Tonight’s Q&A ditched its usual panel format to feature just a single panellist: Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
And with new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull soaring in the polls, Shorten’s appearance on the popular ABC programme was a real sink-or-swim moment for the Labor leader.
Fortunately for him, the general consensus among viewers was that he aced his Q&A appearance — eloquently addressing issues from disability, to domestic violence, to wind turbines.
If you missed the episode, we’ve summarised the key moments from last night’s show for you:
1. His remarks on gender equality
Mr Shorten had viewers cheering from their lounge rooms when he launched into a passionate mini-speech on gender equality.
The impressive comments came at the very end of the program, when an audience member asked Mr Shorten what fundamental changes could be made to take advantage of opportunities brought about by the new economy.
Shorten barely hesitated before reeling off a list of priorities: education, infrastructure, science and technology, fairness… and women.
“I think the fifth area that I think we can really make this country sing: just treat women equally,” he said.
“We’ll start in Labor. By 2025, half of our MPs, at least half, will be women. We want to see 50% of all government boards positions being women. And also, we think it’s well overdue to tackle domestic violence,” he continued.
“If this nation does nothing else in the next 15 years but treats women equally, we’re home. We’ve got a good future.”
At that, the audience broke into a loud round of applause.
2. His pledge to work with Malcolm Turnbull on climate change, marriage equality and domestic violence
When an audience member asked him to specify which issues he would work with the government “to arrive on consensus, for the good of the nation,” Mr Shorten’s response did not disappoint.
He listed climate change, marriage equality and domestic violence — as well as an increased focus on science and technology — as key areas with which Labor would work with the Federal government.
“One issue which I think we can work together on is climate change. I do believe that we can encourage the government to have a renewable energy future, to perhaps be bolder than their current policies on tackling climate change,” he began.
“If he wants to go back and be fair dinkum on climate change, my party will back it.”