Anthony Albanese to mark second anniversary as PM with speech while laying out battlelines for next election

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Katina Curtis
The Nightly
3 Min Read
The Prime Minister is shifting into campaign mode and painting the choice for voters as one between a forward-looking, cooperative government and a combative Opposition that wants to return to the past.
The Prime Minister is shifting into campaign mode and painting the choice for voters as one between a forward-looking, cooperative government and a combative Opposition that wants to return to the past. Credit: AAP

Anthony Albanese will mark his second anniversary as prime minister while laying out the battlelines for the next year ahead of the election, painting the choice as one between a forward-looking, cooperative government and a combative Opposition that wants to return to the past.

The Prime Minister’s broad framing speech comes at the end of a week in which he has largely left his ministers to do the post-Budget sell, including a string of frontbenchers headed to Western Australia.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also spent two days in Perth, pledging to “unequivocally and unashamedly” champion the resources sector and accusing the Government of bogging it down in red tape.

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A series of polls taken as voters digested the Budget’s offerings show Labor’s primary vote largely unchanged and the Government still slightly ahead on two-party preferred standings.

It is moving into campaigning mode, although Mr Albanese has still been insisting the election is likely a year away.

Tuesday marked two years since to 2022 Federal election.

Mr Albanese will tell the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue on Friday that his election night promise to lead a government for all Australians showed in the Budget’s tax cuts and power bill rebates for all, greater access to TAFE and universities, and more help with health costs.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton speaks with Meg O'Neill Chair of Australian Energy at the Australian Energy Producers Conference & Exhibition at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also spent two days in Perth, pledging to ‘unequivocally and unashamedly’ champion the resources sector and accusing the Government of bogging it down in red tape. Credit: Halim Mellick/The West Australian

Now, the Government was shifting from helping people deal with the economic shocks of the pandemic and its aftermath and international conflicts to building a more resilient and better-prepared economy and society.

“While it is important that Australia is ready to weather the next storm, we must also be ready to seize the next wave of opportunity,” he will say.

“Today I make this point: if you could have designed a global opportunity for Australia, you could not have chosen a better starting point than this.

“And I say ‘starting point’ very deliberately. Because this moment of opportunity must be about more than us extracting and exporting a new mix of resources to a new range of markets.”

He links the widespread cost of living support to the Future Made in Australia strategy that aims to bring “new jobs and opportunities to every part of our country” from WA to western Sydney, “the resources industry in our regions and small businesses in our suburbs”.

Mr Dutton is opposed to the production tax credits that form the centrepiece of the Future Made in Australia package and insists a better way forward is to offer manufacturers and miners cheaper energy and less regulation.

“We will be the party that supports the mining industry in a way that the Labor Party just can’t do,” he told reporters in Perth.

“Because as every credible commentator is saying at the moment, the best case for Labor after the next election is that they’re in a minority government with the Greens and Teals. That will spell an absolute death knell for the mining sector in our country.”

Ministers have painted the decisions to oppose the tax breaks as another tally on the score of Mr Dutton’s negativity.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said repeatedly on Thursday the Liberal leader “doesn’t understand WA, he doesn’t understand the economy and he doesn’t understand the future”.

Mr Albanese said people were fed up with the ongoing defaulting to conflict, and that he had deliberately sought to change that.

“By contrast, my opponent goes around telling business leaders who look to work with us that they are ‘supine’ and weak,” he says.

“But there is a world of difference between talking tough and working hard.

“Governing Australia requires more than soundbites – you need substantial propositions. The stakes right now are too high for the shallow and shambolic approach we see too often from the Opposition.”

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