I want to say that whoever is successful in the ballot will have my full support and I am very confident that the next Labor leader will also be the next prime minister of Australia.
Saturday night was a hard, raw moment for so many of us in the Labor family. But I say to all the true believers, all the branch members and union members and volunteers, we are a great movement and a resilient one.
There are lessons for Labor to learn, there are messages we need to heed and in the aftermath of defeat, we will do what we have done for over 120 years: bind up our wounds, get back on our feet and take up the fight for fairness once more.
I’m writing this piece today to urge all of you to keep the faith, to carry on the battle and to know, in your hearts, that as long as Labor stands for the future, our time will come.
I want to say thank you to everyone who gave their time and passion and energy in support of the Labor cause. Maintain your enthusiasm.
As leader, I was very lucky to have the advice and support of some truly outstanding people.
From Labor legends like Bill Hayden, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard – and generous right to the very end, the great Bob Hawke.
To counsellors and advisers who were there for me even on the hardest days. The oracle of Pyrmont, Peter Barron, the formidable and brilliant Sharon McCrohan, the incomparable Leon Zwier and my oldest mentor and a truly great Australian, Bill Kelty.
And to the people I call my «paid friends», truly the finest staff any person in public life could wish for. In particular, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary service and dedication of Ryan Liddell, Sam Trobe, Sandra Webber, Gerard Richardson, Jinane Bou-Assi, Fiona Sugden and James Newton. Everything good we did, we did because of you.
Saturday wasn’t Labor’s night but the sun still came up the next morning, the fight goes on and the cause that we champion, equality of opportunity for all Australians, endures.
We can’t change the past but we can change the future and that’s what politics is all about.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party