Albanese defends Plibersek as ‘extraordinary asset’ despite absence from Labor’s campaign launch in Perth

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has dismissed suggestions of tension between himself and Tanya Plibersek due to her absence from the party’s campaign launch saying she is an “extraordinary asset”.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has defended the decision to leave frontbencher Tanya Plibersek in Sydney during the party’s official campaign launch in Perth on Sunday.

Speaking to the media for the first time since he exited isolation Mr Albanese explained why Ms Plibersek will be absent from the biggest event on Labor’s campaign calendar.

Mr Albanese revealed the Shadow Education Minister will remain in Sydney where she will launch her own campaign and represent Labor at the May Day march while the majority of the party will officially launch the campaign in Western Australia.

“Tanya Plibersek is an outstanding member of my team and no one is working harder to elect a Labor government than Tanya Plibersek,” he said.

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“She is such an extraordinary asset. She has launched, I think, more campaigns than any member of the team.”

Mr Albanese continued to spruik the Labor stalwart saying she was in “such demand around the county” that she had been travelling all year.

Labor had initially planned for the election to be called a week earlier on May 14 with their campaign launch originally scheduled for last Sunday.

Ms Plibersek rubbished the claims of uneasiness between herself and the leader labelling them as “nonsense” saying her absence from the campaign launch was down to a clash in appointments.

“I’m representing Albanese at the May Day rally tomorrow and I have my own campaigning launch which has been planned for several weeks,” Ms Plibersek said on Saturday while campaigning in Sydney.

“It’s quite a small number of people going to the launch in Perth so it’s not a productive use of time to have everyone fly there and back.”

Ms Plibersek is also yet to front the media during the election campaign which has caused the rumours of tensions within the party.

Labor will launch their campaign at Optus Stadium on Sunday with Mr Albanese and his senior frontbenchers to reveal more on their election pledges and policies.

“I am excited to be here for the campaign launch tomorrow. I think putting Western Australia at the centre of our campaign launch sends a message that I want to be the Prime Minister for the whole of Australia,” Mr Albanese said.

“What you’ll see tomorrow is a campaign launch with a better future for all, with no one left behind, no one held back, with specific plans to strengthen Medicare, to build more things here like we are announcing now, to address cost of willing pressures, including electricity, including childcare, to lift wages, we have plans.

“You’ll see more of them tomorrow at the campaign launch, and I’ve got to say this about my team, every one of them here.”

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