It’s not yet two weeks since Labor lost the unlosable election. But already there has been plenty of finger pointing going around.
Many in the left wing blame the party’s trouncing in Queensland for their unexpected defeat.
But former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd disagrees.
Rudd has hit out at ‘baloney’ suggestions that Queensland was solely responsible for Labor’s federal election loss.
The former prime minister and ex-Queensland MP also offered some insight into what Labor must do to improve its dismal standing in the Sunshine State.
Mr Rudd said at a national level, Labor needed to focus on two fundamental propositions in order to win government.
One was fairness for working families and aspirational Australians, and the other was carving out a future for the country and the community.
Labor holds just six out of 30 federal seats in Queensland, after losing the Townsville-based seat of Herbert and the outer-Brisbane seat of Longman at the election.
But Mr Rudd dismissed claims Queensland was hostile towards Labor, ridiculing tongue-in-cheek suggestions Australia should seek a ‘Quexit’ as ‘a whole load of baloney’.
He pointed out Queensland has had a Labor state government for 25 of the past 30 years.
‘So the idea that this place is unwelcoming of centre-left progressive governments is a nonsense,’ Mr Rudd told the ABC’s 7.30 program.
‘But I think you have got to get a few things basically right up here.’
The former Labor prime minister said people needed to understand Queensland was a big, deeply decentralised state where the role of government was important.
‘It’s also a mining state where people who support the mining industry are not bad people,’ he said.
‘It’s a question of managing carbon transition over time.’
Labor was hoping to win a swag of seats in Queensland, but its mixed position on the Adani coal mine has been blamed for the wipe-out in the northern state.
Mr Rudd said Labor also lacked a strong message for those aspiring to build their own small businesses.
And he said the party must reconnect with people of religious faith.
‘It’s assumed down south is more religious than the rest of the country. I don’t think that’s the case, but it’s still part and parcel of the fabric here,’ Mr Rudd said.
‘We in the centre-left have to understand that in what we say and how we conduct ourselves and the policies we bring to bear, that this community of faith is out there as well.’
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The Australian Tribune with AAP