‘Google it, mate’: Politician hits back at journalist’s ‘gotcha’ question

The leader of Australia’s Greens party told a journalist to “Google it, mate” in response to a question about wages, amid an election campaign in which politicians have been repeatedly caught out over figures.

Such so-called “gotcha” moments have provided endless hours of entertainment in the first four days of a six-week campaign to decide who should govern Australia.

By the time Greens leader Adam Bandt stood before Australia’s National Press Club on Wednesday, he was primed and ready for the inevitable.

So he decided to get in first, asserting that the federal election was “rapidly just descending into this abject fact-checking exercise”.

A reporter responded: “Talking of abject fact-checking exercises, you said in the speech that wages growth wasn’t going particularly well. What’s the current WPI [wage price index]?”

“Well Google it, mate,” the Greens leader replied without hesitation.

Mr Bandt added: “If you want to know why people are turning off politics, it’s because that’s what happens when you have an election that increasingly becomes this basic fact-checking exercise between a government that deserves to be turfed out and an opposition that’s got no vision.”

‘Sorry, I’m not sure’

The first man to fail the test was Labor leader Anthony Albanese who on Monday confessed he couldn’t answer a simple question about the country’s current rate of unemployment.

“Sorry, I’m not sure what it is,” he admitted.

To make matters worse he could not remember the nation’s interest rate, which has stood at 0.10 per cent since November 2020.

The Greens and Labor leaders are not the first to be targeted in this way.

Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, was recently unable to answer questions about the price of a loaf of bread or a litre of petrol.

Australia’s current wage price index stands at 2.3 per cent over the year.

Polls at the start of the week showed that Mr Morrison’s conservative Liberal-National Party coalition, with a one-seat majority in the lower house of parliament, could lose 10 seats to Mr Albanese’s Labor Party in the election.

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