Josh GordonMarch 18, 2011
DANIEL Andrews has conceded Labor lost government because it failed to meet community expectations as Melbourne’s runaway population growth ”got away from us”.
The Opposition Leader said Labor needed to face the fact ”we could have done more and we could have done better” to boost services and help households tackle daily challenges.
”People across the community have expectations about quality of services, about pressures on them in their own household, and I think clearly we failed to meet those expectations,” Mr Andrews told The Age.
He said a failure to properly manage Victoria’s strong population growth contributed to Labor’s defeat at last year’s state election, as services failed to keep pace with Melbourne’s expansion. ”We just couldn’t keep up,” he said.
Melbourne’s population growth has outstripped other state capitals for the past eight years. Cost-of-living concerns, public transport and law and order were key issues in the lead-up to November’s election.
Mr Andrews also said he would not unveil a detailed policy agenda until closer to the 2014 election.
”It is not for us to be developing matters of high policy and a manifesto three years and nine months out from the 2014 poll. Our job is to hold the government accountable … and I think we have made a solid start in that,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Mr Andrews said he was undaunted. ”This is a difficult job … and we have a long road ahead of us, but all you can do is break it down and deal with one section at a time,” he said.
He also said the Labor team was upbeat, determined and focused.