After handing out how-to-vote cards in the queue, receiving well-wishes and support from his local constituents in the inner Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong, Labor leader Bill Shorten has cast his vote, confident that Labor can form a majority government.
Speaking outside the Moonee Ponds West Primary School on Saturday morning, he said he would “hit the ground running” and get wages moving if elected.
Polls suggest the opposition leader is on track to become prime minister and lead Labor to government for the first time since 2013.
With his wife Chloe by his side, Mr Shorten was asked how quickly he would get the “machinery” of government going.
“I am confident that Labor can form a majority Government.
“We will be ready to hit the ground from tomorrow. We’ll be ready to start straight away.
“In terms of our cabinet, if we were to get elected we’ll be seeking to swear in some people soon. Next week,” he said.
Mr Shorten is yet to announce who will take the home affairs portfolio if Labor wins, while former NSW premier Kristina Keneally is expected to be elevated to cabinet.
“I’ve got a united team from right around Australia,” he said.
After voting, he chomped a sausage sandwich, partaking in one Australia’s great election day traditions.
“Tastes like a mood for change,” he said.
Mr Shorten kicked off his day in trademark fashion, with a morning run around Melbourne wearing a red t-shirt with “Vote 1 Chloe Shorten’s husband”.
The Labor leader is expected to spend the day on polling stations around the Victorian capital throughout Saturday afternoon, considered a key battleground in the election.
He was questioned as to why he wasn’t doing a last minute “dash” around the country to secure last-minute swinging voters.
“Bob Hawke died,” he replied.
“It was a sad day yesterday. It’s a mixture of feelings. When Bob passed away late Thursday, I realised that sometimes there are more important
things than scrounging a vote or putting the last proposition there.
“Bob Hawke was my hero and the hero of many Australians and he was a reminder of what a good Labor government can do.
“When I saw him a week ago, he had two hopes. One to see his son, Louis’ wedding, and he got that. And he also hoped that he could enjoy election night watching a Labor Government be formed,” he said.