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Liberal Campaign Launch Housing Center

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Scott Morrison will start the final week of the campaign by rallying party loyalists in Brisbane. -AAP Picture

The Liberal Party officially launches its federal election campaign, promising an expanded housing policy to help older Australians build up their pensions.

With Election Day less than a week away, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will address party loyalists in Brisbane on Sunday and use the stage to fight for key marginal seats.

Former Prime Minister John Howard is expected to be among the Liberal mainstays in the Brisbane Convention Center audience.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese will also address supporters in Brisbane, where he will announce the opposition’s $1 billion campaign pledge for Australia’s hi-tech manufacturing industry.

The labor fund aims to strengthen the country’s industrial base and create new opportunities in key manufacturing industries such as transportation, defense, food processing, medical sciences and renewable energy.

Under the coalition’s expanded housing policy, up to 1.3 million empty nesters and retirees will be able to access incentives to downsize their homes, as part of a plan to further help families to obtain housing.

Australians over 55 will now be able to downsize their property and invest up to $300,000, per person, into their superannuation fund outside existing contribution limits, from the proceeds of a sale .

Retirees who downsize their homes will also benefit from greater flexibility by exempting proceeds from the sale of the property from the asset test for longer.

This change means that retirees will now have two years to structure their wealth following the sale of their house without impacting their pension.

“We are now giving Australians more choice in deciding how they want to live the next stage of their lives by removing financial barriers for people wanting to downsize their homes,” Mr Morrison said.

Currently, this benefit is available to Australians over the age of 65 and this change will see 1.3 million people become eligible to access it.

Housing Minister Michael Sukkar said it has been a successful policy since 2017.

“We now know it works, we know it frees up the housing stock, those large family homes that other people can buy,” Mr Sukkar told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda programme.

“It removes barriers to downsizing and essentially for couples who can invest up to $600,000 in a tax-advantaged environment like super.”

Labor Senator Murray Watt said his party would always support a good idea.

“We’ll be supporting this one. We think it’s a great idea worth taking,” he told Sky News.

“But the reality is that one announcement from this government after nearly a decade in power will not solve the housing crisis we are seeing in Australia.”

A re-elected Morrison government would establish a $375 million Queensland Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

The centre, which is expected to be based in Brisbane, would house cancer services in one facility as a one stop shop and treat all types of cancer.

It would be modeled on the success of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne and the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney.

“This builds on recent investments we have made in Western Australia and South Australia to establish a national network of centres,” Mr Morrison said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the facility would save and improve lives.

“We all know someone whose life has been affected by cancer and that is why specialist cancer care here in Queensland is so important,” he said.