‘Albo will be a strong friend of our community’

New Labor leader Anthony Albanese. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

OUR democracy is a thing of beauty. But also, occasionally, heartbreak, writes Josh Burns.

And of the many possible outcomes, few predicted the result that unfolded earlier this month.

Firstly, to the people of Macnamara who placed their trust in me – thank you. This has been a long journey and I am extremely grateful for your support.

But the credit for our win does not belong to me. 

It belongs to each and every one of hundreds of people who gave their time, passion and effort to campaign for a fairer future. 

Anthony Albanese (left) with Josh Burns.

We offered a hopeful and positive plan for Macnamara and I am proud that it was endorsed. 

Across our country, it was a hard night for the Australian Labor Party and its true believers. Despite that result, those who helped put forward our courageous and ambitious agenda of reform can – and should – hold their heads high.

Ultimately, though, we respect the decision of the Australian people.

I offer my congratulations to the Coalition, and my best wishes to my opponents Kate Ashmor and Steph Hodgins-May. Both are people of integrity and talent, and I know both will continue to serve our community.

To all the volunteers from all sides of politics who devoted their time and effort, you did our democracy proud. To my team, I will always be grateful for your tireless efforts and professionalism. You ran an outstanding campaign, and all deserve to own our result. 

The pressures on the loved ones of those who pursue these jobs are great, and I could not have survived this campaign without my beautiful wife, Zoe or my supportive parents, Leanne and Phil. My eternal thanks to them. 

For 21 years, Michael Danby served as the Member for Melbourne Ports. He always took on the causes he believed mattered, regardless of the popular position. He served as a politician of conviction and I wish him and Amanda well.

To our Jewish community, we are blessed to have representatives in our Parliament on both sides of politics. 

Support for our community and a strong relationship with Israel must remain bipartisan and I pledge over the coming years to always work cooperatively and collegiately to further this aim.

Labor is blessed with many friends of our community and Israel.

At this point it is appropriate to pay homage to Bill Shorten whose commitment to our community was unflinching throughout his time as leader. 

No matter what role Bill decides to play now, I know he will continue his long and deep friendship with our Jewish community.

For now, we in the Labor movement must regroup. 

Our party is about to embark on a new chapter with a new leadership team under a new Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese.

The Jewish community should have confidence that our new Labor leadership team will be strong friends of our Jewish community.

For over 20 years, Albo has been fighting not just Liberals but Greens in his inner-Sydney electorate.

When the Greens-dominated Marrickville City Council infamously adopted an anti-Israel BDS policy in 2011, Albo was one of the leading figures to rally against it.

He stood strong against BDS then, as he always has, and made it clear that not only was it a divisive and costly move by Marrickville, but it was also an immoral solution which undermines the two-state solution and efforts for genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Albo has always had an open door for our community, including being an annual speaker at AUJS Political Training Seminars, and I look forward to seeing Albo in town more often.

This election we had a bold vision – especially in Macnamara.

We had a plan to begin the redevelopment of the Caulfield Hospital, improve local schools, provide more mental health support for young people, clean up our local waterways and much more.

While we must accept the result of the election, the hard work of bringing a positive and ambitious plan to the next election begins. 

To all local organisations and people, my office is here to help.

We will be located at 219 Barkly Street, St Kilda so feel free to come in whenever you need assistance.

I look forward to partnering with many local organisations over the next three years.

The aim for our Macnamara electorate office is to be helpful and hard-working. We were given the privilege of serving and that is what we plan to do.

As the Member for Macnamara I hope to be a voice for fairness, a voice for young Australians and a voice for our Jewish community. 

So today is the dawn of a new day for Labor. 

We act with humility. We rebuild.

And we devote every day to working as hard as we possibly can – our country deserves no less.

Josh Burns is the incoming Member for Macnamara.