I am honoured to be reappointed as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and thank my colleagues for again placing their trust in me to lead Labor’s Senate team.
With the Government regaining its majority in the House, the Senate will be critical to holding the Government accountable.
The Australian people may have elected the Coalition, but they don’t expect them to get a free pass in the Senate.
It is our role to hold Mr Morrison and his Government to account and to scrutinise what they are doing through the powers of the Senate and by working constructively with our crossbench colleagues.
I intend to continue to do that, as I have done for the last six years.
I congratulate Anthony Albanese on his election as Leader of the Opposition. As I said following the election, Albo is the outstanding parliamentarian of our generation and the best person to take up the fight to Scott Morrison and the Coalition.
I thank Bill Shorten for his leadership of the Labor Party. Bill rebuilt our party after the 2013 loss, united us and did our party proud as leader for six years.
I also congratulate Richard Marles on his election as deputy and pay tribute to my good friend and great Labor woman Tanya Plibersek. There is no deputy who could have worked harder, nor been more loyal, than Tanya.
I congratulate Kristina Keneally on her election as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Since her election to the Senate Kristina has demonstrated her formidable talent and drive and I’m very proud that together we lead the first all-female Senate leadership team of either major party.
I sincerely thank my South Australian colleague Don Farrell for his hard work and loyalty as Deputy Leader in the previous parliament and for putting the Australian Labor Party first. I look forward to working with him as a key member of Labor’s Senate team.
I strongly believe we can, and must, win the next election and I look forward to working with all my Labor colleagues as we listen and learn over the next three years.
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.