Peter Dutton's awkward move as Albanese's overseas trip questioned

·4-min read

After criticism was hurled at Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for his absence while parts of NSW were flooding, it has come to light Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has himself been out of the country.

On Sunday, Mr Albanese was in Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, there he visited towns that were devastated by atrocities from Russian attacks.

The visit came after Mr Albanese attended a NATO summit in Madrid and then met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to repair relations after the fallout from the abandoned submarine deal.

Some were not happy with the PM's trip abroad, especially as the flood crisis in NSW intensified. Among those who were vocal about Mr Albanese's trip abroad were members of the Coalition.

Handout photo of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy greets Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese ahead of their meeting in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine on July 3, 2022.
Anthony Albanese visited war-torn Ukraine after the NATO Summit in Spain. Source: Ukrainian Presidency via ABACAPRESS.COM.

David Littleproud went as far as to say Labor was "quick to throw a few grenades at Scott Morrison", referencing the former PM's infamous holiday to Hawaii during the devastating Black Summer bushfires, when discussing the issue.

Meanwhile, Mr Dutton has also been missing in action in Australia, as the opposition leader is currently in the US, something Mr Albanese subtly referenced this morning on the Today Show.

"Look, Peter Dutton, when he comes back from leave should say which events I shouldn't have gone to," he said.

It was confirmed by news.com.au on Friday morning Mr Dutton is currently in the US to "catch up with a few people in Washington and go to the US leadership dialogue".

Yahoo News Australia has reached out to Mr Dutton's office for comment.

Australian Opposition Leader Peter Dutton during a shadow cabinet meeting in Perth, Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Australian Opposition Leader Peter Dutton is reportedly in the US, while his colleagues criticised the prime minister for his absence. Source: AAP

Albanese defends overseas trip during floods: 'Cheap shot'

Speaking on the Today Show this morning, Mr Albanese pushed back on comparisons of his overseas trip to Mr Morrison's 2019 trip to Hawaii.

When asked to address the criticism of him being absent for a few days during another flood crisis in NSW, and whether the nickname "Airbus Albo" should stick, the prime minister pointed out he was working abroad.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cook are seen after meeting with SES volunteers in Richmond, north-west of Sydney, Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
Anthony Albanese joined NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on the ground to visit flooded regions in the state when he returned to Australia. Source: AAP

He said he did not decide on the federal election date, which was days before the Quad leaders meeting.

"Should I have not met President Biden, the Prime Minister of Japan and the Prime Minister of Japan and the Prime Minister of India?" he said on Channel Nine on Friday.

"Should I have not gone to the NATO summit in Madrid? Should I have not repaired the relationship with France, and advanced a trade deal between Australia and Europe that will create jobs and economic growth here in Australia?"

He also questioned whether he should have not displayed solidarity with Ukraine and President Zelensky by going to the war-torn country.

He then called on the Opposition to be "more mature" with their response.

It's a cheap shot, frankly, and the opposition needs to be more mature in their response," he said.

"To compare a visit to a war zone like Ukraine with a holiday in Hawaii. I think your viewers can draw that distinction."

After Mr Albanese's visit to Ukraine, he was briefed on the situation that was unfolding in NSW and when he returned to Australia, he was out seeing the damage first-hand.

Mr Albanese met with New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern in Sydney on Friday, where the two discussed the proposal for Pacific island nations to be part of a joint bid to host a future United Nations climate summit.

The discussion between Mr Albanese and Ms Ardern comes before the two attend the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji next week.

With AAP

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