Anthony Albanese has vowed to never ‘go missing’ if he is elected Australia’s next Prime Minister in a sly dig at Scott Morrison‘s notorious holiday to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires

Mr Albanese took the opportunity to slam the prime minister during his pitch to replace him in the country’s top job in Canberra on Sunday. 

The opposition leader said Australians deserved better after suffering through floods, fires, and a pandemic as he outlined his vision for the country’s future. 

‘I will restore faith in our political system by getting rid of the waste and warts, and establishing a strong Anti-Corruption Commission,’ Mr Albanese pledged. 

‘I won’t go missing when the going gets tough. I will accept the responsibility that comes with high office.’ 

Mr Albanese (pictured on Sunday) hit out at the current prime minister during his pitch to become Australia’s next leader, in which he promised to ‘restore faith’ in politics

The sledge was directed at Mr Morrison’s notorious trip to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020, a holiday he has been highly criticised for. 

Poll

What matters to you most in the 2022 election?

  • The economy and cost of living 87 votes
  • National security 31 votes
  • Health and aged care 19 votes
  • Climate change 13 votes
  • Integrity 20 votes

Mr Albanese has previously denied the prime minister’s claims that he had sent him a text message saying where he was holidaying during the bushfires. 

‘On the 15th of December 2019 at 9.44pm the prime minister did text me saying he was going on leave,’ he explained to parliament last November,’ he said. 

Mr Albanese said Mr Morrison did not tell him where he was going but said he was going with family, adding he had kept the private text conversation confidential.  

‘On the Friday he disclosed it in an interview with 2GB that he had texted me and that was the first time that that became public. But at no stage did he tell me where he was going,’ he said. 

The prime minister was then forced to backtrack and admitted he hadn’t told the opposition leader he had been headed for Hawaii.

‘I want to confirm what the leader of the opposition said that in that text I did not tell him the destination of where I was going on leave with my family,’ he said. 

Mr Albanese made a subtle dig at Mr Morrison's notorious trip to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 (pictured is the PM posing for a photo while on the trip)

Mr Albanese made a subtle dig at Mr Morrison’s notorious trip to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 (pictured is the PM posing for a photo while on the trip)

Mr Albanese (pictured in Canberra on Sunday) said Australians had the 'opportunity to build a better future' if they seized the chance to elect a 'better government'

Mr Albanese (pictured in Canberra on Sunday) said Australians had the ‘opportunity to build a better future’ if they seized the chance to elect a ‘better government’

‘I simply communicated to him that I was taking leave. When I was referring to he knew where I was going and was fully aware I was travelling with my family, what I meant was, that we were going on leave together.

‘I know I didn’t tell him where we were going, because Mr Speaker, that is a private matter where members take leave and I know I didn’t tell him the destination, nor would I.’

The prime minister’s backflip prompted Mr Albanese to further criticise the leader for being dishonest and saying ‘whatever is convenient’ at the time. 

In his first speech since Mr Morrison called the federal election for May 21 on Sunday, Mr Albanese promised to provide cheaper childcare, greater investment in renewable energy, and to establish an anti-corruption commission. 

He said Australians had the ‘opportunity to build a better future’ if they seized the chance to elect a ‘better government’.

Mr Albanese urged voters to ignore the prime minister’s claims Labor is a risk to the economy, and said Australians deserved better than their current government.

‘Australians have been magnificent in making sacrifices to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, the floods, the bushfires,’ he said. 

The opposition leader has vowed not to 'go missing' when the going gets tough in a subtle dig to Mr Morrison's notorious trip to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires (pictured)

The opposition leader has vowed not to ‘go missing’ when the going gets tough in a subtle dig to Mr Morrison’s notorious trip to Hawaii during the Black Summer bushfires (pictured)

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says Labor has outlined his vision for Australia in a speech after the federal election was called

‘It has shown the strength of our society but it has also shown our vulnerabilities of our economy and where we need to make improvement. As we emerge from this, Australians deserve better.’ 

Mr Albanese vowed to lead a government that would repay and reward hard work and reflect the decency, compassion and courage of Australians. 

He slammed the current government for having ‘no vision’ and said the budget was an example of this, with one-off payments ‘to stop when the votes are counted’.  

‘They think it will be enough to give them a second decade in office. We can and we must do better,’ the opposition leader said.

He said Mr Morrison’s government had been given an opportunity to put forward a range of long-term policies but had instead given one-off payments ‘hoping that people would forget’ the cost of living pressures.  

‘Well, childcare costs don’t stop once people have voted,’ he continued. 

Mr Albanese (pictured) slammed current government for having 'no vision' and said the budget was an example of this, with one-off payments 'to stop when the votes are counted'

Mr Albanese (pictured) slammed current government for having ‘no vision’ and said the budget was an example of this, with one-off payments ‘to stop when the votes are counted’

‘Nor does the rising costs of petrol or housing, energy costs. All of these things are going up – everything except people’s pay. And this government have been complacent.’

Mr Albanese also spoke about the insight he developed through his tough childhood as he grew up in a housing commission flat with his single mum. 

KEY DATES IN THE 2022 FEDERAL ELECTION

April 10 – Election announcement

April 11 – Issue of writs

April 18 – Close of rolls, 8pm

April 21 – Close of nominations, noon

April 22 – Declaration of nominations, noon

May 9 – Start of early voting

May 21 – Election day 

June 28 – Return of writs deadline

‘I grew up not far from here in Sydney and public housing, the son of a single mum. I learned the value of a dollar, I learned the importance of resilience,’ he said.

‘But I also learned about the strength of community and the power of government to make a difference to people’s lives.

‘That experience of overcoming adversity and filling my mother’s dreams for building a better life that she enjoyed, it took me into politics and it is what drives me today.’ 

Mr Albanese also said his front bench will remain unchanged from his current shadow cabinet.

‘It’s expectation that the frontbench will serve in the same position is that they are in now. I’m very satisfied with my frontbench.’

Scott Morrison claimed in his speech calling the election that the Coalition is a safer bet to ensure a strong economy but Mr Albanese firmly disagreed.

‘The problem for this government is they are treading water.’

‘What are their plans to create productivity, to get better cooperation between unions and business? To invest in infrastructure on the basis of what projects will boost productivity?

‘We have the NBN, we will revitalise Infrastructure Australia, make sure investment goes where it should. We will make sure that we train Australians for the jobs of the future by creating jobs and skills in Australia.’

LABOR’S ELECTION PLATFORM

Anthony Albanese in his reply speech to Scott Morrison calling an election for May 21 outlined his plan for Australia:

* More university places and 465,000 fee-free TAFE places under Labor’s Future Made in Australia Skills Plan.

A $50million TAFE technology fund will also improve IT facilities, workshops, laboratories and tele-health simulators across the country.

* Increased funding for Medicare and expand more into telehealth and dental health.

* Increase funding for renewable energy under the Powering Australia plan.

This includes electric vehicle subsidies, investment in green manufacturing technology and, and New Energy trade skills programs.

* The Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties in its first five years, and create thousands of jobs.

* Address the aged care crises by provided better pay for workers, registers nurses around the clock, better food and more accountability on providers. 

Scott Morrison called on voters to stick with the ‘imperfect’ government they know when they head to the polling booths in May

Mr Morrison ended weeks of uncertainty by visiting Governor-General David Hurley on Sunday morning to announce his decision to dissolve the parliament and begin a six-week campaign. 

Speaking afterwards at a press conference at Parliament House, the prime minister urged voters to stick with his ‘imperfect government’ over the devil they don’t know. 

‘(The) Labor opposition that has been so focused on politics over these past few years that they still can’t tell you what they do, who they are, or what they believe in and what they stand for,’ Mr Morrison said.

But Mr Albanese, who has a degree in economics, later rejected Mr Morrison’s claims.

‘[This is] the most experienced incoming Labor government in history,’ Mr Albanese said.

‘If you look at some of the quite frankly absurd attacks that have gone on from Mr Morrison, they just don’t stack up.

‘One of those is about my experience. My experience is I’ve been Acting Prime Minister, I’ve been Deputy Prime Minister, I chaired the Parliamentary business committee for six years.

‘So every piece of legislation that went through under the Rudd and Gillard governments I presided over.’ 

Labor has been ahead in the polls consistently since June 2021, currently sitting on a two-party preferred vote of 55 per cent.

Anthony Albanese, pictured with his mother Maryanne Therese Albanese, grew up in a house commission flat in Sydney

Anthony Albanese, pictured with his mother Maryanne Therese Albanese, grew up in a house commission flat in Sydney

The coalition starts the race with 76 seats out of the 151-seat lower house, with Labor on 69 if the new seat of Hawke in Victoria is considered a win.

Forty seats in the upper house are in contention in a half-Senate election.

Both leaders are tipped to start their campaigns in regional parts of the nation where marginal seats are up for grabs or need defending.

There are concerns the campaigns could be derailed by Covid-19, but steps have been taken to minimise the chances of outbreaks.

ANTHONY ALBANESE’S FULL SPEECH TO AUSTRALIANS

‘My fellow Australians, this election will determine whether we can come together to build a better future. 

We can seize that opportunity, but you have to vote for it. That is what this election is about, building a better future. We are a great country, but we can be even better if we have a better government. 

We have had a difficult couple of years. Australians have been magnificent in making sacrifices to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, the floods, the bushfires. It has shown the strength of our society but it has also shown our vulnerabilities of our economy and where we need to make improvement.

As we emerge from this, Australians deserve better.

This government doesn’t have an agenda for today, let alone a vision for tomorrow. They demonstrated that in their budget, which was nothing more than a ploy for an election campaign, with one off payments to stop when the votes are counted, which they think it will be enough to give them a second decade in office. 

We can and we must do better. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to imagine a better future, and Labor has the policies and plans to shape that future. Fear can be a powerful emotion, and I imagine there will be quite a bit of that over the next few weeks I suspect, but I want to appeal to Australians’ sense of optimism and desire for a better future – one where there is more work and better paying jobs, stronger Medicare, cheaper childcare, a future made here, revitalising Australian manufacturing. 

We can be a renewable energy superpower that uses cheap, clean energy to support new industries through our national reconstruction fund. 

We can train Australians for those new jobs with our plan for more university places and 465,000 fee free TAFE places. We will end the climate wars. Enough. We will become, more self-reliant as a country we need to be. This will make us more secure at home as well as abroad. I know many Australians are doing it really tough. They know the price of everything is going up but their income isn’t.

Labor’s plans for cheaper childcare, cheaper power bills, and more secure well-paid jobs are aimed at easing cost of living pressures. We will build more affordable housing. We will fix the crisis in aged care. We will fix the National Broadband Network. And we will bring the country together again. Businesses big and small, employers and unions, states and the Commonwealth. 

More secure jobs, stronger Medicare. Cheaper childcare making our future here. That is my plan and Labor’s plan. If I have the honour of serving as your Prime Minister, I can promise you this – I will lead with integrity and I will treat you with respect.

I will restore faith in our political system by getting rid of the waste and rorts, and establishing a strong Anti-Corruption Commission. I won’t go missing when the going gets tough. I will accept the responsibility that comes with high office. 

I will lead a government that repays and rewards your hard work. A government that reflects the decency and compassion and courage of the Australian people. I am humbled to put myself forward as Prime Minister of this great nation.

I grew up not far from here in Sydney in public housing, the son of a single mum. I learned the value of a dollar, I learned the importance of resilience. But I also learned about the strength of community and the power of government to make a difference to peoples lives. That experience of overcoming adversity and fulfilling my mother’s dreams for building a better life that she endured took me into politics and it is what drives me today. It feeds my optimism about this most extraordinary country of Australia.

Today, I say to my fellow Australians, this is our time – our time to seize the opportunities that are before us – our time to create a better future where no-one is held back and no-one is left behind. 

I ask for your support on the 21 May for my team.  

I am ready, we are ready.

And Australia is ready for a better future.

 



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