As a veteran of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, former treasurer Wayne Swan is a politician with a great deal of experience with parliamentary instability. With the outcome of the election still uncertain, Swan tells Michelle Grattan Labor should approach the next period ahead in a very positive way.
“We put [forward] a comprehensive agenda for inclusive growth. What you saw at this election was the defeat of the Abbott-Turnbull agenda of trickle-down economics,” he says.
Swan says Malcolm Turnbull’s authority has been “shattered” and that he will find it very hard to assert any authority in his partyroom.
“His glass jaw-shattering speech after midnight on election night I think effectively ended his authority not just in his party but I think in the country.”
Swan says he wants to continue to speak about issues he is passionate about from the position of a backbencher rather than from the shadow cabinet.
“I want to use my time as treasurer to add to critical national debates and speak about them in a much more open way than I would otherwise if I had some form of executive responsibility,” he says.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra