Gillard shrugs off opposition ‘girl’ ad

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has shrugged off an attack by the opposition in a new advertisement that describes her as “the girl” who replaced Kevin Rudd.

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Ms Gillard said she had not seen the ad but it was not unexpected this far out from a federal poll.

“It’s inevitable that in an election year people will see political advertising, people can form their own views about the merits of it,” she told reporters on a visit to Marysville, one of the worst-hit towns in Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires.

“My job and what I’m absolutely focused on is making sure we are delivering strong, competent, methodical government, step by step, day by day, that’s my focus.”

The ad features Kevin Rudd, Ms Gillard and Wayne Swan as dancing puppets whose strings are manipulated by shadowy Labor powerbrokers.

It finishes with the “moral” – “If you keep wasting money and stuffing things up, you could be a Labor prime minister, too. For a while anyway.”

Ms Gillard also laughed off speculation of an August 14 election after bookmaker Centrebet suspended bets following tips a mid-August election could be called as early as Sunday.

“I don’t comment on polls and I don’t give betting advice,” she said.

“We’re moving into the second half of 2010, the election is due in the second half of 2010 but we’ve got some more governing to do.

“Having delivered a breakthrough in the minerals resource rent tax is a very important step forward, but we’ve got more to do and that’s where my attention is focused.”

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