Federal Politics

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Bill Shorten extols Labor's recaptured voice

Federal Labor has recaptured its voice to represent Australia's opposition to the Abbott government's ''cruel'' budget, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has declared.

Capping off a positive week for Mr Shorten, the Labor leader tried to energise supporters with a passionate speech to the Victorian Labor state conference at Moonee Valley racecourse on Sunday.

''Friends, the Labor Party nationally has its voice back,'' Mr Shorten said.

''We do not believe that an Australian's future should be predetermined by the wealth of their parents or the postcode they live in.'' Ramping up the pressure on the government, Labor also launched a TV advertising attack campaign on Sunday declaring Tony Abbott lied his way to the prime ministership.

A 30-second commercial using quotes from Mr Abbott during last year's election campaign are edited together with big red stamps saying he lied on changes to the pension and tax.

''Abbott lied his way into office, and you'll pay with your pensions, your petrol and your GP payments,'' the voiceover says. Mr Shorten also used his speech to urge his party to progress internal reform.

''We need to be a membership-based party first, not a faction-based party first,'' he said.

He also warned that the party was in danger ''from the apathy faction'' in the public that was becoming less engaged with politics. ''We cannot shirk the task of modernising the party, we cannot shirk the task of rebuilding the party,'' he said.