Energy Crisis, Health Financing To Dominate Anthony Albanese’s First National Cabinet
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Energy Crisis, Health Financing To Dominate Anthony Albanese’s First National Cabinet

Health and the unfolding energy crisis will be high on the list of priorities as Australia’s most powerful leaders gather in the same room on Friday.

In his first national cabinet, Prime Minister Anthony Albanian will meet all state and area leaders on Friday after an informal dinner at The Lodge on Thursday evening.

Energy Crisis,

High on the agenda will be the unfolding power crisis, as the Commonwealth has worked closely with states and territories and the Australian energy market operator to avoid power outages.

Outdated coal-fired power plants, combined with a global gas shortage and a “failure” by the previous government to invest enough in renewable energy transmission, have left the country’s energy market vulnerable.

The AEMO made the unprecedented move earlier this week to take out the market, requiring generators to feed their supply into the system to avoid power shortages.

Camera icon Prime Minister Anthony Albanese receives Prime Ministers and Prime Ministers at The Lodge in Canberra on the eve of his first national cabinet., Annastacia Palaszczuk (QLD), Natasha Fyles (NT), Mark McGowan (WA), Andrew Barr (ACT), Peter Malinauskas (SA), Dominic Perrottet (NSW), Jeremy Rockliff (TAS) and Daniel Andrews (VIC) Credit: Delivered

Despite this, Energy Secretary Chris Bowen urged NSW residents to avoid unnecessary appliances to avoid load shedding and power outages.

South Australia Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas called for a close examination of Western Australia’s domestic gas reservation systems – which are not connected to the rest of the country’s electricity grid.

“I think we need to look at WA to see how their energy needs are met when they’re not connected to the national electricity market,” he said.

“They have a domestic gas reservation policy, and the air doesn’t invade. In fact, they are in a better position than the rest of the country.”

State Prime Ministers have also indicated that they want the meeting to focus on Commonwealth funding of health systems and easing pressure on hospitals.

Camera icon Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet with all state and area leaders on Friday. NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

Morrison’s previous administration has committed to a 50-50 deal on the costs of the pandemic, which ends in September.

States and territories want it extended but have also said they want a complete overhaul of healthcare financing to put pressure on the country’s ailing health systems.

“We don’t think this is the time for the Commonwealth to cut back on their support in terms of hospital funding,” Malinauskas said.

“We have a problem with the delivery of health care, and it’s beyond the control of the states, so we have to work with the Commonwealth.”

On Thursday, Mr. Albanese had pointed to possible changes in the federal cabinet’s draft, including the possible involvement of the city council.