• Bill Shorten says a quota system would increase diversity in the Labor Party.
Labor Party Leadership candidates Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese were in Perth today for the West Australian leg of their leadership campaign.
By
Craig Quartermaine

Source:
NITV News
30 Sep 2013 - 5:37 PM  UPDATED 30 Sep 2013 - 6:41 PM

Labor Party Leadership candidates Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese were in Perth today for the West Australian leg of their leadership campaign.

Mr Shorten's suggestion of a quota system to increase the number of minority groups such as women, gay and Indigenous members of Parliament proved to be one of the bigger differences of opinion between the two aspiring Labor leaders.

While the support was split evenly among the candidates, Mr Shorten's suggestion of utilising a quota system to increase the diversity of the Labor Party was one area Mr Albanese did not agree with.

Mr Albanese used Labor State Deputy Leader Linda Burney as an example of the best Indigenous candidates being able to rise to top roles without the aid of quota systems.

"She got there because of her talent and her ability, that’s why she has risen to be deputy leader. I don't know how it would work in terms of quotas based upon sexuality, as for some people that’s a private matter and they’re entitled for it to stay a private matter if they so choose," says Mr Albanese.

Mr Shorten defended his proposal saying the unfortunate lack of diversity needs to be dealt with immediately rather than through natural attrition.

He believes broadening the appeal of the Labor Party beyond its traditional roots is what will help Labor be more competitive in gaining voters' support against the Abbott government.

"Australia doesn't need to be just run by white Anglo Saxon men in their 50's and 60's, there are more brains out there in this country then just that group so we need to make sure our party reflects that," says Mr Shorten.

The feeling at today's debate was positive among the 500 strong crowds in attendance at Perth’s Hyde Park. But the question is; will it bring back voters who left the Labor Party and will it bring in news voters?