Labor’s offshore detention split in election lead-up

IMMIGRATION Minister Peter Dutton has challenged Bill Shorten to condemn Labor backbenchers who have spoken out against off-shore detention.

As the 56-day federal election campaign entered its first full day yesterday, Mr Dutton said the Opposition Leader was facing the first test of his leadership.

"We will make sure that we don't allow boats to arrive in this country and for people to drown at sea," Mr Dutton said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spent the day canvassing in Brisbane, using visits to a fruit juice factory and markets to talk up the Coalition's support for business and free trade agreements.

Responding to yesterday's Newspoll, which revealed the government was trailing Labor on the back of last week's budget release, Mr Turnbull said he had eight weeks to explain his plan for Australia to voters.

Labor's Anthony Albanese told ABC radio the government's day-old election campaign was "three-word slogans just over and over and over".