Speech to the South Australian Labor Party State Convention

** Check against delivery **

Thank you delegates.

Over a decade ago now, I stood before you and I asked for the first time for your support.

Since that time, I have had the great honor of representing this great party and our great state in the federal Parliament. And I have had the privilege of serving the Australian people as a Minister in a reforming Labor Government.

I thank you for the opportunities you have given to me; the opportunity to contribute to the Labor project. And today, I again ask for your support.

Delegates, it is a shared belief in Labor – in the Labor project – that brings us together today.

It underpins what we do, whether here today at our state convention, or in the day-to-day cut and thrust in the Parliament.

In the tough political interviews, or in the hard work of volunteers letter-boxing and telephoning.

We do what we do as members of this party because of our beliefs. We work for Labor because of our values.

Labor values: a fair go, a just society and a strong economy.

We understand that a community that marginalises is not strong. That unity is not created by exclusion. That equality is realised through opportunity, and that prosperity must be created in order to be shared.

Without this party, without Labor Governments, Australia would be a very different nation.

Imagine an Australia without Medicare, an Australia without a fair system of industrial relations, or an Australia not shaped by the post-war wave of immigration.

Imagine an Australia in which tertiary education is closed to those unable to afford it.

Imagine an Australia with a White Australia policy, without a Sex Discrimination Act or without the Racial Discrimination Act.

Imagine an Australia which could not have celebrated the anniversary of the Mabo decision with pride.

Imagine an Australia that had never recognised native title; that had not acknowledged the wrongs inflicted on the stolen generation.

Or an Australia where working people were denied a dignified retirement with superannuation.

And, delegates, imagine an Australia where your Government had not responded decisively to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and where instead of 800,000 jobs created we saw the large scale unemployment we see overseas, with all of the family and social dislocation that brings.

Imagine an Australia where the equality of women in every way was not respected.

Delegates, our party has changed this nation.

And so too would the conservatives change this nation.

They always look to tear down what Labor has built.

But the destructive negativity of this Opposition has set a new benchmark.

Whether it’s industrial relations, the National Broadband Network, carbon pricing, fairer tax for low income Australians, superannuation, better schools or the River Murray, today’s Coalition goes beyond outright opposition to outright destructiveness.

They are tough opponents. We are in a tough fight. But we must be resilient and we must be resolute.

Because too much would be torn down and too much would be taken by a party led by a man who is not worthy to be Prime Minister of this nation.

Delegates, so many Australians and so much of what is good for our country depends on our willingness to fight and our determination to win.

Our Prime Minister is determined. Our team is determined. We are all determined.

Because we always look to a brighter future for our children; to greater opportunity for all.

To an Australia that is both fair and strong.

These are my values. These are values we share.

This is our project. This is the Labor project.

And it is for this purpose that I seek your support.