Bill's Speeches



What a great night for the Labor Party
What a great night for Labor women candidates.

Actually, what a Super Saturday night it is.

Particularly here in Longman and in Braddon.

Right across Australia, our opponents have thrown everything at us in the last ten weeks.

But we've come through it in pretty good shape, I think. 

It's been a tough campaign, it's had our ups and its downs - ups and our downs. But tonight we've had two great wins already and I'm hearing pretty good things from Western Australia as well.

Four from four. 

And first of all, I want to thank everyone right across Australia, both here and watching this tonight for all of the hard work you've done. 

I want to acknowledge the leadership of our National Secretary, Noah Caroll, Julie-Ann Campbell up here in Queensland. And Paul Erickson and Stuart Benson in Tasmania and of course Matt Dixon in Western Australia. 

You know one thing about the Labor Party, which our critics and our enemies have underestimated all the time, that when our critics write us off in the media, when our opponents write us down and write the vision for Australia small, you can always count upon the rank and file of the labour movement, trade unionists and ALP members, to put your shoulder to the wheel. 

The truth about politics is, it isn't how you're going when you're going well, it's when you've got a hard fight ahead of you, when you get up and dust yourself off and you go hard. 

That is what I thank about the rank and file of our mighty labour movement. 

So, friends, can I say that tonight is another signpost into the destination that matters for Australians: A Labor Government after the next general election.

But tonight - this next bit of advice is superfluous - we should celebrate and tomorrow too.

But I do thank the voters in all of the electorates, because and I promised them, for the confidence they've displayed in us, for our mighty movement, it'll be back to work straight after our celebrations, back to the work that really matters. 

We will - and I promised the Australian people - we will continue the work of putting together a policy agenda for the next national Labor Government, a program which will re-win the confidence and the support of working class and middle-class Australians.

To the people who go to work every day - to the small businesses, to the farmers and to the pensioners, we promise to put fairness back into the centre of national life and to fight inequality all the way to the next election.

We know that our critics and our opponents have spent a lot of time attacking me, attacking Susan, attacking Justine, attacking the Labor Party. 

But I want to say to all of the people who voted in these by-elections, and to all Australians - those who voted Labor and those who did not - we pledge to you, we understand, unlike our critics and opponents, it is never about us, it is always about you -  the people of Australia. 

It is about, and we say this to all Australians, it is about your family, it is about your health. It's about the ability of getting good, affordable child care, about the ability to go to well-funded schools, it's about the ability to get an apprenticeship or go to university. 

It is about ensuring that as you grow older, you can ensure you have decent aged care, it's about making sure that it is your Medicare card, not your credit card that determines health care.

It's about making - it's about dealing with the fact which every Australian knows, that currently under this Government everything goes up except your wages and we're going to sort out the penalty rates and we're going to put working and middle-class people back at the top of the list. 

This is what matters and so I would like to therefore introduce you and welcome back the new member for Longman.

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