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Labor on a crusade to convert Christian voters

LABOR is extending an olive branch to religious groups and churches after the review into its election drubbing found some Christian voters turned against them.

Opposition deputy leader Richard Marles is in Brisbane today to meet with Christian leaders to discuss concerns from some religious voters that Labor was not representing them.

Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Lutheran, Salvation Army, Churches of Christ and City Hope Church representatives will be at the discussions.

Deputy Labor Leader Richard Marles is reaching out to religious leaders in Brisbane. Picture: Kym Smith
Deputy Labor Leader Richard Marles is reaching out to religious leaders in Brisbane. Picture: Kym Smith

Last week Labor's review found some Christian voters turned away from the party, while a senior frontbencher said "they were scared of us".

Mr Marles said Labor needed to be talking to as wide a range of people as possible.

"There were a wide range of people who felt like Labor did not represent them at the last election and today's roundtable is about hearing why and how we can do better going forward," he said.

"As Anthony Albanese said last week, we need to have a bit more respect for each other's views and where they come from, this is what makes us an incredibly successful and diverse nation."

Blair MP Shayne Neumann, who is a practising member of the Baptist Church, helped arrange the meeting and said the party needed to build relationships, trust and respect.

"God's not a card-carrying member of any political party," he said.

"It's important for us to engage with faith communities. It's clear, even from feedback in my own community, that this was a challenge for us.

Labor frontbencher Shayne Neumann says Labor needs to engage with faith communities. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Labor frontbencher Shayne Neumann says Labor needs to engage with faith communities. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

"There are areas of social justice, homelessness and foreign aid where churches do a lot of good in the community and we can find common cause and we should do so.

"There are other areas where we need to have respectful, constructive dialogue."

The meeting is part of a concerted effort from Labor to engage with a range of groups that felt alienated by the party during the election.

The review into Labor's shock election loss in May found that the party alienated coal towns, regional Queensland, Christians and low-paid workers - many of its traditional supporters.