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Oct 26, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC with Tim Shaw – Friday, 26 October 2018

Subjects: High Speed Rail; drought; Luke Foley; Governor-General; Julia Gillard; tennis.

TIM SHAW: Now the Liberals and Nationals Government in New South Wales have committed every cent of the proceeds, under the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, to spend in regional NSW backing big projects. Including a very fast train between Canberra and Sydney. I have to ask whether this fast rail link between Canberra and Sydney being back on the agenda, is it really going to happen? We’ve been talking about this since 1967 and a bloke that talked about it a lot in 2013, of course, is my next guest – The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Mr Anthony Albanese the Member for Grayndler. Albo, welcome back.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to talk to you, Tim.

SHAW: Is it good – is this right – are you and John Barilaro and I, going to be on a very fast train any time soon from Canberra to Sydney?

ALBANESE: Well, I certainly hope that there’s a very fast train, not just from Canberra to Sydney, but right down the east coast. The first viable link we found in the study was Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra, but the study that we undertook in two stages, in the lead up to 2013, said that there’s essentially two components to it. One is the big inter-capital city routes from Sydney to Melbourne and Sydney to Brisbane and of course, Sydney and Melbourne at one stage was the world’s highest number of passengers by air travel, so there’s certainly the potential demand there. And if you could do it under three hours then that effectively is quicker when you’re taking the time into account – all the time waiting for the plane travelling to airports.

But the thing that really lifted it up was the regional economic development, including the Sydney to Canberra route. So I think it certainly is viable but it needs something other than good intentions and that’s why the committee that I had appointed included Tim Fisher from the National Party and included a former National Party Deputy Prime Minister, a genuine train enthusiast, that included Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia. It was heavily weighted towards an economic analysis of viability. It said that you had to create an authority that would coordinate this, preserve the corridor, make sure that it got on with the planning that’s required across the different jurisdictions, both local and state government. And I’ve had a Private Member’s Bill – I reintroduced it again just last Monday before the Parliament, to do that.

SHAW: That is good news. Now, a couple of things that we need to consider here. Luke Foley, the Leader of the Labor Party in NSW, he’s put a lazy $5 million down. If his Government – his Opposition is elected, he is saying $5 million to boost Andrew Barr, the Labor Chief Minister’s request for a faster link using the existing track. Now Andrew Constance is a bit busy trying to clean up that problem with light rail up there in Sydney. But here’s the question, how very fast is this very fast train, if it’s got to stop eight times on the road on the line from Canberra to Sydney? It’s got to stop at Goulburn, it’s got to stop at Bowral, where do we go to from there? Do we run a tunnel under the seat of Grayndler? What happens after Bowral to get it into Sydney Central Station?

ALBANESE: Well, that’s right. That’s really faster rail, rather than High Speed Rail. High Speed Rail was envisaged to have – the study that we have would be a dedicated line rather than trying to fix the existing line. And there’s no doubt in the short term that you could do some things to fix the existing route between Canberra and Sydney, that sees people choosing to go by bus rather than by train, because the bus is faster. But what you would have is essentially a stop at Southern Highlands, a stop on the outskirts of South-West Sydney, but that was all that was envisaged. But it would also envisage direct routes, that is, no stops between Sydney and Canberra as well, which would be well under an hour. And that would make an enormous difference, it would transform Canberra. Because what it would do is change the economics of businesses being located in our national capital. If you could be located under an hour from the CBD of Sydney, which is very competitive, much better indeed for some of the outer suburbs of Sydney. I live in Marrickville which is pretty close to the airport, I have to allow three quarters of an hour if I’m driving into the city.

SHAW: Well that great Majura Parkway that you and the ACT Government built, of course, we’ve got Stephen Byron there at the Canberra Airport, he’s made an infrastructure capacity to be able to have a very fast train station there. Is that the kind of far-sighted thinking we need? Secondly, we had Mike Kelly – Dr Mike Kelly –  the Member for Eden-Monaro, he said: ‘Tim the value capture is a great idea but we’ve got a lot of land acquisition, could be up to $1 billion to get that corridor for the very fast train track to run along the Hume Highway.’ There’s a lot of dough attached to this, Albo?

ALBANESE: There is, which is why you’d need to get that planning started. And one thing that we know is that the more that it’s delayed – I’m very confident that it will happen, if you look overseas at Europe, in our own region. Australia is indeed the only inhabited continent that won’t have High Speed Rail in a few years’ time. It’s being built in South America, North America. It’s being been built in Africa. So we need to, I think, plan now; if we do that then the cost is cheaper. Infrastructure Australia have certainly pointed towards that as a priority. They’ve been very supportive of the project and common sense tells you that because we do have an advantage for a change. Usually it’s a disadvantage the fact that our population is concentrated in that small area on the East Coast. But that concentration of population is what makes it viable and you can get some value capture out of the growth in regional cities. But the truth is, it will also require a commitment from government and the report made that very clear. Always be aware of people who say you can do something for nothing.

SHAW: Well, if you were in government today would you be committing to this very fast train? The Government led by your Leader Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: We would. And we’d create the authority, we had that in place at the time of the last election. We had $54 million allocated for the authority to begin its work. And that was cut by Tony Abbott when he got elected and it hasn’t been replaced. So there’s been some musings from time to time from the Federal Government, but essentially we’ve had five lost years and I know that has been a cause of much frustration from the people who worked on the report.

SHAW: Yeah, we’ve got Labor Premiers coming with their colleagues from states and territories to the summit today to be held at Old Parliament House. We’ve got the Prime Minister whacking $5 billion on the table. Anthony Albanese, this is the drought relief plan going forward, ironic that there was no word ‘drought’ in the 2015 White Paper. Is this Government on the right track? Michael McCormack, the Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, $5 billion, a lot of money, will it fix the problem?

ALBANESE: Well look, we will work constructively with the summit and with any proposals that come out of it. It is a pity that the Government had a White Paper on these issues without mentioning drought, when it comes to agriculture. But Joel Fitzgibbon is working very hard. He’s someone who is really connected with people in rural and regional Australia.

SHAW: Yeah, your old mate Luke Foley is in a bit of trouble over these allegations. Front page of The Daily Telegraph about alleged harassment of an ABC journalist. Should Luke Foley get on the radio and dispel these allegations today? He refused to do so yesterday on Sydney radio. What’s your advice to your mate Luke Foley, the Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales?

ALBANESE: My advice to him is to hang in there, in terms of – what we have is, I think, it’s quite extraordinary that there is so much publicity without there being a specific allegation made by anybody.

SHAW: Brought down the leadership of John Brogden. We know there was some subsequent mental health issues there. Is Luke on track to become the next Premier or is he going to step aside for someone else?

ALBANESE: Luke is on track to be the next Premier. He’s doing a fantastic job. And the fact that this is a desperate tactic by the Coalition Government, under Parliamentary Privilege with vague smears; there isn’t even a specific allegation.

SHAW: Yeah, take it outside is what Luke said yesterday. A quick one on Governor-General. What a great man, Sir Peter Cosgrove, he’ll leave that role 27 March. Do you support the idea of Sir Angus Houston being the next Governor-General of Australia?

ALBANESE: Well, that’s not a decision for me to make.

SHAW: Good bloke, though.

ALBANESE: I would say about Sir Angus Houston, he is a fantastic Australian. He is a real gentleman. He undertakes every job he’s ever been given with class and dignity and he’s someone that I appointed as Minister to head Airservices Australia and I’m very proud of that appointment.

SHAW: Yeah, absolutely. They’re looking for new board members at the ABC. Kevin Rudd is looking for a job, do you reckon he’d make a good contribution as a board member in the ABC?

ALBANESE: I think Kevin’s doing a great job as head of the Asia Society in New York and as someone who is talking about some of the really big issues – of the rise of China what the implications are between the relationship between China and the US, as the two great superpowers. And he’s someone who, I think, does Australia a great deal of credit on the international stage.

SHAW: What a class act is Julia Gillard, what a beautiful portrait and seeing that dignity by which she returned to the Parliament for the first time – very moving, Albo?

ALBANESE: Oh look it’s a fantastic portrait. It’s very different from all of the others and I think it does capture – I listened to quite a wonderful interview by the artist who spoke about the amount of time that he had to spend with her, to really get to know her and to capture her in that portrait. It’s a portrait that captures her dignity, her humility and I think it’s a wonderful addition to a building that I very much love, Parliament House.

SHAW: Who won the tennis by the way? You and your Davis Cup partner John Alexander, was it the pollies over the press in the tennis?

ALBANESE: We won. It helps when you do have a Davis Cup Captain, a former Davis Cup Captain on your team.

SHAW: My oath.

ALBANESE: But Kevin Hogan from the National Party and Peter Khalil, we make up the pollies team, so it’s very much cross party. But it was it was a very close match. It was just a bit of fun that we have and one of the things about parliamentary sport is that a lot of money is raised for charity over the years and it’s a good thing.

SHAW: Thanks for being there, Albo. We appreciate it.

ALBANESE: Nice to talk to you, Tim.

Oct 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Subjects: South Australian accent; Wentworth; negative gearing; National Party.

HOST: Meanwhile, back in Australia our two next guests – working hard, Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you. I almost resigned from this segment, when I rang in they thought I was Christopher Pyne.

HOST: Is that right?

PYNE: Moving up in the world, good luck to you.

ALBANESE: I’m offended.

HOST: Does that happen very often to you, Albo?

ALBANESE: Never! Never ever.

HOST: You are quite different blokes, aren’t you?

PYNE: He’s starting to take on all my mannerisms and voice; he’s becoming a South Australian.

HOST: They don’t speak very elegantly, the Sydney people, do they, Chris?

PYNE: But obviously Anthony is learning, which is great.

ALBANESE: I’m learning to speak properly.

HOST: He’ll be saying ‘dance’ and ‘vase’ soon.

PYNE: Yes, and ‘graph’.

HOST: Graph, the graph.

PYNE: And ‘pool’ and ‘school’ rather than pool and school.

HOST: Different accents. So if you read some of the commentary this week, you might believe the seat of Wentworth was actually situated on another planet. What do you make of the result on the weekend, Christopher Pyne? And is there any chance that it will be replicated or any of the sentiment is, across the rest of Australia?

PYNE: Well, I think it was entirely expected because the local member in Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, was very popular in his electorate and they were very upset with the way he was replaced as Prime Minister and they wanted to make their annoyance well known. It doesn’t mean that will be the result at the general election, and there’s lots of examples of by-elections that have been lost by governments and then subsequently returned the following election. Like Canberra, like the seat in Wollongong that was lost to the Greens by Labor during the Keating Government. So these kinds of things do happen. The important thing is, as I said to The Advertiser yesterday, politicians have got to stop talking about politics like it’s a parlour game – which is what Labor is desperate for us to do. And we have to talk about what’s important to people, which is what the Government is trying to deliver and has been delivering, which is good economic growth and jobs, good social reforms that people want to see happen, to increase equality and compassion in our community and that’s exactly what we’re getting on with.

HOST: What about your take out from it, Albo? Because obviously you can take a sort of perverse delight in the Liberals misery, understandably. But the Labor vote was pretty abysmal, wasn’t even 10 per cent, was it?

ALBANESE: Labor voters are smart and they knew that Labor couldn’t win the seat and they voted strategically to send the Government into minority, which the Government itself said would create economic instability before the by-election. And now they’re saying: ‘nothing to see here’. And the problem with the analysis that says it’s all about Malcolm Turnbull – I agree that in part it certainly was about anger about his removal as a local member – but the problem with that analysis is, that should have been consistent. Whereas what happened was that the Liberal vote got worse as it got closer to the by-election. That is, further away from the coup. And that’s because the Government had a debacle of a week in the lead up to the by-election.

PYNE: That’s not true, actually.

ALBANESE: It is true. You look at the postal votes, you look …

PYNE: I can tell you the polling.

ALBANESE: You look at the postal votes as they’re coming in, instead of being around two thirds of the vote; yesterday’s results were just 55 for the Coalition when they needed 70. The fact is the prepolls; the Government did better in people who voted early than they did on the day. And that’s because decisions like floating moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, voting for: ‘It’s OK to be White’ – all of those things were diabolical in the electorate.

PYNE: I can tell you that on the Monday before the by-election. Our polling had us at 41 per cent two-party preferred and we’ll end up at about 49 per cent two-party preferred. So in fact in the last week we pulled the vote back when people realised in Wentworth that we could actually lose the seat or that we were going to lose the seat. But I do think people are thoroughly sick of talking about all these internals, this inside the bubble conversation in Canberra. People want us to get on with the job and that’s what we’re trying to do with economic growth and new jobs and projects like the defence industry in South Australia. And I’m sure that Labor and the Press Gallery are desperate for us to talk about ourselves. We’ve got to stop it and get on and talk about new things. Wentworth was lost; we know that, that by-election is over. We’re getting on with it now.

HOST: To Chris’ point …

ALBANESE: But there is still no policy on climate change, there is still no energy policy.

PYNE: That’s rubbish. We have reduced our carbon emissions dramatically in the last five years.

ALBANESE: Thanks to the renewable energy target, but the trend now is going …

PYNE: Well, I didn’t interrupt you.

ALBANESE: You did actually, Christopher.

HOST: All right, guys.

PYNE: No, no. You went on for a very long period of time.

ALBANESE: Which you interrupted.

PYNE: Because you went on for far too long.

HOST: Albo, when Kerryn Phelps takes her seat is the first thing, or one of the first things that Labor does, to move a no-confidence motion in the Government, to see if you can push the Government over?

ALBANESE: Well, we’ll wait and see what we do on the day. And I probably won’t foreshadow it on your show, weeks in advance, as much as you would like me to do in a debate with the Leader of the House of Representatives. Nice try.

HOST: Doesn’t it risk perpetuating the point that Chris was making which is politics as a parlour game? You know surely the Government should last until next year, shouldn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well we’re not responsible for the chaos, David, they are. This is completely self-inflicted. There is no reason why Malcolm Turnbull should have been removed. I used to think he was very competitive. They were on 49 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, which if you look at what’s happened in previous elections is actually a winning position for a Government at this stage in the cycle. And Malcolm Turnbull had led on 58 consecutive Newspolls as preferred Prime Minister.

HOST: Albo, far be it for I to introduce policy into a conversation about politics, but is it giving you any pause at the moment – what’s happening to housing prices on the eastern seaboard, regarding your negative gearing policy? There is some modelling that’s been done by the Master Builders Australia, that’s on the front page of The Australian this morning. That says over the first five years of the negative gearing cutting plan there would be 42,000 dwellings fewer built at a value of some $12 billion to the construction industry. Is it time to pump the brakes and have a rethink here?

ALBANESE: Well the MBA should be embarrassed by this. It doesn’t model our policy. Our policy, of course, is grandfathered. So it’ll have no impact on anyone who currently has a negatively geared property. The other thing it will do is continue to allow future negative gearing for new property. That is new construction. It will boost supply. And that’s why, when I’ve met with the construction sector, they are supportive of the policy because they know that it will actually boost supply and therefore will boost jobs.

HOST: Setting aside the MBA then. Just the direction the prices are heading in …

PYNE: I’m still here by the way. I’m still on the radio.

HOST: You’ll get a shot in a second. The direction that prices are heading in, on the eastern seaboard, does that give you any pause?

ALBANESE: Well, no. Because what is occurring is essentially what was always going to happen which is a more sensible approach to price. It was out of control. You can’t continue to spiral. You can’t have property prices increase by almost double figures on an annual basis into the never never. Because eventually the market works to an equilibrium. What our policy will do is increase supply which is good policy. It will stop as well, the situation whereby a first home buyer trying to get into the market has to compete with – on an unfair playing field, compete with an investor who can afford to bid more because it’s going to be a write-off on their tax.

HOST: Hey Chris, just to your point, I know that the default position of the Libs is to say that you never want to comment on what’s happening within the National Party …

PYNE: No, I’m not commenting on that, because you’ve just allowed Anthony Albanese to give an unpaid political advertisement for the last five minutes.

HOST: You’re allowed to respond to that.

ALBANESE: You’re so precious.
PYNE: You’re not now shifting to another internal conversation.

ALBANESE: You’re so precious.

HOST: No, Chris.

PYNE: And now he’s interrupting again.

HOST: Hang on.

ALBANESE: Harden up.

PYNE: Not fair.

HOST: Chris, you’re more than welcome to respond to that.

PYNE: Not fair.

HOST: You’re more than welcome to respond to what Albo just said, obviously.

PYNE: Well, I would. Because the Labor Party’s policy on negative gearing will actually smash house prices and put up rent. And everyone knows that. And the Master Builders have put out the modelling because it’s true. It’s not party political modelling and Anthony’s decided to shoot the messenger, rather than actually focus on the issue. And the issue is that Labor wants to take us back to the 1970s, not just on industrial relations, as we saw yesterday with industry wide bargaining being their new policy. But they also want to have five new taxes. One of them is to increase Capital Gains Tax on everything by 50 per cent and the other is to abolish negative gearing as we know it. Which we know will push up house prices. Sorry, push down house prices and increase rents. And that’s bad for renters and it’s bad for people who own houses and this will be a red hot-button issue at the next federal election.

ALBANESE: Except that’s not our policy.

HOST: The final question I was going to ask you, Chris. Are you confident or do you believe that the National Party are going to heed your message about not focusing on yourselves? Because it sounds like the leadership dramas that we’ve seen with you guys are about to be replicated there.

PYNE: Well, I’m focusing on policy and I’m focusing on good outcomes in defence and defence industry, on national security, on economic security. We’ve created over a million jobs since 2013. A record number of jobs. And we’re focusing on growth. We have growth at 3.7 per cent, which is higher than any other country in the G7. The next election will be fought around tax. It’ll be fought around the industrial relations wrecking ball that Labor wants to put through the economy, and I’m not focusing or commenting on internal party matters.

HOST: Good stuff. Christopher Pyne, Anthony Albanese, thanks for joining us.

ALBANESE: See you next week.


Oct 24, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Subjects: Government dysfunction.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is a government that is just looking for things to fight over. Now they are fighting over whether Malcolm Turnbull should attend an oceans conference in Indonesia. This is just pathetic and it comes at a time whereby this is a government that simply doesn’t have policies in key areas. They don’t have an energy policy. What they have is platitudes. Platitudes aren’t policies. Policies are things that change the economy, that drive that change through.

This is a government that has no idea why they are there. They are at war with themselves and consistently what we are seeing is that Scott Morrison can’t move either in a progressive direction or to the Right because his party is so divided that they have rendered him incapable of serious policy response.

Oct 22, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 3AW, Neil Mitchell Program – Monday, 22 October 2018

Subjects: Wentworth by-election, Kevin Rudd book.

NEIL MITCHELL: Anthony Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning, Neil.

MITCHELL: Do you accept you’re both on the nose?

ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly there’s no reason for complacency in this result on Saturday for Labor and we’re not complacent, but –

MITCHELL: But are you on the nose, as well?


MITCHELL: Did you run dead?

ALBANESE: Very clearly the voters of Wentworth got a message each and every day including from the Prime Minister that there were two possible outcomes on Saturday. One was the Liberal Party. The second was a minority Parliament with Kerryn Phelps being elected. So I’m sure a lot of people who would normally vote Labor heard that message. People in Melbourne would have heard that message.

MITCHELL: So you reckon people – Labor voters – voted for Phelps just to make a point?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s tactical voting occurred, quite clearly. We had a very good candidate on …

MITCHELL: But you had an 11 per cent swing against you. Look, I know that’s nowhere near as bad as the Government. But it’s the message I’m getting, and you must be getting it too. It’s a pox on both your houses.

ALBANESE: Well I think quite clearly here that the pox was on the Liberal Party. We’re talking here about –

MITCHELL: They got most of the pox –

ALBANESE: We’re talking here about …

MITCHELL: But you got a dose of it yourself.

ALBANESE: I’ll give you the big tip here, Neil. If you live in Point Piper –

MITCHELL: Which I don’t.

ALBANESE: – And you live in more expensive real estate than Manhattan or Tokyo, chances are you’re not a Labor stalwart and so …

MITCHELL: Yeah, but you’re still 11 per cent down on last time.

ALBANESE: Well, this time there were 16 candidates. This time you had a very high profile, progressive, Independent and it’s not surprising at all.

MITCHELL: So no lesson for Labor in this?

ALBANESE: Well, I think there is certainly – not in this, but in general – yes there has been a trend towards Independents and third parties away from major parties. That has happened for a period of time. Yes Labor has to take that into account and yes we have to try harder to get the primary vote of people. We know that both major parties have had a primary vote in every poll except for one, below 40. And we need to work harder on that. That’s something I’ve said very publicly for a long period of time.

MITCHELL: I agree with you, so how do you do it? How do you actually re-engage people?

ALBANESE: Well, I think people want us to be talking about the issues that they’re concerned about. About education, about health, about the fact that their wages haven’t increased, about job insecurity –

MITCHELL: So why aren’t you?

ALBANESE: Well, we are. And that’s one of the reasons why I think people will be –

MITCHELL: So why is Bill Shorten on the nose?

ALBANESE: Well, I think Neil that it takes a brave man to, after Saturday’s results against the Government, to suggest that this is a bad outcome for Labor. The message about Saturday is about the Government. It’s about the deposing of an elected Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull.

MITCHELL: I agree. I agree.

ALBANESE: And the fact that Scott Morrison can’t say why, that’s why people are angry. I handed out on Saturday.

MITCHELL: No, that’s nonsense. We know why they got rid of him …

ALBANESE: Because they could.

MITCHELL: Because they thought they had a better chance of winning. Why did you get rid of Julia and Rudd, same thing?

ALBANESE: It’s a bit different here, Neil. Because one of the things that we’ve seen happen … look, on Friday night there – the Bellevue Hill Branch of the Liberal Party held a forum with Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, Andrew Hastie from Western Australia – travelling over the night before a by-election, in the electorate of Wentworth. They were having a forum, a sort of hard-right forum about how to stop the left. These are people who never saw Malcolm Turnbull as being a legitimate member of the Liberal Party.

MITCHELL: Look, I’m not arguing that this was good for the Liberal Party. But I’m arguing that it wasn’t particularly good for your people either. It was the strength to the Independents. You were handing out how-to-vote cards on Saturday. Were you handing out Kerryn Phelps ones or Labor ones?

ALBANESE: I was certainly handing out Labor ones, as I have been doing since I could walk.

MITCHELL: Of course. Now look, you’re former Leader of the House. You want an early election, right?

ALBANESE: Well, I think the Government says there should be an early election.

MITCHELL: Do you want an early election?

ALBANESE: Well, I think that if the Government can’t govern and there’s no indication, frankly, that they can govern when they had 76. When they’ve got 75, I think, in the Government’s own words they’ve said this would create insecurity. Not just political instability, but economic instability as well.

MITCHELL: You are making me look stupid.

ALBANESE: I could never do that.

MITCHELL: You are. In the first half hour I said I want to talk to Anthony Albanese, there is no spin. And you’re sitting there like Shane Warne. Do you want an early election or not?

ALBANESE: Of course I want an election, because any time there’s an election you can win.

MITCHELL: An early election?

ALBANESE: Well I think the Government itself, is what I’m saying –

MITCHELL: What’s that, Shane?

ALBANESE: No, you have to listen to what they were saying last week.

MITCHELL: But I’m asking you. Do you?

ALBANESE: That’s the problem here. I, in general, think that governments should serve a full term. That’s my starting point. My second point is, though, if governments can’t govern, then give the people a say.

MITCHELL: So are we in that position?

ALBANESE: I think we are.

MITCHELL: We are. So you want an early election?


MITCHELL: We’ve got there. Can you force one? Former Leader of the House, tactically, can you force one?

ALBANESE: Well, this mob have lost votes when they had an absolute majority. So we’ll wait and see whether they’re capable of governing. Last week was a debacle. We had the issue of voting for the Pauline Hanson ‘it’s okay to be white’ motion – and they’ve (inaudible) saying it was an administrative error. We had foreign policy and the location of our Embassy in Israel being determined by a by-election, not determined on its merits or on the national interest. We had absolute chaos from the other side of politics. And we had, remarkably, I don’t know – I thought I had seen everything with Malcolm Turnbull being knocked off –

MITCHELL: And Julia. And Kevin.

ALBANESE: – But the idea that you can bring back Barnaby Joyce as the National Party is just bizarre, but that’s what they’re contemplating.

MITCHELL: What could you use to put the Government in a position to force an election? Is it the kids on Nauru? Is it climate change? Is it Peter Dutton – referring Peter Dutton? What can you use? Tactically – you’re the tactical expert. What do you do?

ALBANESE: The only thing that ensures there can be an election has to be called is a motion of no-confidence. The Government has guarantees of confidence from Bob Katter and from the Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, so at this stage they have a capacity to do that.

MITCHELL: So that means you can’t force an election?

ALBANESE: Well that’s right if they stick to where they are know. But if the Government has another week like they had last week, I’ve got to say that some of their own side might decide that it’s too much. We’ve already got the Deputy Speaker sitting on the cross benches and not voting with the Government, and that happened last week – Kevin Hogan, the Member for Page – and we have I think a state of absolute chaos. We have no energy policy from the Government, not because they were going to lose it on the floor of the House, but because they were going to win with Labor’s support.

MITCHELL: Will you accept though – I raise Bill Shorten – and yes look it is a better result for Labor than it is for Liberals certainly in Wentworth. but Bill Shorten’s on the nose. His popularity is pretty ordinary. Even for an Opposition Leader. You’ve got to agree with that surely?

ALBANESE: Well no I don’t agree with that. You won’t be surprised by that. But also you look at the …

MITCHELL: How do you justify it though?

ALBANESE: Well you look at the team that Bill Shorten leads and we’ve been ahead in Newspolls for a long period of time now.

MITCHELL: You’d walk it in wouldn’t you? You’d walk in an election.

ALBANESE: Well I don’t think any election is a walk-in. Once an election’s called it’s a brand new ball game and any political party that’s complacent and taking the Australian people for granted will be punished accordingly. But we’re working very hard. We’re leading from Opposition on a range of issues including tax policy, education policy, health policy, infrastructure policy and we’ll continue to do so.

MITCHELL: Kevin Rudd’s book I’ve been, for my sins, reading it at the weekend. You come out of it all right. I mean not surprising Wayne Swan, Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten all get a bit of a belting. Were you aware of this so-called ‘Kirribilli deal’ that you’d done with Julia Gillard to hand over the prime ministership to her?

ALBANESE: No I wasn’t.

MITCHELL: You should have been. It’s a pretty ugly thing to do isn’t it, to be raffling the prime ministership like that? I mean it happened under Hawke and Keating. It’s happened under various governments. It’s pretty ugly stuff isn’t it?

ALBANESE: I haven’t read the book. I read David Speers book. I’m launching it at 10 o’clock on the very recent coup and it’s a very good read – On Mutiny.

MITCHELL: Well I’m sure you will read Kevin Rudd or at least the index. I just give you a test to it, Luke Hilakari from the Trades Hall Council has tweeted this today in Victoria: ‘Hey Kevin Rudd how about you shut up for a bit? You had your turn. You blew it. Nobody likes a wrecker. You’re embarrassing yourself. How about you give us all a break?’ You agree with him?

ALBANESE: Look I have no intention of getting into an argument about things that happened in the past.

MITCHELL: But is he damaging you? You mightn’t have read the book, but you will have read all the stories.

ALBANESE: I have no intention of getting into that as I said.

MITCHELL: He’s your mate.

ALBANESE: As I said during one of the disputes on our internals – I like fighting Tories, that’s what I do. And that’s what I will continue to focus on.

MITCHELL: But you were his deputy? He’s one of your mates. And he’s out there damaging Labor. Wouldn’t you just pick up the phone – as they did to Malcolm Turnbull and he wouldn’t listen – why wouldn’t you pick up the phone and say: ‘Kevin hose it down a bit’.

ALBANESE: Well I have not read the book.

MITCHELL: But you’ve read the stories, the reports of the book, haven’t you?

ALBANESE: I don’t have the book.

MITCHELL: Have you read the reports of the book?

ALBANESE: I have not read today’s newspapers.

MITCHELL: Yesterday’s newspapers. Come on.

ALBANESE: I read something on the Saturday. I’ve been very busy.

MITCHELL: What is it with ex-Prime Ministers? They are all bitter and nasty.

ALBANESE: Well people like to put things – their versions of things – their version of history. Julia’s done it. Kevin’s done it. John Howard did it.

MITCHELL: Well it wasn’t too bitter. Neither was Julia in fairness.

ALBANESE: They’ve all done it. And David Speers book is much more interesting because it’s about events of the last two months that are still ongoing.

MITCHELL: (inaudible) … Well good to talk. Will you be going to the rallies this week? The union rallies?

ALBANESE: Mate, I’m in Parliament.

MITCHELL: Oh are you? Bad luck.

ALBANESE: I’m in Parliament so I’ll be here in Canberra. We’ve got actually a very good thing happening this morning – the apology. That will be a very sombre occasion and I just hope that the victims of abuse get some small level of comfort from the fact that the nation is apologising to them.

MITCHELL: I agree. Thank you for speaking to us. You happy there was no spin in there?

ALBANESE: My pleasure Neil. It is always good to talk to you.

MITCHELL: No spin?


MITCHELL: (laughter) … Anthony Albanese, senior Labor frontbencher, former Leader of the House.



Oct 17, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Adelaide – Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Subjects: Senate motion; Israel, ship building.

HOST: It’s a target rich environment if you are wanting to have a kick at the Government at the moment. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. If only it was that easy for Anthony. He can fumble the ball any time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: You are doing your best to kick own goals.

PYNE: He has fumbled the ball more often than you can poke a stick at I can tell you.

HOST: Chris, I am going to start with a compliment. You are widely regarded as a master tactician. Should you perhaps run free classes for your equals in the upper house, given the fiasco over the Pauline Hanson motion his week?

PYNE: Well look, it was a fiasco and they have said so. Mathias Cormann, for whom I have a high regard, gave a press conference yesterday where he ate humble pie, which is sometimes referred to as other things, and said he was embarrassed and yes, it was mistake. The instructions to vote against that resolution in September were not followed in October and the only reason why was because of a miscommunication between the Attorney General’s office and the Senate. These things happen. Mistakes happen in workplaces and this was a mistake. We have said so and we have taken our druthers and we’ve moved on.

HOST: This is obviously the Pauline Hanson “It’s OK to be white” motion that we are talking about here. Albo, does Labor buy the argument that it was a cock-up, or do you agree with Penny Wong that it is a conspiracy to suck up to One Nation supporters?

ALBANESE: Well let’s be very clear here. Pauline Hanson spoke on this motion in the Senate. They were sitting there listening to her do the dog whistle to right-wing extremists, use language that is used by the KKK and other extreme right-wing groups. And then the bells rang and they voted for it.

PYNE: Because it was mistake.

ALBANESE: But they were there in the Chamber during the debate. It’s been on notice for a month.

PYNE: Are you seriously suggesting that people like Simon Birmingham and Marise Payne and Christopher Pyne for that matter are racist? Is that what you are saying?

ALBANESE: Simon Birmingham walked into the Chamber and it is understandable that sometimes when the bells ring you go in and you sit with your team …

PYNE: So you are saying that Lucy Gichuhi is a racist?

ALBANESE: But there were a range of people sitting there. I am saying that from time to time people who are associated with your side of politics have been prepared to sit back and listen to dog whistles.

PYNE: So Anne Ruston is a racist? Is that what you are saying?

ALBANESE: You have been from time to time, people on your side of politics …

PYNE: No of course you are not saying that, because it’s not true. You know as well as I do that it is not true and it was a mistake end everyone knows it was a mistake.

ALBANESE: They behaved like stuffed dummies incapable of independent thought. What were they doing, auditioning for a remake of Weekend at ….

HOST: Easy, we’ll fix that. It’s a simple process. We can turn them off. Separate. Subject matter number two. Let’s resume.

PYNE: Did you turn him off?

HOST: We turned both of you off.

PYNE: Goodness gracious. That has never happened before.

HOST: He’s back. He might have another crack here.

ALBANESE: You missed my line about them auditioning for a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s.

HOST: Yes, we just heard it now, OK. Now, Christopher Pyne, for people in Adelaide listening in the suburbs and across South Australia this morning, can you explain to them why it a point of debate among our Federal parliamentarians right now that we are contemplating a move of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at a cost of some $150 million to $200 million? How is that of relevance to anyone listening at the moment?

PYNE: Well Israel is the only place in the world where Australia’s embassy is not in the nation’s capital and it has been that way for historic reasons. I believe that we should consider whether it would assist to create the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine for there to be an Australian Embassy in West Jerusalem and a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and our embassy therefore in their state in East Jerusalem. We are considering that. I think it is a sensible thing to consider. It’s the only country, as I said, in the world where our embassy is not in the nation’s capital.

HOST: Is it a coincidence that it is a debate that has been started just days out from the Wentworth by-election, featuring a large number of Jewish Australians?

PYNE: No. It is a debate that has been going on for years and we have not moved our embassy in the past. We are considering whether it is a good idea. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the Wentworth by-election. We announced a suite of things yesterday, one of which was that we will exchange defence attaches with Israel, that we will reconsider our support for the Iran nuclear deal and that we will vote against Palestine being the chairman of the G77 countries in the UN and because of that vote coming up this morning, Wednesday morning at 6 o’clock in the morning I think it was, we decided to look at the number of different issues. But we obviously support a two-state solution in Israel between the West Bank and Israel and the Gaza Strip and we believe this will assist that to consider it, whether we end up putting our embassy there or not.

HOST: Is there merit in the argument Albo, and if so, is it worth spending that much taxpayers’ money to realise it?

ALBANESE: Well the previous issue was the Government putting its hand up and saying: “We are hopeless’’. This is them being reckless. This is them being reckless in terms of Australia’s national interests but also ….

PYNE: On what basis?

ALBANESE: This is completely reckless, the idea …

PYNE: How?

ALBANESE: Christopher, you interrupted last time. How about you just shut up?

HOST: Hey, come on. Let’s keep it friendly.

ALBANESE: In terms of what Frances Adamson has said, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, when asked about the American move she said it hasn’t been helpful. Quite clearly there is a reason why Australia has, under Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister, under both governments, under a range of foreign affairs ministers, had the same position, which is that it needs to be a part of the final determination between Palestine and Israel that will see the two-state solution.

PYNE: Well Frances Adamson …

ALBANESE: What this has done ….

PYNE: Sorry, I would hate to interrupt you.

ALBANESE: Well you don’t get to ask the questions Christopher. The fact is that this just shows how desperate they are to retain Wentworth. There is no doubt that this is not a move designed to assist peace in the Middle East. This is designed to get a few votes in the electorate of Wentworth. I don’t think it will. I don’t think it will be successful at all.  I think it will be seen for the cynical, stupid move that it is.

HOST: Just to finish on something that actually does directly affect people’s lives here in South Australia, and we just want a straight answer from you Chris, no disrespect Albo, but just let the Minster answer this one. Chris Pyne, are you concerned about the news out of the ASC? Apparently they are looking at cutting a further 63 jobs. You said recently, I think it was on our show, that the valley of death is over. Is it over? Are you seeking some sort of urgent indication from ASC about what is going on there?

PYNE: Well we have bridged the valley of death that was created by Labor by not making a decision to build one ship in Australia in their six years in government. The 60 redundancies at ASC is because the Air Warfare Destroyer project is coming to an end. We always knew that and that is why we have created 1200 new jobs. So whether people are wearing an ASC Air Warfare Destroyer polo shirt or a Lend lease Osborne South Shipyard Construction polo short or an Offshore Patrol Vessel polo shirt is not really material. The point is we have lost 60 jobs there because of the end of the Air Warfare Destroyer project and there are 1200 new jobs being created – 400 at the construction of Osborne South Shipyard, 600 for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, which we are cutting steel on in November this year and those jobs have been filled now, and 200 other positions – 100 scholarships at the Naval Shipbuilding College and 100 new positions at ASC Submarine Sustainment and Maintenance. So yes, we always knew the Air Warfare Destroyer was coming to an end. The ships have been built. The 1200 new jobs is because this government is investing in the future of ship building and submarine building. So those people will get jobs in shipbuilding or construction at Osborne if they want them and that is exactly what we are working to do right now, to find them jobs as part of the overall construction project down at Osborne.

HOST: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese on a particularly feisty Two Tribes. Good on you for joining us. We’ll do it all again next week. Thanks guys.

PYNE: Pleasure.

ALBANESE: See you.

PYNE: He’s not so bad.



Oct 17, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra – Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Subjects: Ian Kiernan, Parliament, Wentworth by-election.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I want to begin by paying tribute to Ian Kiernan. Ian Kiernan, the founder of Clean Up Australia Day, was an environmentalist who mobilised the entire Australian population in the interests of a more beautiful Australia, a cleaner Australia and a better environment. Literally hundreds of thousands of people partook directly in activity as a direct result of Ian Kiernan’s leadership and it is very sad. I pay my respects to his family and his many hundreds, indeed thousands, of friends. Ian was a jovial fellow. He enjoyed life and he certainly lived it to the full.

Can I make some comments on Parliament yesterday and the state of this rabble of a government? The fact is that this government had an absolute shocker yesterday. We have had the debacle of them voting for the it’s-OK-to-be-white resolution in the Senate and then saying that they didn’t know what they were voting for, in spite of the fact that people have known about this resolution by Senator Hanson since September. We then have the foreign policy debacle of a foreshadowing of a change in our foreign policy around the Middle East as a result of the fact that there is a Wentworth by-election taking place in a few days’ time. It might be news to the Morrison Government that the Middle East is a bit sensitive, that this is an issue which people should have considered positions in, and yet quite clearly the announcement that they would consider moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem is provocative, is divisive, it is against Australia’s national interest and, most importantly, it is against the interests of peace in the Middle East.

The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Frances Adamson, has clearly outlined why this would not be a productive move. We have the former minister, Julie Bishop, never considered this move. What is the one thing that has changed? Nothing has changed in the Middle East. What has changed is a desperate government in the days before the Wentworth by-election where they are struggling to justify knocking off the Member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, as the Prime Minister of Australia. The people of Wentworth are justifiably angry and they have an opportunity to cast a protest vote on the range of issues in which this government deserves protest at the moment and we will see whether they do that on Saturday.

REPORTER: Is a win for Kerryn Phelps in Wentworth a win for Labor?

ALBANESE: No. Tim Murray is the Labor candidate and he is a great candidate in Wentworth. But if the Government loses the Wentworth by-election it will be an indictment on all those who thought it was a great idea to tear down an elected Prime Minister in the term in which he was elected at a time when they were very competitive. The fact is that the Morrison Government has been unable to explain why Malcolm Turnbull is not still the member for Wentworth, why he is still not sitting in the Lodge, why he is not taking questions in Question Time. They can’t explain it because there is no rational answer other than hatred. And what we see from a range of the Far Right people who seem to dominate the agenda of the Liberal Party, as we have seen this week, is that because they can’t explain it, it comes down to essentially a view that Malcolm Turnbull was never a legitimate member of the Liberal Party. We see some of the former members of Parliament like Bronwyn Bishop being very explicit about that, saying he entered into the Liberal Party as some sort of fifth columnist and took it over and became Prime Minster.

Well I say this to the voters of Wentworth: if you are someone who shares Malcolm Turnbull’s views on climate change, who shares small L liberal views on social policy, on the rights of gay and lesbian people, on the importance of opposing racism in all its forms, vote against the Liberal Party this Saturday. Send them a message because they sure need it because they are an absolute rabble and we have seen that just this week and Scott Morrison, if he wants a mandate, should stop looking for all these bizarre issues. What he should do is just call an election. And so if the Liberals lose the by-election in Wentworth on Saturday, then I think Scott Morrison should do the right thing, give the Australian people a say in who the Prime Minister should be and go to an election. Let’s get some certainty because that is what the business community are looking for. That’s what the Australian community are looking for. Thanks very much.


Oct 12, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 12 October 2018

Subjects; Alex Turnbull comments on Wentworth by-election, Peter Costello comments on Liberal economic narrative, Labor’s education plan, Governor General.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Malcolm Turnbull’s son has blasted the Federal Government and called on people not to vote for the Liberals in the Wentworth by-election. This is Alex Turnbull – Malcolm 2.0.

ALEX TURNBULL: If you want to send a signal as to which way the Liberal Party is going and your displeasure with where it is going, then this is your opportunity. Don’t vote for the Liberal Party in the Wentworth by-election. If you want to pull the Liberal Party back from the brink, it’s the one clear signal you can send.

STEFANOVIC: Well for more on that I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne. Good morning guys. Nice to see you.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. Nice to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: Who needs enemies, Chris?

PYNE: Look it’s a democracy, Karl, and if Alex Turnbull wants to campaign against the Liberal Party – a vote for Kerryn Phelps is a vote for the Labor Party effectively. It would remove our one seat majority and cast the country into deep instability in the Parliament.

STEFANOVIC: Is it damaging?

PYNE: Well obviously if we lose Wentworth to Kerryn Phelps then we’ve lost it to the Labor Party. And that means that the country will be more unstable than it is and we need stability to grow our economy, to create jobs, to settle the country.

STEFANOVIC: What’s he got on his liver then?

PYNE: Well you’d have to ask Alex. I mean I know Alex, he’s a great bloke. But unfortunately on this occasion he has chosen to campaign against the Liberal Party, which means a campaign for instability and we don’t need instability right now. We need stability. And Labor is backing Kerryn Phelps, they’re peopling her campaign with staff. And that is a vote for Labor if you vote for Kerryn Phelps.

STEFANOVIC: It sounds like to me Alex Turnbull’s going to have a tilt at some point in politics and it may well be that seat down the track sometime. But he might be going for your party Anthony?

ALBANESE: No. We’ve got a candidate and he’s very good – Tim Murray.


ALBANESE: But I do laugh at Christopher Pyne having the gall to come on national TV and say: ‘What we need is an end to instability’. I mean this is a mob that knocked off Alex Turnbull’s dad just a month ago and no one can say why it happened. That’s why they’ve got a problem in Wentworth. That’s why they’ve got a problem right around the country. Peter Costello was out spearing them yesterday – the former Treasurer. So they’re taking a lot of hits from within and we’ll wait and see what happens next week. Could be another spill.

PYNE: It’s a mystery as to why your bloke isn’t there for the preferred Prime Minister, Anthony, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well we could see another spill on your side next week. You are at war with yourselves.

PYNE: So when are you going to have a go at the top job finally?

STEFANOVIC: That’s a fair enough question.

ALBANESE: What I want is an election so I can be a Minister in a Shorten Labor Government.

STEFANOVIC: A Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: A Minister.

PYNE: Nobody believes you.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, as was mentioned by your colleague, the world’s best Treasurer, Peter Costello, has unleashed describing how your party lost your economic narrative, saying if you can’t deliver it this term what about in three terms time, it’s a parallel universe what they are going through, if anybody believes it you’re just silly. I hate to break it to you, Peter Costello is 100% right.

PYNE: No he’s not actually. The truth is that our economic narrative is working. We have the highest growth of any country amongst the G7 nations. We’ve created over a million jobs in the last five years, including a record over 400,000 in the last 12 months. We’re getting back to a surplus budget earlier than anticipated because of growth.

STEFANOVIC: Now you’re back on track. You were consumed by your own internals, this is what happened. You just went off the rails didn’t you? I mean this is the narrative we needed to hear maybe two months ago. Malcolm would still be Prime Minister.

PYNE: There are jobs coming. We are getting back to a surplus budget. We are reducing taxes. We announced yesterday bringing forward the tax cuts for small business, which Labor opposes. So at the next election you have a very clear choice – lower taxes under the Liberal Party and the National Party or higher taxes under Bill Shorten.

STEFANOVIC: Are you going to tick off Scott Morrison’s small business tax changes?

ALBANESE: Well what we’ll do is examine it in the normal fashion.

STEFANOVIC: You have to know. Yay or nay?

ALBANESE: Well we’ll look at the detail of what they’ve announced because they announce new policies – they’ll have a different position tomorrow. We support small business but we also want to make sure we can deliver on education, we can deliver on health, we can deliver…

PYNE: They want higher tax for small business.

ALBANESE: This week we’ve had preschool for three and four year olds. We’ve had another $14 billion for public schools.

PYNE: All requires more taxes.

STEFANOVIC: Really quickly before we go – so finally Sir Angus Houston – is he the next Governor General? Can you announce that this morning Chris?

PYNE: Well there will be an announcement about the new Governor General next year I assume. There’s no particular hurry. Sir Angus Houston’s a tremendous guy. I’ve worked with him very closely in defence and defence industry. I’m sure there are a number of good candidates and it’s not my call.

STEFANOVIC: Julie Bishop?

PYNE: I think she’s great. I’ve said before I think she’s tremendous.

ALBANESE: That’s why she’s sitting up the back.

STEFANOVIC: She’s causing trouble.

ALBANESE: Sir Angus Houston is a great Australian.

STEFANOVIC: Alright good stuff. Thank you guys. Have a great weekend. Appreciate it.


Oct 10, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide -Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Subjects: Sydney Opera House; population policy.

HOST: Two Tribes. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Without Chris Pyne – a late scratching. It’s like the conquest of Mexico, we’ve lost a tribe.

HOST: Tell you what it was very late too. We’re going to have to start broadcasting the line-up for Two Tribes on the side of the Opera House, give people a chance to understand who the hell’s coming on.

HOST: Wouldn’t that be good?

HOST: Anthony Albanese is here though. Albo, good morning to you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day. What do you call – can you have: ‘One Tribe’? I guess you can.

HOST: ‘A Tribe’.

HOST: Well we’re about to do it.

HOST: ‘The Tribe’.

ALBANESE: What if we just call it: ‘One Bloke’.

HOST: ‘One Bloke goes to war’.

HOST: I do like the idea of projecting Chris and Albo’s heads onto the Opera House though. It’s got real merit.

HOST: You’ve copped a bit of flack this week, Albo, from some of your pinko mates over your endorsement of The Everest being beamed onto the Opera House. Why has this become such a huge issue in Sydney?

ALBANESE: Well, I think it’s a combination of interests. One is, I think, a whole lot of people were unaware of how many times the Opera House has been used to promote events in Sydney. Everything from the Ashes, St Patrick’s Day, Chinese New Year, rugby tests, World AIDS Day, Mardi Gras, across the board it is used regularly, and indeed on the other side of the Opera House there are projections onto the sails twice every single night. And I think people were unaware of that.

People have also had some legitimate issues with the issue of gambling. From my perspective, as the Tourism Shadow Minister responsible for promoting tourism, I think that it is reasonable that events which are major for Sydney, that the events be promoted. What I’ve said is that when people see the Sydney Opera House they immediately know that a major event is in Sydney. It is an iconic piece of architecture, it’s very important.

The dispute here, of course, was that Louise Herron and the Opera House board supported the colours and agreed to the numbers being projected for what the barrier draw was. The only dispute was over whether the trophy be shown and I think the Berejiklian Government should have not overridden Louise Herron and the Opera House board, but they chose to do so. But then I think the Alan Jones interview with Louise Herron, in which I think he behaved very rudely and it was an offensive interview – he threatened her job – fed into a view that he has too much influence in Sydney.

HOST: Have you ever got the treatment from Alan on air?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. When I was about 20 years old I was running a campaign to unionise McDonald’s about youth wages.

HOST: He would have loved that.

ALBANESE: I went on his program and pointed out – at the time I think youth wages were $1.03 and he said that was reasonable. I had the temerity to ask him how much he earned. He didn’t respond terribly well to this on live radio. So that was my first experience with Alan Jones.

But I, as you know, am always willing to talk to people who don’t necessarily agree with me and to argue my case. I think that I’m never worried about that. I called out his behaviour very clearly, but I’m still getting messages from people if you look at social media that suggested that I didn’t. The comments that I made as well were before the Alan Jones-Louise Herron interview. So people were saying to me: ‘Why didn’t you condemn Alan Jones’. Well I’m not Nostradamus. The interview hadn’t happened at the time that I supported a minimal projection on the Opera House.

But of course, as well the truth is some people object to racing and see racing just being gambling. I see this event as being about more than gambling. I mean, I’m not a gambler. People enjoy the Melbourne Cup and various major racing events without necessarily being gamblers. It’s also about something that will bring a lot of tourists to Sydney. But there’s no doubt that people are legitimately expressing a very strong view. I think they need to express it on the basis of the facts, which are important. But clearly there needs to be a review of what the guidelines are so that people are all aware of them, so that this dispute – which has been very divisive for our city of Sydney, I think I’ve even had contact from non-Sydney people, it would be good if that was avoided in the future.

HOST: Albo, there’s been something of a development. The Lazarus of Two Tribes Christopher Pyne is now on the line. Christopher, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. I’m not Nostradamus, but I’m apparently Lazarus.

HOST: Yes, you’re Lazarus.

ALBANESE: Mate, we’ve changed the program to calling it just: ‘One Bloke’, instead of Two Tribes in your absence.

HOST: One good bloke.

HOST: Christopher we’re glad you’re able to come along too, because we’ve spent a bit of time over the course of the last couple of days talking in depth about the Alan Tudge speech last night, (inaudible) anticipation of it. He spoke about it ahead of time when he was in Adelaide last week, and joined us to talk about the prospect of redirecting migrants in Australia away from the major city centres in Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide. It’s received a pretty mixed reception, I have got to say, by way of our listeners on the text line and calling in. Can you shed any more light on the detail of how this might happen? How many we’re talking about? How infrastructure might be adapted to better equip Adelaide to handle an influx of people?

PYNE: Well, I would very much welcome an influx of people into Adelaide and South Australia. Because a growing population means a growing economy. It means more jobs, it means more spending on construction and infrastructure and everything that goes with that. We don’t have a population problem in Australia we have a population distribution problem. So sure, the people of Sydney and Melbourne, they might have real issues when it comes to congestion, the ride to work in the morning, infrastructure development which their governments are working on. Adelaide, when I was elected about 25 years ago, we had the same number of seats as Western Australia. Now we have 10 and Western Australia has 16. We’ve lost three in the same time that Western Australia has gained three. Nothing tells us more that our population in Adelaide has been declining relative to other states. (Inaudible) it can’t be disagreed with, it’s based entirely on population.

So I don’t want to be living right up in a state which is declining and getting older. I want a state that is vibrant, that’s bringing new people to our city and that’s growing. The cranes over Adelaide at the moment are inspiring. I think I counted them flying into (inaudible) 18 cranes over Adelaide. I’ve known Adelaide when there’s been no cranes (inaudible). A Sydneysider who is travelling an hour and a half to work in the morning would be shocked here, at an Adelaide resident complaining about congestion. We don’t have anything like the problem that they have in Sydney with congestion – or Melbourne for that matter. And what we need is more people, and I think Adelaide is the perfect city to grow. I very much welcome the Government’s intention to drive new migrants away from the three large eastern state cities, and towards cities like Adelaide, or Hobart, or Darwin, or Perth, wherever it might be.

HOST: Well, we’re looking forward to a detailed plan. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese …

ALBANESE: When it comes to Adelaide, we’re two people but one tribe. I absolutely agree with Christopher’s comments there. We’re as one on some of these issues.

HOST: You guys can work every alternate week at this rate. One can do one Wednesday, one the next.

ALBANESE: That’s actually not a bad idea.


HOST: Good on you guys. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes on this Wednesday morning – very glad to get two tribes in the end.


Oct 9, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Far North Queensland – Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Subjects: 2018 Australasia Bus Conference; IPCC Report; Climate Change; Great Barrier Reef.

KIER SHOREY: In my report yesterday we spoke to the Executive Director of the Bus Conference. The Australasian Bus Confederation, which are having their major Conference in town right now, which includes people from across the ditch in New Zealand as well. And that has acted as a magnet for a number of politicians to come into Cairns including my guest this morning, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities, Regional Development and Tourism, Anthony Albanese. Mr Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning. Thanks for having me on the program.

SHOREY: Not a problem at all. So about to jump on the plane to head here for the conference – what’s your message that you’re bringing to the delegates today?

ALBANESE: Well, one of respect for the amazing job that the bus industry do in getting people around our cities and our towns; in supporting the tourism sector; importantly, in supporting the manufacturing sector. We are a major manufacturer of buses. Everyone knows that the car industry, the private motor vehicle industry shut down, unfortunately, in recent years. But we are still a major manufacturer of buses in particular and that’s an important employment generator.

SHOREY: Indeed. And we did talk yesterday with Michael Apps from the Confederation about the fact that the humble bus has kind of evolved a little bit in terms of just how it is such an important part of transport infrastructure around the country. And they’re almost kind of invisible to us, because we see them so frequently and that’s particularly true in a place like Cairns when it comes to the tourism industry.

ALBANESE: That’s right. Look, there’s 43,000 people working as bus and coach drivers. That’s quite an extraordinary figure, and of course for regional cities like Cairns, that are very much reliant upon tourism. People when they get off the plane at Cairns Airport, if they are going up to Port Douglas, chances are they’ll get on a bus to do it. When they’re going out to the reef, chances are they’ll get picked up at their hotel in a bus and take it to the port, either at Cairns or at Port Douglas. If they’re going out doing any of the other activities, everything from skydiving to whitewater rafting, they’ll be in a bus. So the bus industry is absolutely critical for the tourism sector. And I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why the leadership of the Confederation chose Cairns as their destination.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese with us this morning here on ABC Far North, ahead of arriving in Cairns today for this conference that’s taking place. What else on the agenda, Mr Albanese? Any announcements in the air?

ALBANESE: No, but I will be having a range of meetings today – including with the Mossman Mill. People are having a discussion. They met with Kim Carr last week. We want to make sure that industries like that are able to continue. I’ll be having various other meetings with Elida Faith, our fantastic candidate for Leichhardt. I’ve got an event tonight. I’m catching up with Mark Bailey the State Minister around about the time just after I give my speech. There are other meetings as well have been scheduled this afternoon. It’ll be a busy time, but it will be a productive time. Visiting Cairns is always good. You always get a good welcome. It’s a great city, and of course, visitors to Cairns is one of the factors that helps drive the local economy.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese the IPCC report that’s come out in the last 24 hours talking about the idea that we need to transition to a zero per cent fossil fuel. As in 100 per cent renewables by 2050. Now I know the Labor policy currently is 50 per cent at least by 2030 – 45 per cent reduction in emissions. What’s your reaction and response to the IPCC report?

ALBANESE: This is a very serious report. It’s by some of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists and we need to start listening to the science and less to the sceptics, and we need to act. Obviously, the sooner we act – not just Australia alone, but as part of a global action that ensures that our economy can continue to function, our environment can continue to function. And there’s nowhere where the link between the two is more clear than with the Great Barrier Reef, an amazing environmental asset for Queensland and for our nation. But one of course that if we have two degrees of warming or more, then it will be under threat, which is why then, there will be consequences for employment. All those jobs that rely upon the Great Barrier Reef, let alone of course, just the moral responsibility I think we have to act today in the interests of our kids and our grandkids and future generations.

SHOREY: So will the report have an effect on Labor climate change policy?

ALBANESE: I think it’ll have an impact on the world. I would hope that it would have an impact on the Government as well, and that the sensible voices in the Government understand that we can’t just ignore science and dismiss it; that the world isn’t flat; that there is an overwhelming consensus amongst scientists that climate change is happening and that human activity is having an impact on the climate. And you know we can see with the increased number of extreme weather events around the world that that’s impacting. Now that’s not to say that you can point to any individual event and say that is because of climate change, because there always have been events. But what you need to do is look at trends and the trends show that the world is getting hotter, that the extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense. And so all the warning signs are there and the science backs that up and we need to listen to the scientists.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese, I’ll let you catch your plane.

ALBANESE: Thanks very much for having me on.


Oct 9, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Cairns, QLD – Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Subjects: 2018 Australasia Bus Conference; tourism; population policy; urban congestion; infrastructure; public transport; energy; Great Barrier Reef; NBN.

ELIDA FAITH: Good morning, thank you for being here. My name is Elida Faith and I am the Labor candidate for Leichhardt. I’m here today with Anthony Albanese and we are actually attending the Australasian Bus Industry Conference. This year’s theme is ‘Moving People’. We are really excited to go in and hear a little bit more about the industry, and talk about the future for transport in Australia and more importantly, regional Australia. And I’m going to hand over now to Anthony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Elida. It’s great to be back in Cairns. And it’s great to be at the Bus Industry Confederation Conference once again. The bus industry is vital for Australia. It’s vital in moving people around our cities and our towns. It’s also vital in employing people.

There are some 43,000 people who earn their living directly as a result of the bus industry here in Australia. But the spin-off is much greater. The spin off from an industry that takes people to work, shopping, recreational activities, and importantly, here in Cairns, takes people to tourism destinations. Every hotel in Cairns and Port Douglas will have pick-ups every morning, taking people to the Port, taking people to other activities like whitewater rafting, like skydiving, and creating jobs here in Cairns, here in the tourism sector. And that’s why it’s a critical industry.

It’s important to recognise as well, that this conference is about bus manufacturing. We’re one of the regions significant bus manufacturers and that employs many thousands of Australians as well, particularly in our regions. It is timely today to have this conference as well, on a day in which the Government has announced a policy about population and about people being moved to the regions who are new migrants. I think it’s unfortunate that Scott Morrison’s Government have not taken the opportunity to take up Bill Shorten’s offer. Bill Shorten wrote to Scott Morrison last Friday, and suggested a bipartisan approach to the big challenges around population. What we know is that Australia ticked over to 25 million people in July, and we know that is some two decades earlier than what was anticipated in Peter Costello’s first intergenerational report.

Urban congestion, population distribution are issues which are challenges for our national economy. We know that urban congestion will cost, for example, according to Infrastructure Australia some $53 billion by 2031 if it is not addressed. We also know that in terms of population distribution, the concentration of new migrants moving to Sydney and Melbourne has placed a lot of pressure on liveability in those cities, and also in South-East Queensland. But good policy should require a response that goes over many terms and goes beyond one political party being in office. That’s why Bill Shorten’s suggestion to Scott Morrison should have been taken up. To look at settlement policy; to look at urban congestion; to look at infrastructure issues; to look at issues including Labor market issues and whether we’re doing enough to ensure that when jobs are available whether in regional Australia or in our capital cities they’re filled first by Australians where that is possible. And that training for future job opportunities is ensuring that young Australians can access the jobs of the future.

I find it somewhat ironic that a Government when it came into office, cut funding for the Brisbane Cross River Rail Project which it still refuses to fund; for Melbourne Metro, which it still refuses to fund; and hasn’t funded any public transport projects in Sydney of any significance. We’re still waiting for a funding announcement about Western Sydney Rail through Badgerys Creek – has discovered the issue of urban congestion. What we know is that the key to dealing with urban congestion is public transport. Whether it be rail, or whether it be buses, one of the issues that we’re discussing at this conference here today.

And it’s also interesting that Scott Morrison back in 2010 called the policies speaking about people being moved to regional areas rather than capital cities: “false hope”, to quote him on the 23rd of July. On the 25th of July he said: “The Government can talk till the cows come home about getting people into the regions”. He went on to say: “It is just simply not telling the truth”. And on the 13th of May 2011, he spoke about “unrealistic promises”.

What we do need is realistic promises. The Government can start by committing a promise and real funding for the Cross River Rail Project; by funding the Western Sydney Rail Line through Badgerys Creek and the Western Metro. They can begin by funding the Melbourne Metro Project. These are all projects that are necessary to deal with urban congestion. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: Is forcing less than half of permanent migrants to regional areas, is that enough?

ALBANESE: Well, it’s a matter of whether it can be done or not. Scott Morrison himself has said that it is difficult to achieve. In his own words he has called that suggestion an unrealistic promise. So what we will do; is examine anything constructively put forward by the Government. But we say to Scott Morrison and the Government; establish a bipartisan committee of experts, which are agreed on by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Six people we have suggested, but we’re flexible about that, with a chairperson, an eminent person, who can have a debate free of politics. One of the things that Bill spoke about in his letter to Scott Morrison, was the need to keep simplistic solutions out of this and to actually have a comprehensive approach. And that is certainly what Labor is committed to. The offer remains open to Scott Morrison to show some maturity as the Prime Minister. And I think that would be welcomed by the Australian public.

REPORTER: What about foreign students and non-permanent migrants? Would they be considered to be part of that as well?

ALBANESE: This is all an issue. One of the things that is causing pressure, of course, is visitors who aren’t permanent migrants. And one of the things that we’ve raised there is the issue of labour market testing. And making sure that jobs, when they’re available, be made available firstly to Australians who want to work; That we make sure that we examine issues of how we train people for jobs of the future. It’s absurd that at a time when we’ve had cutbacks by Coalition governments in the TAFE sector, we have an inadequate amount of tradespeople who can do the jobs of today, let alone the jobs of the future. That’s why we need to look at education and training. We need to look at STEM. We need to look at where are those jobs going to be. How do we make sure that Australians can fill them, so that we don’t have to resort to temporary migration? Temporary migration will always play a role, but it needs to be a role just filling gaps rather than as an easy solution.

REPORTER: Is Labor concerned about wages and conditions for those migrants if they are forced out into regional areas?

ALBANESE: Labor certainly is concerned about wages of everyone in this country. The fact that wages have been declining; the fact that penalty rates are being cut, with the agreement of the Morrison Government following the old ATM, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government. So we are concerned about labour market conditions. We’re concerned about the decline in real wages. And you know what; it’s not just Labor. The Reserve Bank of Australia is concerned. Any economist around the country is concerned as well. They will tell you that is something that is holding back economic growth in this country.

REPORTER: What would Labor to do improve public transport in Cairns?

ALBANESE: Well, in terms of public transport in Cairns, perhaps Elida might want to add to that. One of the things that we’re here for is to say that public transport plays an absolutely critical role. It plays a critical role for local residents in getting around Cairns. But it also plays a critical role in terms of visitors to this great city and to this great region, and therefore underpins the economic growth in jobs here in Far North Queensland.

REPORTER: Should there be any visa conditions on those migrants?

ALBANESE: We will have a look at any proposals from the Government which are constructive. But what we say is; let’s not have a piecemeal solution. Let’s have a comprehensive plan from the mainstream political parties. The Prime Minister and the alternative Prime Minister in Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten, selecting a group of eminent people to look at these issues and come up with long-term solutions that can put it above partisan politics.

REPORTER: What’s your response to the Environment Minister’s comments that it’s a long bow to draw to phase out coal to 2050 to protect the reef?

ALBANESE: Well what’s very disappointing about the Environment Minister’s statement, is that we now have an Environment Minister who says that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report – by the world’s pre-eminent scientists – should be just dismissed. What I would want to see is an Environment Minister who actually sticks up for the environment. And we know that the environment is about not just itself. Yes, it’s about making sure that we protect our natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef for this and for future generations to come. But it’s also about our economy. This region relies upon the Great Barrier Reef for jobs. So a dismissal, as the Government did on the very day that the report was handed down, is most unfortunate. One of the things that we see in previous visits to this region; to visit the Kidston and Kennedy renewable energy structures that are being put in place. Be it solar with storage, be it wind power, right around Australia we have new renewable energy projects that are up and running. We know that no one in Australia is coming forward and saying: ‘I have the money and I want to invest in a new coal fired power plant’ – in spite of the rhetoric of the dinosaurs that seem to be dominant in Scott Morrison’s Government, and that helped to topple Malcolm Turnbull, an elected Prime Minister, from office.

So what we need is a considered response, one that puts science at the centre of the equation; one that also recognises the job creation that will occur as we transition to a clean economy. We also need a just transition plan for people who are affected; workers who are affected by changes to the economy. Labor has always been very consistent in that. But the jobs that can be created through the changing energy mix, which will occur in terms of the increased use of gas as a transition as well to renewables. One of the things that Labor is committed to is having an energy policy. The current Government don’t have one. And it is quite extraordinary because what industry is all saying – whether it be coal fired power, gas, renewables – they all have a common theme, which is they want a policy and policy certainty, and they haven’t got it from this Government and now the Government has walked away from any prospect of having it.

REPORTER: Is it reasonable to say we don’t know what technology will be available in 2050 as far as clean coal goes?

ALBANESE: What we do know is that human ingenuity constantly exceeds our expectations. So if you look back to what technology was available when I was first elected to Parliament two decades ago, people weren’t communicating through emails, let alone social media, of course, didn’t exist. The world has been transformed. The only certainty is that change will continue to occur. What we need to do as governments and as a community is make sure that technology benefits the community rather than be controlled by it.

REPORTER: (Inaudible).

FAITH: (Inaudible).

ALBANESE: Look, Queensland is Australia’s most regional State. And one of the things that we want to do is to support growth of our regional cities. I tell you what; you know what the single most important infrastructure project for regional Australia was in my view? It’s the National Broadband Network. What that was about is changing the economic equation so that a business located in Cairns, Townsville, Mt Isa, Charleville could have the same access to domestic and international markets as a business located in George Street, Brisbane. And that is critical if we’re going to encourage regional growth. What you’ve got to have is regional jobs and the National Broadband Network, which, where it operates, has made businesses all of a sudden instead of being at a competitive disadvantage because of the tyranny of distance, have a competitive advantage, because the overheads of locating businesses in terms of real estate costs, in regional areas, is less than it is in the centre of the CBDs of our capital cities.

Thanks very much.



Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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