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‘Couldn’t care much less’: Acting PM Jim Chalmers’ reality check

Jim Chalmers may be Australia‘s top dog for a couple of hours, but he’s revealed there is one group of people who couldn’t care less.

The Treasurer has stepped into the role of acting prime minister while Anthony Albanese is in Fiji for the Pacific Islands Forum.

It’s a job that would usually be filled by deputy Richard Marles, but he’s in the US for security talks.

Speaking to reporters in Brisbane, the Acting Prime Minister laughed off a question on how Australia would change in his 12-hour rule.

JIM CHALMERS PRESSER
Camera IconJim Chalmers tried to downplay his couple of hours in the role as acting prime minister. NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia

“I tell you what, my kids at home today couldn’t care less that I was acting prime minister today,” he said, chuckling.

“They still wouldn’t put their shoes on for school, so it didn’t hold a lot of sway at home this morning at breakfast time.”

Mr Chalmers insisted it was just going to be a day like any other and the real cause to celebrate was the State of Origin being on this evening.

“Look, I see this like any other day except it’s game three of State of Origin tonight. That’s what makes today special,” he added.

Jim Chalmers with his children. Taken from instagram.
Camera IconThe Treasurer with his three kids. Instagram Credit: Supplied

It is rare for a fourth-ranked minister like Mr Chalmers to take the reins while the Prime Minister is overseas.

The last time a fourth-ranked minister was thrust into the top job was in 2018.

Then finance minister Mathias Cormann was called on when Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop were out of the country and then deputy Barnaby Joyce was on leave due to the fallout from his affair.

“This is how it works when various travel arrangements match up in a certain way,” Mr Chalmers said.

“I’m happy to mind the shop for 12 hours or whatever it is.”

Foreign Minister Penny Wong, as the third most senior minister, will then take over once she returns from Suva later on Wednesday.

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