Rudd blasted by Qld Premier
Kevin Rudd's final speech as PM has earned him a lashing from Queensland Premier Campbell Newman who says it shows Mr Rudd should leave politics altogether.PT2M41S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2tdla 620 349 September 8, 2013
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Labor leadership frontrunners Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese have said they remain undecided about contesting for the job following the party's heavy defeat in the federal election and the resignation of leader Kevin Rudd.
Frontbencher Mr Shorten, former deputy leader Mr Albanese, former immigration minister Tony Burke and former health minister Tanya Plibersek have all been touted as possible leaders after Mr Rudd announced he would not recontest the leadership.
Labor's Bill Shorten leaves the ABC studios in Melbourne after Saturday's Labor loss in the Federal election. Photo: Angela Wylie
"It hasn't been 24 hours since the election defeat," Mr Shorten told the ABC's Insiders on Sunday.
"I'm certainly not resolved about what should happen, there's a caucus process to be gone through and I know that I and everyone else who has been elected are interested less in the personalities, less in the division of the past and more about doing the right thing for the party and also for the nation."
Mr Shorten said he was "genuinely undecided" about his own future, and whether he would pursue the leadership.
"I've got a couple of criteria," he said.
"One is my family - I've been away from them a great deal, so a decision of this importance I have to talk to them.
"In addition, the party is bigger than any individual. I know that there's a lot of very good people who are interested just to try and get this rebuilding process right from day one so I believe that this process – I haven't spoken to everyone – but will be marked by the lessons of the past, no rancour, no external discussions, no divisions."
Mr Shorten – a key player in the decisions to remove both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard as leaders in 2010 and earlier this year – admitted that, "there's no doubt the Australian people have marked us down for talking about ourselves and being too divided".
But he stood by the decision to replace former leader and prime minister Julia Gillard for Mr Rudd, saying Ms Gillard could not have won 57 seats.
"Whilst on one had I do think objectively it's improved our performance by the other token, as many in our team are saying, disunity, division, talking about ourselves – that doesn't enhance our performance."
Mr Albanese says he hasn’t thought about whether he will contest the party’s top job following its decisive election defeat.
The senior Labor figure, who stepped up into the deputy leadership under Mr Rudd, says he threw all of his energies into the campaign, but will consider the leadership matter now Mr Rudd has announced he will stand aside.
‘‘I didn’t think about post [election] scenarios - there’s time to do that now,’’ he told the Ten Network on Sunday.
He says there are a number of talented people to lead the party.
‘‘I’ll be happy to serve whoever the caucus chooses and be loyal to them,’’ Mr Albanese said.
‘‘The fact is we have a number of talented people in the Labor party caucus - Bill Shorten, Tony Burke, Chris Bowen, Tanya Plibersek.
‘‘There are a range of good, experienced people who can serve the party.’’
Labor's public soul searching began just minutes after the polls closed on Saturday, with several – including former Defence Minister and Julia Gillard loyalist Stephen Smith calling for Mr Rudd to resign from Parliament for the good of the Labor Party.
"The smart thing for the party and the smart thing for Kevin, in my view, is not just to walk away from the leadership but to walk away from the Parliament," he told the ABC on Saturday night.
"Do what Julia has done and remove for all time the remnants of those political and leadership disputes and difficulties we had from the moment effectively of the 1996 defeat."
Re-elected member for Adelaide Kate Ellis said: "What is so unfortunate is that, if we're honest about it, we know that there was far less attention on those policy achievements because there was too much focus on ourselves and on our infighting."
She said she intended to ensure that the infighting stopped and that Labor MPs got on with the jobs they had been elected to do.
On Sunday morning former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, who was drafted in by Mr Rudd to in a failed attempt to win the seat of Forde, said "we could have won yesterday" if it weren't for Labor's infighting.
"People were sick of us fighting," he said.
Asked whether Labor had learnt a lesson about disunity from the poll, Labor Senator Doug Cameron said: ‘‘Did we ever. We’ve learnt a very, very hard lesson. And I think the issue of disunity in the party will be an issue that concentrates our mind in opposition to make sure that we never go down that path again.’’
Senator Cameron said despite him having pushed for Mr Rudd to reclaim the leadership, ‘‘I don’t believe that I was involved in destabilising and disunity.
‘‘I took the view that when Kevin Rudd was moved on from the leadership that that was the wrong thing to do; I have maintained that position ever since, I said at the time we’d pay a price for that and we’ve paid that price at the ballot box yesterday.’’
Senator Cameron said the decision to switch back to Mr Rudd had been the right one, and one of the reasons Labor’s cabinet and former ministerial leadership team had retained their positions.
However, he said: ‘‘I think we lost the election through disunity. I think our economic issues such as pricing carbon, such as growing the economy, making sure there was jobs – they were not the issues. I think the issues were clearly the disunity in the Labor Party ... I think we were abysmal in terms of our political performance as a party. Economically I think we were excellent.’’