Flame wars: why is Daniel Andrews being grilled over barbecue selfie with Anthony Albanese?

Former housemates turned ALP leaders catch up over barbecue, but underdone steaks lead to questions

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It wouldn’t be an Australian election campaign without a barbecue meat-related scandal, would it?

But this time it isn’t just Bill Shorten biting into a democracy sausage in landscape mode, but something potentially much more scandalous.

Anthony Albanese and Daniel Andrews have been accused of faking a candid weekend barbecue snap after Twitter users pointed out their meat had a distinct lack of grill marks.

But the premier has hit back, declaring that the photo was 100% legitimate, and the gas was on.

The federal election may still be many months away, but over the weekend the federal Labor leader made his way to Victoria to promise an upgrade to the Barwon Heads Road, which connects Geelong and Melbourne, if elected. While he was down there, he caught up with the Victorian premier, and, as it turns out, former housemate, (terrifying to imagine the arguments over dishes those two would have gotten into).

“Great to catch up with my friend and former housemate, Daniel Andrews, who cooks a great [barbecue],” Albanese tweeted, with a photo of him standing in front of a backyard grill with his more popular Victorian counterpart, tongs in hands and both sporting business formal attire.

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While some were quick to point out the pair looked like a “nice older couple who own a bookshop in Daylesford”, others, including federal Liberal frontbencher, Jason Wood, were more preoccupied with what was actually on the grill.

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“When zoomed in, the meat does not appear to have any char marks from the barbecue grill leading many to believe the photo was a ‘fake’,” the assistant minister for customs, community safety and multicultural affairs wrote in a Facebook post.

“Also from personal experience, you don’t wear a suit jacket to a [barbecue] & when cooking you don’t wear a wool jumper. What do you think? Is it [two] old mates catching up for a BBQ, or is it photo opp of the year?”

This sentiment was echoed across social media, with others pointing out how bizarre it was that the pair appear to only be cooking four steaks and a giant plate of asparagus.

But, as Andrews arrived at Victoria’s parliament house on Monday, to pass his controversial pandemic powers bill, he hit back against these accusations after being asked by media.

“The gas was on! Searing a steak before you put it on the barbecue is not the most novel thing ever,” he said.

“And the raw asparagus, I assure you we didn’t eat it raw. It went on to the barbecue. And it was windy and not that warm. So that’s why I had a jumper on.”

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He went on to admonish Woods for taking the time to criticise the weekend snap.

“That joker Jason Wood. If I were him I’d be out there campaigning given the way they’re travelling at the moment, rather than being a commentator on my barbecuing skills,” he said.

“I’m sure taxpayers are delighted that that’s his biggest contribution in the federal parliament. What a joker he is.”

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