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Rudd video message attacks opposition, talks up economy

28 Jun 2009 4:17 PM

CANBERRA, June 28 AAP - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has used a video message to describe his opponents as failed smear campaigners.

Without mentioning Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull or the Liberal Party, the Labor Party-funded website takes a hit at the coalition's OzCar affair pursuit, and talks up the economy.

"Under no circumstances, under no circumstances will we be distracted by the silly games, the smear campaigns and the fear campaigns of the last week," Mr Rudd said in the two-minute broadcast posted on kevinPM.com.au on Sunday.

Mr Turnbull called for Mr Rudd to resign a week ago, but recanted after it emerged that allegations against the prime minister were based on a fake email.

The opposition has conceded that Mr Rudd's office did not seek to give Queensland car dealer John Grant special access to the $2 billion OzCar scheme, but it is still going after Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Mr Turnbull confirmed on Sunday the Australian Federal Police had interviewed him, less than a week after they uncovered a fake email at the home of a senior Treasury official rumoured to have been leaking information to the Liberal Party.

In the video message, Mr Rudd also talks about how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released more upbeat Australian growth forecasts for 2009 last week.

"These reports confirmed the global financial crisis has plunged much of the world into a deep and long recession but they also confirmed that Australia continues to weather the storm better than most other countries," Mr Rudd said, adding Australia had the fastest growth, lowest debt and deficit levels and second lowest unemployment of the advanced economies.

When asked if the upbeat assessments about Australia's economy from the IMF and the OECD undermined the coalition's position, opposition finance spokeswoman Helen Coonan said Treasury's forecasts of above-trend growth from 2010 for six years was based on "fairly big assumptions".

"If you have a really good look at both of those reports, they actually forecast growth as weaker in the medium term," she told Sky News.