Anthony Albanese's decision to put social housing front and centre in a budget reply speech that was unashamedly the opening shot in the ALP's election campaign has already paid off.
It certainly struck a chord with the social services sector which was highly critical of the government's indifference to rising homelessness and housing affordability in Tuesday's budget.
The St Vincent de Paul Society rushed into print on Friday morning with a media release heaping fulsome praise on the head of the opposition leader.
"The National Council of St Vincent de Paul applauds Labor's commitment of to a $10 billion investment in social housing," it said.
"National president Claire Victory said the establishment of the Housing Australia Future Fund and building of 20,000 social housing properties over the next five years is a much needed and welcome commitment to addressing the shortfall of 500,000 homes nationally.
St Vinnies was delighted that 4000 of the 20,000 dwellings would be allocated to older women and families fleeing domestic violence, and that another $100 million would be set aside for crisis and transitional housing. This was in stark contrast to their Wednesday media release which, while welcoming the government's investments in aged care, childcare, mental health, disability and women's safety, mourned the fact social and affordable housing had been overlooked.
With one third of single parent families living in poverty only one in 100 can hope to access the two per cent deposit scheme to be offered under the Coalition's Family Home guarantee.
At a time when 1.3 million Australians are still unemployed and a further 1.36 million are underemployed Labor has, very sensibly, returned to its core values as the party of the underdog determined to reverse increasing economic inequality in a country experiencing a two-speed recovery.
This, along with pledges to take stronger action on wages growth, increase youth employment through support for apprentices in the green energy sector, criminalise wage theft once and for all and not as part of any "omnibus bill", and total and absolute commitment to constitutional recognition for the Indigenous community, are clear points of difference with the government.
They have put to bed fears that because the government had invested so much in areas traditionally considered to be Labor party strengths the opposition would not have anywhere to go.
It is also an agenda which Mr Albanese, with his housing commission roots and strong sense of social justice, is passionate about and can sell well. While his reply didn't knock any significant holes in the budget it chipped the paint in quite a few places.
That said, Labor's vulnerabilities are in the areas not touched on in the reply. Taxation is the most significant of these. Tax policy played a major role in losing Bill Shorten the unloseable election in 2019.
Will Labor support the stage three tax cuts? Would it tax more or less than the LNP? Where does it stand on negative gearing, CGT and dividend imputation now? We've been told we will find closer to polling day.
That could be a dangerous play given experience has shown while Australians applaud compassionate rhetoric they are more likely to respond to a hit to the wallet than an appeal to the heart.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.