Browsing articles in "Interview Transcripts"
Nov 27, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Canberra – Tuesday, 27 November, 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
CANBERRA
TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2018

Subjects: Victorian Election; Scott Morrison; Kelly O’Dwyer; Victorian infrastructure.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good Morning. Yesterday saw one of the worst performances from a Government in Question Time that I’ve seen in my two decades in this place. You have a Prime Minister who tried to argue that the Victorian outcome was one that actually reflected in a positive way on the Government. But of course, we know at the same time Kelly O’Dwyer was belling the cat on what Australians increasingly think of the modern Liberal Party. A modern Liberal Party that is out of touch with women, a modern Liberal Party that is out of touch with people who care about social justice, a modern Liberal Party that is dominated by the hard right and where everyone else has to fall into line.

We’ve seen also today Julie Bishop back the National Energy Guarantee, now that’s not surprising given that it went through the party room not once, but twice, while Malcolm Turnbull was the Prime Minister. And this is a Government that doesn’t have an energy policy. And then we saw the gross discourtesy of the Prime Minister and other ministers yesterday walking out straight after Question Time even though Dr Kerryn Phelps was giving her first speech to the Parliament, having won a by-election with an enormous swing away from the Government. Showing contempt for the voters of Wentworth as well as showing, quite frankly, just a lack of manners – just bad manners, when they walked out of the Parliament.

What we’ll see today, I’m sure, is more of the same. Because this is a Government that can’t explain why Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia rather than Malcolm Turnbull. If they can’t even explain that to the Australian people it’s no wonder that they’re being looked at the way they are, somewhat concerningly, by the Australian public. Scott Morrison does still have an opportunity, a window, to have an election this year. And given the state of his Government perhaps I’d suggest that’s the best option for him.

REPORTER: Do you think the Victorian Liberals are homophobic and misogynists?

ALBANESE: Kelly O’Dwyer, it is, who has said that is the perception of the Victorian Liberal Party and indeed, I think, she was reflecting on the Liberal Party as a whole. And that is from a senior Cabinet Minister in the Morrison Government. So if that’s the character assessment being made – I notice there’s a video going around of Michael Kroger’s assessment of Daniel Andrews’ Government that I think is a pretty accurate one, full of praise, and I also noticed that yesterday Scott Morrison in Question Time, praised the Andrews Government on infrastructure. That’s in spite of the fact that the Coalition Government, of which he was the Treasurer at the time, in the last financial year, delivered 7.7 per cent of the national infrastructure budget to Victoria. Even though Victoria is home to one-in-four Australians, Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city. So what we have is that the Andrews Government have been delivering on infrastructure, in spite of the failure of the Federal Coalition Government to give them appropriate support. They’ve politicised infrastructure investment in Australia. But Daniel Andrews and his government have got on with it, in spite of the fact that the Coalition Government have attempted to punish Victorians for having the temerity to vote Labor. Now perhaps it’s now time, for the Coalition Government to stop trying to punish the Andrews Government and to actually get on board and fund infrastructure in Victoria. Thanks very much.

[ENDS]

TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 25, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – ABC National Wrap – Sunday, 25 November, 2018

Subjects: Victorian State Election; Liberal Party; Greens Political Party;  national security.

PATRICIA KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, welcome to National Wrap.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on the program.

KARVELAS: What lessons can Labor take from the result on Victoria?

ALBANESE: Well what it shows is that if you do the policy work, which we are doing as well, if you put forward a comprehensive program on education, on health, on transport, on issues that matter to people and then, importantly, if you have privilege of being in government, if you fulfil those promises, you will be rewarded. And that is what has happened with Daniel Andrews yesterday. He has led a government that has been a good government. It’s been a government that has made a positive difference to people’s lives and it’s one that has continued to make positive promises and have a vision for Victoria.

KARVELAS: A lot has been spoken of the Federal implications of which many people say there are many. Do you really think this is partly about the rolling of Malcolm Turnbull?

ALBANESE: I think there is no doubt that the ongoing chaos that is the Liberal Party nationally, including in Victoria, where people like Michael Sukkar and Greg Hunt played a key role in the rolling of an elected Prime Minister, an elected Prime Minister who had won 58 Newspolls in a row as preferred prime minister, had an impact. And we saw it again yesterday. While the Victorian election was taking place in New South Wales they were meeting to roll Jim Molan from the Senate and to have once again an ongoing brawl over who would stand both at the next Federal election and at the New South Wales election next March.

This is a Liberal Party that is split down the middle, that is incapable of functioning, that is incapable of putting forward a policy framework and that therefore retreats back into fear campaigns, negative campaigns. We saw some of that with Matthew Guy, but he was ably assisted in his fear campaign by people like Peter Dutton warning that you couldn’t go out to a restaurant at night in Melbourne, by people at senior levels of the Federal Coalition joining in on the fear campaign aimed at the Victorian State election. And guess what? It failed dismally and Victorians rejected the negative fear-based approach of the Coalition.

KARVELAS: Tony Burke put out a tweet where he said there was no such thing as dog whistling any more. Do you agree with that sentiment?

ALBANESE: Well I think it is more shouting and one of the things about the Federal Government is that they have behaved like an Opposition in exile since they were elected really, back in 2013. None of them seem to have had a plan to actually govern. They have had a plan to fight each other, but not a plan for the nation and we see that writ large with the fact that there is no energy policy at the national level and we see it in terms of their preparedness to engage in the culture wars in a way in which they actually think that people such as some of the late night commentators on Sky News are correct in saying that the reason why Daniel Andrews was re-elected yesterday with such a thumping majority is because Matthew Guy wasn’t Right wing enough.

I mean, I don’t know who these people talk to. It would appear that they just sit in front of people like The Outsiders program and others on Sky News and believe that that is representative of Middle Australia and quite clearly, it’s not. Middle Australia actually is pretty comfortable with Australia’s diversity and Middle Australia wants nothing more, nothing less than a quality education for their kids. They want better hospitals. They want to deal with urban congestion. But they can spot people trying to go the low road from a mile away and that’s really what has happened in Victoria. It’s been a campaign without any substance from the Coalition and they have been punished accordingly.

KARVELAS: I’ve heard some Liberal MPs, some because I can tell you there are strong views to the contrary on this one, that say what we have seen happen in Victoria is essentially Melbourne is a Lefty town and we shouldn’t take any lessons from it. Is it true? Is Victoria a kind of progressive oasis?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t know how they define what happened in Wentworth, where Kerryn Phelps will be sworn in as the member tomorrow, how they define what happened in Longman in Queensland, what happened in Braddon in Tasmania, what happened in Mayo in South Australia and what happened in Fremantle in Western Australia. I mean, we have seen elections right around the country where essentially people have been rejecting the divisive and negative approach of the Coalition, rejecting the approach that tries to pit one group of Australians against another. They are rejecting the approach that says that everything bad is connected with the trade union movement.

They have rejected essentially a Liberal Party that has moved further and further to the Right and it is the case that if you move further and further to the Right, then people who are moderates, who previously have supported the Liberal Party, when they hear senior members of the Federal or Victorian or New South Wales Liberal parties saying that Malcolm Turnbull isn’t really a Liberal, that he went into the Liberal Party as some form of closet Socialist and took it over and that it’s good that he is gone, then I think what that says to those voters, those moderates, the people who have small l liberal views, who support tolerance and support multiculturalism, but who also tend to support a dry economic market-based position for the economy and for government intervention, they are essentially saying to that cohort: “You are not a part of what makes up the modern Liberal Party’’. And Robert Menzies of course, when he formed the Liberal Party as a Victorian, made a conscious decision to call it the Liberal Party, not the conservative party because he had a view that Australians were essentially progressive people.

KARVELAS: Let’s talk about the Greens, because you have often been challenged by the Greens – that’s an issue in your own seat. The Greens look to have lost one of its lower house seats Northcote and potentially a few of its Upper House MPs as well. I think they have probably still held on to Melbourne though. What does it say about the Greens, because they obviously had a bad campaign in Victoria. Do you think this is just isolated to this bad campaign, or do you think that has broader implications for seats like yours at the next Federal poll?

ALBANESE: Well the Greens Political Party have a real structural and cultural problem. They are at war with themselves of course in Victoria, and in New South Wales if anything, it is worse. You have people giving speeches against fellow Greens MPs under parliamentary privilege. You have an ongoing civil war going on and I can’t see how they can possibly have party room meetings in New South Wales and they continue though, to be characterised as well as a political party that targets progressive members. They targeted people like Martin Foley and Richard Wynne, who have made an enormous difference to progressive change as part of the Victorian Labor Government and the difference is that I think people could see that they were, to name just two people, they were making a difference each and every day to support the gay and lesbian community, to support good environmental policy, to support social housing, to support the upgrade of schools and hospitals in their areas and to support a progressive position such as the drug injecting room, which is saving lives, which is located in the electorate of Richmond. And what we have is the Greens essentially targeting those people. And people know that, whereas Richard and Martin and others, myself if we are successful in the Federal election next year, will be sitting around a Cabinet table making decisions.

KARVELAS: Do you feel like you are in a better position now after you have seen this result in Victoria in your own seat?

ALBANESE: I think in my seat what I know is and two people said to me over the weekend who I ran into yesterday on separate occasions, said to me that they had resigned from the Greens because they regarded them as a rabble in New South Wales and that has been the case for some time, the division. But now it is out here in the open for all to see and that is the division which is there in Victoria and it is a division which is there in the Greens caucus here in Canberra and I think that people will reject the essential opportunism of the Greens Political Party. If they are serious about making a difference and promoting real change, then they want someone who is part of the Government, not someone who can wait until a government makes a decision and then decide whether they will protest it or not.

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, the Government wants laws to allow police access to encrypted messaging. A bi-partisan committee is looking at that Bill as you know. Will you try and pass this in the next two weeks given that you say that you want to have essentially a bi-partisan approach to national security legislation?

ALBANESE: Well the committee needs to be allowed to do its work and they made a very strong statement from the Chair, a member of the Liberal Party, Andrew Hastie and the Deputy Chair Anthony Byrne just last Friday about this, essentially warning the Government against trying to politicise these issues. National security is something that the Labor Party takes seriously as does almost every Australian.

KARVELAS: Do you feel comfortable with this encryption legislation? What are your personal views?

ALBANESE: Well I will wait and see. I haven’t seen the legislation yet of course.

KARVELAS: But you know what the proposition is. Do you think it is a fair proposition that police get access to encrypted messages?

ALBANESE: I will wait and see the detail and also see what the examination of this committee is.

KARVELAS: But Peter Dutton says there is a sense of urgency given police say so much communication from people who are radicalised are communicating this way.

ALBANESE: Well Peter Dutton, you know, has been out there of course is prepared to play politics from time to time. These issues should be above politics. They should be considered in a sober and serious manner. They should ensure that there aren’t any unintended consequences in terms of, we need to protect Australians but we also need to protect our freedom well, and that is why this committee, on more than I think there have been something life 15 pieces of legislation that have been examined, they have come up with, previously, more than 100 amendments that have all been adopted. Not some of them, all of them and I pay credit to the committee for doing that work and I think the committee should be allowed to do its work. If need be, if something is really urgent, once they have done their processes, Parliament can always be recalled to deal with any urgent matter. But they should be allowed to do their work and these matters shouldn’t be matters of political consideration. There’s only one consideration here, which is the national interest.

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, thanks for coming on.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on Patricia.

[ENDS]

SUNDAY, 25 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Joy FM – Saturday, 24 November, 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
JOY FM, SYDNEY
SATURDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, 2018

Subjects; Victorian infrastructure; Victorian State Election; LGBTIQ funding; radio funding; diversity; SSM postal plebiscite; superannuation.

HOST: Now, you know who we’ve got on the phone?

HOST: Who?

HOST: We’ve got Anthony Albanese. G’day Albo, it’s Macca. How are you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day, I’m very well.

HOST: And it’s Tass here, good morning to you.

ALBANESE: How are you?

HOST: Very well. I last met you at an event in Middle Park, it was, what, six weeks ago?

ALBANESE: At an event for Martin Foley.

HOST: That’s it, that’s it.

ALBANESE: At the Middle Park Bowling Club. I reckon anyone who finds the Middle Park Bowling Club should get a free beer.

HOST: I agree with that, because you’ve got to go down that funny little road through the park.

ALBANESE: That’s right, you’ve got to do this, under the pass. Unless you knew, I think I’d still be searching today.

HOST: Now I hope you’ve been keeping your eye on the election here in Victoria.

ALBANESE: I have. I was down there of course helping out Martin Foley. Last week I was there – I gave the John Button Lecture for Richard Wynne. John Button was a member of the Richmond Branch for many years. And so Richard invited me to give the lecture this year which was a great honour in front of, named on behalf of, a Labor icon, and I have been watching Victoria. Of course it’s a pretty important election. Today it’s all over, you’ll be glad to know I’m sure.

HOST: It certainly is. So we’re very interested in your analysis of the, given your portfolio as the Opposition Minister for Infrastructure, we’re interested in your analysis of the infrastructure components of the two major parties and perhaps  the Greens as well if you’ve got any insights into that. But what are your reflections on their infrastructure commitments?

ALBANESE: Look, I think this really is a critical election. At the moment what we’ve seen from Canberra is this view that what you need is just roads and that’s the way that you deal with urban congestion issues. And I take a very different approach. Of course Daniel Andrews’ Government takes a different approach as well.

They’ve concentrated on removing level crossings, building the Melbourne Metro, which they’ve had to do by themselves because Tony Abbott took out $3 billion commitment that I made as Infrastructure Minister and put in the Budget in 2013. And then we have the commitment to the suburban Rail Loop which both levels of Labor have committed $300 million to. That’s a really exciting project. One of the problems with our big cities is that, whether it’s Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, but particularly Melbourne and Sydney, are growing, is that you can’t have a hub and spoke – you can’t have everything going through the CBD day and night. So the suburban rail loop that will connect up 11 or 12 lines including through the airport will just make it so much easier to get around. It’s a bit of a project. It’s long term. It won’t be done in the next term of government, but I think it shows a really stark contrast on infrastructure. What has …

HOST: It’s been described as being quite a visionary project, but I would be slapped at home if I didn’t actually ask you this question. My partner keeps on saying: “Ask Albo, ask Albo when you speak to him today”. But why is it that in Australia it takes, you know, 10 years to build a train line whereas it takes two years to build a highway? Why is it, why is that the case? Why is it that our infrastructure construction is so slow in this country?

ALBANESE: Well it’s lower than some other countries for some good reasons and some not so good reasons. The good reasons are, we have very different occupational health and safety provisions, than a place like China, for example.

HOST: In other words, we value human life.

ALBANESE: Yes, essentially. We also value our environment. So there is a range of regulations that have to be gone through. I remember being in Shanghai many years ago. I went away in one of the first terms of Parliament. We were high up in this building and they were saying: “If there’s going to be an airport, there’s going to be the main airport where we’re going to build it in Pudong”, and I said: “In how long?” And we were looking at, just paddy fields. And they said: “Oh about four years”, and I said: “What’s happening to the people who are there?” “Oh they’re moving”. We have very different provisions so you do have to go through much stricter processes here in Australia but we have got some exciting things done.

The Regional Rail Link that was done when I was a Minister. The largest ever Federal contribution to a public transport project is now fantastic with new stations at places like Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. They’re a good example of what should happen if you build the railway line before the people and the housing and everything else that’s there. That hasn’t happened too often but that’s a good example of the planning from the former government and Steve Bracks and John Brumby.

Daniel is, I think, doing the right thing. It helps that Tim Pallas is the Treasurer who was a former Infrastructure Minister and I think they’ve got quite exciting proposals. They’re ahead of where they said they’d be in terms of the removal of level crossings and I think they’ve done it too, importantly without much Federal support. The amount of infrastructure dollars that went to Victoria last year, as a percentage of the national figure, was 7.7%. Even though one-in-four Australians are living in Victoria and Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing city, Victoria is Australia’s fastest-growing state.

HOST: Yes, I want to ask Albo in terms of the tone and the style of the campaign both have been very different. We’ve seen The Age in Australia, their editorial encouraged people to vote Labor and the Herald Sun encouraged people to vote Liberal. No surprises there. But the style and tone of the campaign. Often it’s, you know, for us as commentators we have a particular view, but as a Member of Parliament yourself and been through many elections as well as many elections where you’ve fronted up to the Greens. But also you’ve had a rare endorsement from News Corp in the last election when they ran a little campaign to save Albo, didn’t they?

ALBANESE: They did unusually. But I think in terms of the business model that the tabloids have, is to get people talking about them and it was a very successful front page.

HOST: It was, wasn’t it?

ALBANESE: It got people talking about the Daily Telegraph. And at the time my opponent had some pretty out-there views. He had argued that it was better to have essentially, the shorthand was, it was better to have Tony Abbott than Bill Shorten as Prime Minister if it meant better demos. And that is to me the weakness in the Greens Political Party is that essentially you can have people, take Martin Foley or Richard Wynne, they’re sitting around the cabinet table making decisions, really making a difference, not waiting until decisions are made and then deciding whether they’ll support it or oppose it or have a demo. And I understand that not everyone will agree with that perspective, but from me and who I am, given what we all sacrifice to be involved in politics in terms of giving up a whole lot of time and relationships with family and all of that, I don’t think I’d do it unless I was about being able to make those decisions and really make a substantial difference to people’s lives. And the plan that the Andrews Government have in terms of making a difference on renewables, making a difference on public transport, making a difference in how things like funding of your great radio station, actually makes a difference and it’s government that makes those decisions.

HOST: I think Macca has to say something.

HOST: Look, I want to acknowledge Josh Burns, who’s the Labor candidate for McNamara. As you know your good colleague Tanya Plibersek came down to Melbourne to pledge from a Shorten Government if elected next year $10 million for capital works, a capital contribution at the Pride Centre. But $600,000 for Joy for its transformation digitally and to move to the Pride Centre. Josh raised that and I know that that was discussed, you know, amongst Shadow Cabinet and that was a policy commitment given so we want to acknowledge that and your role in that.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. Josh I met with, when I did the Martin Foley event and beforehand I think he will make a huge difference. He’s very passionate about the local community and he fought very hard to get that commitment that will make a real difference. Joy FM is, I think, for your listeners to not take it for granted, there’s nothing like it in Sydney.

HOST: No we’re unique in Australia. That’s absolutely right.

ALBANESE: It is very special. In Sydney, years ago myself and Tanya Plibersek, when I was the Infrastructure Minister we gave a (inaudible) into a local radio station here FBI that, very similar in terms of largely run by volunteers and commitment from the local community, it does a whole lot of fantastic social programs. And it gives a voice to people and a small capital grant there, and they were about to go under because they basically didn’t have the right antenna and equipment. And a small grant there, I think from memory it was only about a couple of hundred thousand dollars, which in the scheme of things isn’t one of the larger government grants, but it kept it going and it’s thriving today.

HOST: A couple hundred thousand dollars wouldn’t even pay Stuart Robert’s travel expenses.

ALBANESE: For a week.

HOST: For a week. And of course we got a commitment …

ALBANESE: Let alone his internet bill.

HOST: That’s right. That would be a year’s internet. We did get from Daniel Andrews on Thursday on Tom and Warren’s show on Joy, a commitment of $200,000 a year for four years that wonderful word recurrent funding.

HOST: Gold.

HOST: Absolutely. Well actually it’s better than gold, Tass, it’s platinum. That will secure, should they be elected, Joy’s future. It’s also fair to say we did get a commitment of $500,000 from the Liberal Party.

HOST: Victorian Libs.

HOST: Victorian Libs. Good mate of yours Michael Kroger, he’s working honest to try and get a matching commitment from your people on the other side of the House from the Federal Liberals. We’ll see how that goes. I can’t quite see ScoMo signing that check.

ALBANESE: Yeah I’m not sure what the Tony Abbott forces that seem to be pretty dominant at the moment on those sorts of issues would think of all that.

HOST: Should we – no, no go on.

ALBANESE: But they shouldn’t have a problem. Like political parties, government have to represent everyone in the community and Australia is a diverse community. They’re made up of people of different races, religions and, yes, different sexuality. And it’s important that people see that the government is about them. It’s about an inclusive society and your radio station plays an important role in that.

HOST: Well we couldn’t disagree with you on that. It does feel to me though like some of your Federal colleagues on the other side actually are really committed to this notion of inclusion the way in which you have described. And it does make us feel constantly a little bit like you know: ‘You’re second class citizens and you know, just get what you’re given really.’

ALBANESE: Well and it’s unfortunate that there are some people in politics, and we’ve seen it played out in the Victorian election, who’ve been prepared to take what they see as groups that aren’t part of the majority and been prepared to vilify them openly to solve the sort of rhetoric that we’ve seen about so-called African gangs. That people can’t go out at night at, have dinner in Melbourne. But smear campaigns and the preparing to point the finger at anyone who isn’t the same as them is a bit sad actually. I think sometimes – I remember a few years ago Tony Abbott in a profile interview said that, you know, he was scared of gay and lesbian people.

HOST: Yes.

ALBANESE: And that’s quite sad. I think one of the great privileges of living in a country like ours is benefiting from the diversity and celebrating and admiring of each other with different not just cultures but subcultures as well. And you know I’ve always found that the community in Sydney has always been welcoming as long as people are prepared to show tolerance and respect then they’ll open up to them. And I think our Mardi Gras celebration every year is an example of that. But there’s many other examples as well.

HOST: Now I don’t know whether you’ve read it Albo, I’ve just actually finished Bob Woodward’s book Fear, which is about Donald Trump’s White House. And there’s a very clear thread and stories coming through that. And it is about picking out a particular group and marginalising them and insulting them and vilifying them. And this playbook unfortunately seems to be entering Australian politics. You know, whether it’s African gangs, whether it’s trans kids, whether it’s some of the quite ridiculous responses to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, that there’s an element there that a lot of politicians are choosing, Pauline Hanson obviously is a great example. David Leyonhjelm. Fraser Anning. Particularly on the Right, using fear and marginalisation and racism as weapons as Trump has. How do we as a community respond to that Albo? What is the best way to respond to that?

ALBANESE: Well one way is to call it out for what it is. You just need to look at where it derives from to call it out for being a cynical exercise. I’m not sure what’s worse sometimes, people who are bigots or people who are not but choose to play that card for political advantage knowing that it’s wrong. People who aren’t …

HOST: I think they’re worse.

ALBANESE: Racist or sexist. I think sometimes you just shake your head for people who do know better. And many people in the hierarchy of course do know much better than that. But one of the things that happened of course is that the Republican playbook has been played out here very explicitly with people from the US coming here to assist on election campaigns. It certainly happened in the South Australian campaign recently which was successful for the Coalition. I’m not sure whether it is being, personnel are being used in Victoria by the Coalition or not. But certainly some of the fear campaign that’s been run by Matthew Guy. I’ve met Matthew Guy, he seems pretty reasonable one-on-one, but some of the rhetoric aimed at scaring people into voting for them is I think pretty shameful.

And we need to be much, much better than that. But I think the way to combat it is just to call it out, to engage in the debate whenever these issues are raised. And I have a great faith in humanity. I mean when, I first moved a Private Member’s Bill way back in 1998 in my first term about superannuation for same-sex couples and that was like revolutionary.  People were shuffling in their seat. People were really uncomfortable about it including some people in the Labor party, it must be said.

HOST: And if I recall correctly didn’t your colleagues want to know when you had become gay?

HOST: Yes.

ALBANESE: Yes, well why else would someone be promoting these issues. I think it was because it was my first term, a lot of people didn’t know me and didn’t know my partner. And so she was surprised to hear the rumours I’m sure. But it was: “Oh I didn’t know Albo was gay, that’s nice”. Because someone advocating these issues and, I deliberately picked superannuation because it was an area whereby you could say this is someone’s own money, they have a right to deliver it to their partner just the same as if it was someone of an opposite gender and people could accept that. And when you got that principle you could then move on to well if that discrimination is bad. How about migration, health, education?

HOST: Yeah.

ALBANESE: And of course eventually, but it is over a relatively short period of time when Australians voted, they shouldn’t have had to of, we knew what the result would be, and it’s unfortunate that Malcolm Turnbull’s weakness meant we did have the voluntary postal vote. But the support for that in the end was overwhelming.

What that showed was that people had thought about it. It didn’t happen just by accident. It happened because people went out there and argued the case particularly people from the community but also people who supported the community as well. And it’s a very good thing that that happened.

HOST: Now I actually remember that campaign on superannuation. Yourself, Tanya, Michael Danby, Simon Crean. You might recall us getting moved on out the front of the body shop in the Bourke St Mall.

ALBANESE: That’s right.

HOST: That’s how long …

ALBANESE: I actually took a photo of, I was in the Bourke St Mall just last week for the Richard Wynne, the John Button event, and I took a photo because it just hit me, the Body Shop, that’s where we launched the campaign which was ‘Same-Sex Same Right’.

HOST: That’s right.

ALBANESE: And we collected petitions in every body shop right around the country for this Private Member’s Bill. And the fact that, that was a radical thing for them to do at that time as well for a company to be associated with same-sex rights. And 20 years on it’s not, it’s not that radical a move, but it was then to their great credit.

HOST: Now were we’re nearly out of time.

HOST: I just have to tell another anecdote Tass.

HOST: Well you better hurry up.

HOST: Because, Peter Costello at the time. You know one of the issues here was that you know as a same-sex couple if I if I died that my partner could inherit my superannuation, but would have to pay marginal tax on it. And Peter Costello thought that was right and I got into trouble at the time because I told him to keep his grubby dirty hands out of our coffins.

ALBANESE: It was a succinct but effective grab.

HOST: Now Albo as we wind-up. What’s your prediction for the outcome of today’s State election?

ALBANESE: Look I think that I’m not silly enough to make predictions.

HOST: But we’re asking you to.

ALBANESE: At least not on air. I think Daniel Andrews Government does deserve to be returned. I certainly hope that they are. And I hope they are returned to govern in their own right. Having been part of a minority government that I think was very effective under Julia Gillard, the truth is that the politics of that were very difficult, explaining that everything was undermined very unfairly I think every time that we made a policy issue. So I hope Daniel is able to continue to be a progressive government there in Victoria is the most progressive government in Australia.

HOST: That sounds more like a wish than a prediction.

ALBANESE: Well I think that, I think it will be re-elected, but it’s in the hands of the voters and we will wait and see. But I predict that Richard Wynne and Martin Foley will both be re-elected. They are people who are from my experience of people campaigning with them, they’re held in high esteem by their local community and they deserve to be.

HOST: And that’s a big call for Richard Wynne given that there is no Liberal candidate running against him.

ALBANESE: Yeah but you look at what’s happened there, the protection of the Yarra, so it’s got trees not high rises on its banks. The Safe Injecting Room, that will go if there’s a change of government. That will go. That will make a difference in terms of literally costing lives. The sort of changes that he’s made in the local community to the schools will all be undermined if he’s not there to stand up for them.

HOST: Ah we’ve run out of time Albo. We’ll let you get back to concentrating on removing what you would probably regard as the Federal minority government representing a minority view.

ALBANESE: I am looking forward to Monday in Parliament. It’s going to be an interesting last fortnight.

HOST: Yes. Look thanks for your time. You’ve been very generous with us this morning. I know how important Saturday mornings are to politicians you know lots of family stuff and other things to do so thank you so much for your generosity. Your support of Josh Byrne proposal for funding for Joy, should you win, we really appreciate it. Thank you.

ALBANESE: It’s been my pleasure.

HOST: Yeah cheers. Thanks a lot.

[ENDS]

SATURDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 22, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Subjects: Extremism; Melbourne attack; immigration and population. 
HOST: Good morning to Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning from Sydney where it’s actually quite nice, I think.

HOST: Yeah, it’s about to turn bad I think, for you.

HOST: I just got a text from a mate – apparently it’s absolutely bucketing down on York Street – so the weather is well and truly on its way to Adelaide folks. Hey guys, I want to start talking about yesterday’s terror arrests and obviously last week we touched on the atrocity in Bourke Street that claimed the life of Sisto. Can you explain – and we’ll start with you, Chris, as the Government Minister – because a lot of our listeners have texted in asking this question and it’s one which we ourselves have a degree of sympathy for. When people put up their hands and say: ‘I would like to go to Syria to fight for Islamic State,’ why don’t we just let them go?

PYNE: Well, there is a couple of very good reasons. The first is because Australian servicemen and women are serving in that theatre of war and it’s not our job to provide reinforcements to their enemies. So if we let Australian citizens go to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS, they’re fighting against Australians. And so that’s one of the most important reasons we want to deny ISIS reinforcements. Secondly, we don’t export terror. You don’t solve terrorism in the world by sending your terrorists overseas into places where they can kill and maim other human beings. So we take responsibility for our terrorists or alleged terrorists. And that’s why we don’t allow them to go into theatres of war. And thirdly I guess, the final reason is that we don’t allow people to go overseas to break the law. And we don’t allow paedophiles, convicted paedophiles, to travel to Southeast Asia or elsewhere in order to be able to break the law. If we think there’s a fair chance that they will offend, we have measures in place to stop that happening. Similarly, we don’t say it’s okay for Australians to go off to be terrorists overseas and break the law.

HOST: I would imagine that’s pretty much Labor’s position on this too, Albo?

ALBANESE: What he said, exactly. I think the other point that I’d add though to Christopher’s comments – that I endorse completely – is that we should be quite proud of the fact that our security agencies do such an outstanding job. When you look at the times that we live in, the real threats which are out there, the fact that we have been kept safe by-and-large with the exception of some tragic incidents – including the lone wolf incident in Melbourne that claimed the wonderful Sisto’s life most tragically – is outstanding. And we should continue to be vigilant but we should give due credit to the agencies and the work that they’ve done.

HOST: But isn’t the problem though, that there is now significant evidence that for these miscreants, who do want to go and fight for IS, that their ‘Plan B’ is now to bung-on some kind of domestic terror attack, because their original plan has been thwarted? So Chris, you know, wearing your defence hat – say it’s 1942 and some bloke in Hahndorf puts up his hand and says: ‘I love Hitler and I want to go and fight for the Nazis’, why don’t we just intern these people?

PYNE: We are arresting people who are suspected of planning terrorist attacks, and that’s what occurred in Melbourne this week. They’re alleged terrorists who’ve been arrested and are in custody and this is something we do now quite routinely. There have been many attempted or planned terrorist activities over the last few years that we have foiled and arrested through raids, people who might be responsible …

HOST: But it didn’t know work with Shire Ali though in Melbourne, did it?

PYNE: Well, no, Shire Ali unfortunately was out on bail and he broke the law and murdered Sisto Malaspina. And these random attacks, they will occur, and any and every government will do what they can to stop them. But if I can just finish answering your question – the thing is, if they went to Syria and then tried to come back and then managed to get back or couldn’t get to Australia and went say instead to South East Asia – they will have been better trained, they’ll be hardened in a theatre of war and much more capable of delivering terrorism somewhere in the world than if we arrest them here and put them into prison.

HOST: It feels that if we arrest them here and put them into prison it seems to me though, like the community now wants a different trigger point at which when it’s established clearly that somebody does want to go and fight for ISIS. They don’t want the intelligence services to watch them anymore. They want them taken out of circulation to that point.

PYNE: And that’s what we’ve done this week and we’ve done as you know many times over the last few years. I mean the Home Affairs Department are working with our security agencies, second to none in the world. We have had unfortunately three or four incidents where people’s lives have been taken. But we have been relatively, not nearly as badly off as countries in Europe like Paris for example, Belgium or even London, Madrid. Some of these terrible examples where dozens of people have been casualties. I’m not saying any of these lives lost means that we’ve done better than other countries but our intelligence agencies are doing as well as they can.

ALBANESE: And if we look at the facts here, it’s important that your listeners don’t think people in these agencies are sitting back and watching. If they think that someone is, or a group are planning to do an event, the agencies are intervening, people are being charged and people are being put in jail, not interned – which is the term that was used and which did occur during World War Two. Where there’s many of your listeners will have parents who happen to be, or grandparents, who happen to be of Italian or German descent, who were just rounded up.

HOST: I certainly wasn’t advocating for that. But the threshold which the law intervenes being, declaring you’d like to leave to fight in a war, as opposed to getting so close to prepare a terror attack that you could do it within matter of days, which seems to be the threshold at the moment. Guys, we want to talk population. Might start with you Albo, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has flagged that he’d like the permanent migration cap lowered from 190,000 to 160,000. What’s Labor’s position?

ALBANESE: Well this is a cap that hasn’t been met. So what is he on about? What we see …

HOST: Would be lower than the 162,000 that we got to June 30 this year, though?

ALBANESE: But he hasn’t said that. He’s actually said that it should be lowered to about where the rate is now, which is what’s happening. So I don’t see that this is anything other than a Seinfeld announcement. It’s about nothing.

HOST: What do you say Christopher Pyne?

PYNE: I think there’s been a bit of an overreaction to this story which is kind of the climate we all live in these days, but the truth is that the cap is 190, or the ceiling is 190,000. It’s not a goal, it’s a ceiling. In the last 12 months of the last financial year, about 162,000 permanent residents came in under that ceiling. And so what the Prime Minister is saying, is that was the number of people who we allowed in. He’s written to the State Premiers and Chief Ministers saying: ‘I want your views on population growth and immigration’. In a state like South Australia, we want more migrants. We want a higher population. I assume that Steven Marshall will write to the Prime Minister saying just that. In a state like Victoria or New South Wales they might have a different view. The problem in Australia is not a too-high population. We have 25 million people on a continent the size of the United States, which has over 260 million people. The problem is not the population; it’s the spread of the migration intake. Now, if there are too many people going into New South Wales or Sydney in particular, we will have them happily in South Australia. I’m sure the Northern Territory would stay the same and Tasmania.

ALBANESE: It’s a spread but it’s also about the infrastructure where there’s a concentration of population increases. So it’s about making sure that urban congestion in our cities is dealt with. It’s about having proper planning for our cities so that the jobs aren’t all in the CBD, so everyone’s not trying to travel to one place at the same time. It’s about addressing those quality of life issues that is a responsibility of all levels of government to deal with.

HOST: Another reason to get the public servants down to Port Adelaide. Good stuff guys. Anthony Albanese, Christopher Pyne. Two Tribes, you can hear it here only on Five AA Breakfast every Wednesday.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 19, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Leppington – Monday, 19 November, 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
LEPPINGTON
MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2018

Subjects: Public transport; Leppington Park and Ride upgrade, Campbelltown Train Station.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for joining us here at Leppington Railway Station. Of course the Leppington Rail Line is a legacy of the former NSW Labor Government and today I am here with Michael Daley, the New South Wales Labor Leader. I also have with us Dr Mike Freelander, the Member for Macarthur; Anne Stanley, the Member for Werriwa, Aoife Champion, Labor’s Candidate for Hume; we have Anoulack Chanthivong, the State Member for Macquarie Fields; Greg Warren, State Member for Campbelltown and Sally Quinnell, the Labor candidate for Camden.

We are here today to announce joint funding from Federal and New South Wales Labor for a Park and Ride Facility upgrade here at this station. You can see when you arrive here not just that the car park is full, but right around the area people park hundreds of metres away as a direct result of the lack of facilities here. What we need to do is to upgrade Park and Ride facilities and that’s why Labor has established federally a $300 million Commuter Park and Ride Fund. It will upgrade facilities right around the country, but particularly in our outer suburbs and this follows on from announcements that we have made at Schofields in the north-west, at Riverwood and on the Central Coast here in NSW to build these facilities.

This of course is also the location for where we will upgrade the North-South rail corridor through Badgerys Creek Airport to give people the access to the high-value jobs that will come along that North-South corridor as a result of the airport and surrounding developments. So we will commit to $3 billion, we have on the table, for the upgrade and a new rail line from here connecting up through Badgerys Creek, up to St Marys and we will also have a connection down to the Macarthur region, because we want people in Western Sydney to have access to those high-value jobs and we want to partner with New South Wales Labor under Michael Daley, who understands the needs of people in our outer suburbs.

We understand that successful cities are inclusive cities. For that we need to upgrade public transport facilities and that is the key to making sure that people have access to those jobs, that people can get to and from work and can also get to and from their recreational activities. Sydney needs to grow in a way that doesn’t just all point towards the CBD. We need those growth corridors in outer Western Sydney to make sure that people have access to those jobs and this project will do just that.

MICHEL DALEY: Well thank you very much Anthony. It’s good to be here with the Western Sydney MPs. I have been Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure and the message from the Western Sydney MPs over the years has been to me, and over the week that I have been the Leader, people don’t ask for much, they just want their fair share. So it is governments’ job to make life easier for people in their daily commute.

Last week we announced a terrific program that children of all ages, no matter where they are travelling, what time of day, where they are coming from or where they are going, will travel free on the Opal network. And today with another joint announcement with Federal Labor, this is a further commitment to making life easier and better for families and people who just want to commute. We know that Sydney is an expensive place to live. We know that people understand that Sydney is growing. But they want their fair share. They want particularly Government to invest in real things that can keep the services in line with the growth.

So today, an $8 million announcement, a joint $16 million announcement, to make life easier for commuters in Western Sydney and I have to say I am looking forward to being Premier with Bill Shorten as Prime Minister of Australia. Together we will get terrific things done.

Let’s not forget that the Shorten Opposition has promised $3 billion for the Western Metro, $3 billion to connect this station up to St Marys through Badgerys Creek. People are sick of politicians fighting with each other. They want their politicians and governments working together. That is why it is great to be here with Anthony Albanese for this worthwhile announcement.

REPORTER: To Michael, the State Government has announced that it has cancelled plans to upgrade commuter parking at Campbelltown Station as promised in 2015. Does Labor have any plans to take up that promise?

DALEY: We’ve got a billion dollar fund – that’s a lot of money – a billion dollar fund to improve trains stations all across New South Wales. We will be making announcements in coming days about where we will spend that. Greg Warren can probably have a word to you about that as well, the local member. Greg?

GREG WARREN: Well you’ve got more chance of finding a promise that Gladys Berejiklian hasn’t broken than a car park for Campelltown Railway Station. Then- Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian promised the people of Campbelltown, promised the people of Macarthur, an extra 450 car park spaces. We now know they have broken that promise and back-flipped. It is clear that only a Federal and/or State Labor Government will deliver the commuter needs of Campbelltown. Now there is going to be more to say about that as Michael just said, but the people of Macarthur and indeed South-West Sydney have again been let down by Gladys Berejiklian, Andrew Constance and the New South Wales Liberals.

DALEY: I just have to say in respect of the cancellation of this and other projects, people should ask this very simple question: How is it that the Berejiklian Government can find billions of dollars for stadiums, but they can’t help people out with commuter car parks? That’s a simple question and only the Premier can answer that.

REPORTER: Anthony you mentioned the North-South rail link before. When is Labor likely to (inaudible)?

ALBANESE: Well we of course are committed to it. We have said we will have real dollars attached. One of the tragedies is that we had a Western Sydney City Deal and they announced their support for a rail corridor, but we haven’t had a single dollar from the Berejiklian Government or a single dollar from the ATM Government in Canberra towards this project. What Federal Labor will do is partner with a Daley Labor Government here in New South Wales to deliver upgrades to public transport, whether it be the North-South Corridor through Badgery’s Creek Airport, whether it be the Western Metro or whether it be upgrades in commuter car parks such as this in order to facilitate access to public transport. We know that it’s only Federal Labor that will actually put real dollars towards public transport projects. That is the history of public transport in this state and indeed in the nation, and their failure to deliver, it has been consistent since Federation. They simply haven’t put into public transport projects.

[ENDS]

MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 11, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday ,15 November, 2018

Subjects: David Leyonhjelm; Federation; Melbourne attack; extremism; GST distribution; South Australia.

HOST: Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, broadcasting live with a free state of South Australia. We haven’t let you guys in on this yet, but we’ve leaned totally into David Leyonhjelm’s suggestion we should be exited from the Federation. And we think, but we’re not sure yet because the Constitution is in its infancy, but Christopher Pyne, you may be the President of South Australia. So, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, not only are you seceding, you’re seceding also from democracy for Christopher to get to be President.

HOST: I don’t know if you’re aware, Albo, he was voted in the top 50 power list by the Adelaide Advertiser, number one most powerful man in South Australia.

ALBANESE: What in Sturt? Who voted? His family? Caroline voted, there was one voter.

PYNE: A legend in my own lifetime, exactly right.

HOST: Setting the fun aside, obviously the big story this week in Australia has been this latest terror atrocity in Melbourne. Scott Morrison has been very forthright. He said yesterday when he visited Pellegrini’s cafe that it’s incumbent on Australia’s Islamic leaders and Islamic communities to call out the wolves from the sheep within their number. What did you think of his call, Chris?

PYNE: Well, look at the statement of the obvious, quite frankly. The truth is that the terrorist who killed Sisto Malaspina, who I met many times as a devotee of Pellegrini’s bar in Bourke Street, so it’s a very sad occurrence for us all, was a radicalised, extremist, Islamic terrorist, and the reality is all of us have a responsibility, whether we’re Muslim clerics or Members of Parliament, or journalists, or members of the public, to encourage everybody in our midst not to become radicalised, to respect our rule of law in this country, to understand that if you get to come to Australia, or if you’re born here, you’ve won the lottery of life and you have a responsibility to not take the life of another. So I think the Prime Minister is stating the obvious and I think the Hume Centre where this terrorist emanated from, in terms of where he practised his religion, others have also come out of this Hume Centre who’ve been radicalised and therefore the Muslim clerics associated with the Hume Centre and all Muslim Clerics, have a responsibility to look after their flock and, as the Prime Minister said, make sure those amongst them who might become radicalised, don’t become radicalised.

HOST: What’s your assessment of it, Albo? There’s been a couple of voices on the Labor side that have been critical of the PM. Where do you stand?

ALBANESE: I think that all communities are, regardless of their faith, or their ethnicity, where they come from, have a role to play in safeguarding our security. That includes leaders of the Islamic community. The fact is that this person was radicalised, did commit an act of terror and that has had tragic consequences for a very prominent member of the Melbourne community, Sisto, who like Christopher, I knew as well because Pellegrini’s is very close to the top of Bourke Street, near Spring Street. It’s frequented by a number of politicians and I used to meet Lindsay Fox there a few times. He’s a great friend, you didn’t meet him in the front bar, he was always out the back with the cooking and the sort of family atmosphere that came from there. So, Melbournians are feeling it very acutely. I think it’s a good thing that the Prime Minister was there yesterday having a cup of coffee at the time of its opening. And it’s a good thing that there will be a State Funeral next week. We all have a responsibility to act. The Prime Minster has a responsibility, as do we all, to promote harmony in the community and to not cause further division. But I don’t have any problem with the comments that he’s made.

PYNE: And let’s put it this way, too: If this was the 1970s and these were IRA terrorists operating in Australia and there was a particular church about from which they were emanating, while no one would hold the Catholic priests responsible for the actions of their flock, the question would be asked what role are we all playing and what role are you playing to ensure that your flock does not become radicalised to become IRA terrorists? It’s nothing to do with being Islamic or Catholic; it’s to do with the taking of people’s lives under the auspices of extremist radicalism.

ALBANESE: That is a very fair point. The truth is, unfortunately, around the world if you look at extremist actions taken in the name of various religions, not just people who claim to be Muslims, every single one of those actions is a distortion of the professed religion. And every one of those acts is an abomination against the fundamental principles of the great monotheistic religions whether it be Christianity, Islam or Judaism. They all have at their heart a respect for each other.

HOST: Guys, we are having a bit of fun with the David Leyonhjelm comments that he made yesterday. But they come against the backdrop of serious policy discussion regarding the GST and when you’re in South Australia, particularly sensitive to any changes therein. What drew his ire was the idea that if you put the GST floor at 75 cents on the dollar, per person, for every state. And then to make sure everyone has signed up to it, you pump $10 billion extra into the whole thing from federal coffers to make sure that nobody is worse off. But you know you get these leaner states like South Australia and Tasmania, he calls us beggars, and says we’re effectively contributing nothing. What do you say to David Leyonhjelm, Christopher Pyne?

PYNE: Crossbench Senators – or Members of the House of Representatives for that matter – often say amazingly bizarre things in order to get attention, otherwise they fade into obscurity. And the reality is we’re in a Federation, and part of that Federation is every state and territory being supported. There have been times when states are donor states to others. There have been times when they have been receiving more money than others, and that’s the reality of the last 118 years of Federation. And what the Morrison Government has managed to do, I think very successfully, is ensure that while no state is losing out of the (inaudible) changes to the GST formula, which are fair, particularly to Western Australia. We are all much better off as a consequence of those fair distributions of GST and that is the way the Federation is going to work into the future.

HOST: What would you say to one of your constituents, Albo, that came up to you and said: ‘Look I’ve got some work done, I paid 10 per cent GST’, because, I don’t know, bought a coffee – put a fence up, whatever. Why does the majority of that go to a place like South Australia? Why is that fair?

ALBANESE: I’d say to them, not only is it in the national interest for that to occur, but it’s also in the interest of Sydneysiders and people in New South Wales to actually make sure that states that don’t have the same level of growth such as South Australia receive appropriate support because otherwise there will just be more and more pressure on Sydney and Melbourne and South East Queensland, which is where you have the growth at the moment in the cycle that’s there. We are a Federation. There is such thing as a national interest, but that also is, I believe, consistent in the long term with relieving some of the pressures. I want to see growth in population and growth in economic activity and jobs in South Australia. It’s a good thing for South Australians, but it’s also good for people in Sydney and Melbourne and South East Queensland for that to occur.

HOST: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a good answer, Albo. And it means that – well if we do get kicked out Christopher Pyne becomes President and I think you now can be the Ambassador to South Australia.

ALBANESE: Ambassador at Large, perhaps?

HOST: Yeah, exactly right.

PYNE: He would want a new uniform, though.

ALBANESE: Because, I quite like living in Marrickville, so …

PYNE: And pomp and ceremony, he loves all that.

ALBANESE: From Christopher Pyne, that is a breathtaking statement.

HOST: I reckon being the good socialist that you are, Albo, you’d like sort of Castro-style military fatigues, wouldn’t you?

PYNE: That’s right, from North Korea.

HOST: We can arrange it.

ALBANESE: There we had all that love …

PYNE: Now we are piling in.

ALBANESE: To South Australia from Sydney, and this is what I get in return.

HOST: It’s always going to be tense.

ALBANESE: I’ll put David Leyonhjelm on to you.

PYNE: The Democratic Republic of Marrickville.

ALBANESE: They’re all happy here, I assure you.

PYNE: They’re not allowed not to be.

ALBANESE: In the top 50 powerful people, I almost make the list of Marrickville.

HOST: Good on you guys. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, singing in unison for some of those rounds.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 14 NOVEMBER, 2018

Oct 31, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Subjects: Halloween; Nauru; American politics.

HOST: Any good relationship needs work. It’s time for Two Tribes, Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen, it’s nice to be back.

HOST: It’s good to have you, Chris.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning from the Sydney rail network.

HOST: The Sydney rail network?

ALBANESE: I’m on a train.

HOST: Are you stuck on a Tangara, Albo?

ALBANESE: I’m on a train.

HOST: Is it moving?

ALBANESE: I’m heading into a forum in New South Wales Parliament House – It is moving – moving quite well, quite efficiently.

PYNE: That’s because of the Berejiklian Government.

(Laughter)

ALBANESE: Mate, come and have a look at the light rail project here.

HOST: Now guys you’re both dads, you’ve both got teenage kids. Have your families been swept up with Halloween fever over the years; is it something that you get into? We’ve been talking about it a bit this morning.

PYNE: Well, I’ve got a 10-year-old daughter, so I have to say our house is covered in Halloween decorations out the front, with the hideous web that gets sprayed all over the front fence – which is better than the graffiti that I’m used to from the CFMEU. Yes we do get swept up in the Halloween thing, we didn’t used to. It’s really a much more modern thing than it was when I was growing up, that’s for sure.

HOST: So you guys could dress up as a character for trick-or-treating. Have you got anyone you might like to go as?

ALBANESE: I could go as Christopher Pyne and scare people.

PYNE: Oh dear. Well, I could go as Kevin Rudd but I think that’s too unkind to people. I don’t want to frighten people. I’m thinking more Frankenstein than Kevin Rudd, maybe.

HOST: Instead of giving people lollies you’d give them your memoirs.

ALBANESE: My 17-year-old son is doing his HSC at the moment, so he’s a bit past Halloween at the moment. But when he was a bit younger he certainly participated and it seems to be getting bigger every year. My much better half, Carmel, was away for a couple of nights and she has …

PYNE: I’m not surprised.

ALBANESE: Bought appropriate lollies and Mars Bars and all sorts of treats, but we had to hide it because otherwise the 17-year-old would have eaten it all.

HOST: Right.

PYNE: I did go trick-or-treating once. I went trick-or-treating a couple of years ago and I dressed up as Dumbledore.

HOST: From Harry Potter?

PYNE: Which gave everybody quite a surprise.

HOST: Did you get recognised or was it – the beard covered you up?

PYNE: I got recognised. I got quite scared, actually, being out there in the dark like that. With all the …

HOST: That’s what the wand is for, Christopher. Okay, now let’s get into some of the issues of the day.

ALBANESE: We’re on the big picture today.

HOST: It’s time to get into it now; because there’s a local story that’s making national headlines. The Advertiser is reporting that immigration officials have been shifting asylum seeker families from Nauru to Adelaide as part of an operation to remove children from the facility. Christopher Pyne, why the secrecy around this?

PYNE: Well, it’s very important that we make sure that people smugglers don’t think they’ve got a green light to open up their trade, their hideous trade, to Australia again. Now I’m not the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton is; but I know that we of course are making sure that, particularly children who are suffering from health issues, are being removed from Nauru back to Australia to be looked after from a health perspective. Now I don’t know if that’s to Adelaide. I haven’t made those inquiries. I’ve only seen that story myself this morning, but if that’s the case, I think most people would welcome that outcome.

HOST: Well, are you one of the people who welcomes it, Anthony Albanese?

ALBANESE: What we have is medical experts saying that children need to be removed off Nauru, and that’s a good thing, if the Government is doing it.

HOST: Are they going about it the right way then? Because the model that sounds like a reasonable justification – the idea is you don’t broadcast to people smugglers that the way to get in is with a child – because you don’t want to encourage that kind of thing. But at the same time you can be humanitarian by secretly then treating these people in Australia. That sounds like a reasonable model, doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well, what I’m concerned about is the outcome here. And if an outcome is that a child who is suffering mental anguish and trauma is looked after, which is our responsibility, then that is a good thing. And I’m not going to play politics with whether it is announced or not. I think the outcome is what matters here.

HOST: Can I get both of your thoughts on the debate coming out of America over the last week? We saw those pretty sinister pipe bomb threats being sent to prominent Democrats. Then we saw the appalling anti-Semitic shootings in Pittsburgh. Starting with you if we can, Chris, and then you, Albo. Why do you think that we’re seeing this really extreme polarisation in politics and what can be done to combat it?

PYNE: Well, I have to say the United States is a different political market to Australia, as the stability that we’ve had here in Australia for a hundred years or more, and the political discourse which some people think is pretty rough is nothing in comparison to the highs and lows that have been experienced in the United States over many many decades. And we haven’t had, for example, the race riots that used to occur in the United States in the 60s and 70s that were very common in those days and happily not so much these days. The gun laws we’ve talked about before in the United States – you’d never have in Australia a situation where people could access weapons in the way that they can in the US. And thanks to the Howard Government, with the bipartisan support of Labor I should add, we have reformed our gun laws here. I think the extremes of politics in America are driven by a number of factors. Voluntary voting is one of them. I think one of our great things here is compulsory preferential voting, which means that everybody has a say in the government of the country. I could go on, but I think Anthony should have a go.

HOST: Feel the love. What about this?

PYNE: We’re giving you an example of how to behave, you two.

ALBANESE: There it is.

HOST: It’s a master class in manners.

ALBANESE: I’m going to reinforce that and get the buckets ready by saying I agree with everything that Christopher said. The fact is, that the gun laws make an enormous difference. You know, we’ve all had experience as local members of having people who have issues. I used to have one fellow; he used to break the glass on my front door once every couple of days at the office and eventually the police rounded him up. He was a guy who had some real issues that needed looking after. The difference is, if that was in the US, he could have access to guns pretty easily. It’s a very different culture and we need to cherish the laws that were passed by the Howard Government, never ever weaken them. And I think also we all have a responsibility to engage in political discourse. Christopher and I sometimes get bagged by people on our own side of politics, or on the fringes of our own side it must be said, for talking with each other on programs like this. This is a good thing that people are able to have differences, but are able to discuss them in a civil way.

HOST: Absolutely, well said both of you. Well there we go. We billed it as, you know, the edgiest and most aggressive segment on Australian radio and we’ve all ended up sitting in a circle singing Kumbaya.

 

Oct 29, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC with Mark Braybrook – Monday, 29 October 2018

Subjects: Queensland infrastructure; Park and Ride scheme; Federal Election; urban development; NRL; South Sydney Rabbitohs.

MARK BRAYBROOK: I am joined this afternoon in the studio by the Shadow Infrastructure, Transport, Cities, Regional Development and Tourism Minister, Anthony Albanese. Mr Albanese, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Mark. Good to be here.

BRAYBROOK: That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: It’s quite a title isn’t it? I shorten it sometimes to ‘Shadow Minister for building stuff’.

BRAYBROOK: Well, you’re in town today. It’s timely that you are here because we had a good chat on the weekend – not on the weekend, on Friday’s program I should say – with regard to public transport in Brisbane was the motivation for it, because a report from the Planning Institute of Australia – Infrastructure Australia, sorry – came out to say that Brisbane has the worst public transport of any capital city in the country. We then spoke to Planning Australia and we got on to infrastructure and planning of cities in this country. So I’ll ask you about that shortly. But you were in Brisbane today – the election is next year – to make an announcement with regards to public transport and infrastructure in this city.

ALBANESE: I was at Northgate Train Station this morning with Anika Wells, who’s our candidate for Lilley, and Wayne Swan, who’s the current Member, and we were announcing an upgrade of the park and ride facilities there. $7 million will be the Federal contribution, but we expect a State contribution as well. It’s part of a $300 million fund that we’ve got for park and ride facilities. We’ve already had announcements at Mango Hill and at Narangba, both of course also in Brisbane’s north.

We think that public transport is an absolute priority of how you deal with urban congestion and we’re funding the Cross River Rail. We’ve got $2.4 billion we’ll make to that vital project that will transform the capacity of the entire network in South East Queensland here, not just for Brisbane but the Sunny Coast and the Gold Coast. But we also recognise, from the feedback that we’ve had by people talking to people like Anika and Susan Lamb in Longman, is that we need to make the stations themselves more accessible and part of that is park and ride. A lot of people go to Northgate because it’s the last station on the north that’s in Zone 1. So they drive there to then travel into the city, to work or to recreational activities. And this is a really practical program that we’re rolling out of commitments around the country.

BRAYBROOK: People say that in government certain Ministries and certain topics are the key to an election – whether it be health, education, whatever it may be. I think that’s subtly changing. I think so many people now are very much interested in infrastructure, overpopulation and what our cities are going to be like in 10or 15 years. Have you noticed that in your time in Parliament that there is a trend towards: ‘Okay, we’ve got too many people not enough infrastructure, not enough places to get around’ – and that you’ve noticed there’s a change there as well?

ALBANESE: Look, absolutely. I was the nation’s first ever Infrastructure Minister. There was no Infrastructure Department at the Federal level. And when we created Infrastructure Australia to guide Government decision-making and to have that arm’s length analysis of what was needed a bit separate from the political process, that was seen as a radical measure. Now the current Government has maintained Infrastructure Australia. I think that they’ve downgraded it a little bit in importance, but nonetheless it’s good that it’s there.

And the feedback I get around the country is that transport infrastructure, health infrastructure, water, energy, these are the things that affect people’s quality of life and they also affect the nature of our cities, whether they’re inclusive cities or not. And we need to make sure that everyone has access to being able to get around our cities. People have seen the impact of not planning properly, that people need jobs closer to where they live. They need to make sure that facilities are where they live as well, in terms of education and health and recreational infrastructure is a big issue as well – places for kids to play sport on the weekend.

BRAYBROOK: How do we do that if we’re still having so many people come to the cities and I’ll use Sydney and I mentioned this on the program, that anyone that flies to Sydney and goes on South Dowling Street or Southern Cross Drive, has to go from the airport into the city past Zetland, Waterloo and those units that are appearing everywhere, left, right and centre. It’s more pronounced in Sydney and Melbourne than it is here in Brisbane. We can learn a lot from what’s happening in Sydney and Melbourne and make sure the same mistakes aren’t being made.

ALBANESE: That’s exactly right. I’m certainly concerned with developments pretty close to where I live around Green Square in Sydney and Arncliffe, indeed very close to the airport as well, where you’ve had a real increase in density and living without giving thought to where will the kids go to school? Where will they get health facilities? And where will they kick a footy or play netball on the weekend? Those are really important questions.

One of the things that I’ve been working with Tony Burke on, who’s our Environment Spokesperson, is how can the Commonwealth play a role in encouraging state and local government to make sure that where green spaces are there, they don’t just get taken up by development, because that I think is the big mistake that has happened in the southern capitals so far and we need to turn that around in Sydney and Melbourne. But in Brisbane, that hasn’t had, to the same extent, that increase in density, that’s been so acutely felt in Sydney and Melbourne, I think learning from those lessons, getting better planning in place is absolutely vital.

BRAYBROOK: But it’s not just the Federal Government is it? It’s got to be Federal, State and local.

ALBANESE: Absolutely and that’s part of the problem that we have is our system of government. The truth is that we have the three tiers of government. Here in Brisbane you have a big advantage of having a big council and that makes it easier to get planning right whereas what’s happened in say Sydney is you had councils around the airport, some of which –

BRAYBROOK: There could be three or four different councils in …

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And they went gangbusters in terms of some development and the council gets some revenue from that, so there’s a bit of a built-in incentive for them to do that. But it’s led to some very bad outcomes. Whereas here you have the scale. I’ve worked effectively as the Infrastructure Minister in the last term of Government to partner with state, but also local government, here in Brisbane with Legacy Way just up north a little bit with Moreton Bay Council and the new Redcliffe Rail Line. And we partnered with the State Government and Gold Coast City Council on the light rail.

So when you have those large councils, you can have better outcomes. We want to work on a City Partnership arrangement with the South East Queensland councils. One of the good things that has happened here is that mayors by and large have put aside their political caps to cooperate and to come up with coordinated plans for the whole of South East Queensland. And myself and I know Jackie Trad as the Treasurer is very keen – as is Cameron Dick and Mark Bailey, other Ministers responsible in this area – in getting a three-tiered government approach, federal, state and local to get better outcomes for the people who need to improve their quality of life. There’s no reason why, with proper planning, you can’t have increases in the population that are sensible that improve the quality of life. If you leave it to the market though and just let it rip you’ll get really bad outcomes.

BRAYBROOK: Absolutely. Well, one of the calls that were taken on Friday, the theme running through was the fact that no one asked the population what they want their city to be like. And they just built these units and they just do this thing saying that it’s good for the economy, if the population grows, it’s good for the economy, means more jobs and more this sort of stuff. Well no one actually sees that, no one sees those benefits that these people talk about in theory. In practice all we see is the loss of green space, more traffic as we’re trying to get home to and from work and even on the weekend. So all we tend to see is those negative things. If people actually spoke to those out in the public and said: ‘what do you want, what can we do to improve your way of life or improve the city’? The answers can be quite interesting.

ALBANESE: Oh, that’s right. When you talk to people about what they’re interested in, one of the big issues for example, is the growth in participation in girls and young women’s sport. So that changes what infrastructure you need. That means that we need more dressing rooms put in ovals so that – people are participating now in soccer, in AFL, in rugby league – and that changes the nature of that infrastructure. So that’s a good thing that we’re seeing that participation. But there are implications for ensuring that that’s possible and in terms of good development. There’s lots of examples around the country of, whereby, you’ve had a medium density or even higher density living with open space and places for people to gather that add to that sense of community and quality of life. Be it community gardens, not just in between buildings or within structures, sometimes on top. Places where people can gather and get that feeling of belonging, rather than a feeling of isolation that can happen if you have really bad planning and design that doesn’t have any communal space. We are as beings, people who aren’t just individuals, we do want to have places where we can gather and also community based infrastructure. There’s a big development in my electorate at the moment that is having included in it a new community library, and a meeting place, that is desirable. People are wanting to live there and it’s all sold out well in advance of people who will actually be owner-occupiers. So you can have an increase in population with good outcomes or you can really risk a backlash as well, because people will eventually get a say.

BRAYBROOK: There’s a difference between development and overdevelopment, too.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And it’s got to be appropriate. I mean some of the pressures that are being placed on our natural resources, on local roads and infrastructure, too often one of the things that used to happen was that the easy decision for governments to make was to open up new estates. And without thinking about: ‘Okay, what will go there’? Now here in Brisbane, a good example of that not happening is Springfield. That has the railway station, that has public transport access, has educational facilities, health facilities – including high value research. So you have a range of jobs in that community because some of the planning has gone in there, in advance. Rather than just saying; ‘well we’ll just build houses and worry about how people get there, how people get to work from there and what community infrastructure they have’, after the event.

BRAYBROOK: One of the difficulties that any government has in, whether it be state, or whether it be federal, is trying to divvy up the money as to who may need it. Because everyone thinks they deserve it. From a federal perspective, how does Queensland put its picture across, or put its pitch across to you, I should say – if you were to be the Minister for Infrastructure next year, to get money from the Federal Government, as opposed to WA or South Australia, or any other state wanting money as well? I mean there is only a finite resource isn’t there?

ALBANESE: That’s true. And one of the ways that you’ve got to determine that is by having some objective forum. So it’s not based just upon politics. And, for example, using Infrastructure Australia, using the re-established Major Cities Unit that we would reform, to look at City Partnerships.

When we were last in Government, when we came to office, the average Queenslander got $143 per head, essentially was the infrastructure spend from the Commonwealth. When we left office it was $314.

And that was because Queensland put forward good proposals. They were proposals that made a difference like Redcliffe Rail Line, that’s now up and operating. Cross River Rail, it should have been completed now, except the funding was cut by Tony Abbott, and then it was canned subsequently by Campbell Newman. But that was a project that we negotiated with Anna Bligh’s Government, Campbell Newman’s government kept on with that negotiation, we had an agreement. We put funding in the 2013 Budget and then, because Tony Abbott had said the Federal Government shouldn’t be involved in public transport, that was withdrawn. So that’s five lost years effectively because of that. So we’ve been working constructively with – here in Queensland today – I was in Brisbane just last Friday, I had a meeting with Jackie Trad, The Treasurer. I’m here pretty regularly and we’ve been talking through what the priorities are, and I’ve also met with the Mayor of Brisbane and all of the South East Queensland Mayors, just during the last Parliamentary session about what their priorities are. I think the case with a growing population means that we will see the sort of investment last time we were in, where we did the Ipswich Motorway, The Gateway North, Gateway South, the M1, the Redcliffe Rail Line, Gold Coast Light Rail. We did all of these projects that made a difference and we’ll have more announcements to make in the lead up to the election, whenever that may be, I suspect next May.

BRAYBROOK: Yes. Can we take a quick break and come back and have a chat with you after?

ALBANESE: Sure.

BRAYBOOK: Because I do have to ask a very serious question of you on this Monday afternoon, being a South Sydney supporter. Your new – who’s going to be coaching you in 2019 or 2020? You can’t come to Brisbane without having a chat about Mr Bennett and South Sydney and the NRL as well. So I’ll speak to Anthony Albanese a little bit lighter after the break.

[BREAK]

BRAYBROOK: Anthony Albanese, my guest this afternoon. We’ll get to the lighter stuff shortly. But I do have one serious question to ask you and I asked it to Tanya Plibersek when she was here as well. So I’m asking you the exact same question that I asked her a couple of weeks back. Is the next Federal election, which you say is more than likely in May next year, is it the Labor Party’s to lose? Are you in a position now where, if you just keep your head down and your backside up and work hard, you will be in Government in May next year?

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t think this Government deserves to be re-elected but you can’t take any election for granted and the truth is that Governments have an advantage with incumbency. So we have to earn the win. We can’t just sit back. We have to continue to, what I call lead from Opposition. Which is what we have been doing – making announcements, going out there talking to people about issues – today making an announcement with Anika Wells about an issue that she had identified as a priority for the north side. And we’ll continue to do that with our candidates right around the country.

BRAYBROOK: Now, at twenty-nine past three, is your club in chaos? You’re a South Sydney man. You’re trying to steal Wayne Bennett – you have stolen Wayne Bennett in 2020. Should they switch? Anthony Seibold and Wayne Bennett – should they switch clubs? This is the real nitty gritty now Anthony, to get into the NRL.

ALBANESE: Well, I have to declare an interest. I’m a life member of Souths and I was on the board, including when we got kicked out of the comp and fought our way back.

BRAYBROOK: For those that don’t know, that’s the reason I brought it up. Because I know you were a Souths man.

ALBANESE: I thought it was the one red eye and the one green eye that was the giveaway. Look I think it’s a pity that Anthony Seibold wasn’t prepared to stay for longer. I think he was a fantastic coach in his first year. I was at the Red and Green Ball at the end of the season and he gave an incredible speech. He’s very articulate. He has the faith of the players. And it’s a question of, with him moving on in 2020, whether he can coach in 2019 and similarly with Wayne Bennett and the Broncos. I think they’re all mature and professional enough to be able to do that. I myself think that players or coaches shouldn’t sign in advance. We had a problem last year with Angus Crichton playing for us when he was going to Eastern Suburbs.

BRAYBROOK: He still had a good year though.

ALBANESE: He had a good year, but …

BRAYBROOK: But you reckon it could have been better if he hadn’t signed?

ALBANESE: They were pretty cranky in the Burrow. And I just think there’s something wrong with lining up for a semi-final …

BRAYBROOK: But they’re not breaking contracts, though?

ALBANESE: No, I’m not blaming them. I think the system needs to be looked at. Whereby, I think for the fans watching your players play against a team that they’re going to be playing with next year, there’s something awkward about it. And I understand that players aren’t as loyal as they used to be. And, it does stick in the craw a bit. And it’s an unusual situation for coaches to be …

BRAYBROOK: Very odd, yeah. Well, sort of what’s happened with the West Tigers now, your former coach Michael Maguire, is going there and so …

ALBANESE: That’s right.

BRAYBROOK: Cleary will go to Penrith. So should these two swap? Or do you reckon just leave them for the year and hopefully they’re mature enough, and the players are mature enough and see what happens?

ALBANESE: I’d leave them for the year. I think that is what will happen unless the Broncos move Wayne Bennett on earlier …

BRAYBOOK: They won’t.

ALBANESE: Which they will have to pay him substantial money, and fair enough, he has a contract. Anthony Seibold certainly made the comment that he has a contract that he’ll honour. And I have no doubt that he will give a thousand per cent, and I’d have no doubt that Wayne Bennett, the professional that he is, will give a thousand per cent as well. If it changes and we get Wayne Bennett a bit earlier, then we’ll see how that goes. I think the current team of Souths, I’m at that point where the 2014 team, I think they’ve got another Premiership in them. But it has to be in the next couple of years, because after that you’ve got Greg Inglis and a bunch of – certainly Sam Burgess and some other players will be towards the latter half of their career.

BRAYBROOK: Whatever happens, I’m just having a look here. Round Eight, 2nd of May. Thursday 2 May, Souths versus Brisbane, it’s the Thursday night game away. So it’ll be in Sydney, they will get about seven or eight thousand there to ANZ Stadium, on Thursday night, won’t they?

ALBANESE: Oh come on, they’ll go real well.

BRAYBROOK: And then Friday the 23rd of August, Round 23, back here in Brisbane. No matter what happens with these two coaches, those two games will be huge.

ALBANESE: I have already had an invite to the Brisbane game up here. Certainly one of the big advantages that the Broncos have got is – Suncorp is a fantastic stadium to watch rugby league in. I’ve got to say that AAMI Park in Melbourne is just awesome. You are really on top of the play. And when I was on the board we didn’t play at ANZ Stadium, I’ll say that. It’s a fair way away from the crowd.

BRAYBROOK: Anthony Albanese, thank you so much for spending some time with us this afternoon, appreciate it.

ALBANESE: It’s been a pleasure, thanks for having me in.

BRAYBROOK: And good luck to the Bunnies in Season 2019, there’ll be so much to watch.

ALBANESE: The year of the Rabbitoh.

[ENDS]

Oct 29, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Northgate, QLD – Monday, 29 October 2018

Subjects: Park and ride upgrades, public transport investment, aged pension waiting times, Nauru, Liberal Party chaos, Tony Abbott.

ANIKA WELLS: Good morning everyone and thank you so much for coming to one of the best corners in Australia – the Northside of Brisbane. It’s really good to have Anthony Albanese with us – with Wayne and myself today – to talk about our really important and quite exciting new announcement, which is the upgrade to Northgate Station Park and Ride.

Now I live here on the north side of Brisbane. I live a couple of suburbs over and it’s a really great place to live, to work and to raise a family. We do weekends like no one else. I went to eight events on Saturday because we do a fete, we do a festival, we do a church parish rosella jam, we do it all. But the thing about living in a really great spot is that everybody wants to join you and fair enough. So what we look to from our governments then is big, nation building infrastructure projects that support us where we work, where we live and getting around to both of those things.

So that’s why I’m so happy to be part of a team that’s delivering Cross River Rail, which is a $2.4 billion congestion-busting fund that will improve and expand Queensland rail services in South East Queensland and now today to be part of the team that’s looked at the micro-solutions that will help people in our suburbs twice a day, every day to get home faster. So let me throw to Albo now to give you the detail.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Anika and it’s great to be here with yourself and with Wayne Swan, the current Member for Lilley, for this important announcement. Labor federally will deliver $7 million for the upgrading of parking facilities here at Northgate.

We’ve identified this station with Queensland, with Anika’s lobbying, as one of the absolute priorities right here in South East Queensland. It’s a priority for a range of reasons. We know that some 36 per cent of commuters who travel into the city from this station come from the surrounding suburbs. It is a station which for a range of reasons, not the least of which is it’s the northernmost section for Zone 1, people come to park here to then travel into the City, to work or to recreational activities.

We know that park-and-ride facilities are very important for increasing access to public transport and we know that this is particularly the need in growing cities such as here in Brisbane and that’s why we created a $300 million park and ride fund, which we’re using to fund park-and-ride facilities and upgrades right around the nation in partnership with state government. And we’d expect that the Queensland Government will now be able to plan with the confidence that they have this Federal contribution for the upgrade of these facilities. We know this has been needed …

(interruption from aircraft passing overhead)

One of the big distinctions in Australian politics is Labor federally, which supports public transport – we built, of course, the Redcliffe Rail Line, we committed some $2.4 billion we have on the table for the Cross River Rail project, after we committed to it last time when Wayne was the Treasurer and I was the Infrastructure Minister. The incoming Government of Tony Abbott cut that out and what’s more, in spite of their rhetoric, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have kept that funding at zero. We know that to deal with urban congestion you need to support public transport and in order to increase the access to public transport you need good park and ride facilities. That’s why today’s announcement is so important for residents of the Northside.

WAYNE SWAN: Well thanks Anthony. It’s great to be here with Anika. Just look around the streets here in Northgate. They are absolute crowded with cars that are parking and people are walking up to the station. So this park and ride is desperately needed here right now and it’s terrific to see the commitment of a Federal Labor Government, along with Anika, to building one here in this area.

Traffic congestion has to be dealt with in a number of ways. Park and ride is part of it, but we’re very proud Anthony of the expansion of the Gateway North. Well over $1 billion of money which has expanded Gateway North. That’s one way that traffic is taken off our suburban streets and funnelled around the outside of our community. That’s a huge advantage for this area. But we do need park and ride and we also need the commitment to Cross River Rail so we can have more frequent services over time.

So all of these things together give you a Labor Government committed to dealing with urban congestion and providing effective public transport solutions. So this is a very welcome commitment here. Certainly be welcomed by everyone who’s living in the suburbs around here I know that because crowding on suburban streets as a result of inadequate parking around our train stations is a very significant problem particularly in this area.

ALBANESE: Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: I’ve got one for you Mr Albanese. Is Labor concerned pensioners are forgoing groceries and other essentials as they wait for Centrelink aged pension claims?

ALBANESE: Well it’s quite extraordinary, the news today that people are having to wait beyond the normal period to receive an aged pension. It’s as if the Government didn’t know we have an ageing population. This just shows the inertia that’s there at the heart of the Government. It’s a direct result of the cuts to Centrelink and why we have said we’ll employ more workers at Centrelink – real people who other real people – pensioners – can actually talk to and deal with their problems.

This is symptomatic of a Government that is so divided that they’re incapable of performing basic functions of government. And I think really now that we have this revelation – we have today Malcolm Turnbull out there liking a tweet that Scott Morrison’s numbers have gone down in Newspoll. We have a Government that has shut down Parliament because it was unable to function. We have a Government making announcements without reference to the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Department of Defence about where the Embassy in Israel should be located. We have dysfunction and chaos wherever we look and perhaps it’s time to have a mercy rule in politics, whereby things are so chaotic that the Government just calls an election, because if you can’t actually process a form for a pensioner who has turned pension age – and it’s predictable, it’s not like they jump from being age forty up by twenty-five years. It’s very predictable when the numbers are coming in, in terms of pension age. This is an indictment of a Government that simply is incapable of performing basic functions. The problem here is, is that it’s aged pensioners who’ve contributed to build this nation and make it what it is today, who are being treated with contempt by this Government.

SWAN: I just want to add to that because we’ve had a recent case in my office which demonstrates just how bad this has got. We’ve had pensioners come in who have been waiting months and months and months. This is a deliberate policy of the Government to delay the processing of people’s applications. There’s no question about that. And of course just to add to something that Anthony just said, it’s really ironic isn’t it that Malcolm Turnbull actually prefers Bill Shorten over Prime Minister Morrison? That’s quite extraordinary.

ALBANESE: Anything else?

REPORTER: Is this just the start of this or do you plan to upgrade any other Northside stations?

ALBANESE: We’ll make announcements as they come along. We’ve already made a number of announcements for park-and-ride facilities.

WELLS: In Mango Hill and in Narangba these announcements have already been made, but I’ll trust Albo with the details of the $300 million fund that does exist now for this purpose.

ALBANESE: This is the third of the announcements we’ve made right here on the Northside of Brisbane and we intend to make further announcements. We’re making sure that the work is done. The Queensland State Government of course have responsibility for planning, so we’re working through with them in co-operation; in co-operation as well with local members, certainly Wayne and Anika identified this as an absolute priority. That’s why today you can see why it’s a priority just visiting here.

SWAN: But it’s also complemented by what we’re doing in terms of funding Cross River Rail because another issue around here is the regular services that we have. We need to expand capacity. This is a fantastic commitment from the incoming Federal Labor Government, to expand rail capacity right through suburban Brisbane.

ALBANESE: Cross River Rail, to make this point as well – had Labor still been in office from 2013, we would have looking at the opening of Cross River Rail right now.

SWAN: And better and more regular services right up the line. We did Moreton Bay Rail but it needs to be complemented now by extra capacity right through the metropolitan area and that’s what we’re committed to.

ALBANESE: Thank you.

REPORTER: I’ve got a couple of unrelated questions. How hard is Labor willing to push the Government to get the kids off Nauru?

ALBANESE: We think very clearly we should be listening to the health experts here, and the medical experts are saying that the situation on Nauru is a crisis. What we have is the Government slowly bringing some people from Nauru but not being prepared to actually have a common sense solution such as taking up the offer of New Zealand. What we know from  Senate Estimates, have confirmed, is that the Government doesn’t need special legislation to stop people who might go to New Zealand from coming to Australia. The Minister can do that with the stroke of a pen. That happens now for a range of people who are New Zealand citizens unable to come to Australia. They’re stopped at the point of attempting to board an aircraft in New Zealand. Those lists are available and that evidence was given and confirmed last week. What we have is a Government that again is simply incapable of governing.

REPORTER: Was Tony Abbott right when he said the kids on Nauru get better medical care than people in regional Australian towns?

ALBANESE: The thing about Tony Abbott is that he now appears to be not satisfied with just wrecking the Liberal Party. He’s now intervened in the British Conservative Party in a piece in The Spectator attacking Theresa May’s attitude to the Brexit negotiations. Tony Abbott has nothing constructive to offer Australian politics and I think he should actually listen to some people on his own side and think about his departure, and if not then I think the people of Warringah will get a say in that sometime early next year.

[ENDS]

 

Oct 27, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Tarneit, Melbourne – Saturday, 27 October 2018

Subjects: Park and Ride; Tarneit station; rail upgrades; Coalition chaos and dysfunction; veterans’ affairs; climate change; Nauru.

JOANNE RYAN: I’d like to welcome everybody here this morning to the Federal electorate of Lalor. Of course, we are at the Tarneit station. With me today I have Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese. I have the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, Minister Hutchins, the local member for Sydenham, and Labor State candidate for Tarneit Sarah Connolly today to talk about infrastructure announcements in Victoria.Thank you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Jo and it is great to be back here at Tarneit Station and this of course this has a great deal of sentimentality for me as a Sydneysider because this is the site of the largest-ever Federal public transport investment in Australia’s history since Federation – the Regional Rail Link, a project which has transformed this part of Melbourne at a time when the Federal Government used to fund infrastructure here in Victoria.

We know that in 2017-18 the amount of dollars for infrastructure coming to Victoria from Canberra was 7.7 per cent. We know that Victoria has 25 percent of the country’s population. Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city. Victoria is Australia’s fastest growing state. But Victoria has been doing it alone when it comes to the big projects and I am very proud of this project and this announcement today of $15 million – half shared by the Victorian State Government and a commitment from Federal Labor – to fund half of the Park and Ride upgrade for between an additional 400 to 500 additional parking spots here. It will make an enormous difference.

We support investment in public transport, but we have also got to facilitate access to that public transport. There’s a fantastic active transport component to this station with a lock-up bike facility. But in addition we do need extra parking spaces in part because this has been such a successful project. So we look forward to working with the Victorian Government and one of the things that we have done is to establish this $300 million Park and Ride facility – good for jobs in construction in the short term, but importantly to facilitate access to public transport here in Melbourne but right around our cities right around the nation.

TIM PALLAS: Thanks very much Anthony and can I say you really did make me get just a touch sentimental there remembering what we used to do when we worked together in co-operation – State and Federal Labor – and you will probably get no greater demonstration of the achievements that we were able to deliver when you look at the Regional Rail Link, a vital piece of infrastructure that quite frankly you couldn’t imagine this community being able to function without. But it could function better and as a Government we are pleased to say that we will operate in co-operation with a future Federal Labor Government and out of $150 million Car Parks for Commuters fund we will provide a capacity for an upgrade of 1600 cars parks right across the western suburbs – so whether it is Werribee, Wyndam Vale, Watergardens or Tarneit. Here in Tarneit we are looking to almost a 50 percent increase in the capacity of this car park and we hope to be able to do it of course with a future Federal Labor Government. Just as we built these facilities we can get on and deliver the thing that the community have been most insistent about. They recognise that we are improving the number of train services into the area – 78 extra train services into Werribee, on the Werribee Line, over 300 extra train services on the Geelong line and 31 extra services on the Sunbury Line. We are massively increasing the capacity for the accessibility of the city, but more needs to be done. And that is why we are pleased to work in co-operation with a future Federal Labor Government.

Of course our commitment will stand and we will deliver these projects regardless, because you need ultimately to be able to say who will stand behind the delivery of these things. If we are elected, an Andrews Labor Government will commit sufficient funds out of our $150 million Car Parks for Commuters Fund to ensure that 1600 extra car parks in these four western suburbs stations are delivered. That will see a minimum of 50 per cent increase in capacity across those car parks and indeed, in respect of for example Werribee, it will see a doubling of capacity.  So it really is a demonstration of a Government that recognises that we have done a lot; we promised before the last election that we would add 5000 car parks to the metropolitan network. We in fact delivered 10,000. So our Car Parks for Commuters projects will, if elected, deliver a further 11,000 car parks right across the metropolitan network. This is critically important to ensure that we can give options for people to get out of their cars and make their way to the City and where they need to work in way that is both efficient and also ensures that they can utilise these great facilities in a much more effective way.

ALBANESE: We might just take some questions on this first and then other Federal issues and Tim will handle State.

REPORTER: How much of that $150 million is actually going toward today’s announcement?

PALLAS: Well I did a bit of a back-of-the-envelope calculation on this because, as you would appreciate, we are going to have to go through design processes. I think three of the four stations we’ll be looking at multi-deck options. What we expect therefore is that about 15 per cent of the total $150 million fund will be devoted to the delivery of this project. So it is about $22.5 million.

REPORTER: If you are increasing capacity for parking by 50 percent does that mean that the number of new services will balance out to another 50 per cent?

PALLAS: Well I don’t think there is a direct correlation but I think it is true to say that we have massively increased the services up until now and we recognise that this is a growing community and we are going to have to continue to improve the quality of services. That is why as a Government we have recently announced of course our Western Suburban Rail Upgrade program. That is why we are in the process of recognising that we have to make an investment to improve and upgrade the access to Melbourne Airport using Sunshine as a hub and ultimately electrify the line to Wyndham Vale, looking at the potential for both connecting Wyndam Vale  to Weeibee and might I say making sure that the services to the community as it grows adequately meet their needs.

REPORTER: When will the lines out here be electrified?

PALLAS: Well we have indicated that will be sequenced in a way consistent with the upgrade to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. Melbourne Airport Link has to come first because the electrification of the outer western suburbs will be part of our upgrade both for the Sunshine Station and ultimately for the fast rail to Geelong. So our strategy, which was released about two week ago by the Premier, basically identifies a ten-year package of investment that delivers all of these outcomes.

ALBANESE: Can I make some comments on a couple of Federal issues that are out an about today, including Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister is announcing today a proposal for a new Veterans’ card. Federal Labor welcomes any additional support for veterans. It is unfortunate that when he was Treasurer Scott Morrison presided over a $400 million cut in services including dental and other health services for our veterans. In the lead up to Remembrance Day, on November 11, those commemorations, it is vital that we as a nation remember the sacrifice of veterans and their families. Hence we would support any positive move from the Prime Minister to provide additional assistance to veterans. We’d ask that at this time he consider giving bipartisan support to proposals that we have put forward.

Once again, Labor has been leading from Opposition on issues including calling for a Veterans’ Employment Program, so that we can assist veterans into jobs once they leave the defence forces. Support for families is particularly important at times where that support is needed and also we’ve called for the establishment of a Western Front Fellowship as well.

These are practical issues that we are forwarding. We’d call upon the Government to engage with us in a bipartisan way so that the veterans’ community can have certainty going forward about any support that can be offered; either by government or some of today’s announcement is about companies providing discounts to veterans. We would also call upon the private sector to do its bit to provide support to veterans.

In addition, today, we’ve had a rather extraordinary front page of – not ironic, not a satirical magazine – Tony Abbott calling for unity amongst Liberal Party members. This is somewhat ironic given Tony Abbott is the great wrecker of Australian politics and has been identified as such by people on his own side. But, not satisfied with wrecking the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott is now intervening in the British Conservative Party over the Brexit issue in order to create division and dysfunction over there in addition to that, which is already there around the Brexit issue. I’d say to Tony Abbott that actions speak louder than words. He said that there’d be no sniping, no undermining when he lost the leadership of the Liberal Party. And he has done nothing but that since.

The Liberal Party, we saw again this week, are a chaotic government. When Scott Morrison said that he didn’t want to be a hokey-pokey Prime Minister, moving to the left, moving to the right, what he really identified is that he is incapable of leading on any issues because of the division and dysfunction that’s there in his Government.

No wonder he described it himself as a Muppet Government. Well today’s Tony Abbott declaration is the Muppet declaration of this particular weekend, but we can look forward to more dysfunction and more chaos in the weeks and months to come. This is why, really, Scott Morrison needs to consider whether in fact he is in a position to govern in the national interest or whether he should be just calling an election.

REPORTER: What do you make of Prince Harry’s speech overnight calling for more action on climate change?

ALBANESE: Well Prince Harry is a part of what everyone knows is the scientific consensus. Prince Harry, it’s not surprising, like Prince Charles who has been a very strong advocate for action on climate change, Prince Harry is showing leadership. It’s a pity that the Morrison Government won’t listen, not just to Prince Harry but, more importantly, to the scientists. We do need to act, we know that the cost of inaction means that down the track it will cost even more, in terms of the economy. But, even more importantly, it will cost more in terms of our environment.

Australia is particularly impacted, the land of drought and flooding, by climate change and extreme weather events. What we need is a Government that is committed to having climate change action. The fact that this Government still doesn’t have an energy policy is quite extraordinary and the fact that Prince Harry has seen fit to intervene in this debate shows that he is someone who cares about the environment. Just as, I pay tribute to the incredible job that he and Meghan Markle have played in the Invictus Games and in raising awareness of the need to look after our veterans and respect them.

REPORTER: There’s a protest in the city today to get children off Nauru. There’s been a bit of rumblings at a Federal level. Is the Government moving fast enough to get those kids off?

ALBANESE: The Government isn’t moving fast enough. They have an agreement, an offer, from New Zealand that has been on the table for a long time. And this week in Senate Estimates we had confirmed, yet again, that it doesn’t need special legislation in order for the Government to essentially stop people coming to Australia who might be settled in New Zealand. They can do it simply by putting people on a list. The fact is that these children, in particular, have been on Nauru and Manus for far too long.

I think that Australians are increasingly concerned with these issues. You can have strong borders without losing our national soul. The fact that children have been on Manus and Nauru for five years is far too long and we should listen to the medical experts. We have doctors saying, speaking of the mental anguish that is being caused and trauma to these children. They haven’t done anything wrong. These are just little kids and they deserve a bit of compassion and common sense. The fact that the New Zealand option is available to the Government today should be taken up.

REPORTER: If you win the next election, what will happen to those children if they’re still on Nauru?

ALBANESE: Well we want them off. We want them off. The fact is that they should be dealt with immediately by this Government. They have options to deal with that. They have the option of New Zealand, which is there. Let’s not talk about what happens to these kids in 2019; we have medical advice saying that they need urgent assistance and the Government should respond to that medical advice.

REPORTER: Nat, just a quick one from you, if that’s all right. How much of an issue is parking at train stations in your electorate?

MEMBER FOR SYDENHAM, NATALIE HUTCHINS: This is the single biggest issue in my electorate at the moment and we see many, many families relying on the need to get a car park. If you have a look at the cars that are in our car parks around stations in the outer western suburbs, you see baby seats, you see backpacks of kids and that’s because they’re working parents who are driving to the station, getting to their job, coming home, needing their cars to go straight to picking up their kids. And that’s why the car parking issue is so important to working families. But also we are seeing unprecedented growth in the outer west across all the way from Wyndham Vale across to Calder Park and we’ve got to keep up. This is a fantastic announcement today; 500 new car parks in my area is going to be an absolute game changer for people that commute into the city every day.

REPORTER: Will it be enough to cater for that extreme growth we’re seeing?

HUTCHINS: We’re going to have to keep planning and certainly keep pace with the new estates that are going in, but this is a great step forward for people in the western suburbs

REPORTER: How much does it affect people’s ability to actually work if they can’t park at a train station?

HUTCHINS: It is about that balance for them between work and family, I think is the really important issue. Quite often people say, “well why can’t people just get on buses and go to the station or ride their bike?’’ Well if in fact they’ve got responsibilities after work to pick up kids from childcare, school, after school care, they need their cars and they need to be able to park them safely during the day close to a station. Thanks.

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