Federal election 2022: Prime minister-elect Anthony Albanese thanks WA after historic night

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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VideoIn an emotional win, Labor has been elected to Government from opposition for only the fourth time since WWII.

Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese has thanked Western Australia after a red tidal wave swept over Perth and took Labor to the brink of forming a majority government.

Mr Albanese was greeted by well-wishers outside Marrickville Library in Sydney’s inner-west on Sunday, where he was joined by partner Jodie Haydon and dog Toto.

On a historic night, Labor gained at least four Liberal-held seats in Perth — Swan, Pearce, Hasluck and Tangney — with a fifth, Moore, also at risk of flipping from blue to red.

Labor required a net gain of seven seats in the House of Representatives to govern in its own right.

Asked by The West Australian if he had a message for WA voters, the Federal Labor leader said: “To Western Australia — thank you, that’s my message.”

Mr Albanese said the election result, after nine years of Coalition rule under three Liberal prime ministers, was a “big moment in my life and a big moment for the country”.

“I do want to change the country. I want to change the way that politics operates in this country,” the incoming 31st Prime Minister of Australia said.

Mr Albanese confirmed he and four senior ministers — Penny Wong, Richard Marles, Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher — would be sworn-in on Monday ahead of the Quad meeting in Japan.

“All of the portfolios have been worked out as an interim arrangement with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet because you can’t have a circumstance whereby there aren’t ministers. So they’ll all be sworn into multiple portfolios tomorrow,” he said.

“The Caucus and the normal processes will operate the week after next.

“Obviously the Quad leaders meeting is an absolute priority for Australia and it is enables us to send a message to the world that there is a change of government.

“There will be some changes in policy, particularly with regard to climate change and our engagement with the world on those issues.

“I look forward to the meetings that have been organised.”

Mr Albanese said he would hold one-on-one meetings at the Quad with US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, before returning to Australia on Wednesday.

“Then we’ll get down to business,” he said.

“I will be asking Prime Minister and Cabinet this afternoon to also organise for there to be a meeting held face-to-face in Canberra over coming weeks with all of the State premiers and chief ministers.

“I want to have a cooperative relationship. I want to bring people together, including the States and Territories and local government as well, on how we work together.

“Just as I’ll bring unions and employers and other organisations together in an employment summit in coming months.”

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