The treasurers' debate is seen as one of the key events in any federal campaign, but rarely does it live up to expectations.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his Labor counterpart Jim Chalmers stuck to form as they went head-to-head at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
Well-rehearsed barbs over a wide range of issues failed to land a blow on either side.
Topics ranged from the NDIS, cost of living, inflation, wages, interest rates and even dog-walking parks.
But there was little to sway an undecided voter one way or the other.
To top it all, despite mutual name-calling both during the debate and up the road in Parliament House, the pair actually like each other.
At one stage, Dr Chalmers said he respected Mr Frydenberg.
"I want to repay that compliment," the treasurer replied.
"I respect him and he does bring a great deal of experience to the role. Off camera we actually get on better than we do on camera."
One journalist, fed up with a lack of any new answers or something of substance, asked what each them feared most from the other should they win the May 21 election.
Dr Chalmers said he feared the government would remain on the path it has been on in the best part of a decade and continue to ignore the cost-of-living crisis.
"The biggest risk in this election is that nothing changes at all."
He said Mr Frydenberg wants to stay the course at a time of skyrocketing inflation, falling real wages, rising interest rates and plummeting consumer confidence.
"Why would Australian families want to stay that course," Dr Chalmers said to laughter from the audience.
Mr Frydenberg said his greatest fear if Labor gets over the line is that it would revert to its natural instincts, to tax more and spend more.
"Instincts that were on full display when they thought the election was in the bag last time," the treasurer said.
He said when you go to Labor's national platform it spells out increased spending on aid, paid parental leave and child care.
"We have totalled up the cost of the increased spending, it's more than $300 billion," he said
"Yet any hard question and Jim will dodge the answer."
Luckily, there is only one treasurers' debate during an election campaign.
Nobody won, least of all the audience.
Australian Associated Press
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