Shorten’s ‘regrets’ over humiliating defeat
BILL Shorten has addressed his party and the nation after Labor's shock loss at the federal election.
Mr Shorten has not spoken publicly since the Coalition won the election forming a majority government with a predicted 77 seats.
Appearing in the Labor Caucus Room today, Mr Shorten thanked the people who voted for him, and said he "offered his regrets" that Labor was not able to win the election.
"I love the Labor Party, I love the Labor movement, always have and always will," Mr Shorten said.
"I thank the millions of middle class and working class Australians who voted for us and count on Labor. They still look to us, the people in this room. In those millions of people I offer my regrets we did not win."
He officially handed over the reins of the party to new Labor leader Anthony Albanese and deputy Richard Marles.
"I promise that everyone in the party will work hard every day under Albo and Richard's leadership to win the next election," Mr Shorten said.
This morning it was confirmed Mr Shorten would serve as a frontbencher in the Labor Party, according to The Australian.
Mr Shorten said Labor would waste no time after the loss.
"We in Labor are not going to waste time feeling sorry for ourselves because we are not in it for ourselves. We will get back to work on behalf of all of the people of this country who rely upon Labor," he said.
"There are still big things for Labor to do."
Mr Shorten was philosophical, saying "all of us are only passing through," as he concluded his speech, and said he looked forward to continuing to serve the Labor Party.
As he left, the crowd got up from their chairs for a standing ovation, cheering the former leader.
Mr Albanese was then formally declared the new leader of the Labor Party, and described awkwardly being congratulated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The new leader began his speech talking about Labor's "modernisation" of Australia, and warned Mr Morrison not to expect as "easy time" from him.
Mr Albanese congratulated Mr Morrison on the election result, calling it an "incredible honour".
He then said he reached out to the Prime Minister before the press conference, and Mr Morrison had tried to text him a congratulations.
"I heard since he actually did text me congratulations to a wrong number," Mr Albanese said, as the room tittered. "A couple of days ago.
"He then on Tuesday followed up with a text message, that I thought was from Scott, my mate from Concord, who I grew up with," he said to laughter in the room.
"So to Scott and Sheree, g'day. They grew up in Lambert St, Camperdown, with me. They live in Reid, but apologies, they still come and hand out for me, they're great people.
"And so to Scott, where's your message, mate?" he joked.
He then thanked Mr Morrison for eventually getting a message to him, saying, "I respect the office of prime minister."
"That doesn't mean you will get an easy time, because you won't," Mr Albanese added.
He said he and Mr Morrison had "fundamental differences" when it came to the direction the country should be heading in, but signalled he would work with the Prime Minister where the two parties could agree.
"I want to be known as the Labor leader, not the opposition leader," Mr Albanese said.
He said to disappointed Labor supporters the party was not "despairing" but was determined to "do better".