SYDNEY (AFP) – Incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese vowed to end Australia’s reputation globally and reset relations with the rest of the world Sunday, as he raced to form a government in time for a key Tokyo summit.
Fresh from an electoral victory that ended a decade of conservative rule, Albanese signaled an era of fairer, greener and less pugilistic politics for Australia.
“I want to change the country,” the 59-year-old centre-left leader said. “I want to change the way that politics operates in this country.”
It is still unclear whether Albanese’s Labor Party will win enough parliamentary seats to form an outright majority, or whether he will have to turn to independents or smaller parties for support.
The center-left leader said the upcoming Quad summit in Tokyo is “an absolute priority” for Australia and an opportunity “to send a message to the world.”
The Quad or the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States that is maintained by talks between member countries. It is widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power. The Chinese government has responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members, calling it “Asian NATO.”
He went on to say that partners overseas can expect wholesale changes “particularly with regard to climate change and our engagement with the world on those issues.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he takes responsibility “for the wins and the losses” and will stand down as leader of the Liberal Party. His defeat ended eight years and nine months in power for Morrison’s conservative coalition.
Albanese seeks to unite the country. He has also vowed to adopt more ambitious emissions reduction targets and make the country a renewable energy superpower.
Albanese and key ministers are expected to be sworn in on Monday.