30 May 2019

I am honoured to be elected as Labor’s Deputy Leader in the Senate, and I thank my colleagues for their support and trust.  
I am also humbled to join the Labor Leadership team, and congratulate Anthony Albanese, Richard Marles and Penny Wong on their elections today.  Each one brings talent, strength and Labor values to their role. 
I pay tribute to Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek for their leadership of Federal Labor over the past six years. They united Labor, and we are determined to stay united as we hold the Government to account.
The Senate has always played a critical role as the House of Review.  Labor’s outstanding Senate team will continue to thoroughly scrutinise the Government’s legislation and administration, as the Australian people would expect us to do. 
I also look forward to continuing to work with the crossbench, as they also seek to hold the Government to account to the promises it made during the election. 
Labor is a party that firmly believes and acts to ensure the equal representation of men and women in our party and in the wider community.  I acknowledge and appreciate the contribution and support I received today from Don Farrell and Ed Husic to step up in this role.  In their actions, Don and Ed demonstrated support for women and gender equality, right across the Labor party, at every level.
To Labor members and supporters who are disappointed in the outcome of the election:  I share your disappointment.  Today is bittersweet.  But I am confident that the Labor team, under the leadership of Anthony Albanese, can rebuild and reinvigorate the party and reconnect with our fellow Australians.  While we will listen and review our policies, we will always hold true to our Labor values: creating economic opportunities and jobs, delivering services and caring for those most in need, and building a more cohesive and inclusive community.