• Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison faced in leaders' debate in Perth on Monday night. (AAP)Source: AAP
Election wrap: The opening round of a series of three debates between the Prime Minister and Opposition leader took place in Perth last night, while today a One Nation candidate resigned in Queensland and a campaign poster for an Aboriginal Greens Senate candidate was defaced with a racist slogan in Adelaide.
Douglas Smith

30 Apr 2019 - 5:59 PM  UPDATED 30 Apr 2019 - 6:02 PM

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has come away with the popular vote in the first leaders’ debate of the federal election campaign, which was held in Perth on Monday night.

During their opening remarks of the head-to-head, both leaders were asked why the Australian voter should “trust” either party, given that a Prime Minister had not sat through a full-term in office since John Howard.

Mr Shorten was labelled a “king-maker” “who now wants to be king” by 7News Political Editor, Mark Riley, for his behind the scenes involvement in the “toppling” of former Prime Minister’s, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

“It is fair to say that trust in politicians is at an all-time low, and I think, all of us share some responsibility for that,” Mr Shorten said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said whoever the Australian people elected on May 18, the next leader would be sure to "serve over the next three years,” given the rules the Liberal party updated in December.

Under the new rules, leadership contenders would need the support of two-thirds of the Liberal party room to make a change - a near impossible threshold to reach.  

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd changed Labor rules during his second stint as PM, which now requires contenders to have a majority of votes in the caucus and in a grassroots party ballot. 

On the topic of climate change, both leaders agreed it was a major threat and required urgent attention, however, they argued on spending costs and how much it was worth to reach emissions targets.  

Mr Morrison said to reach a reduction target any further than 27 per cent would cost too much, while Shorten emphasised that real action on climate change was not free, with his party's target sitting at 45 per cent. 

“What we need to do is understand that if you want to stop polluting the environment, you do have to spend some money, you do have to make some actions,” Mr Shorten said.

Wage increase and tax cuts were banded together during the debate, as both leaders spoke about how they would put more money in Australia people’s pockets.

Mr Morrison bragged about how wage increases were growing at 2.3 per cent, up from 1.9 per cent under the previous government. 

While Mr Shorten said simple solutions would include restoring penalty rate cuts, more support for causal workers and apprentices, as well as "clamping down on 457 visa holders."

Clive Palmer says he will put $7 million into a trust fund for workers

In Perth yesterday, Clive Palmer appeared on the Channel Nine’s Today and declared he was going to deposit $7 million into a trust fund to repay workers owed money from the collapse of the Queensland Nickel refinery.  

While the debate included the topics of trust, climate, tax and wages, the conversation changed tune when an audience member asked Mr Morrison how important Mr Palmer was to his campaign.

Morrison responded by saying Mr Palmer was not part of his campaign and that he “should pay his workers and settle things up” and “do what every other Australian should do and that is abide by the law.”

Mr Shorten said it was insulting for Clive Palmer to be bombarding voters with tens of millions of dollars of advertising, while at the same time, owing voters tens of millions of dollars after the government paid his workers their entitlement

“My party is united, I’m concerned that the Government’s deals with Clive Palmer and Pauline Hanson means, you vote Morrison, you get Palmer and Hanson,” he said.

Racist slogan found on Aboriginal senate candidate campaign poster 

A campaign poster of an Aboriginal Greens Senate candidate has been defaced with a racist slogan saying, “kill all Abos.”

South Australian Aboriginal leader, Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner told NITV News he was worried for the Aboriginal community in Adelaide, because of the mentality of what the words represented.

“To see that scribbled across your face is a bit scary in a way because you don’t know who’s walking down the street next to you,” Major Sumner said.

“My face is up everywhere in Adelaide, but it would be good to get out there and say, here I am, you’re not going to scare me away.”

Major Sumner also said it was disappointing the element of racism was “still there and would always be there” in South Australia.    

One Nation senate candidate resigns after video  

Meanwhile, Pauline Hanson’s Senate candidate, Steve Dickson has resigned from One Nation after a video emerged of him groping and making derogatory comments to a woman at a Washington DC strip club.

The footage which aired on Nine's A Current Affair on Monday night, showed Dickson groping a dancer and saying to her, "white women f**k a whole lot better, they know what they are doing" while Asian women don't. 

He then went on to one woman a "bitch", while urging another to "slide your hand on my d***."

Senator Hanson said she was "shocked and disappointed" at the vision she said she "forced" herself to watch.

"I have always spoken very highly of Steve Dickson, but the footage I saw last night cannot be ignored  or condoned," she said 

"We all know it's highly unlikely that Steve will get elected to the Senate position," Pauline Hanson told reporters after Mr Dickson's resignation.