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Bill Shorten has branded Tony Abbott a potential ”oncer” prime minister, insisting Labor can win government back at the next election if it stays united.

I’m very concerned that this government won’t fight for existing jobs, on the one hand, and, on the other, it doesn’t have any idea what Australia looks like in 2020

Declaring jobs, cuts and broken promises the key political battleground for the coming year, the Labor leader says he is stunned that Mr Abbott has squandered so much political capital so quickly.

In an interview to mark 100 days since he assumed the Labor leadership, Mr Shorten claimed the government was vulnerable on jobs, health, education, climate change and the implementation of its ”stop the boats” policy.

”I’m amazed at how our relationship with Indonesia went from hero to zero so quickly,” he said before four days campaigning in Brisbane for the February 8 Griffith byelection.

The byelection in Kevin Rudd’s once safe Labor seat will set the scene for the resumption of Parliament three days later.

Mr Shorten also announced that he is developing a plan to tackle street violence and called on the government to fund ”one punch can kill” advertisements.

”Young men need to see other men condemning this street violence,” Mr Shorten said. ”They need to know it’s completely uncool and unacceptable.”

In a letter to Mr Abbott, he has pledged bipartisan support for moves that ”help stop this insidious scourge”.

”The increase in alcohol-fuelled violence is a deeply concerning trend and I believe the community’s outrage in recent weeks is completely justifiable,” he writes.

”Street violence, alcohol-fuelled violence, violence in the home should not be tolerated – but it will take all of our efforts to combat.”

Mr Shorten believes last week’s heatwave has reframed the climate change debate and he is canvassing ways to put the government’s ”direct action” policy under greater scrutiny.

”Nothing they have done signals any conviction about climate change,” he said. ”Their direct action plan is just a handout to big polluters.

”I get the argument from some people that we shouldn’t be leading the whole world but, under the Abbott government, we’re following the whole world. The attack on science and research is remarkable.”

Mr Shorten says Labor will not outline the detailed policies it will take to the next election this year.

”This is the year where we talk to people, hold the government to account,” he said.

Mr Shorten attributed Labor’s healthy position in opinion polls to the government’s failings but said he wanted to win the 2016 election ”because we have better ideas, not because they break lots of promises and make lots of mistakes”.

”I’m very concerned that this government won’t fight for existing jobs, on the one hand, and, on the other, it doesn’t have any idea what Australia looks like in 2020,” Mr Shorten said.

”Abbott won’t fight for manufacturing jobs. Supporting [fruit processor] SPC and encouraging co-investment is a no-brainer but these guys are so ideological.

”There’s only two explanations for their attitude on Electrolux, Qantas, Holden, SPC. Either they don’t know what to do or they don’t care, which is the more worrying.”

After campaigning for the leadership on the promise of party reform, Mr Shorten said a priority for this year would be to get more people involved in the Labor Party.

One focus would be to get the broadest possible range of candidates for marginal seats.

”The party that can field more female candidates in my opinion does better,” he said.

Original Source: www.shm.com.au 


  • Date January 20, 2014
  • Tags Media Clippings - OPCK, One Punch Can Kill Program
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