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Anthony Albanese on Q&A: Opposition Leader quizzed about gaffe

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese let rip on Q&A on Thursday night after being accused of another huge gaffe at a press conference earlier in the day.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese wants to make something clear — he is not a big fan of the gotcha question.

Mr Albanese fronted up to a sit-down with Q&A host David Speers on Thursday night in front of an audience of voters after being grilled on the campaign trail earlier in the day.

It was a day dominated by one moment — when a journalist asked him to recite six points of his Labor’s National Disability Insurance Scheme policy.

I couldn’t. And the press pack let him hear it.

“But Mr Albanese, what are the six points?” he was asked multiple times.

The subject came up on the ABC program when Speers asked if his performance at the press conference “was another mistake.”

“Look, you did have trouble today recalling your six-point plan and I think you’ve listed most of those six points in your answer tonight,” Speers said.

“You did say earlier in the campaign when you stumbled you would own it. Was that another mistake today?”

Mr Albanese made his feelings known.

“No, it wasn’t, David. No, it wasn’t. It was… one of the things that puts people off politics, I think, is the sort of gotcha game-playing.”

Speers pushed the point, telling the Labor Leader that it appeared an adviser gave him a folder after he could not answer the question.

“It has been all over the news tonight, you were asked what the six points are and you didn’t know, someone gives you a folder and you read it out — are you saying you did know off the top of your head?” Speers asked.

“I said the point here, David, isn’t some bureaucratic gotcha game,” Albanese fired back.

“The point here is putting people back in charge of the NDIS and at the center of it and one of the things I reckon that really alienates people from the political system completely is this idea that politics is about a sort of series of gotchas and game -playing.”

The questions came after Mr Albanese’s visit to Sydney where he told reporters the NDIS plan “was outlined by Bill Shorten”.

“But Mr Albanese, what are the six points?” he was asked.

He replied: “We will put people at the center of the NDIS”.

Journalists threw further questions at him about the policy which he dodged until towards the end of the press conference.

He was handed the policy on a piece of paper by an adviser, looked down at his notes and detailed the six points.

Another journalist went on to call him out for bringing in shadow ministers.

“We find it often in the last week or so in the campaign that when you are stumbling on an answer, for example, you bring in your shadow ministers or you refer to them immediately. Is that part of the strategy in order to not see the sort of gaffes we saw on day one, or the gaffe we’ve seen today where you don’t know your own policy?” Sky News journalist Trudy McIntosh asked.

Mr Albanese immediately hit back, responding: “That’s not right”.“I’m captain of a team. I’m proud of the team that we have,” he said.

Albanese defends question about credentials

The Labor Leader was asked by a member of the audience about his prior lack of “credentials” to run the country.

“My concerns with you as potential Prime Minister are your credentials,” a member of the audience said.

“You have never held a portfolio for finance, foreign affairs, education or health — all critical areas for a successful Australian economy and long-term wellbeing. How can we be confident that you have the experience to manage these critical areas? Should we just simply take the risk?”

“If I’m elected Prime Minister, that will be the fourth time that Labor has won government from opposition since the Second World War,” Mr Albanese said.

“The other three people, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd, none of them had served as ministers in our government. I have served for six years as a cabinet minister and government leader in the House of Representatives. . . I’ve served as Deputy Prime Minister. I’ve served as Acting Prime Minister on a couple of occasions. Now, I will lead, also, the most experienced Labor team of any Labor government since federation.

“When I was Leader of the House in a minority government, we got 595 pieces of legislation through. We didn’t just occupy the space.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been asked to appear on Q&A but the offer from the ABC has not been accepted.

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