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Shorten says he's not offended by Albanese's Labor manifesto speech

Posted by On 4:07 AM

Shorten says he's not offended by Albanese's Labor manifesto speech

Bill Shorten Shorten says he's not offended by Albanese's Labor manifesto speech

Opposition leader plays down talk of rift and says he encourages his team to ‘put forward their views on the fair go’

Bill Shorten (right) said he had an ‘amicable chat’ with Anthony Albanese (left) since Friday, when the shadow transport minister laid out his blueprint for government on Friday.
Bill Shorten (right) said he had an ‘amicable chat’ with Anthony Albanese since Friday, when the shadow transport minister laid out his blueprint for government. Photograph: Glenn Hunt/AAP

Bill Shorten h as played down suggestions of tension with Anthony Albanese over a speech in which Albanese laid out his Labor manifesto with a greater emphasis on aspiration, growth and cooperation with business.

On Sunday Shorten said there was “nothing in that speech which caused me any offence at all” when asked about Albanese’s Gough Whitlam address delivered on Friday.

The speech from Shorten’s rival in the 2013 leadership ballot has been widely interpreted as a sign Albanese will put pressure on Shorten in the event that Labor stumbles in five byelections to be held on 28 July â€" and the Coalition has been eager to play up suggestions of division in the opposition.

Despite the risks to Labor in two marginal seats facing byelections, a new poll by ReachTel for the Australia Institute, released on Sunday, showed that Labor’s Susan Lamb had improved to a 50-50 two-party-preferred result in Longman from a 52-48 deficit earlier in June.

The same poll contain ed bad news for the Liberal candidate Georgina Downer in Mayo, finding that she trails Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie by 38% to 62%.

Anthony Albanese lays out his Labor manifesto: reform, growth, aspiration Read more

Campaigning in Longman with Lamb on Sunday, Shorten said he encouraged “my members of the united Labor team to put forward their views on the fair go”.

The Labor leader said he had had an “amicable chat” with Albanese since Friday’s speech. “He said he thought [reaction to the speech] was overblown and I agreed with him,” Shorten said.

When asked if Albanese should have given Shorten more credit, he replied that in the version of the speech he saw there “was some reference to me, which is nice”.

Albanese said it was not good enough for Labor to argue it should be elected because “the other mob are useless”, adding that “from Bill Shorten right through Labor’s team, that is not our approach”.

He also credited Shorten and the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, for “acting in the reform tradition” for proposing changes to negative gearing and other taxation.

Albanese said Labor “doesn’t have to agree with business on issues such as company tax rates, but we do have to engage constructively with business large and small”.

Shorten said Labor was “not concerned about ourselves”.

“We’re concerned about the people,” he said. “I think most Australians are sick of politicians talking about ourselves, they want us to talk about the people.”

Malcolm Turnbull weighed in on Sunday, saying Labor had demonstrated again and again they were “hopeless” at economic management and its alternative plan in opposition was even worse.

“No wonder Anthony Albanese is criticising it,” the prime minister told reporters in Sydney. “He must be just tearing his hair out to see the way Bill Shorten is abandoning literally years o f what the Labor party used to stand for.”

On Sunday the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, said Labor’s opposition to cutting company tax to 25% for companies earning more than $50m “puts Australian workers at a competitive disadvantage”.

“[Shorten] should be condemned for that and, I mean, I agree with Anthony Albanese,” he said.

Coalition will move up income tax cuts if budget improves, Cormann says Read more

Shorten responded that the government was “desperate to leap on any distraction” and was trying to “bully Labor and bully me into voting for these tax cuts this week with some simplistic name calling about being anti-big business”.

“Let me make clear my views on big business: I will work with big business, I just won’t work for big business.

“I’m not anti-big business. I’m just pro-worker. I’m pro-small business. I’m pro-farmer, pro-pensioner.”

On Sunday the shadow finance min ister, Jim Chalmers, said he believed Labor had engaged constructively with business under Shorten.

“I had a look at that speech that Anthony Albanese gave after I saw that there was a bit of a fuss about it in the papers, and I don’t necessarily think that Anthony’s interpretation is different from the broader interpretation from Bill and from others,” he said.

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

Topics
  • Bill Shorten
  • Anthony Albanese
  • Labor party
  • Australian politics
  • Tax
  • Business (Australia)
  • news
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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia

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