Labor warrior Fitzgibbon urges major shift

Matt Coughlan
·2-min read

JOEL FITZGIBBON'S PITCH FOR LABOR TO CHANGE:

BLUE-COLLAR VOTERS

* "I've seen them come up to the polling booths in their high-vis, carrying LNP how-to-vote cards, One Nation cards, and I asked myself, 'How did it all go so terribly wrong?'"

* "There are still hardworking Australians out there with huge aspirations for their family, and Labor somehow seems to have given them the impression, at least, that we haven't been backing them at recent elections."

* "We have a diverse range of membership, and we must speak to them all. I think somehow over the course of the last decade we forgot that, and we lost touch with traditional working people."

* "There has been a cultural shift and too much of an emphasis on our more newly arrived base, and not sufficient emphasis on our traditional base."

CLIMATE CHANGE

* "We should let Scott Morrison make his investment, allow him to encourage others to invest, let him go to (the United Nations climate conference in) Glasgow. Let him establish his next medium-term target. And I think, once he does so, the Labor Party should think about backing it."

* "The Labor Party has been spending too much time in recent years talking about issues like climate change - which is a very important issue - and not enough time talking about the needs of our traditional base."

LEADERSHIP

* "Anthony Albanese has my support. He will lead us to the next election."

* "I think Albo can win if he listens to Joel Fitzgibbon more."

* "One of the regrets I have is not running for the leadership after the 2019 election. I don't believe I would have won that contest, but I think a contest would have been good for the rank-and-file and the industrial wing of the party."

* "I have no intention of running for the leadership. I mean, I would have to be drafted. In the current climate, I'm not so sure I could be confident of that occurring."

* "I don't think anyone is going to be knocking on my door. Anthony Albanese will lead the Labor Party to the next election."

STAGE THREE TAX CUTS

* "Never get in the way of a punter and a legislated tax cut."

HIS NSW SEAT OF HUNTER

* "I would be a foolish politician not to respond to such a large swing."

* "I will continue to be a very strong voice on their behalf and I'll call out policy, including Labor policy which I don't think is in their interest."

(Source: Joel Fitzgibbon media conference in Canberra)