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Bill Shorten is ready to rule and declares Tony Abbott a 'oncer' prime minister

Bill Shorten claims Tony Abbott has squandered much of his political capital.

Bill Shorten claims Tony Abbott has squandered much of his political capital. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

Bill Shorten has branded Tony Abbott a potential ''oncer'' prime minister, insisting Labor can win government back at the next election if it stays united.

Declaring jobs, cuts and broken promises the key political battleground for the coming year, the Labor leader says he is stunned that Mr Abbott has squandered so much political capital so quickly.

In an interview to mark 100 days since he assumed the Labor leadership, Mr Shorten claimed the government was vulnerable on jobs, health, education, climate change and the implementation of its ''stop the boats'' policy.

''I'm amazed at how our relationship with Indonesia went from hero to zero so quickly,'' he said before four days of campaigning in Brisbane for the February 8 Griffith byelection. The byelection in Kevin Rudd's once safe Labor seat in suburban Brisbane will set the scene for the resumption of Parliament three days later.

Mr Shorten also announced that he is developing a plan to tackle street violence and called on the government to fund ''one punch can kill'' advertisements. ''Young men need to see other men condemning this street violence. They need to know it's completely uncool and unacceptable.''

Mr Shorten believes that last week's heatwave has reframed the debate on climate change and he is canvassing ways to put the government's ''direct action'' policy under more scrutiny. ''Nothing they have done signals any conviction about climate change. Their direct action plan is just a handout to big polluters,'' he said.

''I get the argument from some people that we shouldn't be leading the whole world, but under the Abbott government we're following the whole world. The attack on science and research is remarkable.''

Mr Shorten says Labor will not be outlining the detailed policies it will take to the next election this year, insisting: ''This is the year where we talk to people, hold the government to account. Parents in Australia want someone to stand up for their schools. That's not going to be Christopher Pyne.

''They want someone to stand up for the health system, because it is a world-class system. And people want someone who will fight for jobs.

''Voters don't like to be taken for granted. Rusted-on voters are a diminishing proportion of the population. Life has speeded up these days and that includes goodwill to governments.''

While Mr Shorten attributed Labor's healthy position in opinion polls to the Abbott government's failings, he said he wanted to win the 2016 election ''because we have better ideas, not because they break lots of promises and make lots of mistakes''.

''I'm very concerned that this government won't fight for existing jobs, on the one hand, and, on the other, it doesn't have any idea what Australia looks like in 2020, where the jobs of the future are coming from,'' he said.

''Abbott won't fight for manufacturing jobs. Supporting [fruit processor] SPC and encouraging co-investment is a no-brainer, but these guys are so ideological.

''There's only two explanations for their attitude on Electrolux, Qantas, Holden, SPC. Either they don't know what to do or they don't care, which is the more worrying. They've got a right-wing ideology which says Australia can't compete and therefore we just give up.

''Are they going to fail the SPC test, the Alcoa test and the Shell test? Their argument is these are all old jobs. No, they're real jobs, Tony Abbott. They're high-skilled competitive jobs, and where are the new jobs that these people are going to go to?''

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