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Transcript of interview with Rafael Epstein: ABC Melbourne: 7 November 2019: ALP election review



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THE HON RICHARD MARLES MP DEPUTY LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MEMBER FOR CORIO

E&OE TRANSCRIPT RADIO INTERVIEW ABC MELBOURNE THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECT/S: ALP Election Review

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: One of the people who is key to this is Richard Marles. He's the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party so he is Anthony Albanese- the Opposition Leader's, Deputy. He is of course also the ALP MP for Corio. Richard Marles thanks for joining us.

RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good afternoon Raff, how are you?

EPSTEIN: Focus on the organisation first. No strategy when they asked the Opposition, then Opposition Leader, Shadow Ministers, party officials, everyone gave different answers on what Labor's strategy was, that seems like a chronic lack of just being organised.

MARLES: Well one of the messages which comes out of the review is that we didn't have a clear, consistent message in the campaign and I think that's right. And as we take from this what we need to in terms of learning lessons going forward, one critical lesson is that going into the next election we need to have a very clear story a clear narrative and a very clear message and it needs to be much simpler and clearer, it can be bold, but it needs to be simple and it needs to be clear.

EPSTEIN: Was the lack of organization because the polls were so good and it gave everyone too much confidence?

MARLES: Look I think we were seeking to be a serious group of people who had thought a lot about the issues that face the Australian people and so we had a lot of policies on the table and that came from the sincerest of motives. I

mean we were thinking a lot about how we would be an alternative government.

EPSTEIN: 1300 222 774 they've looked to two of their elders the Labor Party former Gillard and Rudd Government Minister Craig Emerson, former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill they've come up with what they reckon went wrong. 1300 222 774 what do you think went wrong? It's Richard Marles job to fix it, he is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Richard Marles where you to woke, listening too much to the inner city and not enough to the regions?

MARLES: I think it is right that we were not talking to the broadest range of Australians that we could and again the review makes this clear that by the time we get to the election we're actually talking to a narrower group of people. It does make clear that in fact we did well in parts of urban Australia and at the same time -

EPSTEIN: You did well where the Greens do well.

MARLES: well and at the same time our vote didn't do well in parts of regional Australia. The lesson that we take from that again is that we need to be making sure that we are speaking to, identifying with, the broadest range of Australians that we can and I actually think that's linked to the question of making sure that we seek that economic licence in making sure that people feel that we are a safe pair of hands when it comes to the economy. That's really the entry ticket- EPSTEIN: Can I talk about that today, you're more familiar with Victorian politics than a lot of people maybe even than Anthony Albanese. Right now today, the Victorian Labor Government is spending a whole lot of money to get rid of timber jobs in the regions, which is something that's very popular here in Melbourne and less popular where the logging is done, aren't they doing exactly what got Federal Labor in trouble?

MARLES: Well I'm not about to lecture the Victorian Government on how they go about their business, I'd note that they're doing pretty well actually in terms of winning the confidence of the Victorian people to govern in this State. What I do know is that at the last federal election we were not speaking to that broad range of people. I mean I must say I felt that after the election, I'd say during the election it was not clear to me but in the aftermath it has become clear to me and it's very much crystallised in the work -

EPSTEIN: But maybe it works in this State to cater to what broader Melbourne might find popular but it doesn't work when you're trying to win seats in Queensland is a far more spread out state, maybe it's as simple as that?

MARLES: Well look I don't actually think this is a unique set of circumstances. Australia is a big and broad country with a diverse electorate and it's always

been that and actually I think what you need to have is a consistent message across the whole country where you're building a consensus around that and one of one of the points that comes through in the review is if you know on a number of issues around resources for example our message was not very clear and it lacked the consistency and so that's going forward what we must make sure we achieve- and come back to and it’s just got to be a lot simpler, and a lot clearer and making sure that we are speaking to that broad range of people and that we're winning their support.

EPSTEIN: He's Deputy Leader of the Labor Party now, Richard Marles Labor MP for the seat of Corio here in Victoria, Richard thanks for time.

MARLES: Pleasure Raff.

ENDS

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