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Australia election 2022: Anthony Albanese walks out of press conference

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Anthony Albanese walks out of press conference in latest sign of a BIG shift in his strategy as reporters are left shouting ‘why aren’t you answering questions’

  • Anthony Albanese has pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country 
  • The clinics will treat non life threatening injuries such as broken bones 
  • He makes the pledge after huge economic figures gaffe on day of campaign
  • He walked out of press conference after just 10 questions in Melbourne 

Anthony Albanese has walked away from a nine-minute press conference – after promising to take every question from journalists.

The Labor leader took only about 10 questions in Melbourne on Wednesday and then walked off, leaving journalists shouting ‘why aren’t you answering questions?’ 

Just days ago Mr Albanese had told reporters ‘everyone will get a go’ and he won’t run away from pressers like Scott Morrison who usually only takes 10 or 12 questions. 

But Mr Albanese has now completely changed his communications strategy as he tries to reduce the potential for any more huge gaffes. 

Anthony Albanese has walked away from a short press conference - after promising to take every question from journalists

Anthony Albanese has walked away from a short press conference – after promising to take every question from journalists

On day one of the campaign he wrongly guessed the unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent and couldn’t state the Reserve Bank interest rate in a mistake that dominated news coverage and featured in Coalition adverts.

On day three he was asked whether he had any concerns about the appointment of Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay and admitted he did not know who she was.  

Limiting press conferences reduces the chance for scrutiny and mistakes and allows Mr Albanese to stick to his central message for the day.     

Today he pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country if he wins the election.

The clinics will treat non life threatening injuries such as broken bones, minor burns, cuts and animal stings and will be open every day between 8am to 10pm.

Anthony Albanese (pictured on Tuesday) has pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country if he wins the election - as he tries to move on from his disastrous campaign gaffe

Anthony Albanese (pictured on Tuesday) has pledged 50 first-aid clinics across the country if he wins the election – as he tries to move on from his disastrous campaign gaffe

Labor’s first-aid clinics will be based at GP surgeries and community health centres nationwide with locations yet to be announced.

Similar clinics operate in New Zealand where they help families avoid long wait times and ease pressure on hospitals.  

Pictured: A Sydney nurse

Pictured: A Sydney nurse

The clinics will be bulk billed, meaning people won’t have any out-of-pocket costs accessing medical care.

A trial of the clinics lasting four years will cost $135 million.

‘These clinics are a key part of Labor’s plan to strengthen Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor,’ Mr Albanese said.

‘Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will take the pressure off emergency departments, so they can concentrate on saving lives.’

Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said the plan was a ‘practical, tangible example of Labor’s commitment to strengthen Medicare’.

‘Medicare is the bedrock of our health system and by using it to help take the pressure off hospital emergency departments we make can the whole system stronger,’ he said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Labor was dredging up old policies.

‘Labor continues to scrape the bottom of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Election barrel for health policy ideas, reheating and rehashing the Rudd Government’s failed super clinics announcement today,’ he said. 

‘When last in Government, Labor promised 65 of these super clinics, but only delivered 33, with a damning Auditor General’s report criticising the then $650 million plan.

‘Most concerningly, when quizzed on this announcement this morning, Labor’s Health spokesperson, Mark Butler, could not say where these clinics would be located, how they would operate or how Labor would ensure these clinics bulk bill.’ 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison pats Shannie the golden retriever during a visit to Assistance Dogs Australia in Western Sydney on Tuesday

Prime Minister Scott Morrison pats Shannie the golden retriever during a visit to Assistance Dogs Australia in Western Sydney on Tuesday

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