Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied there was a hostile reception from local residents at a Newcastle pub on Wednesday night.
Mr Morrison was confronted by a disability support pensioner at Edgeworth Tavern, where he was berated for the level of support he provided to older Australians.
But the Prime Minister insisted it was ‘actually a very warm welcome’ after being asked about the swap on Thursday morning.
“There was a gentleman, Ray, who was very upset about a complicated case, which involved health insurance and immigration issues. It also involved pension income definitions,” said Mr. Morrison to reporters.
He said his staff later met with the man – now identified as Ray – to help with his personal situation.
Ray shouted ‘listen to me for a change’ as he accused Mr Morrison of failing to deliver on his election promises.
“That’s what you said when you were elected the last time. ‘We’re going to help all these people who have worked all their lives, paid their taxes,'” he said.
“I tried, mate, I worked my whole life and paid my taxes.
“You can have a million dollar house, you can have $250,000 in the bank, you can have negative debt and postage credits, but a disabled retiree cannot have any income.”
The prime minister appeared calm as he spoke with the man and asked him to speak with one of his aides, but the splashing continued.
“You better do something. I’m sick of your bull—-” the man said.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said people should remain polite when addressing politicians in public.
“I think people should politely engage whenever possible,” he said.
“It’s important in this country that we can have a speech and it’s good that here in Australia we can get the politicians out.”
The Opposition Leader’s comments come after he also had an awkward encounter with a local Perth resident on Wednesday during a public appearance with WA Premier Mark McGowan.
The unidentified man crashed the press conference, introduced himself as a local resident and insisted on asking Mr Albanese a ‘tough question’ if he was ‘ready’.
Mr Albanese initially said he was ‘absolutely in’ but changed his mind and said the conference was only allowed for the media.
“We just answer reporters’ questions because that’s what you do at a press conference.”
“The Worst Prime Minister”
In another video posted to Twitter on Wednesday evening, a woman believed to be from the same pub approached the Prime Minister with her camera to take a selfie with him.
Instead of taking the picture, she said, “Congratulations on being the worst prime minister we’ve ever had.”
Mr. Morrison walked out of the plan, quietly muttering his thanks.
Mr Morrison is also in a political tussle with the Queensland Government over funding for flood victims, with caretaker Prime Minister Cameron Dick saying the Commonwealth’s refusal to jointly fund a new package was ‘the highest level of disrespect”.
“He did the political math he doesn’t need to vote out flood-affected families in this state,” Mr Dick said.
Agreeing to fund the package as part of a 50-50 deal, Mr Morrison said it was something the Queensland Government should do and accused them of not spending the money the Commonwealth had for them already given.
“We need transparency, these big announcements and commitments are made by the Queensland government, but how much have they actually paid people?” he told Brisbane radio 4BC.
“They want to play politics with it. I don’t want to play politics with it. I just want to make sure people get the support they need.”
Mr Morrison said he took the funding deal with some caution given the attacks took place on the eve of an election.
“Normally we’ve worked very closely with the Queensland government and worked through the floods. But as we approach this election, I think people can see what’s going on here,” he said. he declares.
“State governments hold all the levers when it comes to protecting people on the ground from these disasters, and then when their policy failures come to light, they try to send the bill to the federal government. It doesn’t take its responsibilities.”
With the AAP.