Scott Morrison vows to be more empathetic if re-elected as Australian prime minister

What matters most as a PM is “getting the job done,” said Australian PM Scott Morrison. (File)

Sydney:

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today vowed to be more understanding if he wins re-election, as his government remains behind the opposition Labor Party a week before the general election.

Australians head to polling booths on May 21, with recent polls showing Prime Minister Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition is on track to lose to the centre-left Labor Party, ending nine years of Conservative rule.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose standing with voters has declined since mid-2020, acknowledged on Friday that he was a “tractor” but said he would change after the election.

He continued that theme today, telling reporters at the Melbourne campaign that what mattered most as prime minister was “doing the job”, but promising to “explain my motives and my concerns and have a lot more empathy” in the future.

Among the criticisms of Prime Minister Morrison in his tenure are his handling of wildfires that killed 24 people and left thousands homeless, and his response to deficiencies in COVID-19 vaccines and rapid antigen tests.

Asked why he waited until the last week of the campaign to tell voters he would change, Morrison said: “I’ve been listening carefully to people.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese campaigned today in Darwin, where he announced that, if elected, he would spend A$750 million ($520 million) to strengthen Australia’s universal healthcare scheme.

Labor has pledged a “Medicare Booster Fund” to boost the scheme and resolve what it claimed was a crisis in care provided by general practitioners across the country.

“Universal healthcare is something that is a Labor creation, Labor will always defend it and Labor will always strengthen it,” Albanese told reporters.

The party sees its protection of Australia’s esteemed Medicare system as a key differentiator between it and the government, which has campaigned strongly for claims of superior economic management and national security.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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