We don’t have a day to lose: Julia Gillard

I’m sure you’ll have closely followed the leadership election.

I share the frustration of many Labor Party members when you see the Party turning inwards.

Well yesterday we put that behind us. I received the overwhelming support of my colleagues to continue as Labor’s Leader and as Prime Minister.  I thank them for their faith in me and my capacity to lead the nation.

Members of the ALP are passionate people – it’s because we have a great cause. And that is the welfare and the well-being of our great country.

Our determination to build a stronger and fairer Australia could not be greater – and ultimately, that outweighs everything else.

For the record, I would like to acknowledge the many achievements of Kevin Rudd as a former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

We must honour without reservation Kevin’s leadership during the global financial crisis, his proud achievements for reconciliation, his strong advocacy for his nation on the world stage and so much more.

As we face the future, I accept there are things I need to do better.

The fact is that while good policy stands on its own, the job of governments is to strongly advocate for that policy, to strongly advocate for change.  And we need to do that better – to make the case, to explain it fully, to connect each of our reforms to our vision for Australia. 

I don’t have a defeatist bone in my body and I know that if we unite and work hard we will win in 2013 and entrench our reforms.

I know there’s a lot of work to do to convince the Australian people that we’re on track.

And we all understand that we don’t have a day to lose.

My commitment to you as ALP members is to continue to be guided by what is right for the country – not newspaper polls; to govern for working people first; to ensure they’re the biggest beneficiaries of our strong economy - and not just the fortunate few.

Above all, to keep on getting things done in the interests of working Australians.

Words are important, but action is even more so. I'm proud of what my government has delivered, but I'm not satisfied.

Because there's so much more to do.

This year we will be moving on with our agenda.  Rolling out the National Broadband Network.  Putting a price on carbon and building a clean energy economy.  Introducing new ideas for schools. Helping workers who need new skills.  And taking the next steps in introducing a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

I look forward to your ongoing support and involvement as we continue with our great objective.

Julia Gillard
Prime Minister