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The Fight For A 'Fair Go': Shorten Lays Out Election Plan At Labor Conference

Aussies' love of a fair go is fair game for politicians looking to sell their party’s policies.

Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten simply cannot get enough of the phrase.

At Labor’s biennial National Conference in Adelaide, the party’s commitment to capturing the expression is clear.

Not only is it splashed across banners and posters in bold capital letters, it features nine times on the first page of the Opposition Leader’s address to his party.

Image: Getty Images

Bill Shorten, the favourite to be the next Prime Minister, must navigate the suggestion that Labor should give those fleeing war torn nations a “fair go” too.

At the 48th National Conference, what to do with asylum seekers who are rejected by the nation’s immigration system and raising the humanitarian intake will be on the agenda.

At the last meeting in 2015, some within the party tried to make a policy to ban boat turn backs, which is a centrepiece of the nation’s current border protection policy.

The Government has already taken aim at Labor for wobbling on border protection, and will be looking to highlight any perceived weakness or disunity from within the party.

Bill Shorten says the meeting is a demonstration of the party’s unity and commitment to democracy.

"It's the longest running national conference of any political party, from Australia's oldest political party," he said.

“It's a united team, it's an energetic team and it’s a team with vision.”

As Labor target the Government’s disunity, the Coalition is looking to paint Labor as a higher taxing party.

Bill Shorten wants to collect an extra $56 billion over a decade by axing a tax benefit some shareholders get, and use the money for schools and hospitals.

“It is neither sustainable nor fair for some people to get a tax income refund when they've paid no income tax. That's at the heart of our policy.”

The problem for Labor is that it will hit many retirees with self-managed superannuation funds.

Recent research by Newspoll suggests one in three Labor voters do not like the policy, and two in three Australians over 65-years-old want the party to ditch it.

But Shorten thinks he knows how to get the votes of older Aussies.

“What I'm seeing is that older Australians are disproportionately on the receiving end of the brunt of Mr Morrison's health care cuts," he said.

“I want to find money in the Budget to make sure that all Australians are guaranteed quality health care no matter how old they are.”

Along with the “fair go” phrase, expect to hear Bill Shorten talk a lot about schools and hospitals, while Scott Morrison makes his case for lower taxes.

Contact the author: pbowden@networkten.com.au

Featured Image: AAP