Positive reaction to election date
Market watch top headlines
CANBERRA, Jan 30 AAP
January 30 2013, 7:51PM
The certainty of an election date has pleased most people, even though it's in the thick of a sporting finals week and falls on an important religious holiday.
But some independent MPs fear an eight-month campaign in the lead-up to September 14 will see continual mudslinging hampering the important detail and policy work of parliament in its last nine sitting weeks.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the coalition is ready for the election, and it's going to be all about trust, job security and border security.
However, he refused to answer questions from the parliamentary press gallery until Thursday, giving only few select television interviews - as did his shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne.
Mr Pyne accused Ms Gillard of announcing the date eight months out to stop a leadership challenge and avoid the September 30 release of the final budget outcome for 2012/13.
Mr Hockey called it trickery that would backfire on Labor and cause uncertainty for business.
Business groups reckon it is a great opportunity to see a bidding war between the major parties.
They then can choose whoever makes the most credible promises about making the economy more prosperous and competitive and creating more jobs.
Investors don't really care which political party runs the country as long as the government provides a stable investment climate.
The date falls on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and in the thick of footy finals season.
But Australia's major sporting codes aren't fazed by the prospect of competing with the polls.
An AFL spokesman saw no impact: "Our fans of whoever is playing that day will just need to vote in the morning", he said.
The Jewish community says it will have to arrange postal votes, while Jewish MP Michael Danby won't be visiting polling booths on the day.
Federal MP Bob Katter was pleased his party, Katter's Australian Party (KAP), will have plenty of time to gain some ground.
Australian Greens leader Christine Milne began touting her party as all about innovation, saying they'll have plenty of time to prove it over the next eight months.
She also says fixing the date gives politicians a great opportunity to bring in legislation to introduce three-year fixed terms.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie hopes the two major parties will stop the mudslinging that characterised parliament last year.
NSW independent MP Rob Oakshott is concerned it may be a challenge for the major parties to focus on major reforms that Australians want rather than electioneering in the next nine sitting weeks.
"Campaigning and electioneering throughout these nine final sitting weeks, while this detailed work is being done, should be seen for what it is, serving the interests of political parties, not the interests of the nation," Mr Oakeshott said in a statement.
Federal NSW independent MP Tony Windsor was also concerned that parliament would be distracted from its business of lawmaking by campaigning but says the early date will reduce frustration for voters.
Bookies hit the election trail hard and fast after Ms Gillard's surprise announcement, taking bets that have the coalition as firm favourites.
By Liza Kappelle