Speeches by populist NSW Labor: The doomsayers, traditionalists and corporate stooges.

These debates do not happen every day at election time, but they need to happen. I can tell you from first-hand experience that campaigning within Labor is the best chance we’ve got of securing Labor’s next government in NSW. And from my own experience, between 2009 and 2010, there was a total consistency about the tone of discussion within ALP frontbenches. With Labor polling in the single digits only a handful of seats outside of Sydney were at risk and this was hardly an optimistic outlook. But I’m in line to become a member of the NSW Labor leadership – it’s a hugely exciting time to be involved in our party. From the Bayres Street scrap to the Westinghouse biomass power plant, we’ve made huge progress towards building a platform that will lead us in the fight against climate change and in tackling the injustices of our time. Labor’s 40-plus years history of standing with the working families of NSW stands for the essential long-term vision and focus that will still steer us through this state’s most challenging time in generations. We’ve delivered the single biggest increase in funding for housing assistance in the State’s history. We’ve built on the momentum of the 2013 national climate policy framework by implementing new sustainability practices within our organisation. These foundations are increasingly crystallised into actual changes within our organisation. A behemoth of a party, we are determined to make things happen. From the Energy Efficiency Taskforce and the EnviroStrong Community Engagement network that resulted in the Victorian case studies, to the Climate Change Institute research on greenhouse gas emissions, we’ve done the hard work to manage our burden of expectations. We are working to ensure that the state has a climate change-related budget, one that is reflected in our laws. This is a matter of great importance, because it gives us the confidence that in the short to medium term we can start to meet our emissions reduction targets without becoming a large-scale carbon tax. After 25 years in power, to be the state’s first government in 40 years is a major achievement. Tonight’s election offers us the opportunity to reinvigorate Labor’s centre-left message and reconnect with our community to reaffirm our commitment to living and working in a better community. It will give us the opportunity to establish a further clear foundation for the future as our party. As a progressive and feminist Labor Party, we’re also committed to opening opportunities for young people to become part of the next generation of progressive social change. Young people up to the age of 25 account for only 18 per cent of the NSW electorate. Our party has had fewer young Labor MP than New South Wales had over the same period, and it’s critical that we open seats to young people to broaden our appeal. The Labor in NSW Left caucus shares many of the same priorities as the social democrat Left faction: tackling climate change; creating a fairer fairer society; and strengthening our social institutions. We’ve seen the Liberal government compromise with community initiatives to benefit wealthy private sector companies and to its own vested interests. For these reasons and others, Labor is the better option for our community. Let’s not let the Liberals divide us and take us backwards.

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