Puf­fer vests off for La­bor street-fight

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - LINDA SILMALIS

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

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