Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has launched a national campaign re-badging Labor as the "Fair Go" party in a bid to head off any electoral clawback by new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Taking the stage at the Revesby Workers Club on Sunday morning, in the highly marginal seat of Banks, Mr Shorten promised that his "united, steady and stable team" would hand a "better deal to the next generation than the one we received".
He outlined a five point "Action Plan" that retains health and education as key pillars, while also pledging to ease pressure on family budgets, build a strong economy that "works in the interests of all Australians, not just the lucky few", end the "climate change wars" and deliver a better deal for workers.
Against a backdrop of red balloons and banners, with a large cohort of red-T-shirted Labor volunteers flanking the room, Mr Shorten said he was taking nothing for granted despite the recent bloodshed inside the federal Liberal Party.
"I actually think that the shambles and selfishness, the narcissistic self-obsession we've seen from the Liberals and the Nationals, creates a bigger challenge for us on the Labor side ... to restore the faith of Australians in Australian democracy itself," he said.
Joining Mr Shorten at the launch were deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, Labor leader in the Senate Penny Wong, frontbenchers Ed Husic and Tony Burke , Senator Kristina Keneally, and the ALP candidate for Banks (which the Liberals currently hold on a margin of 1.44 per cent) Chris Gambian.
Mr Shorten pointed out that in a week's time, he and Ms Plibersek will have marked five years together as leader and deputy.
While nuancing his message to pitch to "middle class" as well as "working class people", key portions of Mr Shorten's speech were squarely directed at the labour movement as the ACTU flags its own determination to campaign hard on workers' rights and securing better wages in the run-up to the next federal poll.
Mr Shorten highlighted sluggish wage growth against sharply rising costs in health care, child care and utilities while company profits and CEO salaries were "up to record highs".
"There's never been a better time in Liberal Australia if you're a multinational, a millionaire or a big bank," he told the several hundred supporters who turned out for the launch. He pledged to crack down on the increasing casualisation of the workforce, and the activities of labour hire firms.
"We're going to put the bargain back into bargaining, so employees and employers can sit down and negotiate without the unfair threat of termination of [their] existing agreement hanging over every conversation."
Mr Morrison pilloried Mr Shorten's five-point plan as a recipe for "more tax, more tax, more tax, more tax, more tax" and accused the Opposition Leader of becoming a "complete puppet of a union movement that thinks it's OK to not have to follow the law".
"He wants to go down the path of militant unionism that drives Australians apart from one another," Mr Morrison said. "More tax, when you don't grow the economy, doesn't guarantee Medicare or hospitals or schools. All it means is more tax dragging the economy down."
'We're going to put the bargain back into bargaining.' Opposition Leader Bill Shorten