Australian Economy

Prime Minister Scott Morrison gives his final 7.30 interview of the 2022 campaign with Leigh Sales — as it happened

Morrison brands Albanese ‘an armchair critic’

Leigh Sales reads a quote from Anthony Albanese, which says “they always react too little, too late, whether it’s the bushfire crisis, ordering enough vaccines, responding to victims of floods,” and then tells Mr Morrison that those three issues are ‘indisputable”.

Mr Morrison says: “They’re the comments of an armchair critic.”

“I have to disagree on a couple of points there,” Mr Morrison says.

“Firstly, $2.9 billion, straight in there, to support the victims of bushfires. On floods, the same has been the case. We have people winching people off roofs within hours of floods hitting. I think those who have been directly involved in the delivery of that support, whether it was our Centrelink officers there providing emergency cash assistance.

“Everyone has seen the images and heard from the people. You can’t honestly say there was enough on the ground at the time,” Ms Sales says.

“I’m aware of the narrative. It was a massive crisis, Leigh. I mean, there’s not defence force personnel sitting in every single town in the country,” Mr Morrison says.

Ms Sales pushes back, saying that the Royal Commission after the bushfires said Australians were assured we would never see a situation again where people were left in such dire need and whether that performance deserves another three years in power.

Mr Morrison says the Royal Commission did not find that was the case and pointed to his record during the pandemic.

“My point is, it’s easy to make criticisms in the middle of a pandemic after the event. When you’re there, taking the country through all of that, and the decisions that have to be made every single day,” he says.

“When you step back, and you look at what Australians have been able to achieve over these last two years, I think fair minded people will see that Australia has compared very well to other countries.

“And it didn’t happen by accident. We did it all together.”

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