Anthony Albanese says ‘game of gotcha’ will ‘deter people from politics’ after initially failing to answer NDIS question
The Leader of the Opposition argued that his failure to remember Labour’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) six-point plan was not a mistake and suggested that the moments of “playing game” “will keep people away from politics”.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has claimed he had not made a mistake in forgetting Labour’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) six-point plan.
He struggled to list details when questioned repeatedly by reporters on Thursday and was later grilled when they saw he had received help from an aide.
As his climate spokesman Chris Bowen answered questions about clean energy, Mr Albanese was handed an off-screen binder containing information on the party’s key policies in front of the press kit.
He appeared on Q&A nearly 12 hours after the incident where he was able to reference the six points – revitalize NDIA, stop waste, increase efficiency, stop unfair cuts, fix regional access, get people back in the NDIS – after a question from a voter.
Mr Albanese then shut down host David Speers’ suggestions, it was another major mistake in his federal election campaign after the first week gaffe.
“No, it wasn’t, David. No, it wasn’t,” he said.
“That was…one of the things that puts people off politics, I think, it’s kind of gotcha game.”
Speers further questioned Mr Albanese on whether he had received the dossier, which he later read, and whether he suggested he knew the plan “by heart”.
“Well, I said the point here, David, is not bureaucratic trickery,” he reiterated.
“The point here is to put people back in charge of the NDIS and at the center of it and one of the things that I think really drives people away from the political system is this idea that politics is kind of a series of traps and games-playing.”
Mr Albanese was repeatedly asked in Sydney if he could recite the NDIS plan, but he skirted the question.
“The six points is what we will do based on what was outlined by Bill Shorten. It’s about making sure…” he began before being interrupted.
He continued, “If you let me answer the question. This is to ensure that we provide relief to people who, at the moment, are seeing their programs cut.
“We will ensure there is administrative efficiency, so much is wasted on claims going forward with legal battles for individuals. What we’re going to do is put people at the center of the NDIS.
Mr. Albanese then receives the binder with the details and is sent back to the desk and listed the points.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison took the opportunity to hit out at Mr Albanese over his latest faux pas, saying ‘could you imagine three years of this?’.
In an exclusive interview with Sky News Australia’s Paul Murray, Mr Morrison slammed Mr Albanese for not knowing key details of one of Labour’s signature policies.
“I would have thought that so deep in the campaign they would have had clear plans and the few plans they have he would know what they are,” he said.
“And I think what we’re seeing as people watch this campaign and it’s a choice, he wants to make it a referendum on me as you know.
“But it’s a choice and people look and they go, I don’t see it in this guy, I don’t see it in that other Labor guy, I don’t see it in Anthony Albanese.”
Mr Albanese repeatedly stumbled on the campaign trail over Labor plans, including the cost of the key health announcement of 50 urgent care clinics across the country and the party’s plans in border security.