After nine years of conservative rule, Australians have decided to go for the center-left opposition. Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese declared victory as the country’s 31st prime minister on Saturday, and incumbent Scott Morrison having declared defeat.
Meanwhile, Albanese’s Labor Party isn’t certain to have won a majority in Parliament, with more than a dozen electorates still too close to call.
Contrary to the conservatives, Albanese and his party promised stronger action toward climate change, which may have played a role in the outcome of this election. Labor says it aims to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
“Millions of Australians have put climate first. Now, it’s time for a radical reset on how this great nation of ours acts upon the climate challenge,” said Amanda McKenzie, CEO of The Climate Council, Australia’s leading climate change communications organization.
“The very humble beginnings to his life have really shaped him in terms of his values, and approach to life and to governing,” said Nicholas Reece, former senior adviser to former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and a principal fellow at the University of Melbourne. “He will be a reforming prime minister, he will be a sensible prime minister and he will be a prime minister who understands the very important role that government plays in the betterment of people’s lives.”
“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mom who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” said Anthony Albanese during his victory speech on Saturday. “Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars.”