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ABC host Patricia Karvelas blasts Peter Dutton and Coalition over jobs summit confusion

ABC host Patricia Karvelas blasts the opposition over their mixed messaging as she offers up an ‘EASY’ solution for the confused party: ‘Get a Whatsapp!’

  • Political, business and union leaders prepare to attend September jobs summit 
  • Opposition party leaders send mixed signals on going to the jobs summit 
  • Liberal leader called the summit a ‘stunt’ whereas Nationals leader wants to go   
  • ABC’s Patricia Karvelas jokes the opposition needed a Whatsapp to coordinate

An ABC host has poked fun at opposition confusion over whether they want to go to the upcoming jobs summit suggesting they need to get on group messaging service Whatsapp to sort themselves out.

The Albanese government’s high-level jobs and skills summit will be held in September and will feature political, business and union leaders.

During the week there were mixed messages from the opposition with Liberal leader Peter Dutton calling the summit ‘a stunt’ but Nationals leader David Littleproud saying he would go if invited.

ABC radio host and political commentator Patricia Karvelas suggests the opposition needs to get on group message service Whatsapp to sort out a consistent response to the upcoming jobs summit

ABC radio host Patricia Karvelas said the opposition parties had given confused responses to the jobs summit since it was announced and needed to get their act together.

‘I make this joke all the time and I think it’s really funny, just get a WhatsApp group,’ Karvelas suggested to the opposition while appearing on the ABC show Insiders. 

‘”What’s our line?” I mean it’s really easy. You can really organise this quite easily. “What are we saying here? Are we going?”‘ 

Karvelas pointed out that when the summit was first announced, shadow treasurer Angus Taylor was ‘demanding a seat at the table’ but since then both Mr Dutton and deputy opposition leader Sussan Ley had called the meeting a ‘stunt’.

There are only 100 seats up for grabs for the meeting at Canberra’s Parliament House on September 1 and 2.

Liberal leader Peter Dutton has labelled the jobs summit, scheduled for September, as a 'stunt with the unions'

Liberal leader Peter Dutton has labelled the jobs summit, scheduled for September, as a ‘stunt with the unions’

With Mr Dutton not going, his seat is set to be taken by the Greens.

Karvelas said that Mr Dutton was taking a political risk by not attending because it could signal he wasn’t interested in taking part in big national conversations.

‘The BCA (Business Council of Australia) will be there, big business will be there, it’s not just unions as he says,’ Karvelas pointed out.

‘It is actually a more diverse group, then you don’t want to be sending the signal that you are not interested in engagement.’ 

The jobs summit is set to tackle the critical shortage of workers in some industries, as well as look at a possible overhaul of the enterprise bargaining system. 

However, peak union body the ACTU has suggested a broader agenda in reshaping the economy by getting government to regulate prices and scrapping tax cuts for the wealthy.

Nationals leader David Littleproud said he would go to the jobs if asked because rural and regional Australia 'needs a strong voice'

Nationals leader David Littleproud said he would go to the jobs if asked because rural and regional Australia ‘needs a strong voice’

During the week Mr Dutton called the summit a ‘stunt with the unions’.

“We’ll support all sorts of good policies from the government … but we’re not going to support stunts,’ he said.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said he welcomed the unions’ ideas but they weren’t government policy. 

Mr Littleproud said it was ‘unfortunate’ he wasn’t invited.

However, Mr Littleproud said, if asked, he would attend because regional and rural Australia ‘needed a strong voice’ to represented. 

Australia's critical worker shortage in some industries will be one of the topics tackled at the jobs summit

Australia’s critical worker shortage in some industries will be one of the topics tackled at the jobs summit

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