Illawarra seats may have stayed with Labor - unlike others in the country - but that doesn't mean the region will be taken for granted, Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said.
Speaking exclusively to the Illawarra Mercury during his visit to the region on Tuesday, Mr Albanese said work needed to be done to win back voters who sent a lot of seats the way of the Coalition.
But that won't be at the expense of those seats in the Illawarra where support for Labor is historically strong.
"Absolutely not, and when we were in government last time, we prioritised areas regardless of what ways they were voting," Mr Albanese said.
"Infrastructure investment shouldn't be something that is used for marginal seats, it should be used to grow the national economy. Areas like the Illawarra are critical."
He also said the party needed to work to ensure people don't have to leave the city to find a job.
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"We want generations who have grown up here to be able to stay here, rather than have to move to get employment," he said.
Going into the last election all the opinion polls were tipping a Labor win - those polls turned out to be wrong.
The lesson here, Mr Albanese said, is not to pay so much attention to them.
"What it points towards is not being spooked - or celebrating too early - about negative or positive opinion polls," he said.
"It a reminder that what matters is 2022. My approach is very explicitly to say to the caucus that I'm working from 2022 backwards.
"Be ready to govern from day one, unlike the current government who thought they were going to lose and don't seem to have a third-term agenda besides opposing us."
Surprisingly for a politician, Mr Albanese said he was focused on results - regardless of which side of politics gets the credit.
"If the government takes up some of the initiatives that we're putting forward, then good," he said.
"We want, for example constitutional change with a voice to parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We want that to be bipartisan, we don't want to wait three years to do it.
"If they do it under their government with our support and they get the credit for it, well, so what? Politics isn't what's important, it's outcomes. And that would be a really positive outcome for the country."