Tanya Plibersek outlines Labor vision amid leadership talk
The woman touted as Anthony Albanese’s replacement has urged Labor to focus on putting cash in Aussies’ pockets.
Tanya Plibersek has accused the Morrison government of cutting workers’ wages and breaking its commitment to increase Australians’ retirement incomes by walking back the super guarantee in an op-ed for The Australian.
She has urged the party to marshal the optimism of Ben Chifley, who led Australia out of the wreckage of World War II, by focusing on full employment and putting extra cash in Aussies’ pockets.
“They deserve real leadership, not false promises,” she wrote.
“They deserve a government with a genuine commitment to full employment; that recognises that decent pay and job security create the consumer confidence that keeps more Australians in work.
“When people think of Labor, they should immediately think of secure jobs, decent pay, a comfortable retirement and a strong safety net.”
Ms Plibersek has been touted as a potential leader but insisted last week that Mr Albanese would lead Labor to the next election.
She declined to answer when asked whether she harboured her own leadership ambitions.
Mr Albanese claimed his leadership was “secure” despite being well behind Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister.
The Coalition also holds a 51-49 per cent lead over the opposition on a two-party preferred basis, according to Newspoll.
“When you look at the position we are in, going into what may well be an election year at the end of the year, in terms of all the polling, we’re very competitive,” Mr Albanese told the ABC’s 730 on Wednesday.
She said Mr Albanese had done a good job in a difficult environment for oppositions.
Mr Albanese will announce a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday afternoon amid speculation Ms Plibersek could be set to move from the education portfolio.
Health spokesman Chris Bowen is set to take over the climate and energy portfolio from Mark Butler in a bid to change direction on what has proven a vexed issue for the party.
The move will return the portfolio to Labor’s right faction after Joel Fitzgibbon quit the frontbench in November, arguing the party could not win with the progressive climate policies it took to the 2019 election.
Ms Plibersek weighed in on the debate, urging Labor to expand renewables production “to bring down power bills, boost manufacturing jobs and reduce pollution”.
There was speculation deputy leader Richard Marles would also move from his current defence role, while foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong and home affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally could also be set for a switch.