Anthony Albanese is slammed for CANCELLING a key meeting with state leaders over rocketing power prices after getting Covid – despite cabinet meeting virtually on Zoom for months
- Anthony Albanese has contracted Covid for a second time in less than a year
- The PM tested positive during a routine PCR test earlier this week
- He is experiencing symptoms and is isolating in line with health advice
- Speaking on ABC Melbourne, the leader admitted he was ‘not 100%’
A crucial meeting between federal and state leaders to carve out a deal to drive down power prices has been rescheduled after Anthony Albanese was struck down with Covid.
The Prime Minister was forced to delay the face-to-face talks at a dinner with leaders at Kirribilli House after he tested positive following a routine PCR test on Monday.
On Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed the meeting would now take place virtually on Friday after he assured he was ‘doing OK’.
‘I’m not 100 per cent obviously but I´m doing OK… I’m isolating while I have symptoms, which is what the health advice is,’ he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
It’s the leader’s second bout of Covid. He famously contracted the virus for the first time while on the campaign trial in May.
The Prime Minister’s office confirmed the meeting would now take place virtually on Friday after he assured he was ‘doing OK’ (pictured, Anthony Albanese)
There had been concern the diagnosis and subsequent delay of the national cabinet meeting would impact on the timing of power price relief.
Mr Albanese has been under pressure to broker a deal with the states to bring down energy prices but has faced fierce pushback from NSW and Queensland.
But the Prime Minister insisted that would not be the case.
‘The idea that you make a decision and it has an impact immediately on prices is not right,’ he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
‘What the default market offer that will occur is expected to be in February … there´s no actual delay in anything, except the formal meeting that will take place now on Friday.’
Mr Albanese has been under pressure to broker a deal with the states to bring down energy prices but has faced fierce pushback from NSW and Queensland (pictured, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and NSW premier Dominic Perrottet)
While talks have been occurring at the bureaucrat level, Mr Albanese has taken to negotiating with the premiers individually.
‘I’ve had discussions with premiers on the weekend and again yesterday and last week. So these things are being worked through constructively, and I´ll continue to work through with them in a positive fashion,’ he said.
But NSW Treasurer Matt Kean claimed the states had not been provided with a detailed plan.
‘We need to see the detail of the commonwealth`s plan to solve this national problem (and) to see the modelling about how we´ll keep prices down,’ Mr 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 the federal government would need to ensure the states´ own coffers would not be impacted.
‘The commonwealth is yet to put a single dollar on the table to help with energy costs,’ Mr Kean said.
Earlier, acting Liberal leader Sussan Ley called on Mr Albanese to reverse the decision to cancel the meeting.
‘Indeed, the national cabinet has met almost exclusively via telepresence since its inception in early 2020,’ she said.
‘Australians were promised cost of living relief would be delivered at this meeting of national cabinet. They are relying on this meeting to take place.’