The Prime Minister, dubbed ‘Airbus Albo’ by his opponents for the frequency of his overseas trips, said the ‘important’ Washington DC visit is about ‘building an alliance for the future’ with a military and economic partner.
But 2GB Radio host Hadley accused Mr Albanese of going ‘a step too far’ – slamming the Prime Minister for his overseas jaunt, even though the trip aims to get the AUKUS nuclear submarine program on track.
‘We’re festering great division and the bloke who’s responsible, the captain, coach and sole selector, is the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese,’ he said on 2GB on Monday.
Anthony Albanese (pictured left) has been slammed for jetting to the US to meet President Joe Biden (right) rather than facing the fallout from the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum loss
‘So what’s he do? We’ve got crises in relation to the Middle East, we’ve got crises in relation to people being unable to afford to live, to feed themselves, clothe themselves, pay their mortgage.
‘We’ve got the drama over the Yes/No (referendum) vote… so what does he do? He gets on a plane to talk to Joe Biden. How Joe’s going to help us I’m buggered if I know, but I don’t think he will.’
Hadley asked: ‘Is the bloke going to ever spend any length of time here? The only time he spent here was espousing the Yes vote and he got lapped.
‘This division in this nation, is owned by the prime minister. It’s his and his alone.
‘This bloke, in my opinion, doesn’t deserve to be our prime minister. He has surrendered his right to be our prime minister.
‘I have no doubt there will be move against him (by his colleagues) within a year. He’ll disappear into the ether,’ Hadley predicted.
Mr Albanese is meeting the US President in Washington DC for the ninth time since becoming Prime Minister 17 months ago.
‘It will be an important visit. The alliance between Australia and the United States is central to Australia’s foreign policy,’ he said on Sunday.
Before leaving, the Prime Minister also spoke about the AUKUS security partnership between Australia, the US and the UK, which is aimed at deterring Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
‘Our AUKUS pact is absolutely critical, and I’ll be having important meetings with members of Congress and Senate about the legislation that’s required to ensure that AUKUS can continue to forge ahead,’ he said.
Mr Albanese will also hold discussions about the $368billion Australia is spending on a nuclear submarine program.
Radio 2GB’s Ray Hadley (pictured) has accused Anthony Albanese of running scared
The prime minister made more than 20 overseas trips in a little more than a year visiting countries like India and Japan (pictured, Mr Albanese with his partner Jodie Haydon in Spain in June, 2022)
Australia will buy three US Virginia-class nuclear submarines – built by weapons manufacturer General Dynamics – from the US from approximately 2033, with an option to buy two more.
Afterwards, a new SSN-AUKUS-class hybrid vessel arrives in Australian waters about a decade later, constructed as part of the trilateral alliance with the UK and US.
The US Congress and Senate still has to pass legislation to do with AUKUS and defence spending which could affect the submarines deal.
‘And it is one of the reasons why it’s very important that I visit the United States to advance Australia’s interests.’
‘President Biden’s agenda is one that we support, and we will be urging support for all of the legislation that is required for AUKUS,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘I’ve been very heartened when I’ve met with members of Congress and Senate… There is great deal of support across the spectrum for this arrangement.
‘This is in the interests of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.’
Mr Albanese’s trip to the US is the latest overseas venture the prime minister has taken since coming into office in May 2022.
The prime minister made more than 20 overseas trips in a little more than a year visiting countries like India, Japan and Spain.
Mr Albanese (left) is pictured alongside Mr Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the US naval base in San Diego
What is AUKUS?
- AUKUS is a trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States aimed at deterring Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
- Mr Albanese revealed on Tuesday up to $368billion will be spent on eight nuclear-powered submarines including three US Virginia-class nuclear submarines and a range of new SSN-AUKUS-class hybrid vessels.
- Australian submariners are already training in nuclear submarine technology in the US with the aim to eventually build the vessels on home soil by the 2040s.