Pacific

Australia expected to kick off 2-month election campaign

  • FILE - In this April 15, 2016, file photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles near Australian and Chinese flags during a signing ceremony at the Ancient Observatory in Beijing. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Turnbull and Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition center-left Labor Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this April 15, 2016, file photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles near Australian and Chinese flags during a signing ceremony at the Ancient Observatory in Beijing. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Turnbull and Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition center-left Labor Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 8, 2014, file photo, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten smiles at Parliament House in Canberra. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Shorten, leader of the center-left Labor Party, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Lukas Coch/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - In this July 8, 2014, file photo, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten smiles at Parliament House in Canberra. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Shorten, leader of the center-left Labor Party, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Lukas Coch/Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 15, 2016, file photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles near Australian and Chinese flags during a signing ceremony at the Ancient Observatory in Beijing. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Turnbull and Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition center-left Labor Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this April 15, 2016, file photo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull smiles near Australian and Chinese flags during a signing ceremony at the Ancient Observatory in Beijing. A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, May 8, 2016 for the July 2 poll between Turnbull and Bill Shorten, leader of the opposition center-left Labor Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

A two-month Australian election campaign is expected to officially start on Sunday, with climate change, climbing house prices, company tax rates and union corruption in the national building industry shaping into the key issues.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who heads the center-right Liberal Party, has said he will likely tell Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to lock down a July 2 election date this weekend and trigger the unusually long campaign.

He and Bill Shorten, leader of the center-left Labor Party, recently outlined their conflicting economic policies on how Australia should rein in mounting debt without slowing an already sluggish economy.

Neither Turnbull nor Shorten has ever led his party into an election campaign before.