Anthony Albanese has delivered a scathing attack on opposition leader Peter Dutton – warning in a speech to the Labor faithful what he believes Australia would look like under a coalition government.
The Prime Minister was the guest speaker at the Lionel Bowen Dinner on Tuesday evening, where Matt Thisthlethwaite, MP for Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith and Deputy Minister for the Republic, celebrated his tenth anniversary in service.
Brushing aside a series of disappointing polls, Mr Albanese delivered a passionate and sometimes fiery speech designed to remind Australians why they voted Labor after nine years of Coalition rule – and to draw attention to their doubts about Mr Dutton and the Greens .
“What have we left behind?” He posed in front of the crowd.
“I’ll start with a joke I heard: A health minister, a trade minister, an industry minister, an interior minister, a treasurer and a prime minister walk into a bar.” And the bartender says, “Just the usual, Scott?”
The Prime Minister was the guest speaker at the Lionel Bowen Dinner, where Matt Thisthlethwaite, MP for Kingsford-Smith and Deputy Minister of the Republic, celebrated ten years in the service
The joke makes light of perhaps Morrison’s biggest scandal to emerge after the election – that he had secretly sworn in to several key portfolios during the Covid pandemic without telling the ministers involved or the Australian public.
Mr Albanese then turned on Mr Morrison’s successor, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.
“And now we have Peter Dutton,” he said.
“A man who claims to be a conservative – but is trying to destroy our institutions.”
“A man who talks about the importance of social cohesion – but does everything he can to divide us as a society.”
“A man who talks about the importance of lowering the temperature – and then throws fuel on the fire.”
Mr Albanese claimed Mr Dutton would begin next year to improve his reputation ahead of the next general election, due to take place in early 2025.
“We’ll start hearing about Pete’s kind heart and cuddly nature.” We might even catch a glimpse of a smile – it’s amazing what they can do with AI these days.
Anthony Albanese takes a selfie at the Lionel Bowen Dinner
“But there will never be anything like Dutton 2.0.”
Mr Dutton was not the only one in the Prime Minister’s crosshairs. Mr Albanese also mocked the Greens’ staunch opposition to Labour’s housing policy.
“He (Dutton) is such a no-development zone, I’m worried the Green political party is starting to take a liking to him,” he said.
“They are so anti-building that they want to stop a vacant chicken farm in Brisbane from being converted into housing by the most ruthless mega-property developer, the Uniting Church.”
Mr Albanese acknowledged that these were the other two major parties competing for the votes of everyday Australians.
But he said they should not be viewed as an “alternative” government.
Mr Albanese claimed Mr Dutton would begin next year to improve his reputation ahead of the next general election, due to take place in early 2025
“All the coalition and the Greens can offer is a dead end – or at best a roundabout without an exit.” Movement without results.
“If you want the way forward, you need Labor.”
A Roy Morgan poll this week showed Mr Dutton’s coalition ahead of Labor for the first time since the election.
Labour’s slump in the polls also coincides with the controversial Supreme Court ruling that freed 93 asylum seekers, including murderers, rapists and paedophiles.
The poll is the third in a row to show a significant drop in Labor primaries.
In the primary, the Coalition is now at 37.5 percent, 1 percent more than a week ago, and well ahead of the ALP on 29.5 percent, a decrease of 0.5 percent.
Support for the Greens is at 13.5 per cent, up 0.5 per cent, while support for One Nation is also up 0.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
Brushing aside a series of disappointing polls, Mr Albanese delivered a passionate and sometimes fiery speech designed to remind Australians why they voted Labor after nine years of Coalition rule – and to draw attention to their doubts about Mr Dutton and the Greens
The federal voting intention survey was based on 1,401 Australians from November 13 to 19.
Mr Albanese made several references to his involvement in the cost of living crisis.
He pointed to his campaign promise to increase the minimum wage by $1 an hour.
He said: “$1 an hour for the lowest paid workers in Australia, some of the heroes of the pandemic.” I said absolutely. And the liberals were completely crazy.
“They said it was loose, they said it was irresponsible, they said the sky was falling.”
“They carried on so much that I carried a dollar coin with me for the rest of the campaign. “And guess what, when we supported a fair wage increase for working people, the sky didn’t fall.”
Mr Albanese said he keeps this coin in his desk in Parliament House to this day.