Anthony Albanese has vowed to break the inertia of the former government in a rally cry to his colleagues prior to the return of parliament.
The Prime Minister on Monday addressed the Labor caucus where he sought to remind his troops of the “incredible responsibility” of being in government.
“We were elected with a significant platform … a government which sees it has a responsibility to break Australia out of the inertia that the former government was stuck in,” he said.
He vowed to hit the ground running and pointed to the 18 pieces of legislation already on the agenda.
“Labor governments don’t just occupy the space,” he said.
“We often came to the parliament without much to do in terms of an agenda. This Labor government will not be like that.”
The first order of business will be to introduce legislation to enshrine a 43 per cent emissions reduction target for 2030 and net zero for 2050.
Ten days of domestic violence leave, the dismantling of the cashless welfare card and aged care reform are also on the agenda.
Mr Albanese used his address to foreshadow future bills to establish a federal corruption watchdog and a First Nations Voice to parliament.
It has been a long time since Labor last occupied the government party room, a fact Mr Albanese sought to remind his MPs of.
“There are many people who have been here for a while without having sat on a different side of the chamber. And, believe me, as somebody who has done both, one is much better than the other,” he joked.
The caucus kicked off with a standing ovation for the Prime Minister before the group welcomed new Senators to the room.
Mr Albanese used the opportunity to stick the boot into the former prime minister, referring to the release of the Sri Lankan boat interception on election day.
“It was an appalling act and they should be held to account for that appalling act on the final day,” he told the meeting.
“It was one last example of a government that will be defined by its seeking of division in society.”
He wrapped up his address by reminding MPs and Senators that their task was to “unite people”.
“Look for common ground and common purpose. That’s something I want this caucus to do,” the Prime Minister said.