Australia politics live news: Anthony Albanese to lead virtual election campaign from isolation after Covid diagnosis


Scott Morrison is in Brisbane, where he is undertaking an absolute morning media flurry.

He is now on Sky News, where he is talking about the same thing he has been talking about all week.

Andrew Clennell: “Your narrative around China appears to be that you’re the strongest and toughest to stand up to them. Yet when it comes to them signing security pact with, the Solomon Islands, it feels like the government is sort of saying there’s nothing we can do about that.

“You are building nuclear submarines they won’t be ready for 20 years – is it a sense that there is lot more bark than bite in terms of your China approach at the moment?”

Morrison:

Well, I don’t think the Chinese government feels that way. That’s why today had been clearly activated – whether it was when we first stood up to the Chinese government in terms of foreign interference legislation, which was led by my predecessor, and supported by me as treasurer, the work we’ve done on foreign investment, the work we did to stand up the China on the pandemic and call for the independent inquiry. All of this, the Chinese the work we’ve done on the quad with with India and Japan and the United States, the Aukus agreement. All of this has been designed to ensure that we can protect Australia’s national interests in a highly dynamic region with the Chinese government, which is very assertive.

Good morning

It’s almost the end of week two of this never-ending campaign and it’s all about Anthony Albanese having to step back from the trail, after testing positive for Covid.

He was due to fly to Perth and it was the PCR he was required to do as part of entry that showed up the virus. He had visited an aged care home earlier in the day, but was masked up.

Albanese will isolate in his Sydney home but take part in the campaign virtually (as long as he doesn’t get to ill) and Labor’s frontbench has been activated to step into the physical void.

I wish Anthony Albanese all the best for his recovery after testing positive to COVID. Everyone’s experience with COVID is different and as Labor’s campaign continues, I hope he does not experience any serious symptoms.

— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 21, 2022

While this Covid positive plot twist is not a development Albanese will welcome, or would have wanted, it’s hard to say tonight how this will impact the campaign and the vote in four weeks time. It’s obviously a disruption, but is it catastrophic?

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) April 21, 2022

Obviously a bunch of challenges for Labor logistically. Obviously unhelpful for this to happen just as Albanese was getting his campaign legs. But this development also presents some challenges for the PM. Tone? How do you smackdown an absent opponent without that looking OTT?

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) April 21, 2022

If you are Morrison, do you just charge on like nothing’s happened, having a one legged campaign? Seems likely, but what’s the impact? Intriguing really. Campaigning in a cave panned out reasonably well for Joe Biden in the end. As they say in the classics, only time will tell.

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) April 21, 2022

For Scott Morrison, it is still about the security pact between Solomon Islands and China.

We’ll carry all the day’s events as they happen – and you’ll have Murph, Daniel Hurst, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp and Josh Butler to help make sense of it all. Amy Remeikis will be with you on the blog for most of the day.

Grab your coffee (or something stronger, I won’t judge) and let’s get into it.





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