Anthony Albanese opened his caucus meeting speech on the eve of the first sitting day of the 47th parliament with a nod to the “great State” of WA.
The Prime Minister welcomed WA’s newest Senator Fatima Payman and Linda White from Victoria before pumping up the party room with his plan for Labor when parliament resumes on Tuesday.
“Welcome to our (two) new senators. To get a third Senator from WA — I spoke to Fatima during the campaign, and I did say I was confident about three in WA,” Mr Albanese said on Monday.
“You could feel the sense of change that was there throughout that great State. But it took a significant campaign, including a Senate campaign, to get that third seat across the line.”
Senator Payman, 27, who was born in Kabul in Afghanistan and came to Australia when she was eight years old after her father took refuge, has replaced the WA Liberal Party’s Ben Small, who lost his seat to Labor in the Federal election.
A total of three WA Labor Senators were elected in the May election, which is only the second time it has happened since 1984.
Mr Albanese also used his address in Canberra to pledge to “break the inertia” left by the former government — urging his colleagues to “never take (the opportunity of being in government) for granted”.
“We have an incredible responsibility as the political party in Australia that seeks positive change in the interest of working people, that seeks to change existing power relationships in society in favour of more equality and in favour of fairness,” he said.
“We often came to the parliament without much to do in terms of an agenda before the parliament. This Labor Government will not be like that, and we will hit the ground running. (We) are passionate about changing things for the better.”
The Prime Minister said his government would introduce “at least 18 pieces of legislation”, including on Labor’s climate change target, legislation for ten days of paid domestic and family violence leave and a policy to respond to the aged care royal commission.
It comes after Mr Albanese met with his Ministry in Canberra on Monday with WA’s Madeleine King, Matt Keogh, Anne Aly, and Patrick Gorman in attendance.