by SEAN BURKE – TRADE Union leaders have warned Anthony Albanese to step up – while Liberal Leader Peter Dutton reveals his plans to remove the stumbling Prime Minister by 2025.
On top of this, the latest Newspoll has unleashed a world of pain for the Albanese Government.
The opinion poll indicated Labor had fallen to a 10-year low, 31 per cent primary vote (seven points behind the Coalition), while the Prime Minister’s job satisfaction rating crashed to its lowest level ever (negative 10).
With his agenda in flames – the Voice failure, uncontrolled inflation, illegal boat arrivals, renewables uncertainty and an immigration mess – Mr Albanese is facing a pincer movement from both union bosses and Mr Dutton.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus publicly criticised the Prime Minister this week saying his policies were hurting Australians.
“People are all hurting,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday. “This is not just a small issue – it’s large sections of the population.
“Cost of living can’t be overlooked. It’s the number one, two and three issues.”
Meanwhile, Mr Dutton said this week that – due to Mr Albanese’s dangerous and damaging agenda – he had opted for a one-term strategy to return the Liberals to government.
“I notice there’s been some media speculation around what my two-term strategy might be,” he said.
“There is no two-term strategy. Our strategy is one term – and for the sake of the Australian public, for the sake of our economy, to restore integrity to our national security and to make sure we’re the best country we can be.
“From the moment we found ourselves in opposition, we have worked together, supported colleagues and, while no Party could ever be expected to get everything right, we are in a much stronger position because of that strength and the unity of the Party room.”
The Australian newspaper’s National Editor Dennis Shanahan said Mr Dutton had good reason to take this approach.
“The Opposition Leader is on the front foot politically and in parliament, as Anthony Albanese is forced back on the defensive in every aspect of Labor’s political and policy agenda,” Mr Shanahan wrote this week.
“Peter Dutton has thrown caution to the wind. He’s going all in for government, and in one term,” he said.
“After not wasting his time trying to grab voter attention while the Prime Minister was still on a political honeymoon, Dutton has decided to strike now and take advantage of Albanese’s troubles.
“Publicly, the polls are moving against Albanese and, privately, there is rising nervousness among government MPs facing a long, hard summer after going into the end of parliament well behind the Coalition.
“Two weeks ago, Dutton grabbed the legislative agenda in Albanese’s absence and this week he’s moved to control the political agenda with the bold declaration that he only has a ‘one-term election strategy’ aimed at victory at the next election.
“It’s a gamble for Dutton to move now with such a bold declaration but there’s a growing fear in Labor ranks that it could be reduced to a minority government after one term – as Julia Gillard was in 2010.”
Mr Shanahan said while Labor would set a course to denigrate the Liberal Leader, a “determined and confident Mr Dutton can be difficult to pin down if there are too many distractions – including overseas travel – for a government lacking a clear agenda.” PC