Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a May 18 federal election after meeting with the Governor-General in Canberra.
In an early meeting on Thursday morning that lasted less than 10 minutes, Mr Morrison asked Sir Peter Cosgrove to dissolve federal parliament, paving the way for Australians to go to the polls.
He and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have been traversing the country over the past week, pitching their economic plans a week after the budget was delivered.
He released a video on Wednesday night entitled My Vision for Australia in which he says "the next 10 years is going to determine people's lives".
Featuring his two young daughters and wife in the video, Mr Morrison promotes the government's policies on hospitals, education and the economy, saying it took the coalition a long time to "get the country back on track".
The prime minister spent the day in Tasmania on Wednesday talking up his government's record on health.
The Labor opposition laid out its health spending priorities in last week's budget reply, promising to make cancer treatments and scans significantly cheaper.
Mr Morrison used his trip to the Apple Isle to announce more funding to cut elective surgery waiting lists, and improve maternity services and cancer treatment, especially radiation therapy.
He said Labor would be offering "lies and higher taxes" while the government had a positive agenda.
"It's about how you keep the economy on track to guarantee the funding for the essential services that Australians rely on, whether it is schools, hospitals, Medicare or any of these things," he told reporters.
Mr Shorten, who campaigned on the NSW north coast, said voters were ready to dump the government after six years in office.
"For goodness sake, mate, call the election," he said.
"We're ready, we've got the policies, I've got a united team, we've got a vision for the future.
"The Australian people actually want to make a choice - six years of instability, three prime ministers, 13 energy policies, enough is enough. Time's up, let's have an election."
Labor and the coalition have already agreed to a campaign advertising truce over the Easter long weekend and Anzac Day.
Opinion polls have Labor ahead by an average 53-47 per cent on a two-party preferred basis which, if translated at the polls, would see Mr Shorten governing with a comfortable majority in the 151-member House of Representatives.
Neither major party is expected to win majority control of the Senate, with half of the 76-seat upper house up for grabs.
After a national redrawing of seat boundaries, the coalition starts with a notional 73 seats (down from 74) with Labor on 72 (up from 69).
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