Anthony Albanese is being criticized for CANCELING a key meeting with state leaders over skyrocketing energy prices after getting Covid – despite months of cabinet meeting virtually on Zoom
- Anthony Albanese has contracted Covid for the second time in less than a year
- The PM tested positive earlier this week during a routine PCR test
- He is showing symptoms and is isolating in accordance with health advice
- Speaking on ABC Melbourne, the leader admitted he was ‘not 100%’
A crucial meeting between federal and state leaders to finalize a deal to cut energy prices has been rescheduled after Anthony Albanese was hit by Covid.
The prime minister had to postpone face-to-face talks with leaders at Kirribilli House after testing positive on Monday following a routine PCR test.
On Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed that the meeting would now take place virtually on Friday, after assuring that he was ‘fine’.
“I’m not 100 per cent, of course, but I’m fine… I’m in isolation while I have symptoms, that’s what the health advice is,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
It is the leader’s second bout of Covid. It is known that he first contracted the virus during the campaign trial in May.
The Prime Minister’s office confirmed the meeting would now take place virtually on Friday, after assuring it was ‘going well’ (photo, Anthony Albanese)
There were concerns that the diagnosis and subsequent postponement of the national cabinet meeting would affect the timing of the power price cut.
Mr Albanese is under pressure to negotiate a deal with the states to cut energy prices but has faced fierce backlash from NSW and Queensland.
But the Prime Minister insisted that would not be the case.
“The idea that you make a decision and it directly affects prices is wrong,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“Which will be the standard market offer expected to be in February… there is no actual delay in anything except the formal meeting that will now take place on Friday.”
Mr Albanese is under pressure to negotiate a deal with the states to cut energy prices, but faced fierce backlash from NSW and Queensland (pictured, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of Queensland and Dominic Perrottet, Premier of NSW)
While talks have taken place at bureaucrat level, Mr Albanese has started individual negotiations with the Prime Ministers.
“I had talks with prime ministers over the weekend and again yesterday and last week. So these things are being looked through constructively and I will continue to work with them in a positive way,” he said.
But NSW treasurer Matt Kean claimed the states had not been given a detailed plan.
“We need to see the details of the Commonwealth’s plan to solve this national problem (and) see the models of how we can keep prices down,” Kean told ABC Radio.
“We haven’t seen anything yet.”
A proposal to put a price cap on coal would be supported by the NSW government, but Mr Kean stressed that the federal government would need to ensure that the state’s own treasury is not affected.
“The Commonwealth has yet to put a single dollar on the table to help with energy costs,” said Mr. Kean.
Earlier, acting Liberal leader Sussan Ley called on Mr Albanese to reverse the decision to cancel the meeting.
“Indeed, the National Cabinet has been meeting almost exclusively via telepresence since its formation in early 2020,” she said.
Australians were promised that the cost of living would be reduced at this National Cabinet meeting. They trust this meeting to take place.’