Chris Bowen Puts Up Hand for Leadership of Australian Labor Party

By AAP
May 20, 2019 Updated: May 21, 2019

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will throw his hat in the ring for Labor leader and will be up against Anthony Albanese.

Bowen, a member of the ALP right faction, will make an announcement on Tuesday in Sydney’s Smithfield where he grew up a day after deputy leader Tanya Plibersek confirmed she would not run for the role, leaving Albanese to contest for the left faction.

Joel Fitzgibbon is also considering a tilt, but only if the candidates don’t promise to stand up for regional Australia and the coal-mining industry.

“I am considering doing so, yes, I would much rather someone else do it,” he the Hunter MP told Nine’s Today program. “But if I need to do it to secure the new path, the new direction we need, then I certainly will.

“I want a leader who is prepared to stand up and say: ‘I support the coal mining industry, I support getting cheap gas out of the ground to fuel our manufacturing sector and create jobs and I do want a big seat at the table for regional Australia.'”

Albanese, the left faction member who announced his candidacy on Sunday, believes Labor needs to take a hard look at some of its policies after its shock federal election loss on Saturday.

“There are issues that need re-examining,” he told ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday.

“It’s up to the caucus. One of the things that I’m not going to do, if I’m elected as leader of the Labor party, is to make policy on the run. I’ll talk with the caucus, we’ll consult.”

Labor MP and finance spokesman Jim Chalmers, who also hails from the right, said on Monday night he may also run for leader.

“I’m considering it. I’m talking to my colleagues about it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that a few of us take some time to work out what we want to do,” he told ABC’s Q&A program.

Plibersek confirmed on Monday she would not run for leader but intended to stand again for the deputy position.

“Now is not my time,” she said. “At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership.”

Bill Shorten will continue as Labor’s interim leader until the party’s leadership is determined.

Bowen, Shorten and Plibersek are members of the Australian Fabian Society, which according to its website is Australia’s oldest political think tank that has “played an important part in determining both state and national political agendas.” Also a Fabian, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the British socialist organisation as a “progressive think group that’s been associated with the Labor Party for decades and decades and decades.”

Bill Shorten’s membership in the Fabian society has been something that parties on the opposite end of the political spectrum like Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives Party have made effort to point out to the general public.

With additional reporting by Epoch Times staff.

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