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Chris Bowen announces leadership bid, promises policy ‘blank canvas’

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will contest for the Labor leadership against frontbencher Anthony Albanese, promising a fresh look at its policies.

Business Jotham Lian 21 May 2019
— 1 minute read

Mr Bowen has this morning announced his plans to assume leadership from the departing Bill Shorten.


“I believe that this government has no plans or policies for economic growth for the future,” Mr Bowen said in front of the house he grew up in Smithfield.

“Economic growth lifts people out of poverty, turns aspiration into reality. It is the poverty alleviation program ever invented.

“I want to lead that debate for Labor.”

Mr Albanese was the first to throw his hat into the ring, with current deputy Tanya Plibersek yesterday ruling out plans to run, citing family reasons.

Labor MP and finance spokesman Jim Chalmers said on Monday night that he might also consider a tilt for leadership.

Mr Bowen, the architect behind Labor’s tax plans, will carry the burden of his unpopular franking credit changes and curbs to negative gearing and the CGT discount, which have been touted as the reasons for Labor’s defeat over the weekend.

“Some say Labor lost the election because of franking credits which is a policy that I designed,” Mr Bowen said.

“I designed it to invest more in schools and hospitals, to give Labor a good program of investment.

“We lost this election for a whole range of reasons — some probably we haven’t yet determined. Franking credits was a controversial policy. A controversial policy, for which, no doubt, we lost some votes. But I don’t accept that it is why we lost the election in its entirety.

“But no political party ever takes to the next election exactly the same policies they took to the last. That would be dumb. They all have to be reviewed. It’s a blank canvas. We start again with new policies, collectively.”

The Labor leadership ballot will be decided by a ballot of both the parliamentary party and grassroots members.

More to come.

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Chris Bowen announces leadership bid, promises policy ‘blank canvas’
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.