Australian Economy

Anthony Albanese has had a stellar first week as prime minister — but it will only get harder from now

Anthony Albanese had expected the election might be a week earlier than it was, because last Saturday would bump up against Tuesday’s Quad meeting in Tokyo.

However, Scott Morrison wanted maximum time to try to wear down his opponent.

Then, when it emerged publicly that Mr Albanese was making arrangements with officials to attend the Quad if he won, Mr Morrison accused him of being presumptuous.

Those preparations were prudent and proper, not presumptuous.

The new Prime Minister’s Quad trip has been an obvious success, with leaders — especially US President Joe Biden — impressed he was there at all, so soon after the election.

Mr Albanese’s resetting of Australia’s policy on climate change, which he emphasised inside and outside the meeting, has also gone down well internationally.

The timing of the Quad has been much to Mr Albanese’s advantage.

Immediately after becoming PM, he’s had face-to-face talks, not just with the US president but also with the Japanese and Indian prime ministers, in a diplomatic, top-level job lot.

Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden, Fumio Kishida Narendra Modi stand in line smiling in front of flags.
Anthony Albanese has impressed US President Joe Biden.(AP:  Sadayuki Goto)

As opposition leader, Mr Albanese was focused on domestic rather than foreign policy.

The Quad was an opportunity to get a first-hand feel for issues and positions, as well to indicate the direction his government will take on regional policy.

It’s been a stellar first week for Mr Albanese, but it will only get harder from now, even internationally but, especially, domestically.

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