Reason premiers are ganging up on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

A new-look national cabinet is gearing up to fight on health funding as state and territory leaders push for a greater share of health funding.

Premiers and chief ministers have called for a 50-50 funding deal to be locked in ahead of Friday’s first meeting in Canberra.

But Anthony Albanese attempted to hose down expectations he would be able to extend the deal beyond September, citing budget constraints.

“We’re inheriting a trillion dollars of debt; what I will do is have constructive discussions with the premiers and chief ministers,” the Prime Minister told Nine.

Camera IconAnthony Albanese is chairing his national cabinet meeting on Friday. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

“People want to know they can get the healthcare they need when needed, and we’re all committed to achieving that.”

Mr. Albanese hosted dinner for the leaders on Thursday night at The Lodge, where health, skilled migration, and the energy crisis were canvassed.

Before the meeting, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state and territory leaders were in lock-step on the issue.

Camera IconQueensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was ‘wonderful’ that the leaders were allowed to talk about health again. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

“We’re united. Health has to be front and center at today’s discussion,” she said on Friday.

“It’s wonderful that health is finally on the agenda. When Scott Morrison was prime minister, we wanted to talk about health, and we wn’t allowed to.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he was confident the states would be able to secure the funding deal.

“Certainly, there was a good spirit in the room last night, and health is an issue. That’s a national problem. It affects all the states as well,” he said.

“So, we had some very good talks, and I think they’ll continue today, but I’m very confident we’ll get a good outcome.”

Camera, IconThe leaders say they are united in their push. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

Health funding has historically been evenly split between the states and the commonwealth until Tony Abbott slashed the federal share to 40 percent.

It was later increased to 45 percent by Malcolm Turnbull and ultimately beefed up to its current 50-50 share during the pandemic. That deal is set to expire in September.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was hopeful a deal would be struck on Friday.

“We had a very productive discussion last night at The Lodge about extending funding, and I hope thatl be able to reach that agreement today,” he told reporters outside of Parliament House.

“It’s not the time for the commonwealth government to be doing less … because Covid, from a health or hospital point of view, is not over.”

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.