TONY ABBOTT will promise to quarantine superannuation as a Coalition government looks for budget savings in its first year in office.
The Opposition Leader will give the undertaking in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday at the end of a mini campaign that will offer voters a glimpse of the messages and tactics the Coalition will use in the election campaign later this year.
Coalition strategists told Fairfax Media Mr Abbott would commit to making no changes to the superannuation system that would leave people worse off - but only for the first year of a Coalition government.
Although the promise is for just one year, the Coalition's ''Real Solutions for all Australians'' booklet, released on Sunday, says: ''We will ensure that no more negative unexpected changes occur to the superannuation system so that those planning for their retirement can face the future with a higher degree of predictability.''
The promise means another area is off limits for the Coalition as it tries to find enough money to fund its commitments at a time when it is already struggling to say which areas it would cut to pay for big items such as tax cuts and the paid parental leave scheme.
The booklet commits the Coalition to getting the budget ''under control'' but does not say when.
Mr Abbott told an Auburn audience that the next election would be ''vital''.
''Every election is important but there hasn't been an election in a generation as important as this,'' he said.
The campaign, which moves to the central coast on Monday, is part of a rebranding to help overcome a perception that Mr Abbott is too negative.
His speech contained no new policies but it was firmly directed at women and families with a greater emphasis on the paid parental leave promise and commitment to hold a childcare inquiry than on border security.
A Coalition source said the speech's emphasis on women did not mean border security would be downplayed in the campaign proper later this year but that it was not necessarily a policy that ''helps mum and dad with the kids at school and childcare''.
Lidcombe lies in the Labor-held seat of Reid and is one of the western Sydney seats being targeted by the Coalition, along with Lindsay and Banks.
The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, said previous attempts to give Mr Abbott a makeover had ''lasted a day or two and he's gone straight back into the negative''.
The story Super off Abbott's hit-list, but only for first year first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.