Many have been critical of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s globetrotting since the election, but I am not concerned about where Mr Albanese’s feet have landed.
It is where our new PM’s head is at that is the issue.
On his visit to Indonesia, Mr Albanese established a new rule that he would not answer questions about Australian domestic issues while in a foreign country.
In an age of email, mobile phones and instant messaging, it was not clear why the PM could not be across the issues that Australians face even while overseas.
It is not like everything is rosy on the home front.
Australians face rising interest rates, an energy system struggling to keep the lights on, a failing health system during a new Covid wave and an escalating cost of living.
In his first two months our new PM has not been focused on these challenges.
During the election campaign, Labor promised to slash people’s electricity bills by $275.
Just five weeks after the election, Labor dumped the promise with Chris Bowen, the Energy Minister, saying: “Since the modelling was done we’ve seen Snowy 2.0 running late, we’ve seen the default market offer going up.” Sorry, there are no refunds on an election result.
Six weeks ago, the government announced a review of the laws that allow the Australian government to keep gas in Australia to meet shortages. I established this mechanism in 2017 as resources minister and within weeks of threatening to “pull the trigger”, gas prices fell by half as the gas industry rushed to avoid the government halting exports.
Instead of wielding this big stick, the new government has played politics and complained that the “LNP” mechanism takes too long.
Labor announced a review six weeks ago and we have heard nothing since, even though Victoria nearly ran out of gas this week.
When Labor MPs are pushed about what it is going to do to help Australians suffering from a higher cost of living, they respond with vague promises that they will lower the cost of childcare.
What they never say is that Labor’s policy is massively skewed towards the rich.
Labor will extend childcare subsidies to families that earn up to $530,000 a year.
Modelling from the Department of Education shows that under Labor’s policies, a family on $360,000 per year will be better off to the tune of $11,000, whereas a family on $70,000 will receive just $1700 of benefit, 85 per cent less than the rich family.
Why does the Labor Party now look after just the rich?
The reason I fear is that the modern Labor Party is full of university-educated professionals, who only visit a farm, a factory or a work site for a picture opportunity.
Mr Albanese revealed how out of touch he has become when he said that the reason he did not want to extend Covid isolation payments was that “people are continuing to work from home while they have Covid and are receiving, therefore, payments through that”.
How does someone lay a brick wall from home? How does someone stack a grocery shelf from home?
The problem with the modern Labor Party is not that they like flying around in fancy planes, it is that they have spent too much time on a laptop and think everything can be done with it.
Let’s hope the new government gets its head out of the clouds and it does so fast.