Labor needs to continue to "sharpen" the difference between the government and "the conservatives" and sell the community benefits of the mining tax, the acting Prime Minister says.
Wayne Swan was reassuring Labor MPs who were worried about the NSW local government elections over the weekend.
During a Labor Party caucus meeting today in Canberra, MPs expressed concerns about the results in Labor heartland seats, which included consistent swings of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent to the Liberals in Blacktown, Bankstown, Parramatta and Campbelltown.
The Treasurer acknowledged to his colleagues that some of the results had been "variable", but noted that the political climate in Queensland had changed quickly since Liberal National Party Premier Campbell Newman was elected.
This morning's meeting also saw one MP raise concerns that recent changes to the carbon pricing scheme - including removing the floor price - were announced without enough warning to the caucus.
While the MP was not complaining about the substance of the policy change, they said they did not have enough time to "prepare the groundwork" in their electorate.
The Treasurer later told MPs that they would be consulted on any budget cuts the government was going to make to existing programs.
Mr Swan - who is filling in for Julia Gillard this week - also gave Labor a more general pep talk.
He said that the government was getting "clearer air" on its agenda thanks in part to a "carnival of stuff-ups" from the Coalition. He added that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's campaign strategy had "hit a brick wall".
In reference to claims that Mr Abbott had intimidated a political opponent during his student days by punching the wall next to them, the acting Prime Minister then wondered: "What is it about Abbott and brick walls?"