Browsing articles in "Interview Transcripts"
May 18, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 18 May 2018

Subjects: Live exports, Liberal Party pre-selection,

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Thank you guys. Good morning again to you at home. The Agricultural Minister has announced tough new rules and penalties for live exporters, in response to distressing footage aired on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. The crackdown though doesn’t go far enough for Liberal MP Sussan Ley. She’s broken ranks confirming she’ll put forward a Private Member’s Bill to phase out the sheep trade to Middle East.

Joining me now is Anthony Albanese and in Melbourne Christopher Pyne. Christopher, division in your ranks over this. Sussan Ley could derail the government’s plan.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Yesterday, Sylvia we announced a very tough crack down on the live sheep trade to make sure that the sheep are treated humanely. I think that was a very good decision by the Government. We take it incredibly seriously. We’re reducing the percentage of sheep that you can have per pen on those boats. We’re increasing the penalties – and the fines. Of course, we’re putting independent monitors on every single ship going to the Middle East which is a very good outcome. I think we’ll make a huge difference for the sheep and for the trade.

JEFFREYS: Thousands more sheep will die during the current summer months in the Middle East before that plan is implemented. Are you prioritising the exporters over the animals?

PYNE: Well, we have announced yesterday that the number of sheep you can have on the ships will be reduced by 28 per cent. We’ve also announced we’ll do further work on ventilation and on changing the ships to improve them – to get rid of old ships to have new ships with much better facilities for the sheep. It’s an important trade, but also has to be humanely treated. These sheep have to be humanly treated.

JEFFREYS: They won’t be over next few months and thousands more will die. Are you protecting exporters and profits over the animals?

PYNE: My understanding is that these regulations are being implemented as soon as possible. We’ll also introduce legislation to ensure this work can be done. We’ve responded as toughly as you can without banning the trade which will be going too far.

JEFFREYS: Are you disappointed that Sussan Ley has broken ranks on this – that she’s going against the party?

PYNE: Sussan Ley is a private member as we call them, a backbencher in the Government. She’s entitled to put a bill to the Parliament and have that debated at some stage. I welcome all backbenchers doing that. I think she is well within her rights. She has strong views about it. We’re not a Stalinist party. She certainly won’t be punished for having those views. She’s entitled to have those views.

JEFFREYS: Albo ending the trade permanently is going to wipe out jobs, it will destroy some farmers. What is Labor’s transition plan? How will you support farmers through that process?

ALBANESE: Transitioning to ending live exports will actually create jobs. It will create jobs in value adding here in Australia. We need to immediately end the export during the summer months. We know that it is…

JEFFREYS: Julia Gillard did that in 2011, it did not go well for her. The response from Indonesia was shocking. Has Bill Shorten not learnt from those mistakes?

ALBANESE: What we had in 2011 was very different. What we are saying here is that there’s a need to transition the industry away from live exports to ensure that jobs are not just protected but enhanced, but that during the summer months we know the consequences. The evidence is in and we need to respond to that. In the interests, not just of the animals themselves, but also in the long-term interests of the industry, they need that protection. They need to transition so that we see increased jobs created in places like Western Australia.

JEFFREYS: Whatever happens and however it happens farmers will need support. It is going to hit them quite badly. There is no doubt about that. I want to move on to Scott Morrison’s rather unusual press conference yesterday. He was publicly endorsing Ann Sudmalis, as she stares down a preselection battle in the seat of Gilmore in NSW. It follows the shock defeat of Jane Prentice in Queensland as well. Christopher, if Ann Sudmalis is a phenomenal member as the Treasurer says, why does she need his public endorsement like that? What is wrong with the pre-selection process in your party?

PYNE: There’s nothing wrong with the pre-selection process in the Liberal Party. It’s very democratic as it should be. Every member of the political party gets a vote in pre-selections in NSW and in South Australia. Every member of Parliament who wants to remain and candidates who want to stand are allowed to do so. The voters of the party will make a decision.

JEFFREYS: If it’s such a good system why are two very effective, very popular members of Parliament potentially losing their jobs? One has lost it and another one stands to lose it as well. How can that be based on merit?

PYNE: Well, it’s based on merit because nobody tells the preselectors how to vote. Jane Prentice is a great friend of mine and a good colleague. She lost her preselection, 260 votes to 105. Voters of Ryan decided that the preselectors of the party wanted a new member in Julian Simmonds. That’s democracy. I defeated a sitting member in a preselection 26 years ago. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about it – Ian Wilson my predecessor. That’s internal party democracy. That’s the way it works. The alternative is the smoke-filled room of the Labor Party, where they dole out seats to the factions.

ALBANESE: Clearly, the Liberal Party has a problem with women’s representation. The fact is they’ve been going backwards in the last few terms, at a time when Labor’s representation of women has surged to 48 per cent, after the next election we will hit the 50 per cent figure. The fact is Jane Prentice is a very effective local member. She’s one of the few people on the other side who understand cities and urban policy and public transport. I think she’s a great loss to the Parliament.

JEFFREYS: Very quickly speaking of elections, Albo, will you be leading Labor to the next election given this week’s polls.

ALBANESE: I’ll be doing the job that I’ve been given. I’ll be doing it to the best of my capacity as I do each and every day as part of the Labor team.

JEFFREYS: Alright. I’m afraid we’ve run out of time. There’s a little wedding happening in London over the weekend.

ALBANESE: We’ve noticed.

JEFFREYS: We must go back there as matter of urgency. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese thank you for your time.

May 16, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Subjects: Bill Shorten, citizenship, by-elections, Chris Bowen.

HOST: Good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.


HOST: Now we are going to start with you today if we can Albo.

ALBANESE: Yes. Alphabetical order. It’s because I am more important?

PYNE: He’s your favourite, that is the truth.

HOST: I don’t think you are going to mind Chris. It is never good news when we start with someone.

PYNE: Good point.

ALBANESE: Hang on, I will just get ready.

HOST: OK. Brace yourself. Now Albo, I wanted to start by paying you a compliment and I pay that same one to Chris too, which is that one of the things we love about having you on the show is that you bring a refreshing level of honesty to the discussion of politics. So with that in mind, can I ask you this question: Bill Shorten – he is having a total shocker at the moment isn’t he?

ALBANESE: No, he’s not. He’s ahead on the polls this week in both News …

HOST: This week.

ALBANESE: No, no, for the last 32, actually, Newspolls we have been ahead. We have been ahead substantially. If the election had of been held on Saturday, he would be the Prime Minister and I would be a Minister in the Government.

HOST: There’s been an enormous surge though to Malcolm Turnbull as preferred PM. Correspondingly, there has been a significant drop in Bill Shorten’s standing and he has misled the Australian people over the citizenship fiasco, hasn’t he?

ALBANESE: Well, it is true that Malcolm Turnbull got a bounce in the poll, but that didn’t translate through to votes. And it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about votes and the fact is that people are choosing to say that if an election was held, they would vote Labor. We obviously regret the fact that these by-elections have to occur. We’ve said that. It’s now impacted people across the political spectrum – National, Liberal, Green, the party formerly known as Nick Xenophon, I am not sure what they are called these days, and Labor.

HOST: Is his leadership riding on the result of those by-elections?

ALBANESE: No. We intend to win the by-elections.

HOST: But what if you don’t?

ALBANESE: We intend to win. The fact is that governments have found it difficult to win seats from the Opposition in the form of by-elections and the fact that the Liberal Party is not even bothering to run in Perth and Fremantle says something about them. They are not even confident that they are prepared to put themselves forward in a seat like Perth, where last time round they got 42 per cent of the primary vote.

HOST: Chris Pyne, is it a concern that despite promising billions of dollars’ worth of corporate and personal income tax cuts, the polls didn’t shift on Monday?

PYNE: I think it’s very interesting about the polls. I mean, if you listen to the commentators of the far left and the far right you would assume that the Government had been written off a long time ago. But in the real contests – the New England by-election, the Bennelong by-election, the South Australian election, Tasmanian election, the Liberal Party is winning when it actually counts and that is because Bill has got a twin ‘T’ problem – a trust and tax problem. People don’t trust Bill Shorten and he has a $220 billion tax hit on average Australians to pay for his spending spree. So he’s got significant problems.

The Government is actually travelling pretty well. We are getting on with the job. The economy is growing well. We have created 420,000 new jobs in the last 12 months. The Budget has been well received. Of course Labor should win all of these by-elections. The last time a Government took a by-election off the Opposition was in 1920 when Billy Hughes was the Prime Minister of Australia. So of course Bill Shorten should win these by-elections and he should win them well. If he doesn’t, yes his leadership will be in dire straits and our friend on the other end of the phone will be licking his chops.

HOST: Is that true Albo? Are you licking your chops?

ALBANESE: I’m not quite sure what that term means.

PYNE: A wolf-like description.

ALBANESE: Christopher, now you are getting very graphic.

PYNE: … children’s stories.

ALBANESE: It’s nine in the morning, my friend.

PYNE: It’s like the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. He’s licking his chops.

ALBANESE: I have a view that I have been given a job and I do it to the best of my capacity. I have always been loyal to the Labor Party and to the Labor Party team. I’m doing that now. I am playing a role. I think that in terms of the infrastructure agenda I have been pointing out – I had a very good op-ed in the Adelaide Advertiser last week …

PYNE: Alongside mine.

ALBANESE:  … last Friday. But mine was much better.

PYNE: I wouldn’t say that this was a huge endorsement of Bill Shorten, fellows. This is sounding like an endorsement of Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: I am doing my job, and Bill is doing his job, and he is doing it very well.

PYNE: But not for long by the sound of it.

HOST:  Well, one thing you have mentioned a lot in the past though Albo is how people are sick of sort of pro-forma, cookie-cutter politicians and the glib sound bites and the zingers. Is that lack of perceived realness his problem?

ALBANESE: No. I think people have got to be who they are. I think Christopher and I, for better or worse, I think we now have a running two-person show. We have spread across the country to Perth!

HOST: Oh no, you’ll be playing at the Bridgeway Hotel soon.

PYNE: We should be syndicated.

ALBANESE: I think people do want politicians who will say it like it is and one of the things about Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen today at the National Press Club is that we will be upfront about where the dollars are coming from, about where the dollars are going to, and about our priorities. No Opposition for a very long time has been prepared to take the brave stances that we have been prepared to take and…

PYNE: Well I heard that …

ALBANESE: … it’s to Bill Shorten’s credit.

PYNE: I heard Chris Bowen on another radio station this morning saying that he wouldn’t be telling us what his surplus might be until the next election – not for 12 months.

ALBANESE: I only listen to 5AA.

HOST: Yes, I was going to say that Chris. You don’t need to listen to other radio stations. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, always a rollicking chat. Good on you both. We will do it again next week.

May 15, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Sydney – Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Subjects: Budget, polls, Bill Shorten. 

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is a Budget that was a failure when it comes to actual infrastructure investment. It is due to decline from $8 billion in the current financial year to just $4.5 billion across the Forward Estimates – over four years – so a cut almost in half. This is a Government that talked up infrastructure investment before the Budget, but didn’t actually put the dollars in the Budget to create the projects that are needed. And on projects like Melbourne Airport Link, they pretend that it can be done for free. It can’t. It needs real investment, just like we need real investments in Western Sydney Rail and in Cross River Rail in Brisbane and other important projects.

REPORTER: I don’t know if you have had a chance to look at party stalwart Graham Richardson’s column in The Australian today where, I quote, where he says he uncomfortable about the number of people who approach him in the street and say that they don’t trust Bill Shorten. Does Bill have a trust problem?

ALBANESE: Well Graham Richardson of course is a commentator these days rather than an ALP activist and I believe very strongly that we are in a position to win the next election and if you look at the polls, the fact is that under Bill Shorten, Labor is ahead in both of the polls that were published this week, one of which showed an increase from 52 per cent two-party-preferred to 54.

REPORTER: They are specific stats about the party which is valid that you have pointed those out, but what about Bill Shorten and the issue of trust? Do you think that there is an issue from the voter in regards to trust when it comes to the Opposition Leader?

ALBANESE: Well Bill Shorten has been advancing policies that are receiving the support of the Australian people. Our support for education and health and infrastructure investment, our strong opposition to giving a tax break just for the big end of town, for big banks and big multi-nationals. Bill Shorten has been leading the party on that case and that has been well received, which is why we have been ahead in the polls now for 32 Newspolls.

REPORTER: If the party does drop a seat in the by-elections that are coming up, how much pressure does this put on Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well we intend to win these by-elections. We think we have got a good story to tell, we’ve got good local candidates. We have big issues of education, health, infrastructure, child care. Our priorities are different from the current Government’s and we will will be advocating that case in all seats right across the country in these five by-elections. I think it says a lot about the Government itself that they are not even bothering to field a candidate in Perth where last time they got 42 per cent of the primary vote, or Fremantle. I think that is showing contempt for the Australian voters.

REPORTER: Will there be any soul-searching if you do lose seats?

ALBANESE: Well we intend to win these by-elections and we intend to win the next election.

REPORTER: Many Liberal MPs think that you have what it takes to beat Malcolm Turnbull. Does that give you confidence?

ALBANESE: Well I am out there arguing my case as I have just done on infrastructure, on transport, on regional development, on cities, on tourism, and taking it up to the Government.  That is what I do. I do it in a consistent way. I do it not just in my electorate but right across the country and that is my focus – being part of the Labor team. I think we have a very strong team across the board and person-for-person I think I would much rather be a part of Labor than the Coalition, which is a very weak team which is divided at the top, that has sniping from the back bench from the former prime minister and the former deputy prime minister. We have a very positive agenda and it is not surprising that that is being reflected out there in the community.

REPORTER: Do you think Bill Shorten is an enigma?

ALBANESE: I think Bill Shorten is a strong person who has a record going back many, many years standing up for working people first as a trade union leader and then as a Parliamentarian. Thank you.

May 14, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Perth Live with Oliver Peterson, 6PR – Monday, 14 May 2018

Subjects: Budget; citizenship; Fremantle and Perth; polls; date of by-elections; Jane Prentice; party democracy; shipbuilding.

OLIVER PETERSON: Christopher Pyne, good afternoon.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Ollie, good to be with you again.

PETERSON: And Anthony Albanese, good to be talking with you again as well.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s good to be here, particularly after my Rabbitohs beat your Dragons yesterday.

PETERSON: I didn’t think we were going to discuss the rugby league today Albo.

ALBANESE: I just had to work it in early.

PETERSON: Well you certainly put this on the back foot so I will go to Christopher Pyne first and give him a free kick if you like here because the lines in the sand really have been drawn here after last year’s Budget and Budget Reply speech. Christopher Pyne, doesn’t your Government’s plan really encourage Australians to want to work harder, particularly earning between $50,000 and $200,000 per year. Is Labor’s plan lacking in that real opportunity for Australians, as I say, to work harder?

PYNE: Well the good thing about our plans is that we are basically abolishing bracket creep so the more you earn, you won’t suddenly move into a different tax bracket and still be paying the same or even more tax because we are reducing the number of thresholds from four to three and we are proving that we are the party for aspirational Australians. Now Bill had the same policy in 2005. He said we should have three tax rates and now he says that that is not progressive enough because you see the problem with Bill is ‘Unbelieveabill’. He can never be trusted and that is the problem with his response to the Budget last week, nobody believes it, whereas ours was sensible and measured, it grows the economy and reduces tax.

PETERSON: All right is Anthony Albanese, as Christopher Pyne says there, is your leader ‘Unbelieveabill’?

ALBANESE: Our leader has a plan that is realistic, that is fully costed, that will deliver not just tax cuts for those who most need it in the form of double what the Government is offering; what we will also do is invest in education and health and infrastructure and be able to pay down debt sooner because we are not having the big giveaway to big business and the big banks.

PYNE: This is where it becomes unbelievable you see. So they are going to have apparently less tax, more spending and pay back debt.

ALBANESE: Well, we are not giving away $80 billion.

PYNE: Anybody who is managing their own budget knows that you can’t actually spend more, take less revenue in and also reduce your credit card at the same time. This is Labornomics, you see. This is what happened under Rudd and Gillard and we are all going to go through the same experience if Bill wins next year.

PETERSON: It has been a tough week Anthony Albanese for the Labor Party with the dual citizenship crisis obviously reaching a new height last week – four MPs embroiled in this. Now, didn’t your Party in particular say that you were better, your processes were better, there would be no problems? Why didn’t your MPS like John Alexander or like Barnaby Joyce from the other side of politics, declare the fact that they had citizenship issues last year and head to a by-election back in 2017? Why is it dragging into 2018?

ALBANESE: Well, hang on a tick. Barnaby Joyce sat in the Parliament and in the Cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister after he conceded that he was a citizen of New Zealand – quite extraordinary. These people have all renounced their citizenship. They went through a process which was in accordance with the previous High Court rulings and there was a change there and therefore they have been impacted. Then they have done the right thing – resigned. Those by-elections need to be held and I note that the Liberal Party isn’t even entering the field in Perth and Fremantle. They are not even giving their rusted on voters the opportunity to vote for the Liberal Party in those by-elections. I find that quite extraordinary.

PETERSON: Yes, let’s come to that in a moment, but on to the point Anthony Albanese. Last year, particularly Bill Shorten said that your processes were ridgy-didge effectively, paraphrasing for a moment here, that everything was OK.

PYNE: Rolled gold.

PETERSON: Ok rolled gold, there you go. So what was wrong with Labor’s processes and now does Bill Shorten have a leg to stand on when it comes to the dual citizenship saga?

ALBANESE: Labor’s processes relied upon the previous High Court rulings. What occurred, say for example Josh Wilson there in Fremantle – he was preselected on a particular day. On that very day, he applied, filled out the forms to renounce his citizenship. He sent it off with the payment that was withdrawn from the bank the very next day. Now it wasn’t finalised, the processing of that, until after the nominations had closed – after he had nominated for the seat because he was a last-minute candidate due to the withdrawal of the person who previously had been preselected. So the reason why the courts have in the past have said that that’s OK is obviously that it relies upon another country – the High Commission of the UK in this case – to process the application, which is not within the power of the person applying for the renunciation of their citizenship. Now Josh did everything that he could …

PYNE: This is a very long answer.

ALBANESE: … clearly that wasn’t enough.

PETERSON: Christopher Pyne?

PYNE: He’s just trying to talk out the interview. We all know that Bill’s credibility is shredded. Anthony knows it. Everybody knows it. He took a very arrogant line last year when Malcolm Turnbull held out the hand of bipartisanship and said let’s refer a number of MPs who have got a cloud over their head. Bill wrote a very rude letter back on August 17 saying that he had absolutely no reason to co-operate with the Government and he has been found heavily wanting. And that is because Bill lives day to day. At least Anthony Albanese believes in things, whereas Bill thinks if I get through the next 24-hour news cycle, I’m in front. And that is why the people don’t trust him.

PETERSON: Well he is in front at the moment on the two-party preferred poll. But Anthony Albanese, perfect opportunity to ask, on the preferred PM question it is 46 to 32 per cent when it comes to Malcolm Turnbull verses Bill Shorten. Is there another alternative in the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, who might be able to close that gap?

ALBANESE: I tell you what. In Perth and Fremantle I will make this prediction – Labor will do better than the Libs, because we are actually running. Because we are actually running.

PETERSON: Well there is no candidate there Christopher Pyne …

ALBANESE: We are actually putting forward our case. We are actually running in Mayo too even though it is highly unlikely that we will win because we think that is the right thing to do. And what matters of course on polling day is who wins Government and according to both the polls that are out today, if the election was held on Saturday, the week after the Government brought down its Budget with all the hoopla that goes with that – all the advantages that it has – they would still lose and Labor would win the election.

PETERSON: Christopher Pyne, are you disappointed that the WA Liberal Party has decided not to field candidates in the Fremantle and Perth by-elections? Let’s be honest, Fremantle you’d have next to no chance, but Perth on a margin of only around 3 per cent. Are you surprised that your colleagues over here didn’t preselect somebody?

PYNE: Ollie, the by-election is decided on the boundaries from the last election. So it’s about a 6.5% Labor seat. The new boundaries don’t kick in until the 2019 election. A government hasn’t won a seat off the opposition in a by-elections since 1920 and even when Labor was at its lowest ebb in Western Australia, when we got 57 percent of the two-party-preferred vote and Labor got 43, they still won Perth and Fremantle. When we won 12 out of 15 seats they still won Perth and Fremantle so they are as Labor seats as you’re ever gonna get. So we’ll focus on Longman and Braddon and Mayo, all of which we have a better chance in and we’ll let the Greens take on Labor in those two Perth seats. Of course, you can vote Green and you won’t change the Government and you won’t hurt the Opposition, but you can protest against the $220 billion of new taxes that Bill Shorten wants to levy on Australian companies and individuals.

PETERSON: Preselection issues…

ALBANESE: I never thought I would hear Christopher Pyne tell people to vote for the Greens.

PYNE: Well, I’m just saying they could vote for the Greens and it wouldn’t change the Government.

ALBANESE: That is historic. Next thing you know he’ll be saying…

PYNE: I wouldn’t say it your seat, Albo. I wouldn’t say it in Grayndler. I’d never say it in Grayndler. I was wearing a Save Albo t-shirt at the last election.

ALBANESE: One of the points that’s got to be made too is; let’s call these by-elections. I read today that these by-elections might be put off ’til July. Now, the only reason why that would happen would be if Malcolm Turnbull didn’t want the scrutiny that will come if by-elections are held on 16th June, which is when they should held.

PYNE: Rubbish.

PETERSON: Do you have a date for the by-elections, Christopher Pyne?

ALBANESE: Why aren’t they called?

PYNE: Well, the Speaker decides the date of the by-elections and of course because of the citizenship debacle that Bill Shorten has visited upon the Australian people yet again, we need to make sure that all the processes are in place; that this doesn’t happen a third time. So the Government with the AEC will go through its proper processes. They’ll give advice to the Speaker. The Speaker will make a decision and of course we’ll be running in the by-elections. We’ve already announced candidates, just as we would whenever it’s called and the date is immaterial. It’s the outcome that matters, and these elections give people an opportunity to protest against the $220 billion of new taxes that Bill Shorten wants to levy on people.

ALBANESE: Protest against an opposition. That’s a new pitch in a by-election.

PYNE: If I was in one of those seats I’d be voting Liberal.

PETERSON: Talking of by-elections, talking of preselections Christopher Pyne, I need to ask you about the Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice. She is out after eight years of service. She’s being replaced by Julian Simmonds. Is there a gender issue in the Liberal Party, Christopher Pyne?

PYNE: No, there isn’t. I mean one of the good things about the Liberal Party is that we are an internal democracy. We don’t have the candidates being chosen in smoke-filled back rooms at the Labor Party conference, like the Labor Party does, particularly in Western Australia where you’ve had a history of that. We actually give our members a genuine vote. I know Anthony Albanese is in favour of the members having a genuine vote in the Labor Party and I defeated a sitting member in a preselection. That’s internal democracy. Jane is a good friend of mine. I’m disappointed to see her defeated but that’s the choice that the preselectors of Ryan have made and everyone will just have to get on with it.

PETERSON: Anthony Albanese, would you like the members to have a vote as well?

ALBANESE: I always am a supporter of direct democracy. In the Labor Party we have direct votes in New South Wales. We have 100 percent rank and file preselection. That’s how I got into Parliament. In terms of the candidates, obviously there were truncated processes because of the by-elections being called. But both the candidates in Perth and of course in Freo have very strong grassroots support in the Party. The tragedy here is the lack of representation from women on the frontbench and now on the backbench of the Liberal Party and the National Party. We saw on one day last year the extraordinary circumstance whereby there were no women sitting on the Liberal Party frontbench because Julie Bishop was away and Kelly O’Dwyer was on maternity leave. It’s quite outrageous that someone like Jane Prentice who actually has a great deal of capacity particularly in the area of cities and urban policy; who was making a contribution, has just been rubbed out by someone who was her former staffer, who told her clearly that she was going to be okay and at the last minute has sprung this coup on her with an impact on the Liberal Party meaning that Malcolm Turnbull should intervene and say: ‘That’s not good enough. Just steady on there, young fella – this woman’s has got something to contribute’. She’s a frontbencher in the Government and the Government hardly have any women on their frontbench.

PETERSON: Christopher Pyne, can we just move to a meeting you had last week with the State Government’s Paul Papalia. You had a meeting of course around a particular area. I know that you like to tell me you’re very popular in Henderson around shipbuilding and the like, but we did see reports out of The Australian late last week that Austal may no longer have some of the work on the offshore patrol vessels. Are you able to confirm that Austal and Lürssen will not be working together on the offshore patrol vessels or are you hoping to have a solution here?

PYNE: No, Austal and Lürssen have failed to come to a commercial negotiation which is disappointing for Austral, but it’s still good news for the people in Henderson because the 10 offshore patrol vessels we built there, by Lürssen in conjunction with Civmec trading as Forgacs which is building a brand spanking new shipyard at Henderson costing a million dollars, so there’ll be 400 to 600 direct jobs and about another 400 to 600 indirect jobs at Henderson in shipbuilding. It confirms Henderson as the other hub of shipbuilding in Australia alongside Osborne and Paul Papalia and I had a great meeting last Monday in Canberra to talk about investment in infrastructure and planning for the Henderson precinct to take full advantage of the Government’s $200 billion build up of our military capability, the largest in our peacetime history. So there’ll be other work for Austal. They said in their statement that they had plenty of work in building ferries and taking advantage of other Government Defence contracts like the future frigates. They’re bidding into the United States for more combat vessels, so that they’re a healthy company. Unfortunately they and Lürssen and weren’t able to come to commercial terms and that’s life in commerce, I’m afraid. The jobs will still happen whether they’re wearing Austal shirts or Lürssen shirts, the jobs will still occur in Henderson.

PETERSON: Alright Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese. We are out of time for the Odd Couple segment, but we’ll do it all again soon. Thank you very much gentlemen.

PYNE: Great to talk to you.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having us.

May 14, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 3AW with Niel Mitchell – Monday, 14 May 2018

Subjects: By-elections, infrastructure, Melbourne Airport rail line, immigration, tax, Pauline Hanson, polls. 

NEIL MITCHELL: It’s not like the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to resort to such rhetoric but on the Today program the other day on Channel 9 he said that Bill Shorten was like a wounded gazelle and Anthony Albanese was the lion hiding in the long grass. Anthony Albanese, the lion, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day. I’m hardly hiding. Here I am!

MITCHELL: But you’re hiding from Bill. You’re going to jump on him and eat him, is that right?

ALBANESE: Not at all. I’d be there with you in the studio if it wasn’t for that fog that you just reported on.

MITCHELL: That got you stranded in Sydney, did it?

ALBANESE: It did for a long time. Yes, they put us on the plane and then made us sit there for a long time, but these things happen.

MITCHELL: Tell me, these by-elections coming up, Super Saturday. What would be a good result for you?

ALBANESE: A good result would be for us to win.

MITCHELL: What would be a bad result?

ALBANESE: Well, to not win, funnily enough.

MITCHELL: Not win how many? I mean, if you drop one, is that bad?

ALBANESE: Well, to win all of them. The truth is that as we know, an opposition has not lost a seat to a Government since 1911 so by-elections have traditionally favored the opposition. We have in these seats outstanding candidates. I think it says something about the Coalition that they are not running in Perth or Fremantle. I find that quite extraordinary that they are not prepared to defend their own record in Government in a state in which they historically as well as in recent times have been very strong. So we go into these by-elections with candidates who were new when they were elected in 2016, with the exception of our candidate in Perth. They’re people who have already, I think, developed outstanding records in standing up for their respective electorates. They’ll be campaigning very strongly and I look forward to campaigning alongside them and alongside Bill Shorten and the rest of the Labor team.

MITCHELL: So what’s the message if you lose one? How bad is it?

ALBANESE: We don’t intend to lose one. We intend to campaign…

MITCHELL: Of course not, but you know the speculation. This is the test, I think Bill Shorten himself said, it was a test for leadership or a test of the teams. Everybody says it’s a test for Malcolm Turnbull if this goes wrong and it’s a test for Bill Shorten if it goes wrong. You agree with that?

ALBANESE: I’m absolutely determined that we win these seats.

MITCHELL: Yeah, but is it a test of the leadership?

ALBANESE: It’s a test for the entire team – for all of us who are part of the Labor team, and a test for the Coalition team, indeed just after they’ve handed down their Budget. I think it is an opportunity for Australians to talk about what their priorities are. The good thing about this is that it’s a bit of a trial run for a full election because it’s across four states. It is quite remarkable to have by-elections all at once, on one day, and it’s a chance for us to talk about our priorities of lifting living standards, of improving education, health and infrastructure.

MITCHELL: So if it goes bad are you ready to pounce?

ALBANESE: I’m just doing the job that I’ve been given and I intend to be, as part of the team, as I always am, out there campaigning.

MITCHELL: Julia Gillard once said to me when she was Deputy PM, she said ‘I’m more likely to play full forward for Footscray than I am to challenge Kevin Rudd.’ We know what happened. Have you got a similar analogy?

ALBANESE: I have been, I think on my record, someone who’s been loyal to the cause of Labor my whole political life, not just in the 22 years since I’ve been in Parliament. I regard speculation about leadership as being unproductive. I’ve never engaged in it. What I do is do the job that I’ve been given and do it to the best of my capacity as the Member for Grayndler in what’s a tough seat to hold onto, but also with the vast responsibilities that I’ve been given.

MITCHELL: I asked Scott Morrison, there is something of a disagreement so it’s only fair I ask you. It would seem that both the Government’s outlook and your outlook as presented in the Budget Reply speech is predicated on continuing immigration at about the same level as it is now. Is that true?

ALBANESE: Well in terms of the Budget figures, we of course work out our Budget Reply based upon the figures that the Government has presented and they indicate there’s been a slight reduction in the level of immigration but going forward. I sat in the Budget lock up with the rest of the economic team and helped to, I guess, foreshadow where we go over the next couple of days before Bill’s reply on Thursday night. We take the figures as they’re there.

MITCHELL: So does that mean you are locked in to the similar immigration rate that we now have?

ALBANESE: Well, of course no one’s locked in forever and what we’re…

MITCHELL: Should it be reviewed? I mean, that’s the point.

ALBANESE: It’s looked at all the time. That’s the truth, and the Government does that all the time as well. We should always, I think, be prepared to examine what the right policies are. One of the things that I’m concerned about is urban congestion. I don’t think the Government has done enough and so if you have an increase in population you really need to be investing real dollars in infrastructure to make a difference, particularly when it comes to public transport projects. I also think that you need to do much more in terms of decentralisation. There is enormous pressure on Melbourne and Sydney. That’s one of the reasons why I support a High Speed Rail line between Melbourne and Sydney as the first stage.

MITCHELL: And this is one of the reasons people are talking about a reassessment of immigration, because of the infrastructure not catching up with it.

ALBANESE: That’s exactly right.

MITCHELL: So do we get a reassessment or not?

ALBANESE: The idea that this is just about immigration is not right, in my view, because migration does bring up positives in terms of economic development, but also the negatives – if infrastructure doesn’t keep up in terms of urban congestion – need to be dealt with. They can’t just be wished away. And that’s why I was here on Friday in Melbourne speaking at the Australian Smart Communities Conference talking about the importance of the National Broadband Network, talking about the importance of High Speed Rail for the decentralisation agenda, to take pressure off those cities particularly Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

MITCHELL: We need to take a break. I will come back and have a chat to you on the other side of the break. We will only keep you a few minutes. Anthony Albanese, the Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Cities. Former Deputy Prime Minister of course, under Kevin Rudd.


MITCHELL: Mr. Albanese, is $95,000 a year rich?

ALBANESE: No, it’s not. $95,000 a year, depending upon your circumstances – how many kids you’ve got, whether you’ve got one or two people working, you can be under real pressure.

MITCHELL: But this is Chris Bowen’s plan, over $95,450 you’re worse off after 2022.

ALBANESE: No. Certainly, what the Government has…

MITCHELL: Isn’t that right?



ALBANESE: Well, that’s a simplification of it. The fact is that the Government…

MITCHELL: You’re better off?

ALBANESE: The Government has a plan…

MITCHELL: What about your plan?

ALBANESE: If you vote for Malcolm Turnbull this time, and a time again, and a time again, you might get some relief. The idea of saying that in 2024 you’re going to make these changes is a triumph of hope over experience.

MITCHELL: It is better than your plan for the $95,000 income.

ALBANESE: What Labor has put forward is a realistic plan right now which prioritises people on low and middle incomes and of course those changes also flow through to those people who are earning $95,000 dollars. They will be better off than they are at the moment. So we’ve prioritised a real plan. We’ve also prioritised investing in education and health and infrastructure, and we’ve prioritised not giving the big tax cuts to big companies.

MITCHELL: Do you think there’s a problem with Bill Shorten’s credibility, through? People seem not to believe him.

ALBANESE: I don’t think that’s right.


ALBANESE: We are going to be advocating our plan in the lead up to both these by-elections, and the general election. I do think that people are cynical in general about what will happen for any government or opposition, for that matter, making promises about what will happen in 2024.

MITCHELL: Yeah, but what about the rolled gold guarantee that all you Members of Parliament are legitimate? That looks good now, doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: What about the guarantee that the Coalition made that they would have a budget surplus…

MITCHELL: Well, a pox on both your houses.

ALBANESE: …in their first year and every year after?

MITCHELL: All right, so they haven’t got much credibility either. But where’s yours? Where’s Bill Shorten’s?

ALBANESE: When it comes to the issue of people having to resign, Labor got that wrong. That’s the truth.

MITCHELL: Bill got it wrong.

ALBANESE: The High Court made a determination which meant that we have to have these by-elections, just as Malcolm Turnbull got it wrong when he said ‘the High Court shall hold’ as the Deputy Prime Minister continued to sit in the Parliament – as the Deputy Prime Minister – without being referred to the Court. He didn’t step aside from his ministerial position and continued to make decisions in the Cabinet. I think that’s far more serious than a backbencher waiting for the decision of a court.

MITCHELL: Will One Nation stay at the bottom of your list of preferences?

ALBANESE: Yes, they will.


ALBANESE: Because we think that they are a party that seeks to divide the country. We believe that Pauline Hanson’s political career has been characterised by seeking to cause division in the community. What we need from political leaders and real leadership is statements that unite the country. Now, Pauline is someone who I have a pretty reasonable relationship with on a personal level but I think that her views led to both John Howard and Labor putting her last the last time she was in office. That is one of the factors that led to her exclusion from the Parliament for a very long time and that was a principled position which John Howard took. We’ve maintained our principles. It’s a pity that Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t.

MITCHELL: The airport rail link for Melbourne. Will it happen?

ALBANESE: It won’t happen under this mob. The fact is that there’s not a dollar for construction in the Budget. What they’ve said is that it will be an equity injection and what that means is that it’s off-Budget. It doesn’t have an impact on the Budget bottom line and the only way that you can have an equity investment rather than a grant, which actually impacts the bottom line, is if a project produces more revenue, more income than outgoings, for maintenance and operations – which no public transport projects in Australia currently does. You’ll also have to have a return on upfront capital investment, which is at least $10 billion. So this is nonsense. This was a pretense of an announcement.

MITCHELL: So what’s your plan?

ALBANESE: We will make real investments into it. We will sit down with Victoria. We support the project. Victoria is working through the options at the moment for where it goes through, and we think that it looks as though, Sunshine seems to me to be the best option but let’s wait and see what the full costings and plans are in the business case. But we will commit real dollars to projects because that’s the only way they get built.

MITCHELL: Do you think Malcolm, look at the Newspoll, Malcolm Turnbull is on the up? He’s come back.

ALBANESE: Well, you look at two polls today and they seemed to tell different stories. In one, Labor is ahead 54-46 and in the other Labor is ahead as well, 51-49.

MITCHELL: Bill Shorten is certainly behind as better PM, isn’t he?

ALBANESE: We don’t have a presidential race. What we have is a race between the political parties in the Westminster system, seat by seat. And what both polls show today is that if the election was held on Saturday, Labor would be in Government and you’d be talking to me without that very niggly little word, ‘Shadow’ in front of my title.

MITCHELL: Thanks very much for your time.

ALBANESE: Great to be with you.

May 11, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 11 May 2018

Subjects: Budget Reply; tax cuts; TAFE places; Newstart; citizenship. 

KARL STEFANOVIC: Joining me now is Anthony Albanese in Canberra and Josh Frydenberg in Melbourne. Lads, good morning.


JOSH FRYDENBERG: Good morning to you, Karlos. Good morning to you, Albo.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, to you first of all. A lot of promises last night. You’ve got more dough than Bakers Delight, it seems.

ALBANESE: Well, we’re not giving away $80 billion in tax cuts to big companies and big banks. That will enable us to give bigger and fairer tax cuts to 10 million working Australians. It will allow us to have no fees for 100,000 TAFE students in areas of skills shortage. We shouldn’t be needing to import carpenters and bricklayers into this country. We should be training Australians here to do those jobs. We’ll have real investment in infrastructure and we’ll reduce waiting times in hospitals by having increased funding for health care.

STEFANOVIC: Josh, I hate to point it out but their tax cuts are bigger than yours.

FRYDENBERG: Well their tax hit on retirees and businesses and your property amount to some $200 billion. Nobody’s savings are safe with Bill Shorten. There was no mention in the Budget Reply last night about returning to surplus. There was no mention of national security and we know that he will continue to hit your hip pocket. So I think Bill Shorten has given you another rolled gold guarantee last night that your taxes will rise under Labor.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, how are you going to fund that cash splash on schools and hospitals? It’s billions of dollars.

ALBANESE: Well, we’re not giving away $80 billion in these company tax cuts. That’s how we’re going to fund it and we’ve made quite difficult decisions, like on negative gearing for future purchases – none of it is retrospective – but that was a tough decision that we took to the last election, that the Government actually knows is good policy that helps the bottom line and enables us to have the space to give bigger tax cuts to those people who really need it, who are struggling.

STEFANOVIC: You know who is struggling? These poor kids on Newstart. You couldn’t find any more money in all those giveaways for the kids on Newstart?

ALBANESE: We made substantial announcements last night and one of the things about our real investment in infrastructure is that it will assist people to get into real jobs. That’s why we’re abolishing the fees for 100,000 TAFE students.

STEFANOVIC: So that’s a no to an increase in Newstart?

ALBANESE: You can’t do everything. What you have to do is outline your priorities. Our priority is getting Australians into jobs; is investing in education and health care; and taking pressure off living costs to those 10 million Australians.

FRYDENBERG: Karl, can I just say that while Labor talks about getting people into jobs it’s the Coalition and the Turnbull Government that has delivered that. We’ve created more than 1000 jobs a day. Nearly a million people are into work and that’s why the Budget is coming back into balance a year earlier, because more people are in jobs.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, four Labor MPs – let’s move on – were forced out of Parliament this week because of citizenship issues. That’s despite dozens of denials by Bill Shorten and other Labor MPs that there were no dual citizens in their ranks. Here is Anthony, this is actually you on our very own show.

[Clips play]

STEFANOVIC: Albo, Albo, Albo.

ALBANESE: Well it’s regrettable that it’s happening. The High Court have made their decision. We’ve accepted the umpire’s judgment and we’re getting on with the business now of making sure that those MPs are returned, to continue to make a contribution for their electorate and make a contribution here in Canberra.

STEFANOVIC: So right now, categorically – categorically, Albo – is everyone in your Party safe?


STEFANOVIC: Are you sure you want to go with that?


STEFANOVIC: What about Anne? Is Anne Aly okay?

ALBANESE: Yes. All you can do is make judgments based upon the advice which you have, which is all of these people complied certainly with the previous High Court determination which was essentially that if you’d made your best efforts – I mean, in Josh Wilson’s case of course, this is a guy who was preselected at the last minute because he was a replacement candidate  – he filled in the form on the day; paid his money on the day after; the money was taken out of his bank account and he was entitled to think – I’m of the view – that given previous High Court determinations that he would be okay.

FRYDENBERG: Karl, can I just say. Can I just say, Karl…

ALBANESE: Josh, you’ve got ten seconds.

FRYDENBERG: The big story here is that Bill Shorten is like a wounded gazelle and Albo is like the lion there waiting in the long grass.

STEFANOVIC: That’s true.

FRYDENBERG: And the question is he ready to pounce?

STEFANOVIC: Like a tiger!

FRYDENBERG: Is he ready to pounce?

STEFANOVIC: Like a tiger!

ALBANESE: Good try, Josh.

FRYDENBERG: Rule it out, Albo. Rule it out!

ALBANESE: Good try, mate.

STEFANOVIC: Thanks Josh, thanks Albo.

May 10, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – SKY News with Samantha Maiden – Thursday, 10 May 2018

Subjects; By-elections; Mayo preselection; citizenship; single parent families; boat turnbacks; ALP National Conference. 

SAMANTHA MAIDEN: Well, if you’ve had time for a little breather there to recover from that fabulous cooking segment with Barnaby Joyce, joining me now live in the studio is Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I’m glad I missed it.

MAIDEN: I won’t ask you about cooking, but there is an egg on the front page of The Daily Telegraph all over Bill Shorten’s face. It’s a bit rough although I think the Tele has done some terrible things to you over the years. They put you in a Nazi outfit once.

ALBANESE: They have. They do that.

MAIDEN: But it is a bit embarrassing for the Labor Party, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: It obviously isn’t a good thing, but what’s important now is that we have an opportunity to put out our case, not just in one seat in a single by-election, but in the by-elections that will take place across four states. It’s a chance to really put up our argument about our priorities of education and health and childcare and infrastructure funding versus their priorities of giving a further leg up to the big end of town.

MAIDEN: So how do you think the Labor Party could have handled this a little differently? Do you think with the benefit of hindsight that you should have just done a mass referral or that they should have gone in with one lot, with Katy Gallagher or they should have resigned a little earlier?

ALBANESE: I don’t think the mob out there give two hoots about that. It’s a bit like having a debate after a footy game in which I always think that Souths haven’t had a fair rub of the green and whether, you know, someone dropped the ball at the right time or forward passes. That doesn’t matter. What matters is the outcome that the High Court has determined means these by-elections are on. This is about that, and our focus should be on the future and on our plans for Australia. This gives us an opportunity to really campaign on Labor’s vision for Australia in the lead up to, as a bit of a dry run if you like, to the general election, whenever that may be, whether it’s later this year or early next year.

MAIDEN: So a Super Saturday of by-elections and then Tim Hammond’s seat of Perth is included in that as well and that’s, you know, pretty safe Labor. So do you think on balance you’re likely to hold all of those seats?

ALBANESE: Labor’s been ahead of course in the national polls for some time, the famous ’30 Newspoll’ comment that Malcolm Turnbull wishes he’d never made; it’s now up to 31 or 32 that we’ve been ahead. These are all held seats. Traditionally, by-elections tend to favor oppositions and we’ve got good candidates. These people have all been good representatives. In Perth I’m sure we’ll have a very good candidate there when that’s determined. We endorsed at the ALP National Executive last Saturday the other three. They are good hard working representatives in their seats. They’re all having an impact both in their local communities but here in Canberra and they’re all worthy of support and I’m sure that they will get that support. We’ll certainly be doing what we can as a movement to mobilise support for them on the ground.

MAIDEN: So five out of five are a perfect score?

ALBANESE: We’ll be out there. Mayo of course is not one of our held seats. We’ll wait and see what happens there. Of course you’ve had the collapse of the Nick Xenophon team. So that dynamic…

MAIDEN: Will Labor not run in Mayo then?

ALBANESE: I don’t know, is the truth.

MAIDEN: What do you think about Georgina Downer, the Downer dynasty rising again?

ALBANESE: We’ll wait and see. Rebekha Sharkie of course is a former Liberal. She worked for Jamie Briggs. I think Jamie would acknowledge he probably wasn’t the best candidate…

MAIDEN: He was alright for a while.

ALBANESE: He had a few issues, Jamie.

MAIDEN: Only toward the end.

ALBANESE: I got on okay with Jamie but he did have a few issues.

MAIDEN: It was a bit of a wild ride, but Georgina Downer, she’s the daughter of a politician, who’s the son of a politician…

ALBANESE: Who’s the son of a politician. You forgot one generation there.

MAIDEN: But there’s actually been a show on the ABC, the Downer dynasty.

ALBANESE: I missed that. That would have been as fascinating as Barnaby Joyce’s cooking tips.

MAIDEN: No, it was good. You didn’t watch all of it. It was very good. He sounds like he’s a good cook.

ALBANESE: I didn’t even know it existed.

MAIDEN: So, I mean do you think that that looks a little ‘silver spoon in your mouth’ or is that okay?

ALBANESE: I’m not going to have a go at anyone because of their family. Georgina’s entitled to run. She hasn’t been preselected yet of course. I thought she was living in Victoria. She ran in a preselection there.

MAIDEN: I spoke to her last night. She was in Timor-Leste. But she grew up in Mayo.

ALBANESE: Sure. She obviously has a connection with South Australia and with Mayo.

MAIDEN: Now in relation to your own family and the citizenship stuff. This issue came up with you because of your family history and this is one of the things, I mean your family history is not sad; your family history is kind of beautiful and lovely, but this whole issue dragging up everyone’s past and Susan Lamb, it’s an issue. You’ve talked about the fact that your mum was a single mum, she brought you up herself. You didn’t really know for a long time exactly who your dad was and then you did this research and it was Carlos and you found him and…


MAIDEN: Carlo, sorry.

ALBANESE: Italian, not Spanish.

MAIDEN: So it was Carlo and then you went found him. But you argue that you would not be eligible for dual citizenship because he didn’t appear on your birth certificate. If Carlo was on your birth certificate would you have a problem?

ALBANESE: Well then it’s a matter of – you’re running through hypotheticals. The fact is that I’m lucky that I did the book with Karen Middleton – available in all good bookstores. Karen put out in great detail, in 320 pages I think, my family history. My birth certificate of course has a dash next to ‘father’.

MAIDEN: Does that turn out to be a lucky dash in this context?

ALBANESE: I wouldn’t say that someone who grew up in a single parent family is lucky. No.

MAIDEN: Depends on the family though, doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: Families are diverse and one of the things about that…

MAIDEN: Are you suggesting single families are not, I mean I know…

ALBANESE: Not at all. You do it tough. That’s the truth. And I did it tough growing up in a family with a single mum who was an invalid pensioner. That’s the truth. I lived by myself at a very young age.

MAIDEN: The question is just if his name was on the birth certificate…

ALBANESE: If there was a legal status to my father’s relationship with me, then yes, that would have been an issue I would have had to have dealt with.

MAIDEN: Okay. Now, in relation to this tax stuff, you’re going to have your Budget Reply speech. How’s that going? Is there a bit of argy-bargy behind the scenes or do…

ALBANESE: No. We’re preparing the Leader of the Opposition’s Budget Reply tonight. I think it will be a real contrast. It will be a Labor speech, as all of Bill Shorten’s Budget Replies have been. With an emphasis on fairness; with an emphasis on building a strong economy; but with a sense of purpose; an acknowledgment that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. On infrastructure, for example, this Budget has across the forwards $2 billion less in it than last year’s Budget. This is a Budget whereby infrastructure investment falls from $8 billion in 2017-18 down to $4.5 billion.

MAIDEN: They always do that with infrastructure spending. It drives me crazy and you guys did it as well. You mix all the money up and you say it’s new and it’s not.

ALBANESE: We actually built some things. What they’ve done – the greatest mirage is the grand announcement about an airport rail link to Melbourne with $5 billion dollars available, but it’s an equity investment that doesn’t work for public transport because it doesn’t produce a return.

MAIDEN: At least they’re getting a train in Melbourne. I’m happy about that.

ALBANESE: They’re not getting a train. They’re not getting anything. There’s no money. Not a dollar for grant funding. Just like in Western Sydney, they had another front page about the rail line through Badgerys Creek. You know how much money there is for construction? Zero. Not one dollar.

MAIDEN: You’ll no doubt have this debate about infrastructure and taxes while at the ALP National Conference. Also though a debate over asylum seekers which will take place in the context potentially of the, you know, the lead up of these by-elections. Now, you now saying that…

ALBANESE: No, it will be after.

MAIDEN: Well but it will be the debate in the lead up, if you know what I mean. Like the debate as we go into it, happening in tandem. You now say that you support boat turnbacks after all of that hullabaloo.

ALBANESE: I support the Platform of the Labor Party. See, what we do in the Labor Party is –  live on Sky News – we have a debate that goes for days.

MAIDEN: I know, but do you support boat turnbacks? Yes or no?

ALBANESE: I support the Labor Party Platform. That’s what we do, Sam.

MAIDEN: But you had a huge blue about this. Are you prepared to have that blue again?

ALBANESE: Did I speak at the conference on this issue? It’s an interesting definition of a ‘big blue’, Sam.

MAIDEN: Well, behind the scenes you did. I mean, there was a big debate in Shadow Cabinet and all factions had come in to protect Bill Shorten.

ALBANESE: You weren’t there.

MAIDEN: I was there.

ALBANESE: You were there on the floor of the conference and what happens in the Labor Party is we have debates. That’s a good thing. You know what happens when you get lots of ideas and people discussing them and working them through? You get a better outcome.

MAIDEN: So you’re going to try and open up the boat turnback thing but …

ALBANESE: What I do is the chapter that I’m in charge of. It’s a fantastic chapter, Sam.

MAIDEN: Look forward to that, but the…

ALBANESE: I’ve helped to write that chapter. Well that’s my job. Not other people’s jobs. That’s Shayne Neumann’s job.

MAIDEN: But do you support 90 day processing offshore as well as onshore?

ALBANESE: Sam, when I was a minister in the government, we supported offshore processing. We’ve made clear what our policy is. Our policy is in the Platform for all to read and I support the Platform of the Labor Party, and guess what? At this conference, the outcomes that come across the whole range of policies, that will be the Platform of the Labor Party. That determines the principles and then, of course, it’s up to the caucus…

MAIDEN: Okay, but can you process people within 90 days offshore.?

ALBANESE: That’s a matter for Shayne Neumann and the respective spokespeople. What I’m concerned about in terms of the platform at National Conference, and the part that I’m developing, is my chapter. That’s all about nation building. That’ll keep me pretty busy. You should come along to the conference, Sam. It’s terrific.

MAIDEN: Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

ALBANESE: It’s terrific and it’s shown live, unlike the Liberal Party that don’t have real policy debates and real conferences, because they just get their instructions from the big end of town and they just go, ‘yep, we’ll do that’. And the Greens, well who’d know Sam? Who’d know? They might be holding a conference as we speak, because they don’t tell anyone, they don’t invite the media. They have leadership ballots where we find out about 10 months afterwards that they’ve happened.

MAIDEN: All right, well good luck with that. Thank you for your time today and we’ll talk to you soon.

ALBANESE: See you in Adelaide at conference.
MAIDEN: I can’t wait.

May 9, 2018

Transcript of radio interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes segment – Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Subjects:  Budget, infrastructure, tax cuts, South Road, election timing.

HOST: Special post-Budget edition of Two Tribes. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.


HOST: Now, we’ve been doing this segment for long enough. l think that we can probably be all honest with one another now. I know you two typically are. No matter what we ask you post-Budget morning we are probably going to get a rendition of the talking points so what we figured, you’ve got 60 seconds each to get it out of your system and then we are going to get into the questions. Chris Pyne, you can go first.

PYNE: Well the Budget is delivering a stronger economy, essential services and we are living within our means. We are returning to taxpayers their own money in a transformative tax package that means that 94 per cent of Australians will pay 32.5 cents in the dollar tax or less and Labor is opposing that income tax cut. So we have delivered the essential services, more jobs and a stronger economy. We are living within our means. We are returning to surplus faster than was anticipated. So we have turned the corner and we are delivering tax cuts back to Australians which is their money and Labor is saying” “No, we want to keep it’’.

HOST: Nice and concise. All right Albo, your shot.

ALBANESE: This Budget is a hoax. It has tax cuts off in the never-never in Malcolm Turnbull’s fifth term or something. It has infrastructure investment that fails South Australia. Infrastructure investment in South Australia this year is $832 million, in 2017-18. It declines to $504 million, then $311 million, then $135 million, then $236 million. That represents three per cent of the national infrastructure Budget is going to South Australia in 2020-21. It’s a complete fail when it comes to supporting South Australia and I am amazed if this South Australian Marshall Government just rolls over and has its tummy tickled by this Government that is taking South Australia for granted.

HOST: To you Chris, on the question around the long-term nature of this tax reform and tax cut plan, is that the reason that the Government is going to try within the next few weeks to go into the Parliament and say: “here is the legislation” and is the thinking that you will not only stare down Labor into challenging them, to oppose tax cuts for so many Australians, but that you will also future proof the savings, meaning that they are law and that a future government of any hue would have to bring in new laws to abolish them?

PYNE: Well we will be introducing the Personal Income Tax Plan this morning into the House as is the normal course of events and Labor has already announced that they are going to vote against tax cuts.

ALBANESE: We have not. Don’t lie.

PYNE: They have. You’ve already announced …

ALBANESE: We have not. You are just lying.

PYNE: Well. I am not.

ALBANESE: You are just lying to the listeners.

PYNE: Chris Bowen has announced that you are going …

ALBANESE: He has not.

PYNE: Has already announced that you are voting against the income tax cuts.

ALBANESE: He hasn’t. You are lying.

PYNE: I heard it this morning. Fran Kelly said it this morning. Fran Kelly from the ABC said it this morning.

HOST: Guys settle, settle, settle.

ALBANESE: Fran Kelly is not Labor’s spokesperson.

HOST: I’ve never even heard of Fran Kelly. Let’s not worry about what was said. What is the case Anthony Albanese?

ALBANESE: You will find out on Thursday night. On Thursday night we will make, in Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply, we will outline our alternative plans. We will outline what we are doing. We said last night that we will vote for the tax cut that comes in on the 1st of July, 2018. We will vote for that first tranche. As for the rest, we are looking at the detail and we are asking for the detail of what the impact will be. We’ll be raising questions about a whole range of things in the Budget that don’t have the detail outlined beyond the Forward Estimates because what they are talking about here is something that is off in the never- never, of which they have provided no detail.

PYNE: Rubbish.

HOST: It’s not off in the never-never if you back it and it becomes law though Albo.

ALBANESE: It is off in the never-never. You know quite well David, your listeners will be sitting there today thinking this is a Government that can’t keep its commitments from week to week.

PYNE: We haven’t broken any promises from the 2016 election.

ALBANESE: You broke one last night – no cuts to the ABC. When you look at the detail for example …

PYNE: That’s two elections ago. We are talking about 2016.

HOST: It’s also a victimless crime.

ALBANESE: What about the South Road?

PYNE: We have not broken a promise since the 2016 election.

ALBANESE: What about South Road?

PYNE: We are building the north-south corridor.

ALBANESE: You’ve made big this announcement. When?

HOST: I’m going to ask the question to you in a different way Albo, OK. Setting aside the question of whether the Labor Party is going to block tax cuts, conversely, given that you are opposing some of the largese toward corporate Australia, given that you are cracking down on negative gearing and given that you are recouping some money from some of Australia’s self-funded retirees, could Labor actually offer bigger personal income tax cuts?

ALBANESE: Well you’ll have to wait and see David. I’m not announcing our response….

HOST: Come on, you’d be in the room chatting to the boys. You’d know what’s going on.

ALBANESE: I was in the room last night. I was in the room and I was in the room that began the discussions about our response on Thursday night. Bill Shorten will be giving it on Thursday night.

HOST: Surely Two Tribes is a more appropriate forum to announce it than some cockamamee speech in the chamber?

PYNE: Labor is promising $200 billion of new taxes.

ALBANESE: Who cares about the Parliament – what about Two Tribes?

HOST: Well let’s talk then about what was announced yesterday in the Budget, Chris Pyne. Was there any new money for South Road in the Budget announced yesterday?

PYNE: Yes of course.

ALBANESE: In the Forwards? When is it? When does it kick in?

HOST: Give him a chance Albo.

PYNE: Actually Anthony, you’ve behaved quite poorly this morning.

ALBANESE: You began by lying.

PYNE: You’re at it again. Because Labor is promising $200 billion of new taxes, so even if they promise some personal income tax cuts they are taking $200 billion from older people and all Australians in order to give it back to people.

ALBANESE: How much is the corporate tax cut over ten years?

HOST: Let’s talk about infrastructure in South Australia, Christopher Pyne. Was there anything announced, anything new, that wasn’t announced previously?

PYNE: In terms of South Australia, we have $1.8 billion of infrastructure promised in this Budget and we are building the continuation of the north-south corridor …

ALBANESE: But not in the Forwards.

PYNE: At the tune of about $400 million and Anthony knows it as well as anybody …

ALBANESE: It’s not there.

PYNE: … that the expenditure on infrastructure goes up and down depending on the readiness to start projects. But I can tell you on ship building and submarines, we’re spending $1.3 billion in infrastructure at Osborne and $800 million at the Edinburgh RAAF Base and at Woomera in the north of South Australia to do the Poseidon and the Growler, being housed there as well as the ground station for the satellite. So that’s over $2.1 billion in defence infrastructure alone …

ALBANESE: That wasn’t what you were asked. You were asked about the South Road.

PYNE: … which we delivered. Plus $1.8 billion for road and rail infrastructure ..

ALBANESE: In the never-never. You’ll be Prime Minister before you start on the South Road.

HOST: You might be too, Albo.

PYNE: Labor knows that they have to face the next election promising $200 billion of increases in taxes..

HOST: Speaking of the next election, this is a Budget for an election this year isn’t it?

PYNE: No. We’re not having an election until the first half of next year, when it is due.

HOST: Seriously?

PYNE: And any other speculation is quite frankly bizarre. Why would we have an early election? The election is not due until May/June 2019. And it will be in the first half of 2019.

HOST: And one other thing –  given that both Labor and the Coalition seem to have perfected the art of usurping the will of the people and knocking off leaders themselves, is a 10-year plan to reform the tax system a bit heroic given the instability we’ve seen in Canberra for the past decade?

PYNE: Well actually the Government is very stable. And we are looking for the long-term because that’s what Governments should do. We have immediate tax relief from this year, immediate tax relief, and then there’s a longer term plan over seven years to mean that 94 percent of Australian will pay 32.5 cents or less in the dollar. We have eliminated bracket creep. This is the most significant tax reform since the GST. It’s a very transformative Budget.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese; that was a wild old Two Tribes, as we expected. We appreciate it and good luck. Get through your talking points for the rest of the day.

May 9, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra – Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Subjects: Budget, infrastructure, Melbourne Airport Rail, Western Sydney Rail.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Last night’s Budget, when it comes to infrastructure, is simply a hoax. There is no new funding for infrastructure in last night’s Budget and the Budget papers tell the story itself on page after page. New Tasmanian infrastructure investments –  zero, zero, zero, zero, zero. Infrastructure Investment Program – zero, zero, zero, zero. Victoria – zero, zero, zero, zero, zero.

This is a Budget that delivers zero when it comes to new infrastructure. And the Budget Papers show that on page after page of Budget Paper Number 2. What we have is a commitment that if you re-elect the Turnbull Government, and then re-elect them again and then re-elect them again, you might actually see some infrastructure delivery.

We knew that Malcolm Turnbull liked taking selfies on trains. We then found out that he quite liked to announce new trains. It’s about time he built some new trains because what we are seeing from this Government is just a mirage.

Take for example the grand announcement of $5 billion for the airport rail line in Melbourne. What we know from the Budget Papers is that that is not real. It says this – page 143, Budget Paper Number 2: “Up to $5 billion for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link with specific funding arrangements including an option for equity investment to be settled at a later date.

What a farce. Not real, no actual funding, just saying at some time in the future, at a time of the future, with funding for the future, something might happen but it will happen in the form of an equity investment. That is a funding model that simply doesn’t work for public transport. Public transport needs grant funding. You can only have equity funding, that is off-budget that costs nothing in terms of the Budget, if it produces greater revenue than the ongoing cost structure of running that infrastructure, which no public transport project in Australia currently does. And what’s more, it has to produce a difference of revenue over ongoing cost which is high enough to actually pay for the capital investment of building that infrastructure. This is a farce and the sector knows it.

We saw also a big page one splash about Western Sydney Rail through Badgerys Creek Airport. What we actually have in the Budget is $50 million for a study to do the business case and not a single dollar – not one – for actual construction of that rail line. This is a Government that is all about making grand statements but not about delivering new infrastructure.


May 7, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Townsville, Queensland – Monday, 7 May 2018

MONDAY, 7 MAY, 2018

Subjects: Budget, infrastructure, tax cuts, Labour Day.

CATHY O’TOOLE, MEMBER FOR HERBERT: It’s great to have Anthony Albanese here with us today, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Tourism and Transport. Very clearly in Townsville we want to see a Budget that includes infrastructure. And that infrastructure for us is about long-term water security, hydro-electricity in the Burdekin Falls Dam and the expansion of the port – three critical infrastructure projects that Labor has committed to and we want to see that evident in the Budget that will be handed down tomorrow. But I will hand over to Anthony to fill you in in the broader infrastructure issues.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s great to be back in Townsville, the capital of the north. The fact is that tomorrow’s Budget is an opportunity for the Government to actually match its rhetoric with some real funding, When we were last in Government we did the Townsville Ring Road, we did the Douglas Arterial, we did the approaches north and south to Cairns. We invested in infrastructure. Indeed, we more than doubled the infrastructure budget here in North Queensland.

This Government has had a lot of rhetoric but they have been prepared to go along and open projects that were begun by the former Labor Government, such as the Ring Road. But they haven’t put the actual investment in and when it comes to issues like the Port Channel widening, this is a vital issue. This is about increasing our trade. This is about improving our national position in terms of maximising the benefit of that trade right here in Townsville. The fact is that this Government’s only significant investment is of course the money for the stadium that they got dragged kicking and screaming to after more than a year after Labor committed to that project. And then they called it a City Deal. Well, the fact is that an actual City Deal would have a comprehensive plan of funding.

Tomorrow night’s Budget will be an opportunity nationally as well for the Government to actually invest in infrastructure with real dollars for real projects in real time. What we have seen so far from the Government leaks is repetition of rhetoric rather than actual achievement – the sort of rhetoric that we saw two years ago with the creation of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, the NAIF, which is really known now as the No Actual Infrastructure Fund.

Years later not a single project for Queensland has been funded out of that facility, a big fanfare, a big $5 billion figure, not meaning anything at all and we are seeing that replicated with projects and announcements like Melbourne Rail to the airport which they are saying would be an equity injection, rather than an actual grant.

We are seeing it in terms of Western Sydney Rail through to the new airport, where they say that they support that project, but the fact is that $50 million for a business case means in actual fact zero dollars for actual construction of that rail line that should be under way right now so that it can open prior to the airport. Right across the nation whether it be here in Townsville in Northern Australia, or in our capital cities or in our regions, this is a Government that has masked its cut to infrastructure with rhetoric.

Its infrastructure budget was due to be in 2020-21 just $4.2 billion and it was due to decline over the decade, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office, which is independent, to 0.2 per cent from 0.4 per cent as a percentage of our national GDP – to be cut in half. So they have a lot of catching up to do. We await tomorrow night’s Budget to see whether it delivers, not just here in Townsville but right around the nation.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, the Government have just come out this morning and touted their infrastructure credentials, saying that it will be the focus of this Budget. Are you confident of that? They have announced a pretty big figure.

ALBANESE: Well they announce lots of figures that aren’t real. One of the things that they have done as a government is to, instead of talking about the four-year Budget forward estimates, they have talked about over ten years and they have also included funding for things like the NAIF – $5 billion. I leave it to people in North Queensland but right across northern Australia to judge what benefit has there been from that $5 billion announcement that isn’t in tomorrow night’s Budget, wasn’t in last year’s, but was in the year before. So we now have, more than two years since that announcement, not a single project for Queensland.

So big figures are fine, but if they don’t actually lead to construction and actual infrastructure, then they mean absolutely nothing and that shows the failure of this Government because that Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility is flawed. It is for loans, not for grants. The truth is that if private sector projects are viable and will produce a return on investment, then they don’t need a loan from the Government. There is plenty of capital and loans available to the private sector for good infrastructure projects that produce a return right now. What government can do is to facilitate projects and to invest in projects that make a difference to the national economy.

One of those is of course the Townsville Port Channel widening. The others are the water projects and the energy projects that have been identified here in North Queensland that Labor has committed to. What we will be looking for tomorrow night is the difference between the actual investment that is occurring and the Government’s rhetoric and we will be looking very closely at that and whether there is actual benefit from the announcements that have been made.

And I refer you as well to the front page story about Western Sydney Rail through to the airport, a grand signing of a document between all the mayors in western Sydney and the Commonwealth and State governments. You couldn’t fit all the politicians in the screen and yet what we know now is that all there is $50 million for a business case. Well why wasn’t the business case done already? The business case largely has been identified through the studies that have been done into Badgerys Creek Airport. So the gap is there between the Government’s rhetoric and the reality.

What the Australian economy needs is actual road projects, actual rail projects that are ready to go. Here in Queensland of course the Cross River Rail Project is ready to go. Labor has committed or recommitted funding to that project. That was a project that was funded by the former Labor Government and Campbell Newman’s Government and had that funding withdrawn and as a result has been delayed for years. Now that is a project that is a pre-condition for the project where they have announced some funding for rail further north towards the Sunshine Coast. But if you don’t do Cross River Rail you can’t do the Sunshine Coast project because it is essential to build the capacity not just for Brisbane but for the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, the Government are arguing that the Port of Townsville is a state-owned asset, it generates profit and that instead of paying dividends to its shareholders – the Treasury, those profits should be redirected back into the Port expansion. What do you make of that?

ALBANESE: Well this is a Government that has a terrible record when it comes to ports. In tomorrow night’s Budget they will announce the final mile from Mascot through to Port Botany of the project that they cut when they came to office in 2013 and they will pretend it is a new project. What it is is a project that has been delayed for five years and has therefore seen increased costs to the taxpayer as a result of that cut. Of course we know in the Port of Darwin it has been flogged off, allowed for by the Coalition Federal Government, to overseas interests clearly against Australia’s national interests and here in Townsville they are not acknowledging the contribution that the port makes to the national economy. Now the Government, the Federal Government, gets a dividend from boosts in exports and boosts to the national economy. They should put some of that back through the channel widening. This is a project that is ready to proceed. It’s a project in which Labor has committed and the Government should commit funding to it tomorrow night.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, foreshadowed tax cuts in the Budget. Would there be any circumstances where Labor would oppose them?

ALBANESE: Well we will wait and see what is in tomorrow’s Budget. But what we know is that since 1980 if you actually look at taxes as a proportion of the GDP, the political party that is the high-tax party is the Liberal-National Party Coalition. They are the party that have presided over increases in taxes. Labor will examine any proposals that are there in the Budget tomorrow and make our announcements when we do a Budget reply on Thursday or at some stage before the election. But one thing is very clear – Labor has got more policy out at this stage of the electoral cycle than any Opposition in living memory. We have out there clearly outlined our policies on changes to the imputation, on changes to capital gains and negative gearing for investment properties, on changes to the amount of tax that can be written off for accountants’ fees. We have got that out there in a very transparent manner and we will be very transparent about all of our tax policies prior to the election.

I’m proud to have great honour of speaking at the May Day march here in Townsville. May Day is a day in which we recognise and celebrate the fact that all of the gains that have been made for working people have been made through the trade union movement and through collective action. Measures such as the shorter working week, penalty rates, leave for holidays, wage increases, occupational health and safety. All of those issues have been dealt with as a result of the actions that we celebrate today.

Today is also a reminder that the work is not done. We see attacks on penalty rates, we see real wages declining for the first time in decades. So today is a day to once again recommit to actually making sure the economy works for people, not the other way around. Economic growth is to benefit working Australians. We are not seeing that at the moment. What we are seeing is a Government that has produced ideological attacks on trade unions and on workers. They are seeking to undermine the superannuation industry, seeking to undermine penalty rates, to reduce working conditions of working Australians and today we are celebrating the gains of the past but also committing ourselves to have further gains into the future.

O’TOOLE: Once again here on Labour Day we can see a great crowd of people coming together. Here in Townsville we have the highest rate in the state of $53 million in unpaid or underpaid superannuation. For us that is over 22,500 residents, That is completely unacceptable. Labour Day is about celebrating the past and the achievements of the past, but it is also about how do we take up the fight for these battles – wage theft, privatisation, cuts to penalty rates, working conditions, simply unacceptable to the workers of Townsville, where we also see a high unemployment rate for young people and our general population.

The unions have worked incredibly hard to deliver us probably some of the best working conditions in the world and they are being eroded by this Turnbull Government and that must stop. The people in this community will not tolerate their wages and conditions being further reduced and cut. Also we will not tolerate cuts to jobs and cuts to services particularly when we look at the aged care industry and the national disgrace that that is at the moment. So there is a lot of work to be done and the people in this community stand proudly today on Labour Day to support our union movement and say thank you for the hard work that they have delivered since the 1850s.


MONDAY, 7 MAY, 2018


Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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