Anthony Albanese has promised to forcefully hold Scott Morrison to account but he admits Australians have "conflict fatigue" from political wars.
Nominations for the role of federal Labor parliamentary leader closed on Monday morning and, as expected, Mr Albanese was the only person to put his hand up.
He wants to reach out to the one-in-four voters who didn't vote for Labor or the coalition at last Saturday's federal election.
"Both of the potential government parties in this nation need to acknowledge there's a weakness in the system when the level of the vote is that high," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
The Labor leader told Mr Morrison to expect both resistance and cooperation.
"I will hold his government to account, strongly, forcefully," Mr Albanese said.
"I'm not Tony Abbott. People want solutions, not arguments. They have conflict fatigue. Some reforms require bipartisan support."
That includes finding a bipartisan way to recognise indigenous Australians in the constitution and to deliver business certainty on energy policy.
"The time for the ongoing conflict on these issues surely is over," he said.
Mr Albanese said unions and businesses had common interests in a strong economy, and he supported job creation as a core issue for governments to achieve.
But Australia couldn't judge the economy separately from the people it was meant to serve.
"I believe in an inclusive society, one that looks after the most vulnerable," he said.
Victorian MP Richard Marles is in line to be his deputy, again being the only person with his hat in the ring for the job on Monday.
Labor has had a man and woman in the leadership team since 2001, except for a three-month stint in 2013 after Kevin Rudd got his revenge on Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard.
But Victorian MP Clare O'Neil dropped out of the race for deputy after her colleagues told her she needed more experience bringing the party together behind a leader.
Mr Albanese expects women to be strongly represented when caucus chooses his shadow cabinet members.
He said it was up to his Labor colleagues to decide whether Bill Shorten would be one of his frontbenchers.
On re-examining Labor's policies, Mr Albanese said he intends to "hasten slowly" as he learns the lessons of the federal election defeat.
"One of them is that the election isn't determined six months beforehand, even three months beforehand. Perhaps even, some might say, a month beforehand," he said.
Mr Marles said the leadership team would listen to Australians about what direction Labor needed to take.
"The propositions that we were putting to the Australian people a week ago got rejected and that is just a statement of fact," he told 3AW radio.
Caucus will meet on Thursday to confirm the leadership appointments and decide the shadow cabinet.
Australian Associated Press