/ 30 April 2024

The PM becomes the story

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

The Squiz 

PM Anthony Albanese is facing pressure to explain after an organiser of Canberra’s “No More” rally on Sunday rejected his claim that he was asked not to speak. As we know, Albanese did end up speaking to about 5,000 attendees… During the speech, he said that he and Minister for Women Katy Gallagher had both asked for a chance to speak, but had been told it wouldn’t be possible. Yesterday, he brushed off the claims that was “a flat-out lie”, and called it an “emotional day for people”. 

That probably hasn’t gone down well…

Nope. Sarah Williams, the rally organiser/founder of the What Were You Wearing movement, was seen crying on stage beside Albanese as he spoke to the crowd. She says Albanese’s office told her before the event that he would walk alongside protestors but not speak. Yesterday, she went on to say that “for him to not only demand he speak because he was being heckled, but lie was disgraceful”. Albanese was keen to redirect the conversation – he reckons “this should not be a distraction from what is a very serious issue”. That didn’t fly with journalists during their interviews with him yesterday. And later, Nationals leader David Littleproud said Albanese’s actions were “tone deaf”, and that it was his responsibility “to lead this nation, not … make petty political points at the expense of a brave woman who has come forward in her community”.

Where to from here?

Well, Albanese might have another crack at redirecting things today… He touched down in Alice Springs yesterday to visit the Central Australia Aboriginal Congress’s new health hub and to meet with local residents about the town’s recent spate of violent crime. Yesterday, Alice Springs business owner Darren Clark said the NT Government’s 20-day youth curfew had worked as a “circuit breaker”, but urged Albanese to visit the local town camps to understand the underlying issues at play. “We cannot solve any of these underlying problems unless we give these kids a safe place to live and a fair shot at life,” he said. All that to say – we might hear more from Albanese today… Then tomorrow, the issue of violence against women will be back in the headlines as National Cabinet holds an emergency meeting to work through potential solutions.

Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...

The Squiz Today

Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.