Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese talks with Mackay Region councillor Fran Mann at the Andergrove Tavern Tuesday night.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese talks with Mackay Region councillor Fran Mann at the Andergrove Tavern Tuesday night. Caitlan Charles

How to fix a campaign that blew up in Labor's face

BILL Shorten ran Labor's Federal election campaign on jobs.

The giant red "jobs” bus was seen around the Mackay region multiple times, including a trip to the Mackay Ring Road project.

But when it came time for new leader Anthony Albanese to visit the regions that recorded the biggest swing against Labor, including Dawson, the number one issue voters raised was jobs.

In central and northern Queensland, the future prospects of the Galilee Basin and the jobs it would create was a key issue for many voters.

"Clearly we didn't cut through to the extent that we wanted to,” Mr Albanese said.

"Belinda (Hassan) is a very strong candidate. I campaigned with her a number of times, I launched her campaign. She's connected up with the community, she's been here her whole life.

"We just need to examine what happened. I've said before we need to pace them slowly, the next election isn't next month, it's in three years time.

Anthony Albanese meets Belinda Hassan's granddaughter.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese meets Belinda Hassan's granddaughter. Caitlan Charles

"We need to spend this period listening, then give consideration to the views that are put forward, and then enable us to go forward in a positive way.”

At the Andergrove Tavern last night, Mr Albanese told supporters the party was obviously disappointed in the result of the election, but the things he learnt on his listening tour would help inform their campaign for the 2022.

"Mackay is an important area,” he said. "We had a disappointing result in Queensland and we need to do better.

"I've spoken to people already. People know who I am because I'm a regular visitor to Queensland, and people are very open about coming and talking about issues ... I've had a whole range of issues brought to me and it is good to get that feedback.”

Mr Albanese said while jobs topped the list for voters, casualisation of the workforce, living standards and the roll-out of programs like NDIS were key issues raised with him.

"We need to make sure the economy works for people, not the other way around.

"All of those issues are ones that are common around the nation,” he said.

"We need to communicate, very strongly, with people around the nation, but particularly in Queensland.

"There is nothing better than visiting people on their home turf and talking to them and treating them with respect and listening to them.”