Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has used his speech at the first shadow cabinet meeting of 2014 to talk up Labor’s chances in Queensland.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has kicked off the year’s first opposition frontbench meeting with a rabble-rousing speech about the party’s chances in the coming Griffith by-election.

He told the opposition frontbench meeting in Brisbane that in the past week Queenslanders have told him and ALP candidate Terri Butler of their worries about the state government’s cuts, as well as concerns Prime Minister Tony Abbott might have a similar slashing program.

“They’re particularly worried that Tony Abbott has delayed the first report of the commission of audit by two weeks to make sure any cuts stay hidden before the by-election,” he said.

Coincidentally, these are the messages Mr Shorten has been propounding during his week of campaigning with Ms Butler ahead of the February 8 by-election.

The Labor leader reminded his colleagues theirs was the party that always stood up for universal health care, education, sick and vulnerable people, families and pensioners.