Australian Elections 2022: Anthony Albanese Leaves Press Conference
Anthony Albanese walks out of press conference in latest sign of BIG shift in strategy as reporters find themselves yelling ‘why aren’t you answering questions’
- Anthony Albanese pledged 50 first aid clinics across the country
- Clinics will treat non-life threatening injuries such as broken bones
- He makes the promise after huge economic numbers goof up on campaign day
- He walked out of the press conference after just 10 questions in Melbourne
Anthony Albanese walked away from a very brief press conference in what signals a shift in strategy after previously saying he would give every reporter a chance to ask a question.
The Labor leader answered just a dozen questions in Melbourne on Wednesday and then left, leaving reporters to yell “why aren’t you answering questions?”
On Monday, Mr Albanese had told reporters that everyone would get a question and said he would not shy away from pressers like Scott Morrison, who usually only answers 10 or 12 questions.
“I’m not Scott Morrison, I’m not running from press conferences. Do it in order. Everyone will have one,” he said.
But Mr Albanese has quickly changed his media strategy, as his managers try to downplay the potential for other huge blunders like Monday’s embarrassing failure.
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese poses for a selfie with supporters after delivering a speech at the Australian Federation of Nurses and Midwives
Albo’s bad start to the campaign
Day 1: Unemployment rate was incorrectly guessed at 5.4% and could not indicate Reserve Bank interest rate
Day 2: Admitted he did not know who Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay was
Day 3: Left the press conference at the start of what signaled a change in strategy after previously saying he would answer all questions
On the first full day of the campaign, he incorrectly assumed the unemployment rate was 5.4% and could not quote the Reserve Bank’s 0.1 exchange rate in an error that dominated media coverage and featured in Coalition advertisements.
On Tuesday he was asked if he had concerns about the appointment of Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay and admitted he did not know who she was.
Limiting reporters’ ability to ask questions reduces the risk of scrutiny and error and allows Mr. Albanese to stick to his central message of the day.
Mr Morrison also left his press conference on Wednesday afternoon as reporters were still asking questions.
Earlier, Mr Albanese spoke at a rally organized by the Australian Federation of Nurses and Midwives and pledged 50 first aid clinics across the country if he wins the election.
Clinics will treat non-life threatening injuries such as broken bones, minor burns, cuts and animal bites and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Labour’s first aid clinics will be based in GP surgeries and community health centers across the country, the locations of which have yet to be announced.
Similar clinics operate in New Zealand where they help families avoid long waiting times and ease pressure on hospitals.
Clinics will be billed wholesale, meaning people will have no out-of-pocket access to medical care.
A four-year clinical trial will cost $135 million.
“These clinics are a key part of the Labor Party’s plan to bolster Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor,” Albanese said.
Mr Albanese walked away from his press conference as reporters were still asking questions. Scott Morrison did the same later
Anthony Albanese (pictured on Tuesday) has promised 50 first aid clinics across the country if he wins the election – as he tries to move on from his disastrous campaign gaffe
“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take pressure off emergency departments, so they can focus on saving lives.”
Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said the plan was a “practical and tangible example of Labor’s commitment to strengthening Medicare.”
“Medicare is the foundation of our healthcare system and by using it to help reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments, we are strengthening the entire system,” he said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Labor was retiring old policies.
“Labour continues to scrape the bottom of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd election barrel for health policy ideas, reheating and brooding today over the Rudd government’s failed super clinic announcement,” he said.
“In its last term in government, Labor promised 65 of these super clinics but only delivered 33, with a damning report from the Auditor General criticizing the $650million plan at the time.
“Most worryingly, when asked about this announcement this morning, Labour’s Health spokesman Mark Butler could not say where these clinics would be located, how they would operate or how Labour would handle the billing. group of these clinics.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison pats Shannie the golden retriever during a visit to Assistance Dogs Australia in western Sydney on Tuesday