service.

AFP is also investigating a National Liberal Party candidate suspected of not living at his registered address.

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Vivian Lobo contests the North Brisbane seat of Lilley.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has said there is concern whether the information provided by Mr Lobo about his residential address on these forms is false.

Mr. Lobo said he would cooperate with the investigation.

Additionally, Isaacs Liberal candidate Robbie Beaton was referred to AFP on Thursday after telling a newspaper he did not live at the Melbourne property where he was registered.

The AEC also revealed that it had received reports of a series of unauthorized candidate placards appearing in a number of electoral districts.

The panels depict a range of election candidates in a style that would suggest they were produced by the candidates depicted, but have been modified.

This also includes the names and/or logos of political parties that have not officially endorsed the candidates in question.

Concerns over the targeting of “teal” independents in particular prompted the AEC to bring in its Election Integrity Assurance Task Force.

With the AAP

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