Anthony Albanese has suffered another gaffe, repeatedly claiming ‘our borders are closed’ as Australians prepare to go to the polls.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has come under fire after saying Australia’s borders were closed despite the lifting of international travel restrictions in February.
The Labor campaign has been plagued by multiple blunders and mistakes by the leader, but as Australians head to the polls, Mr Albanese has stepped up his attacks on Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
As much of the election was focused on the cost of living, the Labor leader criticized the Coalition’s economic management – but when asked how the record unemployment rate affected the argument of the opposition, Mr. Albanese made an unusual assertion.
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“Our borders are closed, Lisa. Our borders are closed. People do it hard. It has an impact on employment numbers,” Mr Albanese told ABC’s Lisa Millar.
“But we also know that people are really picky. And we want an economy that works for people, not people working for the economy.
After two years of tough border requirements, the Morrison government lifted the travel ban in February this year, allowing international travellers, students and workers to return to Australia.
Later, when asked by reporters why he made the claim, Mr Albanese denied saying the borders were currently closed.
“The borders were closed, the borders were closed. And I was asked a question about skills shortages, and one of the things that companies are saying is that they have been affected by the fact that the borders were closed, ”he said during a press conference at the Sydney headquarters in Bennelong.
Defense Secretary Peter Dutton was stunned as he discussed Mr Albanese’s latest gaffe during an interview with Ray Hadley on Thursday morning.
Hadley asked: ‘Were you aware of this decision, obviously made early this morning, that we closed the borders again?
“It can’t be from this morning because the borders opened in February, from memory…” replied Mr Dutton.
“I don’t know if it’s nervous, or if he’s just not up to it, or if he doesn’t handle pressure or stress well, but how the hell can this guy be Prime Minister when he can’t get the basics right?
“What is he talking about?”
While Millar ignored the factual error earlier today – following the Labor leader’s comment asking how ‘closed borders’ have affected the building industry – Finance Minister Simon Birmingham did not. not missed.
Later in the programme, Millar told the finance minister that Australia does not have the workforce it had before the pandemic because “as Anthony Albanese points out, the borders are still closed”.
Mr Birmingham immediately closed the claim and said: ‘Well it’s not. They are not. It’s another thing that he got it wrong.”
“I heard him say that on your show just before. But Australia’s international borders have been open for a few months now.
“Add that to the list of him not knowing the unemployment rate, not knowing the interest rates, not knowing his own disability policies.”
Millar then began to backtrack and argue that Australia did not have the same international workforce it had before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People are indeed coming back and our government, again, has policies in place to refund the visa application… for international students and backpackers to encourage them to come back,” Mr Birmingham replied.
“Let’s not forget that Anthony Albanese doesn’t know what’s going on. The borders have been open for months, but he looked at the camera barrel moments ago and said the Australian borders were closed.
“They weren’t. They’re open. The Reserve Bank exchange rate is currently 3.5% – these are all things that Anthony Albanese (should have) known during the election campaign.
“It’s just a demonstration that he’s a leader who doesn’t have the basic confidence or understanding that he seems to be able to overcome problems.”