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Albo in the box seat

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

Anthony Albanese Anthony Albanese

By Myles Burt

Anthony Albanese is likely to take the Labor leadership after main contender Chris Bowen pulled out of the race yesterday.

While Labor still decides as to who will take the title, local branch president Darriea Turley has thrown her full support behind Mr Albanese.

Ms Turley said Labor members always get behind the leader of the day as they did this federal election.

However, Ms Turley says Mr Albanese, if successful, will bring a lot to the table as the next Labor leader.

“He understands, he has this real grassroots about him, about how he was raised by his single mother in public housing,” Ms Turley said.

“He really connects to people, people know him as ‘Albo’, they don’t call him Anthony.

“So he really has this connection to what is traditionally Labor voters.

“I think he will bring that back to the party and bring back that policy that represents you, me and the workers of Australia.

“I’m looking forward to seeing if he’s successful and when it was announced that Chris Bowen was going to run, I certainly declared I would be with Albo.

“I’m interested to see how this would pan out and hopefully we don’t have to go to the vote, so that it would be Albo’s time to lead the party in the next election.”

Ms Turley said the Labor Party needed character, something she said Mr Albanese definitely holds.

“He often reminds me of that Bob Hawke larrikin in a lot of ways, but Bob Hawke and Anthony Albanese are very articulate people,” Ms Turley said.

“They’re thoughtful and they understand the nature of good national policy that could create a better Australia for all of us.”

However, Ms Turley said if it came to a decision between Mr Albanese and Tanya Plibersek, it would’ve become a very hard choice of who to support for the Labor leadership.

“It was going to be a tough call for the Turley household if Tanya and Albo were putting their hands up,” Ms Turley said.

“Because both of them would have been what we see as good leaders to take Australia and the Labor Party forward.

“I was disappointed when Tanya announced it was not her time, I understand that and it’s a good call on her part.

“Tanya would’ve given 110 per cent, but it was her call and she called it.

“Hopefully it will go uncontested and just be Anthony Albanese and that the party can start to reconstruct and look forward to developing good policy.”

As Labor look now to revamp their policies after a failed attempt to unseat the Coalition at the recent federal election, Ms Turley said policy revision would now allow for the Broken Hill Labor branch to submit their input towards future party policy.

“That people understand that rural Australia needs to have the focus, I think people have said that the National Party have taken their eye off the ball,” Ms Turley said.

“Certainly state wise, but federally they were still a strong vote.”

“So it is about making sure that the rural perspective is actually a part of the policy development.”

Mr Albanese told reporters yesterday, if he winds up becoming Labor leader, Mr Bowen would be given a “critical role”.

 He also believes the majority of his caucus colleagues are backing him, putting him in a good position to ward off other challengers.

 “I am confident, but not complacent, about being able to succeed if another candidate comes forward,” he said.

 “If they do, as is their right, we will have a respectful debate.”

 About 18 caucus members have so far come out in support of Mr Albanese, from across the left and right factions.

 Mr Albanese won the grass roots support but lost the caucus vote in the 2013 leadership battle with Mr Shorten under a process set up by Kevin Rudd to end the “revolving door” of leadership.

 He reiterated he has no interest in making policy on the run, fending off a question about Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine.

 “I’ll be talking directly to party members about my views about a whole range of issues,” he said.

 The Labor national executive was due to meet last night to discuss the nomination process and how the ballot would be conducted, if it goes ahead.

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