Australia pulled through the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and ongoing scandals. Now, it's welcoming change

Anthony Albanese is Australia's 31st prime minister. Here's how the country has reacted to his victory.

Last night, Anthony Albanese became the 31st prime minister of Australia.The last few years have been stained with natural disasters, the rise of climate change, corruption scandals, and a pandemic.Australians voted for change, and Labor did enough to get the edge over the Morrison government.AdvertisementBut with the primary votes low for both major parties, and so many Australians choosing the Greens and teal independents as their first choice, the 2022 federal election has shown how disengaged Australian voters are with the traditional two-party system.

How the Liberals have reacted

Shortly before midnight, Mr Morrison called the incoming prime minister to congratulate him on his victory.During his concession speech, Mr Morrison thanked the defence force, his wife and two daughters who he said were “miracles”, and those most loyal to him in the Liberal Party, with a special mention to former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who he said “needs to stay in federal politics”.Mr Morrison praised Australian democracy and stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party.”To my colleagues tonight, who have had to deal with very difficult news, and have lost their seats tonight, I as leader take responsibility for the wins and the losses,’’ Mr Morrison said.”That is the burden and that is the responsibility of leadership.“As a result, I will be handing over the leadership at the next party room meeting to ensure the party can be taken forward under new leadership which is the appropriate thing to do.”When the numbers began pointing towards a Labor victory, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made a speech next to his wife Amie and thanked the people of Kooyong, the electorate he's battled for against independent candidate Monique Ryan.

Australia pulled through the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and ongoing scandals. Now, it's welcoming change
Liberal candidate Josh Frydenberg addresses the crowd at his last press conference during the Liberal Party Reception for the 2022 Federal Election, at Grace Park Hawthorn Club in the seat of Kooyong, Melbourne, Saturday, 21 May, 2022. AAP Source: AAP / DIEGO FEDLE/AAPIMAGEHe said that if the Liberal Party lost, and he lost the seat of Kooyong, he would finally be able to spend some more time with his wife and kids, which said was the most important thing to him.Sunday morning, Mr Frydenberg's competitor Dr Ryan said the Liberal Party has been “smashed by a sea of teal women”.”Woke up this morning from the strangest dream,” Dr Ryan wrote on Twitter.”I was in the biggest (teal) army that the world has ever seen.We were marching for so many things. And now it begins.”
Australia pulled through the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and ongoing scandals. Now, it's welcoming change
Dr Monique Ryan with her supporters at a reception for the 2022 federal election at the Auburn Hotel, in the seat of Kooyong in Melbourne on Saturday night. Source: AAP / LUIS ASCUI/AAPIMAGEFormer Defence Minister Peter Dutton is looking most likely to be the next leader of the Liberal Party. He held onto the seat of Dickson, but paid tribute to the former prime minister, as well as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg who would have been likely to contest for the party leadership if he retained his seat.“We have, as a Liberal family, suffered a terrible day today,’’ Mr Dutton said.“And there are colleagues around the country, good people, who have potentially lost their seats. There are still thousands and thousands of postal votes and pre-poll votes to count. So there’s some hope in some of those seats. In many, the race is very tight.“I want to acknowledge the pain they’re going through tonight, their families, their supporters.”Former Liberal Party frontbencher Julie Bishop sat on Channel Nine's election panel and put the change of government down to a failure of both major parties, rather than a win for Labor, due to the low primaries both received.
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Australia pulled through the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and ongoing scandals. Now, it's welcoming change
Anthony Albanese promises to unite Australia with vision of optimism as new prime minister But she also said that the Coalition's image towards women played a part in its downfall.“Women did not see their concerns and interests reflected in a party led by Scott Morrison in coalition with Barnaby Joyce,” Ms Bishop said.“We have no mention at this point of the impact of Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins, they changed the narrative when they exposed an ugly side to the workplace in Canberra. That resonated with women.”Former Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told the ABC on Sunday that the Coalition should have taken climate change more seriously.”We need to make sure that Australians understand we acknowledge the science of climate change and some of us always have, but all of us must.”We acknowledge the need for Australia to play a leading role in action around the world and that we get our language as well as our policies right in that space.”Following a loss that was largely due to Australians' concerns around climate change, Mr Birmingham admitted that the government is able to “go further” on its 2030 carbon reduction commitments.Former moderate Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who received criticism from within his own party for discussing the advantages of the rise of independent candidates this election, is yet to comment on the Liberal's loss.

How Labor has reacted

Senator Penny Wong, who introduced Mr Albanese before he made his acceptance speech, said Australia had voted for “change,” “hope,” and a “better future”.Ms Wong, who will likely become the next Foreign Affairs Minister, said she has taken a step forward to “fulfilling the promise of the Uluru Statement from the Heart”.

Australia pulled through the pandemic, bushfires, floods, and ongoing scandals. Now, it's welcoming change
Labor senator Penny Wong introduces incoming prime minister Anthony Albanese at the party's election victory celebrations in Sydney, on Saturday night. Source: AP / Rick Rycroft/APFormer Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, who has condemned media owned by Rupert Murdoch for their coverage of the campaign, congratulated Mr Albanese for his win.”Congratulations to Albo on becoming the 31st Prime Minister of Australia,” Mr Rudd said.”Well done, mate. A new page in Australian history is now to be written.”Jim Chalmers, who will likely become Australia's next treasurer, speaking from the seat of Rankin, thanked Australia for the opportunity.”To my community and our country, thank you for this opportunity to work with you and for you,” Mr Chalmers said.

What the community have had to say

Environmental activists Greenpeace has welcomed the Labor government's win over the Liberals, saying the “climate dinosaurs” are now “extinct”.“We wouldn’t usually celebrate any extinction event, but we’re delighted to see the end of climate dinosaur policies on climate change,” CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific David Ritter said.”Successive Coalition governments handed billions to the coal and gas industries while Australians battle worsening floods, fires and droughts, and our Pacific neighbours face existential climate threats.”History will not remember them kindly. ”Anglicare, an NGO that helps provide housing to disadvantaged Australians including children, welcomed the Albanese government.“We support the new government’s focus on incomes and living costs, which are seeing record numbers of Australians do it tough,” Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said.”People out of work are on the lowest incomes of all, and we hope to work with the new government reform Centrelink payments so that they keep pace with the cost of living.“We need action on the huge shortfall in social and affordable housing.”We look forward to working with the new government, and the new crossbench, on each of these fronts.”National LGBTIQ+ group, Equality Australia, responded to this weekend’s election result, saying that it’s clear voters across the country have rejected the “politics of division.”“This election campaign, some have tried to divide the community, using the lives of one of the most marginalised groups of people in the country in a cynical attempt to win votes”, CEO of Equality Australia Anna Brown said.“Politicians and commentators have spread ill-informed and alarmist views about trans people – particularly trans women and children – in an effort to undermine their ability to participate equally in our society and to wind back the hard-fought gains of the LGBTIQ+ community.“But tonight’s result – particularly in Warringah – is a stunning rebuke of the politics of division, and another affirmation that the vast majority of the Australian community believes that every one of us, no matter who we are, whom we love, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Mr Albanese and Ms Wong will head to Japan on Monday to meet with US President Joe Biden at the Quad summit.

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