Australia

Labor will finalise election agenda before Easter

Labor will hold a virtual national conference before Easter to debate its blueprint policy agenda ahead of the next federal election.The party was forced to delay the forum – where ALP members and unions create policy platforms – scheduled for December due to the coronavirus pandemic.Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the party would lean on…

Labor will hold a virtual national conference before Easter to debate its blueprint policy agenda ahead of the next federal election.

The party was forced to delay the forum – where ALP members and unions create policy platforms – scheduled for December due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the party would lean on the experience of the Democratic Convention held in the US.

Mr Albanese told ABC Breakfast that a proposal to hold a two-day online conference before Easter next year would be pitched to the party’s national executive on Friday.

“It will enable the participation of the more than 400 delegates to participate in the conference,” he said.

“I think it will be a success and will enable us to finalise the platform going forward of the Labor Party.

“We are a democratic party, we’re an inclusive party and that will enable people to contribute.”

Mr Albanese in September revealed the party had finalised its draft policy platform, which he said was done largely by Zoom meetings.

The earliest a federal election could be called is Saturday, August 7, 2021 – unless a half-Senate election is called.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month told a joint party room meeting he was committed to the three-year term.

Internal fractures over the Labor Party’s position on climate change and energy resulted in Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon quitting the frontbench earlier this month.

“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,” Mr Fitzgibbon said following his resignation.

Mr Albanese was on Tuesday asked if he had found a way to manage these arguments within the party.

“The arguments have been managed,” he said.

“We have a position of having zero net emissions by 2050.

“We have a very clear policy that sees that renewables are the cheapest form of new energy and that‘s what the market is saying as well.”

Mr Albanese denied it had only become an issue in the media because of the division within his own party.

“We need to drive down our emissions and good action on climate change is good for jobs, it’s good for lowering emissions and good for lowering prices.

“That doesn’t mean that our export industries are about to close.

“We’ll continue to export our resources – that will continue to provide an income for the country that helps to fund education and health.”

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