Labor leadership hopeful Anthony Albanese. Photo: Marco Del Grande
Labor leadership aspirant Anthony Albanese has taken a swipe at his opponent, Bill Shorten, suggesting he is running an extravagant campaign using resources that would be better spent fighting the Coalition.
Contrasting a glossy 16-page booklet Mr Shorten sent to members with a single double-sided A4 page he issued, Mr Albanese said the campaigns should be ''frugal''.
''Others will judge whether it's appropriate to spend large amounts of resources on an internal process, or whether it's best to prioritise expenditure against the Coalition,'' he said in an interview with Fairfax Media.
Asked if party processes should be changed to ensure candidates in future leadership contests had equal resources, he said: ''That will be a matter for the future, but I think common sense would indicate that that should be the case.''
A source in the Shorten campaign dismissed the criticism, claiming it showed Mr Shorten had out-campaigned Mr Albanese.
''You know you've got your opponent rattled when they start complaining about your material,'' the source said.
Another Labor source, not aligned with either campaign, said the two candidates had different spending priorities and Mr Albanese had held more events. ''They're both spending money and for Albo to claim he's somehow holding back is just crap.''
A ''Bill for Labor'' spokeswoman said its mailouts were ''consistent with the agreed rules of engagement'' and included ''a detailed platform that demonstrates Bill's commitment to Labor ideas and that is relevant to Australians' future''.
''Bill has seized the opportunity at 42 different member forums across Australia to run a 100 per cent positive agenda. Bill knows Labor members want a line drawn under past personal attacks and disunity," the spokeswoman said.
At the start of the contest, the ALP allocated an equal amount of funding - believed to be about $50,000 for each candidate - to cover campaign expenses such as mailings, travel and accommodation. Candidates are free to accept donations but these must be made to the party, which passes them on to the candidates.
ALP national secretary George Wright said the party had received donations for both candidates. The proceeds of a fund-raising dinner to be held this week would also be divided among the two contenders.
The deadline for members to vote is Friday, while caucus will vote in a secret ballot on Thursday. The two votes will be given equal weighting and the overall result will be announced next Sunday.