Albo’s re­pair mis­sion to win back Aussie vot­ers


LA­BOR leader An­thony Al­banese has vowed to re­pair his party’s “moral fab­ric”, junk un­pop­u­lar poli­cies and win back mid­dle Aus­tralia.

Speak­ing for the first time since a re­port into the party’s elec­tion loss was made pub­lic, an “an­gry and hurt” Mr Al­banese also promised to stamp out those who tar­nished the party, in­clud­ing em­bat­tled union boss John Setka.

“His opin­ions and his be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated in the mod­ern ALP,” Mr Al­banese said.

“The moral shad­ows cast over the La­bor Party by the Setkas and some in the NSW Party of­fice are be­ing re­moved by a strong and self­ad­min­is­tered dose of sun­light.”

Speak­ing at the Na­tional Press Club in Can­berra, Mr Al­banese gave his strong­est in­di­ca­tion yet that he would scrap La­bor’s frank­ing cred­its pol­icy, say­ing it was a com­pli­cated change to ar­gue from Op­po­si­tion.

He said many peo­ple who were not af­fected thought they would be worse off.

Mr Al­banese said he knew the La­bor sup­port base wanted to know what the party’s plan would be mov­ing for­ward, but asked for more time so it could learn from its mis­takes.

In­vok­ing the Mel­bourne Cup dur­ing his speech at the Na­tional Press Club, the Op­po­si­tion Leader said: “Al­ways have the race won, but never be in a hurry to win it.”

Mr Al­banese said the La­bor re­view was the first stage in a four-step re­newal project and he would spend the com­ing months out­lin­ing La­bor’s vi­sion and val­ues, sug­gest­ing many poli­cies won’t be un­veiled un­til 2021.

“I am go­ing cre­ate a new pol­icy agenda to mod­ernise our coun­try for the ben­e­fit of all its peo­ple,” he said.

Mr Al­banese said he would de­fend and re­spect the views of re­li­gious Aus­tralians more, say­ing there was a lack of “re­spect for each other’s views and where they come from”.

The La­bor leader also hit out at the class war rhetoric that was used by Bill Shorten, in­clud­ing at­tacks on the “top end of town”.

He said Aus­tralians found the term “of­fen­sive”, in­clud­ing peo­ple who were ac­cused of be­ing well off but weren’t.

“I want a mod­ernising, as­pi­ra­tional, op­ti­mistic ap­proach to Aus­tralian pol­i­tics that ev­ery­one can get be­hind,” he said.

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