We missed the mark in WA: Albanese
Anthony Albanese and Alannah MacTiernan. Picture: Ian Munro

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese wants his fellow Federal shadow ministers to spend more time in WA listening to the concerns of its residents so the party can better represent their needs.

Mr Albanese, the first senior Federal Labor figure to visit Perth since the party suffered a devastating blow at the WA Senate election, yesterday admitted that Labor had missed the mark in WA.

"It is a State where Labor clearly needs to increase its presence," Mr Albanese said. "I also believe it is important that shadow ministers come to Western Australia - not just to Perth but throughout the State - to listen to the concerns of West Australians and make sure that we are truly representative of the needs and aspirations of everyone."

Mr Albanese, who last night spoke at a sundowner hosted by outgoing Labor senator Louise Pratt at Rosie O'Gradys in Northbridge, said he did not think WA senator-elect Joe Bullock should quit, despite calls for him to do so.

He said it would be silly for anyone to argue that the controversy surrounding Mr Bullock in the lead-up to the WA Senate re-run poll did not affect Labor's result. But he said Mr Bullock had been preselected under the Labor Party's rules and elected to the Senate, so he expected he would now serve his term.

The result showed there were lessons to be learnt about Labor's preselection process.

"If you increase the empowerment of the Labor Party membership, I think you will get greater membership, greater campaigning capacity and a real sense of ownership over who runs under the Labor banner," he said.

The West Australian

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