Anthony Albanese shakes hands with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten after delivering his Budget reply speech in Parliament. Picture Kym Smith
Anthony Albanese shakes hands with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten after delivering his Budget reply speech in Parliament. Picture Kym Smith

Executives splashing big bucks to woo Labor

BUSINESSES are queuing up to lobby Labor frontbenchers as they prepare for a likely change of government next year.

The ALP will cash in on the demand by charging an average of $6000 a head for executives to meet Labor figures at the party's national conference next week.

In a sign that the commercial world is preparing for life under a Bill Shorten government, the business observers' room at the ALP conference is at capacity, with close to 100 people attending each day.

One senior Labor source said the fundraising event would be a "Christmas present" for the party and would deliver a healthy boost to coffers in the lead-up to the election.

The attendance is higher than usual for similar business events at ALP conferences and is notable given that the conference is being held in Adelaide and only days before the holiday season.

Labor sources said the party has already moved the business event to a larger room in the Adelaide Convention Centre to accommodate the higher demand.

Anthony Albanese shakes hands with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten after delivering his Budget reply speech in Parliament. Picture Kym Smith
Anthony Albanese shakes hands with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten after delivering his Budget reply speech in Parliament. Picture Kym Smith

The event is the second business summit organised by Labor in six months.

The ALP held a similar event in Sydney in August after its national conference was delayed. That event included "speed dating" sessions between executives and Labor frontbenchers.

The party has refused to release details of who attended and how much executives paid for access to Labor MPs.

People who attend the business event at the national conference can choose from a range of ticket options, including going for just one day.

When asked on Adelaide radio if business people were "falling over themselves" to attend the conference, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said "they are, actually".

"It's pretty full. People want to chat to us," Mr Albanese said.

"Why wouldn't you when there's a rabble on the other side."