18 December 2018


Delegates, you have all played an irreplaceable role in making this 48th conference of the Australian Labor Party such a powerful demonstration of passion, of unity, of vision for a better Australia.

I want to thank our incoming President, Wayne Swan, for his work over the last three days, and of course our other chairs and I also want to acknowledge our National Secretary, Noah Carroll and the whole team at National Secretariat.

But, in particular, I would like to talk about a humble person. A modest hero. A person who Wayne alluded to.
Because all of what we see requires a whole lot of people behind the scenes to make this happen. 
But we have one amongst us, who for 25 years, six National Secretaries, eight Labor Leaders, 10 National Conferences, this woman has held the show together.

Along with her small, loyal and dedicated band of supporters, her team, she managed to organise this conference twice this year, once in July and again for December.

And she’s also been ready for a federal election campaign since June.
Can I suggest that we bring Sandy Rippingale on stage.
Sandy did say she hates being up here, but you were all very kind to her. 
In closing, I just want to remind you that on the opening day of this convention I said that if we were win the next election, to form the next government of Australia, that I thought our biggest challenge and my greatest ambition would be to restore trust and faith in our democratic system.

In the last three days, so many of you, observers, supporters, delegates, you have made the effort to tell me you feel the same way as I do. 

That you understand that our Labor mission is not just to win-back government but it is to rebuild faith in the purpose and the value of our democratic system.
To prove that a good, conscientious, united government with the right plans and policies can deliver a fair go for the Australian people.
And delegates, I have always believed that if we want the Australian people to put their trust in us, we need to put our trust in them.
We have to be honest and upfront: all the time, not just when it suits.
It’s why we have been bold in opposition and bold in the platform that we have endorsed in the last three days. 
It is why we have put forward detailed reforms and very clear plans.
And we have been honest about how we will pay for our promises.
Because it's about respect. 

We respect the Australian people. 
We respect the intelligence of our fellow Australians.
We have faith in their sense of fairness, and we take people into our confidence.
We have endeavored to explain and will do so every day between now and the next election, where we see the people of Australia fitting in to the future of Australia, our vision of 2030 and beyond.
Put bluntly, I believe if we level with people, they will be level with us.
If we trust our fellow Australians, our fellow Australians will trust us.
So I say to everyone here in this hall, part of this great enterprise.
I say to the representatives of the media who have been covering this conference most diligently in the last three days.
But most importantly I say to millions of Australains, some of whom will be watching our matters on television, others who will read about our ideas in coming days and weeks and months.
I say this: we believe this nation needs a change. We believe Australia deserves a change.
My team and I understand that millions of our fellow Australians are counting upon us - we do not intend to fail or disappoint the Australian people.
We leave here today more united, more energised and more determined than ever.
We are ready to earn the trust of the people at the next election.
And we are ready to repay that trust as the next government of Australia.
Making a good country even better and restoring the fair go all round for all of our fellow Australians.
Thank you very much.