Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has urged Labor to “engage constructively” with business, empower its party branches and make sure it avoids “allowing tactics to marginalise strategy”, in a speech that will be seen in the context of leadership.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has dubbed the speech, “Albo’s Ambush”.
The Conversation reports, Mr Albanese’s Gough Whitlam Oration comes against a background of speculation that Mr Shorten’s leadership could come under pressure if Labor does badly in the Super Saturday by-elections on July 28.
Mr Shorten has angered some Labor MPs by declaring he would wind back the currently legislated tax relief for businesses with turnovers between $10 million and $50 million, a 'captains call' made without consulting the Labor Party Caucus.
Mr Albanese is considered the most likely alternative to Mr Shorten.
The address was carefully crafted to keep away from any direct criticism of Mr Shorten, but it had a clear subtext. In saying what Labor’s approach should be, Mr Albanese was also differentiating himself from Mr Shorten who, for example, has been criticised for being too “tactical”.
Mr Albanese’s tone on business contrasted with some of Shorten’s more strident attacks on the top end of town.
He noted that “successful Labor governments collaborate with unions, the business sector and civil society to achieve positive outcomes in the national interest”.
Senator Bernardi has told 2GB’s Luke Grant, Mr Albanese is part of Labor’s hard-left.
Picture: Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten
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