Albo’s border blunder as he backflips on ditching media pack

Anthony Albanese has made an embarrassing blunder claiming Australia’s ‘borders are closed’ – months after they reopened. It comes as he backflipped on a plan to ditch his travelling media pack.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has made an embarrassing blunder claiming Australia’s ‘borders are closed’ – months after they reopened.
It comes as he made the curious decision to ditch his media pack and long-awaited costings announcement today before later backflipping and keeping the reporters travelling with him to Brisbane for the crucial final 48 hours of campaigning.
In other stories today:
r One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who has campaigned against mandatory vaccination and is unvaccinated, has tested positive to Covid-19.
• Mr Albanese has unveiled his to do list for his first 100 days in office, promising new laws on everything from climate change to corruption
• The soccer kid ‘bulldozed’ by the PM has spoken saying he was left with a ‘massive smile on his face’.
• Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has ridiculed Mr Albanese’s claims he can improve real wages, saying Labor had ‘promised to write a letter’ rather than having a detailed economic plan to manage a $2.1 trillion dollar budget.
Craig Kelly, who is being touted as the ‘next PM’ in huge United Australia Party ads, has admitted even he will have to “fight hard” for his own seat in the upcoming federal election.
Millionaire investor Simon Holmes a Court has been filmed repeatedly ignoring requests to leave Liberal Senator Jane Hume alone at a Melbourne pre-poll.
Mr Albanese and his frontbench team are launching a 48-hour “sprint” – blitzing 20 Liberal-held seats, saying they’re taking “nothing for granted”.
The Labor leader joined ‘Westie wannabe’ Kristine Keneally at the Marconi Club, where he blasted the Liberals for using his surname in attacks ads.
Mr Albanese has reversed a decision to ditch his travelling media pack but he will miss Labor’s election costings announcement today.
The Labor leader will hold a press conference in Sydney this morning and then jump on a plane to Brisbane, initially planning to leave behind the travelling media pack who were going to be diverted to Canberra for when the long-awaited costings are announced by opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers and finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher.
Mr Albanese will not go to Canberra and instead campaign on marginal Queensland seats. However, about an hour later, the Labor campaign team backflipped on the decision. The media pack will now travel to Brisbane with him to cover the crucial final 48 hours of campaigning.
It was going to be the first time the travelling media pack was separated from Mr Albanese and was a curious decision given the pressure Mr Albanese has faced over the unreleased costings.
Mr Albanese has refused to say for weeks whether his costings will have higher budget deficits than the Coalition.
Mr Albanese walked out of a press conference in Perth on Tuesday when he was pressed by journalists over whether Labor would run higher deficits over the next four years than the Coalition.
Senior Coalition figures have again questioned Anthony Albanese’s ability to get across basic details after he wrongly claimed Australia’s international borders were closed.
Mr Albanese has made a series of gaffes during the election campaign, including not knowing the unemployment rate or the official cash rate which determines interest rates.
Speaking on ABC News breakfast, the Opposition leader was asked whether he believed Australia’s low unemployment rate could boost the Coalition this Saturday after a campaign fought on cost of living and the economy.
Mr Albanese responded that Australia’s unemployment figures were only low because the international border was closed.
“Our borders are closed, Lisa. Our borders are closed,” Mr Albanese said.
“People are doing it tough. That’s having an impact on employment figures. We know that that’s the case. But we know as well that people are really doing it tough.
Since the borders have reopened, over 920,000 temporary visa holders have arrived in Australia, including 442,100 visitors, 168,000 students and 90,300 temporary skilled visas. Only unvaccinated people are not permitted to enter the country.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham jumped on Mr Albanese’s border blunder, echoing comments by former PM John Howard, that the Labor leader was not across the detail.
Mr Birmingham said he would not trust Mr Albanese with his ‘shopping list’ let alone a $2.1 trillion economy.
Mr Albanese later corrected his comments when asked about the gaffe. “The borders were closed. The borders were closed. And I was asked a question about skills shortages, and one of things that business say is that they were impacted by the fact that the borders were closed,’’ he said.
“And, indeed, people who were here on temporary visas were told to leave. That’s had an impact on our labour market.” Mr Albanese has again refused to say whether deficits will be higher under a government he leads.
Just hours ahead of the release of Labor’s election policy costings, Mr Albanese again swatted back questions.
Instead, he argued his policies will “produce a retur Anthony Albanese has unveiled his 100-day plan if he wins the election on Saturday, vowing a different style of leadership and promising new laws on climate change, corruption, employment and constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians.
The Labor leader sought to reassure undecided voters that he had “a plan for a better future”, leading ”the most experienced incoming team” that Labor has taken to an election.
Mr Albanese’s busy 100-day plan would begin with a swearing-in of himself as prime minister and Penny Wong as foreign minister on Sunday or Monday to attend the Quadrilateral meeting with leaders from the US, Japan and India in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The Australian revealed Labor caucus is expected to meet on May 30 to elect ministers as required under party rules, with a swearing-in of the full ministry to take place later that week.
Mr Morrison said on Tuesday that Mr Albanese was “getting a bit ahead of himself” by declaring that he would seek a swift swearing-in after the election.
“He seems to think this election is already done,” the Prime Minister said. “Australians will make this decision; you don‘t get to make it before the election.”
The 100-day plan, subject to advice, also includes:
• Replace the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Philip Gaetjens.
.• Convene the first sitting of the 47th parliament in June.
• Treasurer Jim Chalmers to deliver a ministerial statement on the budget and economic outlook in June. • Hold a summit with business and unions that will inform a white paper on employment.
• Begin structural change in departments and prepare legislation to deliver policies on climate change, energy, infrastructure, skills, employment, an integrity commission and constitutional recognition.
Mr Albanese said he would adopt a very different style of national leadership to Mr Morrison with a new tone, approach and governing model in order to reshape Australia.
“I want to bring the Australian people on the journey of shaping change,” he said.
“In the way that I intend to govern, if we are successful, it will be more inclusive and respectful as well, including the way that the parliament functions.
“I want there to be a genuine contest of ideas and I want government to be accountable. We will also, in the first 100 days, continue work on the structures of a national anti-corruption commission. We will have legislation introduced before the end of the year.
“Here’s the big tip: If you look at our commitments for economy-boosting reforms, in child care, in skills, and in our Powering Australia Plan, that adds up to the difference which will be released later today,” he said. He hit back at reports the deficit could be as higher than the Coalition by up to $10bn.
“It is less than the figure that was published, as I indicated,” he said
“We make no apologies for the fact that. We make no apologies for the fact that we are investing in things that will produce a return.”
But he denied he was trying to distance himself from Labor’s economic figures.
He assured reporters he knew the deficit figure but declined to provide further information.
“During this campaign, I have been completely accountable, Mr Albanese said.

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