With the country on the brink of declaring a natural disaster during flooding in NSW, questions have been raised as to where the Prime Minister is.
The state again on Monday battled through another day of heavy rain and devastating flooding which has inundated homes throughout western Sydney, with about 32,000 people facing evacuation.
For many, it’s the fourth time they’ve seen waters reach this high in 18 months, outdoing the floods residents faced in 2021, and earlier this year.
And while the SES warns the worst may be yet to come, the prime minister's absence has been noted.
Social media slams PM's absence
“Where is Albo?” one man questioned on Twitter, questioning the merit of his ongoing overseas tour.
After attending the NATO Leaders' Summit in Madrid, Mr Albanese met with French President Emmanuel Macron, and on the weekend made a secretive visit to war-torn Ukraine where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mr Albanese will return home this week before undertaking another trip to Fiji. Some Australians thought he should be at home dealing with the flood emergency.
“With the east coast of Australia flooded, he is still overseas, big noting himself. Why isn’t he here managing our national emergency?” the man continued on Twitter.
Others pointed to a pre-election tweet from Mr Albanese which claimed that if he was prime minister he wouldn’t “go missing when the going gets tough, or pose for photos and then disappear when there’s a job to be done.”
“I’ll show up, I’ll step up, and I’ll work every day to bring our country together,” he wrote on March 31 2022.
If I’m Prime Minister, I won’t go missing when the going gets tough - or pose for photos and then disappear when there’s a job to be done.
I’ll show up, I’ll step up – and I’ll work every day to bring our country together. #BudgetReply22 pic.twitter.com/OmxxqSqeE8
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) March 31, 2022
For many his absence is a flashback to when the then Prime Minister Scott Morrison took a family holiday to Hawaii in December 2019 during one of Australia’s worst bushfire seasons.
A photo of the relaxed PM on vacation went viral and sparked outrage among much of the public, with many accusing him of abandoning Australians in their hour of need.
Two and a half years later, the hashtags #wheresalbo and #notmyPM are now trending on Twitter.
Many come to Albo's defence
But many have been quick to defend the prime minister, who left for a string of foreign policy trips on Sunday June 26.
“Let’s get one thing clear, Albo is in the EU trying to negotiate a trade deal that will open up a huge market to Aussie businesses,” one person wrote.
“ScoMo was enjoying mojitos in Hawaii. He left WHILE the country burnt. Tweeting “where’s Albo” misses the point.”
“If anyone asks ‘where’s Albo’, he’s been in a war-torn country, showing Ukraine that Australia is there for them,” another said.
“[He’s] not sitting on a beach in Hawaii like Scott Morrison,” someone else said.
It’s believed Mr Albanese, who was briefed on the floods by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt, will consider a trip to flooded areas after he returns to Australia on Tuesday night.
Our government is monitoring the NSW floods carefully and has already made ADF support available. If you live in an affected area, please follow the @NSWSES advice and make safe decisions. https://t.co/yuREYvf0f0
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 3, 2022
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