Well, after a week in which they were confused, Sally Sitou and Tu Le have come together:
And we jump straight from Albanese to Queensland authorities who are providing a flood update.
Shane Chelepy, the acting Queensland disaster coordinator, says there are still 87 buildings affected in Warwick, with 49 people in shelter in Condamine:
The district disaster group and local group are meeting today and as the river drops further they will be moving in towards those recovery efforts there.
At Gympie, as we indicated, we are still seeing rises in the Mary River at Gympie. Planning is well under way there and we are predicting a moderate flood level in Gympie. It is expected that the town bridge may divide the town again to the south. We have pre-positioned our emergency services and disaster management capability to both sides of the town.
We are expecting minor impacts but not expecting with the predicted peaks any significant impacts particularly to dwellings in the Gympie area, but obviously the disaster management group there will continue to monitor that and we will keep the residents informed.
A final question about Andrew Charlton in Parramatta again, first referring to a previous statement Albanese had made on a Liberal candidate found living at a different address to the one listed.
At the time, Albanese said it was a “very serious” issue for the PM. Does the same standard apply to Charlton?
The electoral commission took action on that and referred the candidate for Lilley to the AFP. I expect the rules to always be upheld. Thanks.
We have a question about change! Albanese is asked if he will change if he wins the election:
Scott Morrison got asked a question the other night to say something nice for a minute. He couldn’t quite get there, but he did try. But one of the things he said about me was that I have never forgotten where I came from, and I haven’t. What you see is what you get. The values that I was raised with are the values that I hold dear and they are the values that I will take into government.
With two key themes to that: No one left behind, because I believe we should look after the disadvantaged and aim to lift people up, but also no one held back, that Labor is the party of aspiration and opportunity, that we should look for ways in which people can be the best they can be, and that will be my driving force. I don’t believe this prime minister can change. It is a desperate statement that he made.
Will Albanese be reaching out to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, if he wins the election?
I am not getting ahead of myself and the relationship with China will remain complex and will remain challenging, regardless of who wins the election. I tell you who I will be reaching out to.
I will be, if we are successful, I will be reaching out to the United States and the Biden administration, and what the Biden administration will get from me, as our most important ally, is straight answers. What is very clear from today’s revelations is that they didn’t get straight answers from the Morrison government.
Albanese is then asked about implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and what he’s made of Scott Morrison’s rejection of a voice to parliament:
The only voice that Scott Morrison wants to hear is his own. It is not surprising that he has ruled out a voice to parliament because the only voice that Scott Morrison ever wants to hear is his own.
That’s why even in the parliament he shuts down other voices. So it is not surprising, given he won’t have any debates in the parliament, that he doesn’t want a voice to parliament. This is a generous offer from First Nations people. First Nations people are just asking to be consulted on issues that affect their lives, on health, on education, on housing, on those issues.
It is a generous handout from First Nations people, and what they are asking for is a partner, is just a joining of hands in our common interests. This is the same political party that said if we apologise to the stolen generations it would be divisive. Peter Dutton walked out of that apology. What we need to do is bring this country together.
We return to discussions of foreign policy once again, this time on whether Albanese would be talking to state premiers about China, after the Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan, waded into the discussion yesterday:
Well, I do note that Peter Dutton’s rhetoric is very different from his own government’s rhetoric. It is very different from Marise Payne, who is in charge of foreign policy in the government. She is the foreign minister. Her rhetoric is very different from Peter Dutton.
What we see going on here – we’ve seen it for some period of time – you notice the really subtle things, that you can’t be leader if you haven’t been treasurer, when Josh Frydenberg is sitting behind the prime minister. There is tension within the Liberal party. It is being played out day after day.
There is tension within the National party whereby people are doing the numbers, where they win or not, over who is either deputy prime minister or leader of the National party, depending upon the seats and the outcomes. And the Liberals and Nationals don’t like each other.
The Australian government is in charge of our national policy, but I will be engaging in a constructive way with business, with state premiers, with civil society about our relationships. Mark McGowan is doing a great job as the WA premier. I stand with Mark McGowan. Scott Morrison stands with Clive Palmer.
Next up is a question on a report that the Parramatta Labor candidate, Andrew Charlton, had allegedly admitted to an “oversight” regarding the listing of a Woollahra rental property owned by his wife as his place of residence and whether Charlton should be referred to police.
Anthony Albanese replies:
I’m not aware of the issues which you raise, so I can’t comment.
Mark Butler is also at the presser, and is asked when some of the money announced today will actually be made available:
The GP grants flow immediately. They will start flowing this year and next year to strengthen GP practices. The Medicare Fund will start to flow from 1 July next year. Now there are a range of improvements in our general practice system, some of which Emma talked about earlier, they were identified in the 10-year plan, and what the taskforce’s job will be to do between now and the end of the year is to pull out the key priorities. AMA and the college have talked about priorities of strengthening the relationship between a general practice and particularly patients with complex and chronic disease.
As I said, the taskforce will report by the end of the year, identify the key priorities out of this long-term 10-year plan that should be addressed immediately. That report will flow into 2023 and funding will start flowing on 1 July 2023.
Albanese continues, saying Morrison has used national security issues for short-term political gain, and is followed up with a question on whether he thought Morrison was again thinking in the short term when announcing the ships yesterday:
I’m not suggesting that. I am suggesting that it is an issue of concern that this ship was off the coast of Western Australia. It is appropriate that we get proper security briefings on those issues. Brendan O’Connor has made it clear that he has requested that issue. It is not an issue that was raised with me in any of the briefings …