Puffer vests off for Labor street-fight
OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten gathered Labor candidates standing for key federal seats yesterday and told them to ramp up a street-by-street crusade to champion the allure of stable Labor leadership.
Party unity and more hip pocket enticements were the tactical talking points at an all-day boot camp for candidates — officially, their induction day — at NSW Labor headquarters.
Mr Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek said Labor should promote its five years of stable leadership.
Battleground seats in NSW include Gilmore, Robertson, Reid, Page and Banks.
Hundreds of volunteers, who have begun doorknocking and telephoning households, say the key themes emerging are voter disillusionment with Australian politics and “chaos” in Canberra.
There was also ongoing anger at the Liberals for knifing another prime minster, NSW ALP general secretary Kaila Murnain said.
It was the first time newly preselected candidates have met, with party elders imparting hustings wisdom.
There was advice on how to conduct media interviews, such as “know the party policies”, “don’t do a Diaz” (in 2013 Liberal Party aspirant Jaymes Diaz was demolished during a TV interview when he revealed his ignorance on asylum seeker arrival policy) and “don’t promise the budget”.
One candidate was politely asked to remove his puffer vest, while others were styled for their candidate profile photos. On the subject of candidates’ behaviour, the message was simple: “Don’t break the law.”
Mr Shorten said health, education and the economy would be key election issues. In Sydney overdevelopment was also a concern.
“We are more united and I’ve learned a great deal,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Shorten also promised more policies that would affect the hip pocket.
The party has preselected all of its candidates except for Lindsay, with applications from 12 prospective replacements for outgoing MP Emma Husar to be reviewed this week.
Labor’s leaders and candidates for 2019. Pictures: Danny Aarons