PRESS CONFERENCE OPENING REMARKS
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2013
BILL SHORTEN: Good afternoon everyone. Today is another important step for Labor in our renewal and rejuvenation, and rebuilding the trust and confidence of Australians. We have a great challenge in front of us. We are seeking to draw a line under the division of the past and to make sure that we are relevant to the future lives of Australians.
There’s always a need for Labor to be the party of hope. This is because many Australians rely upon Labor to help fulfil their dreams and aspirations. There are families battling to make ends meet; Australians who rely on penalty rates, working women who rely on affordable childcare, the need for quality education and quality healthcare. There are older Australians who shouldn’t work hard their whole working lives and retire poor. There are Australians with disabilities and their carers who have been treated, until recent times, like second class citizens in their own country. There are families in the regions and small business people who put their family balance sheet on the line to fulfil a dream or to chase an idea. On all these things, Labor will stand up and make sure that all these people have a voice in the future of this country.
From day one today, until the next election, this is what the Labor Party that I and my colleagues lead will be focused upon.
This leadership ballot has given Labor the opportunity to recommit to what we stand for and what is important for Australians in the future. There will always be a job for Labor to speak up for all Australians, to speak up and be the champions of the voiceless and the disempowered.
We will not be relentlessly negative as an Opposition. We will seek to put forward a positive vision of this country as well as hold the Coalition to account. We will be a Labor Party that is focused on ideas and a view of an Australia writ-large and we will be a brave party tackling the hard issues.
But I’m very proud as part of this renewal to be standing here with the new leadership team for Labor over the next three years. The leadership team which I stand alongside represents the strength and the unity of purpose of Labor.
I’m very pleased to announce to you all, the new Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Tanya Plibersek. She is a remarkable Australian. Not only is she a respected member of Caucus, not only does she have a distinguished record of public service as the Member for Sydney but also most recently as the Minister for Health, but she reflects the Australian story.
She is the daughter of Slovenian migrants. Her father helped build the iconic Snowy Hydro Scheme, along with thousands of others. She has graduated from UTS and indeed has spoken up on many issues and achieved many reforms for people throughout Australia.
We also have with us, someone who needs no introduction, Labor’s Leader of the Senate, Penny Wong. Labor’s Deputy Leader of the Senate, also, Stephen Conroy.
I’d like to ask Tanya to say a few words at this point.
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