Browsing articles in "Interview Transcripts"
Jul 13, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 13 July 2018

Subjects: Asylum seekers; energy policy.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, has this morning announced that immigration numbers are the lowest they have been since 2008. There has been a drop, in fact, of 20,000 in the past 12 months.

Joining me now we have Christopher Pyne from Adelaide and Anthony Albanese is right here. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

JEFFREYS: Anthony, I’ll start with you. You toughened your own stance on borders this week. What motivated that?

ALBANESE: Nothing at all, it’s the ALP policy. That’s been our policy since our National Conference in 2015. It’s as simple as that.

JEFFREYS: Well, you went ahead and said that Labor got it wrong in the past, Malcolm Turnbull has got it right?

ALBANESE: No, I didn’t say that. I said that in terms of the boat arrivals that occurred under us in government, we made mistakes. I’ve said that many times. So has Bill Shorten, so has Labor – acknowledged that.

JEFFREYS: You also went on to say that Malcolm Turnbull has stopped the boats and that there is truth in that, and that’s a good thing.

ALBANESE: The fact is, that we are not having boat arrivals coming to Australia now. That’s a simple statement of fact. What people want from their politicians is less partisanship, what they want is to acknowledge facts. I also was very critical though, of the ongoing detention of people on Manus and Nauru who aren’t being given any hope. We have seen suicides, we’ve seen a range of mental health conditions being identified and the Government has got that element of the policy wrong. And they need to find permanent settlement in third countries for those people.

JEFFREYS: So these figures out this morning, a drop of 20,000 in the past 12 months, is that a good result?

ALBANESE: Of course it’s a good result, if there is more integrity in the system. This is, bear in mind, a drop of 20,000 on the Government’s own figures last year. They have been in government for five years. If they have toughened up the system which they themselves were in charge of, to ensure more integrity in the system, then of course that’s a good thing.

JEFFREYS: The numbers peaked under Labor with 190,000. Going forward, and if Labor wins Government at the next election, are you personally in favour of boat turn backs?

ALBANESE: The fact is that’s a policy that’s been put in place. That’s a policy that’s in the Labor platform. I support the Labor platform. What we have on our side of politics is a process leading up to National Conference, where we determine our policies and then we go forward.

JEFFREYS: Okay, let’s move on to energy, that’s been the other big story around this week. The ACCC of course released a scathing review of our national energy market, along with a suite of recommendations to bring down prices for customers.

Christopher, will the Government subsidise the construction of new coal-fired power plants?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The ACCC didn’t suggest the subsidy of a coal-fired power station.

What it said was that the National Energy Guarantee, which is the Government’s policy, is the best chance we have to have affordable energy, reliable energy and fulfil our responsibilities under the Paris Agreement to reduce our carbon emissions.

The ACCC basically endorsed exactly what the Government is trying to do – not being ideological, being technologically agnostic, supporting all forms of energy production that produces despatchable power at lower prices. Not being ideological about picking one over the other. That’s what the ACCC has recommended and that’s exactly what the Government is doing. And can I say on the borders, the truth is that you can trust the Coalition on border protection and on immigration. What was proven in the past is you can’t trust Labor on borders and you still won’t be able to in the future.

JEFFREYS: Back to power, Malcolm Turnbull has left the door open to subsidies for new coal fired power plants. I think people want to know what the plan is, Christopher. How are you going to reduce their power bills?

PYNE: We have a plan and that’s going to the COAG meeting very soon, the Council of Australian Governments. It’s called the National Energy Guarantee. It’s already reducing prices, bringing more gas into the market, which we did last year, is reducing prices right across the eastern states, prices are starting to come down. We have actually turned the corner. What the ACCC said was that – with more support for the energy guarantee prices could come down by 24 to 25 per cent over the next few years. Now that is an amazing outcome. That can only happen with the Government’s policy of not picking winners, but supporting all technological outcomes that put more power into the system, more despatchable power. That will make it cheaper.

JEFFREYS: What about the tactics of the energy providers, the dodgy tactics, they were laid bare in this ACCC Report as well, is it time for a Royal Commission?

PYNE: Look, people reach for the Royal Commission far too easily in Australia. Royal Commissions have their place, but governments have got their policies. We have the right policy. We just need to see it being supported. Obviously the energy companies, if they have been behaving badly, that’s why we have the ACCC. It’s why you have ASIC. It’s why you have all these institutions that regulate them. A Royal Commission sounds great, but it actually slows down the process. Maybe there might be such a thing down the track, but we are focussing on the National Energy Guarantee. That will reduce prices and bring more reliability to the system.

ALBANESE: The ACCC report identified – there were 56 recommendations. What it identified was a concentration of market power. And it spoke about various measures you could do, to allow new entrants into the system. Interestingly, in spite of some of the public debate, what Rod Sims has said, is that no one mentioned to him new coal fired power plants. No one in the business community is interested. This is a fantasy of Tony Abbott and the far right of the Liberal Party. And it’s holding Malcolm Turnbull back from a sensible policy debate.

JEFFREYS: Okay, we have got to go. I want to know in one word, Anthony, yes or no, have you read the report, the ACCC report?

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the Report.

JEFFREYS: Have you read the report?

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the Report.

PYNE: His boss hasn’t.

JEFFREYS: Bill Shorten did admit to not reading that yesterday.

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the report.

JEFFREYS: Well, you’ve got 400 pages to get through over the weekend, so a little bit of light reading for you. Anthony and Christopher thank you very much for joining us this morning.

[ENDS]

 

Jul 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – The Chris Smith Show, 2GB – Thursday, 12 July 2018

Subjects; Labor’s City Partnerships policy

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Anthony Albanese, Shadow Cities Minister, joins us on the line. Albo, hello to you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Deb.

KNIGHT: A big issue you’ve got here, trying to fix our cities.

ALBANESE: Look it’s an enormous issue and it’s one that impacts on every one of your listeners if they live in a city like Sydney. Right now they know that our roads are overcrowded, they know that there’s issues with community infrastructure, a failure to have enough schools, somewhere for the kids to play sport and that’s really a product of bad planning.

So what we’re proposing with City Partnerships is essentially that the three levels of government would work together to ensure that we not only avoid the mistakes of the past, but we get quality buildings. We get quality planning. We make sure that we don’t either do what has happened for a long time, which is outer suburban growth without proper community infrastructure, without thinking about where the jobs are going to come from, or infill (inaudible). That’s happening in places like Wolli Creek, which is very close to me you have considerable population growth but not a single new school, no increased health facilities at the local hospital, no additional parks for the kids to play. My boy played soccer for a number of years. Last year there were three or four shifts every night for training because there simply isn’t enough open space.

KNIGHT: Well it’s a huge issue and I think the encroaching cities are playing havoc with your phone in fact. So wriggle around a little bit because we’ve got a bit of a dodgy phone line with you. But we know that City Deals and urban planning is something that the Prime Minister has looked closely at and he introduced his City Deals program himself. Why is he failing? What’s so wrong with that plan?

ALBANESE: Look we think it’s a good thing that you have a Prime Minister that is interested in urban policy. But the problem is that the City Deals so far have essentially been in marginal electorates with commitments that have been about electoral politics. There’s no framework, there’s no guidelines for them, there’s no involvement from the bottom up of the communities that are represented. So, for example the Western Sydney City Deal, each of the Mayors was asked to sign the deal without knowing what was in it for the region and without the centrepiece of it, which is of course the Western Sydney Rail Line and there’s no funding from either level of government for actual construction for that rail line in either of the budgets that were introduced earlier this year.

KNIGHT: Albo, we’ve got a question from one of our listeners. Chris in Lilyfield what’s your question to Anthony Albanese?

CALLER: Mr Albanese I appreciate the way you think and it’s great and I like the way you discuss problems with everybody and that’s wonderful, but I think if you go to the root cause of why we’re having all of this incredible – I’m afraid 75 now, so I’ve seen a few years – It seems that most of the problems we are now faced with are due to too many people trying to do too much and the government requiring too much money to try to catch up with the amount of population we’ve got. How do we control it?

KNIGHT: What do you think about that Albo? Population growth…

ALBANESE: Well certainly population growth is placing pressure, particularly we can’t continue to have circumstances whereby you have all of the population growth concentrated in just a couple of cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. There’s no doubt that that is creating pressure and part of that is making sure that the planning happens in terms of where jobs are being created, so we grow our regional cities as well.

KNIGHT: Yep.

ALBANESE: One of the things that I mentioned last night was the Hunter Valley Councils who’ve all come together. They have a common first priority project which is the completion of the Glendale Interchange. Now what that’s about is essentially a piece of infrastructure that will transform that area around the old Cardiff industrial area.

KNIGHT: Well infrastructure is so key to it all and that’s what we need to see. But look it’s good that you’re tackling this issue. It’s sort of thing you’d assume with this policy, Albo, that an aspiring PM would be doing, so you know you’re obviously keeping Bill Shorten on his game.

ALBANESE: Well I’m doing my job as the Cities Shadow Minister and I’ll continue to do that job and work hard on policy. One of the things that the Opposition has done, under Bill Shorten, is we’ve put out more policy than any Opposition in living memory.

KNIGHT: All right.

ALBANESE: That’s a good thing. It means we’ll be prepared if we’re successful in forming a government.

KNIGHT: All right well we’ll see how you go in the Super Saturday by-elections coming up as well. Anthony Albanese thanks for your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on Deb.

KNIGHT: Anthony Albanese there.

 

Jul 10, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Wagga Wagga – Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Subjects: General aviation, Michael McCormack, Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub, Mark Latham.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s been a pleasure to be here in Wagga Wagga today talking about the importance of general aviation.

The entire industry is of course committed to safety but what they also want to make sure is that we have a sector that’s growing, that’s able to train pilots and other people in the aviation sector because of the importance of general aviation to Australia as an island continent. But also the potential that’s there for growth, even as an export industry.

It is indeed a tragedy that we have not enough pilots in Australia today at a time when we should not only be able to service our domestic needs, we should actually be an export country when it comes to training pilots in order to secure greater national income for the national economy.

What we’re seeing is this enormous growth in aviation in the Asian region and Australia has enormous potential to benefit from that in terms of jobs and economic activity here.

Today’s forum is a part of a constructive dialogue and I’m committed to working closely with the Minister, Michael McCormack, to ensure that the recommendations that come out of this conference for any changes that are required are dealt with in a bipartisan way, because aviation safety shouldn’t be a partisan political issue and I know that is a view shared by Minister McCormack.

JOURNALIST: It has been something that they’ve been campaigning on for about 30 years they say. Do you think Minister McCormack is doing enough? He’s only new to the role, but would you say that he is on it?

ALBANESE: Well he’s new to the role, but he has attended this conference. He has constructively sat down with me. I sat down with his predecessor earlier on, Barnaby Joyce. And I think Michael McCormack is committed to the same things that I am and that the people who are attending this conference are, which is aviation safety being critical, but also a growing general aviation sector.

JOURNALIST: What should he be doing? What conversations were had?

ALBANESE: What Michael McCormack should be doing is working with the Opposition in a constructive way to make any changes that are required to make sure that there’s not over-regulation; that regulation satisfies safety as a priority, but that also allows the industry to grow and to expand and to provide training opportunities.

General aviation is very important in this country. Quite clearly there are a number of other issues that have been raised with me today that I look forward to having discussions with the Minister about – issues such as the charging of airports on the activities of general aviation, making sure that we protect airports from non-aeronautical development so that aviation remains the focus of the airports, particularly secondary airports and regional airports around Australia. This is of vital importance and it’s one which I’m sure the Minister will work constructively with myself on.

I’m very positive about the discussions that we’ve had. We’re both committed to making sure that this not be a partisan political issue and today’s conference, getting the input from the sector is now something that they will submit to us jointly in coming weeks and we’ll sit down and work out how these issues can be addressed.

JOURNALIST: What do you think is the future of regional airlines?

ALBANESE: Well regional airlines are so important. That’s why we’ve ensured for example regional access to Sydney Airport. There was a proposal last week from TTF that would completely deregulate the activity at Sydney Airport, which would mean that regions such as Wagga Wagga were not able to have that access during peak periods into and out of Sydney. Now that’s critical for regional cities, such as Wagga Wagga. I flew here this morning from Sydney Airport. There are flights back this afternoon during that peak period, and it’s absolutely vital that we protect those regional slots at Sydney Airport for regional airlines.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, as Shadow Infrastructure Minister, do you think there’s a role for the Federal Government in getting the Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub off the drawing board and into reality?

ALBANESE: Well certainly when we were in Government, this was an issue that was raised and Simon Crean as the Regional Development Minister was very supportive of the intermodal. This has been around for a considerable period of time and it should be progressed. It’s something that the Federal Government should look at – the business case for any proposal, because intermodal hubs can be really important in ensuring that there’s employment growth in regional centres. There of course is a major intermodal which will be at Parkes, where I will be next week in fact. But here in Wagga Wagga is a logical location given its proximity to the Hume Highway, given where Wagga Wagga’s located between Australia’s two largest cities.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, do you think with all the issues in general aviation and aviation more broadly that the sector would benefit from a Minister for Aviation (inaudible) … alone?

ALBANESE: Well there is a Minister for Aviation and it’s Michael McCormack. The issue of having a Minister for Aviation who doesn’t have other responsibilities is that will be a junior Minister. Michael McCormack is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He is able to sit in the Cabinet. He is someone who is ranked number two in this nation and therefore I think that that gives him more influence than a junior Minister outside the Cabinet with the specific designation of aviation. So, whilst that might sound attractive what you’ve got to look at is influence and there’s no doubt that Michael McCormack, as someone who is the Leader of the National Party and the Deputy Prime Minister, has more influence that a junior Minister for Aviation would have.

It also is the case that aviation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in conjunction with other transport modes including road and rail. So when we look at the way that transport networks work, whether it be shipping, aviation, road or rail – they’re integrated in how they function and how we move people and how we move freight.

So, I think it does make sense to have a Transport Minister in a senior role in the Cabinet. But it’s also the case that perhaps, there is an argument to have a junior Minister assisting Minister McCormack, but I wouldn’t want to see aviation diluted in its importance from where it is now.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese you mentioned in your speech the Aviation White Paper a couple of times that was done in 2009. Is that paper going to form the basis of the ALP’s aviation policy going forward?

ALBANESE: Well it’s provided a basis of things that happened in Government. There were 34 recommendations, just about all of them were implemented in full, including the changes I spoke about – the increased depreciation, the prioritisation of aviation activity at secondary airports, a range of the other regulatory changes that were made including a restriction on the amount in which CASA fees could increase to CPI. There were a range of changes which came out of that Aviation White Paper to assist general aviation, they were all implemented.

But the truth is that that was in 2009, it’s now 2018 and things don’t stand still. So of course Labor will update our policies if we’re in a position to form Government. And today’s conference is a part of that, responding to the immediate needs of industry as indicated by them.

UNIDENTIFIED: Last questions.

JOURNALIST: Mark Latham potentially teaming up with One Nation, what’s your reaction to that?

ALBANESE: I make it a policy of not commenting on Mr Latham I think that his comments and his actions say more about him than any comment could add to and I think they speak for themselves and it’s up to him to justify his own actions and his statements. Suffice to say that Mark Latham moved on from the Labor Party a while ago. That’s a good thing.

[ENDS]

Jul 6, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Today Show – Friday, 6 July 2018

Subjects: Tax cuts; foreign aid; China.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the show. Well, the big sell is on after the Government yesterday unveiled its bold plan to redistribute the country’s GST takings. It says all states and territories will be better off under the plan but not everyone agrees. Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton join us now. Good morning guys.

PETER DUTTON: Good morning Karl.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: How are you? Now Peter, you are absolutely, categorically, definitively – and any other L/Y words I can end with, certain, that no state will be worse off, right?

DUTTON: No state is worse off no doubt, Karl. Everyone gets a bit of extra cash and it’s a fair carve up of the GST. Don’t forget that WA went down to 29 cents in the dollar and you had – Northern Territory I think, over four dollars given back to them for every dollar they collected in GST. So this brings a floor and it makes it better for the eastern states as well.

STEFANOVIC: Could you kindly repeat after me. There will be no state worse off under a government I lead …

DUTTON: In our time.

STEFANOVIC: Can you repeat it for me?

DUTTON: Is that it?

STEFANOVIC: Because it’s always good come election time, those ones. Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, are a little bit shaky on this deal though, as you would know. And boy oh boy is it not a high cost to pay for keeping WA happy?

DUTTON: I liked the footage of Paul Keating last night. He said, you know, never stand between a bucket of money and a Premier on the march. It was true then, true now. But it’s the case, in my State of Queensland, we get half a billion dollars extra. Which means more money for health and for education, for roads …

At least Albo, I mean surely Albo – you would give us a tick of approval I mean a Shorten-Albanese Government would support it wouldn’t they?

STEFANOVIC: Peter, I don’t know if you’re new to this but I’m the one who is asking questions this morning.

DUTTON: Sorry Karl.

STEFANOVIC: That was a very good question though.

ALBANESE: He’s always trying to take over. He’s trying to take over from Malcolm TurnbullI, he’s trying to take over the show.

STEFANOVIC: I like the look of him, I like the question too. You’ll support this won’t you?

ALBANESE: What we’ll do is look at the full detail. But we do welcome the fact, that the Government has adopted Labor’s position, that we’d already announced and campaigned on, of a floor for WA of 70 cents in the dollar. We’d already done that with our Fair Share for WA. One of the things we are concerned about though, Karl, is that – where is the $7 billion extra coming from?

STEFANOVIC: Back to you Pete, where will it come from?

DUTTON: It comes from getting 700,000 people off welfare and into work. So instead of taxpayers paying for their dole payments and whatnot they’re now paying tax and contributing themselves, so we’re cutting back on waste. And at the same time, the economy is growing. So the economy is doing well and there’s more tax revenue coming in, so it helps us to pay off Albo’s debt as well mate …

ALBANESE: You can’t keep spending the same dollars. You can’t have income tax cuts, big business tax – including for the big banks, $17 billion, an additional $7 billion here.

Our concern is that what the government will do if they get back in. They will say whoops, we’ve got to do something about the debt.

STEFANOVIC: But you won’t wind this back?

ALBANESE: And have a massive cut like we did in 2014 to education and health.

STEFANOVIC: But you won’t wind it back if you come into power?

ALBANESE: We’re looking at the detail, Karl. What we’re saying is the Government needs to say where the $7 billion is coming from.

STEFANOVIC: Okay Pete, let’s move on quickly. Today a big deal is being done with the Pacific Island nations on security. Is it about security or wedging China or both, do you think?

DUTTON: Well, it’s a continuation of an existing agreement. And it’s important for us that the good relations continue with our near neighbours. We want to make sure that from a security perspective, economic perspective, aid and development perspective, we’ve got a continuing good relationship and that’s what it’s about.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is Pete, you know full and well that they are having their beaches paved in gold, some of these island nations. The aid money from China is huge. How do you combat that? It’s big influence.

DUTTON: Well obviously China is reaching out across the world, including into our region, and we have a very good relationship with China. They’re a good partner, economic partner with us. We have good relationships – in relation to my portfolio for example and we want all of that to continue. But in our neighbourhood we have a responsibility to work with our neighbours and we’re doing that and that will continue.

ALBANESE: The lesson here is that foreign aid does play a role in international relations and it’s why we shouldn’t be cutting back on our foreign aid. We should continue to play a leadership role in the Pacific. We don’t want to see a militarisation in the Pacific, a military presence from China or Russia. We want to be the leaders, as we have been for many decades.

STEFANOVIC: Albo you’ve had a very quiet week. I was worried…

ALBANESE: I don’t know about that. I’ve been in Mackay, I’ve been in Cairns.

STEFANOVIC: You weren’t going around counting numbers were you or anything?

ALBANESE: I’ve been out there campaigning for the Labor Party against Peter and his mob.

STEFANOVIC: Pete?

DUTTON: He’s been counting numbers mate. He’s been absent for five days, because to get to 12 it takes Albo, you know, a little longer than the average bear. So one thing I’d say is don’t trust Albo with the numbers. He’s just told you to cut (inaudible) savings and then he’s spent money on aid in the next answer. So Albo, you would be a true, traditional Labor leader. You’d spend and tax like crazy mate.

ALBANESE: You’re the bloke promising tax cuts for business, for individuals, for even the big banks and you’re going to spend it by giving more money to the states as well.

STEFANOVIC: Alright guys, have yourself a great weekend.

DUTTON: Thanks Carlos, see you Albo.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you. What’s he done to Christopher Pyne?

STEFANOVIC: Wouldn’t you like to know.

ALBANESE: He’s probably locked him up somewhere.

DUTTON: He’ll be back. Don’t go there, don’t go there Albo.

ALBANESE: That’s his speciality.

DUTTON: Don’t go there.

STEFANOVIC: I wouldn’t mind seeing where Christopher Pyne is, actually, might be interesting.

 

Jul 3, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Mackay, Queensland – Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Subjects: Bruce Highway; Cairns Airport; QLD infrastructure; Federal Election; Senator Leyonhjelm; Sydney Metro West; Andrew Constance.

ELIDA FAITH LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT: Good morning, welcome everybody. Today I’m here with Anthony Albanese.

The Bruce Highway is part of the national highway. It takes us from Cairns, right down the beautiful Queensland coast to Brisbane and back. This community’s wish list for a very long time has been to have the Bruce Highway extended to the Cairns Airport. It ticks all the boxes – It’s going to provide us with much needed employment. Currently, we have big trucks driving straight through our CBD so they are going to be diverted. Which means that we are going to have safer school crossings and a much better CBD shopping experience.

The Cairns Airport is an integral piece of infrastructure. It is a gateway to millions of tourists coming in and out of Cairns every year. And it’s also our export hub. This extension of the Bruce Highway to the Cairns Airport is going to be fabulous for our community and I’m really proud to be part of a Labor Government that, if successful at the next Federal Election, is going to deliver exactly that to our community. I am now going to hand you over to Anthony Albanese.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Elida. It’s great to be back here in Cairns. And today we’re backing up the announcement that Labor has made for $40 million to assist to take the Bruce Highway from the edge of the CBD – Essentially through it, to the airport.

This is a common sense position. At the moment the M1, which begins way down in Melbourne and goes right up through the New South Wales and Queensland coasts, stops at the outskirts of Cairns. It needs to go to the airport because it’s the airport that is the international gateway for Far North Queensland and for so many international visitors – the international gateway to Australia. More than 300,000 people visit this region and use the airport each and every year and the numbers are increasing. We want to see that increase even more. And later today I’ll be addressing a meeting of the Tourism and Transport Forum, the peak National Tourism Organisation, which is meeting here in Cairns. (Inaudible) invited me and Elida to come along and to talk about how important tourism is for Far North Queensland and to engage with tourism operators.

This project builds on what we did last time when we were in government. Where we invested around about $700 million in the southern approaches to Cairns on the Bruce Highway. Where we of course put together the Cape York Roads Package, of just over $200 million. That’s done so much to improve accessibility and to promote tourism in the region. This is vital for Cairns, vital for Far North Queensland but also vital for the nation.

Labor is the party that builds the nation. That builds roads and that builds the infrastructure that we need to grow the economy and to grow jobs.

REPORTER: The Federal Government says you’re promising a roast without the meat because you still require State Government approval to redesignate this road.

ALBANESE: The fact is, that the Federal Government can designate the national highway in cooperation with the State Government. The State Government has welcomed our announcement. The fact is, that this is necessary.

We have a Federal Government that’s asleep at the wheel. They have relied upon investments that were already in the Budget at the time they were elected – such as the Cape York Roads Package, that was re-announced even though it was already in the Budget – by Warren Entsch, over and over again, before they finally started construction on that package. The fact is, that there hasn’t been any significant infrastructure development – not just in Far North Queensland but throughout North Queensland since the change of Government in 2013, that wasn’t already in the Budget. This is a Government that is asleep at the wheel. That has taken regional Queensland for granted, and that hasn’t delivered infrastructure investment.

REPORTER: (Inaudible).

ALBANESE: Not at all. What we’re doing today is backing up that announcement, and guess what, we’re going to announce it again and again and again, until we’re in government. And then we will be here to turn the first sod, and then we will be here for the milestones for this construction project. That is what we intend to do, we intend to have a lot more to announce as well, between now and the election campaign.

The tragedy is that there’s nothing that the current Government have done. We did the southern approaches to Cairns, we did the upgrade of the Cairns CBD. We did a range of projects right around the country but particularly here in Far North Queensland. And those projects have made a difference.

REPORTER: So just to confirm. You just got up the Federal Government for re-announcing stuff, and then just committed to re-announcing stuff yourself?

ALBANESE: No, let’s be very clear here. They re-announced projects that we funded in the Budget in 2013. They’ve had no new announcements. This is a Labor commitment, and when you have a Labor commitment, what you don’t do is come along and announce it once. We continue to remind people of the difference – at the next election campaign, is that Labor will do this. Our conservative opponents have said that they won’t do it. They’ve criticised this announcement. We’ll continue to engage on this between now and the election campaign.

REPORTER: The State Government hasn’t agreed, at least publicly, to fund the 50 per cent project cost, have they told you otherwise?

ALBANESE: Well, the fact is that we’ll continue to engage with the State Government. We’re showing national leadership on the issue of the national highway. The national highway, the M1, is a national responsibility. Last time around we invested in the southern approaches to Cairns. We invested in that – some of which were finished after the 2013 election. But there’s no new dollars whatsoever in the recent Budget. Indeed, the fact that the infrastructure budget declines from $8 billion in this current year, to $4.5 billion across the forward estimates up to 2021-22, shows that there won’t be new money forthcoming. This is a government that has cut funding, not added funding as we did in each and every Budget, in which we were in office.

REPORTER: If a 50-50 split isn’t the norm, why would the Government cough up half in this case?

ALBANESE: The fact is, that we are committed to this project. The state members in this region have certainly supported this project as well. And this is a project that will take traffic away from the CBD. It will take trucks away from the congested area of the CBD and it is a project in which – we have supported 50-50 funding across the board for a range of projects, including this one.

When it comes to infrastructure investment, you can rely upon Labor to get it done.

REPORTER: It’s only a half-job though, why don’t you extend the highway the whole way through to Smithfield so that there’s no break in the link?

ALBANESE: There has been proposals for that as well. What we do is make real announcements, with real dollars attached, with real timelines, and that is the way that you get infrastructure built. Obviously the next stage, that would be under consideration, further proposals, as Cairns and the region grow. Particularly in that northern beaches region.

REPORTER: (Inaudible) within a year of you guys winning the election?

ALBANESE: We would get on with the business of ensuring – we don’t know when the election is yet, whether it’s this year or next year. But we would get on with it as a matter of urgency, as a priority for this region.

REPORTER: Just on a different subject, there’s calls for Senator Leyonhjelm (inaudible) some of the comments that were made to Sarah Hanson-Young, do you (inaudible).

ALBANESE: Senator Leyonhjelm’s comments are reprehensible. They’re offensive, they’re offensive not just to Senator Hanson-Young, they are offensive, I think, to all Australians. And particularly to all women. People shouldn’t have to put up with that sort of nonsense in a workplace. If people want to have political criticisms about members of other political parties, they’re quite prepared to do that and they should be able to do that on a political level. There’s nothing political about a sexist attack and a slur and quite clearly defamatory comments against Senator Hanson-Young. I have rung Senator Hanson-Young. She’s someone who I have had a range of political disagreements with, but who I personally respect and we need to respect all women. These comments have no place whatsoever.

REPORTER: Should he step aside from the Senate?

ALBANESE: Well, it’s a matter for him to really consider why he’s there. If he’s there just to make comments such as this, then certainly it has no place, in my view, in public life in Australia.
 
REPORTER: What does Cairns have to do to get a performance from DJ Albo?

ALBANESE: Anything is possible. I tend to do events from time to time to raise money for charity. So if there was a charity here who Elida wanted me to help out, or who made an approach, I’d give it some consideration. It’s just been a bit of fun. A few weeks ago I did a fundraiser for a women’s refuge in my electorate and it raised over $10,000 for that refuge. So it was for a good cause and I think all of us in public life should do what we can to help out when we can.

(Inaudible)

There were reports today that Andrew Constance (inaudible) from New South Wales, has actually opposed receiving federal funding for the Western Metro in Sydney. A vital project that’s been identified as the number one priority for Sydney. And yet he doesn’t want to support Bill Shorten’s announcement of $3 billion that was made at the NSW ALP Conference.

Mr Constance needs to put politics aside and not only welcome the funding commitment from the Labor Party and Bill Shorten, but needs to call upon the federal Coalition Government to match that funding. So that this project can go ahead and go ahead earlier than the State Government has scheduled it.

[ENDS]

Jul 2, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC, Richard Perno Program – Monday, 2 July 2018

Subjects: Mackay, tax, Labor Party, High Speed Rail.

RICHARD PERNO: Anthony, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon Richard. Greetings from Mackay.

PERNO: Oh beautiful Mackay – cane fields. Beautiful. Lovely.

ALBANESE: I am ringing you from the council chambers at Mackay. I have been up here with Belinda Hassan, who is our candidate up here for Dawson, and I have just had a meeting with the Mayor and all the councillors. So I am talking to you from the council chambers.

PERNO: Very good. You didn’t bump into my mate Graeme Connors, the singer, up there did you? That is where he lives.

ALBANESE: I haven’t as yet but who knows? I might bump into him tonight.

PERNO: You never know. Do you like polls Anthony?

ALBANESE: Which ones? Icy poles?

PERNO: Paddle Pop poles or poles that you dance around or flag poles. They are good and telegraph poles or power poles are pretty good. But Bill Shorten has slipped to the lowest he has been for a little while. Hey did you stuff up last week or did your party stuff up or did he stuff up? Who is to blame for the flip-flop, backflip, somersault thing?

ALBANESE: Oh look, what it important is that we got it right.

PERNO: In the end, yes. In the end.

ALBANESE: Well the Shadow Cabinet met on Friday. Bill and the economic team made the announcement. I think it is a good announcement. It provides for certainty moving forward for businesses with a turnover between $10 million and $50 million and that’s a good thing. We can now get on with the other issues and the concerns that we have about, for example the big banks getting a $17 billion bonus with a reduction in their tax rates. Certainly the good people of Mackay and other people in regional Australia who are looking out for infrastructure and looking out for education investment, who can’t get a doctor who bulk bills and want more support for Medicare – they are the issues that people are focused on and our priorities are very clear, which is not to give support to the big end of town but to give support to education investment, health investment, infrastructure investment.

PERNO: So there are no more challenges for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party, Anthony?

ALBANESE: The fact is that what we are concerned about is policy issues. Our whole team is committed to ensuring that a Labor Government is elected at the next election, Bill Shorten becomes Prime Minister and I become the Infrastructure Minister. The worst thing about my title – it’s the word shadow. That is what we all want to get rid of.

PERNO: Yes you can get rid of that. While we are on shadow stuff – infrastructure Anthony Albanese: big chatter it’s raised again, I have been talking about it and we have been talking about in on 2CC – what about this tilt train? We want the tilt train. Forget about the very-slow-train or the almost-very-fast-train or the not-so-fast or the not-so-slow train. We want the tilt one mate.

ALBANESE: Well I think there has been a great deal of technological breakthrough.  I met with the Japan Railway Company head in Canberra just last week and there is no doubt that a regional city; our largest inland city; the great capital city of Canberra;  if it was well under an hour from Sydney’s CBD, it would transform it as an economic powerhouse.

PERNO: All right. So you become Infrastructure Minister when Bill Shorten becomes Prime Minister. So we are looking at, you know, sort of something sort of hypothetical perhaps, will you give us the money to do this train?

ALBANESE: I can’t make announcements on 2CC.

PERNO: Oh come on Anthony, why not?

ALBANESE: Because as you are aware from our previous discussions, we have proper processes and make sure that …

PERNO: But you will look at it for us won’t you? All right?

ALBANESE: Look I did the study into High Speed Rail for Brisbane right through to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra. I am an unabashed big supporter of it. I have a bill before the Parliament now to create a High Speed Rail Authority and we put money in the 2013 Budget to do that. Unfortunately, the current Coalition Government, when Tony Abbott became Prime Minister, cut that money out.

PERNO: Okay.

ALBANESE: But I remain a big supporter and advocate …

PERNO: Train fan.

ALBANESE: … of High Speed Rail.

PERNO: Can I suggest if it happens can we get Tim Fischer to cut the ribbon?

ALBANESE: Well, Tim Fischer was one of my appointments to the High Speed Rail Authority. He’s a true advocate of it.

PERNO: He is.

ALBANESE: And Tim and I are absolutely on the one page on this issue.

PERNO: All right, well that’s good. We’ve got Anthony Albanese.  He’s going to pay for our fast train. You’re going to get Tim Fischer to flag it off with a toot and a whistle and a nice little cap. Couple of quickies Anthony Albanese: Longman, can you win?

ALBANESE: Of course we can win, we’ve got a very good candidate in Susan Lamb and she’s campaigning very hard and Labor’s got a good story to tell and we’ll continue to tell it each and every day.

PERNO: Okay, all right. Braddon – a little tighter, one per cent. Can you win that?

ALBANESE: Of course we can win that too. Justine Keay has been a very effective member since she took over. The bloke that they rejected last time is running again, just a couple of years later and I think they know that they were neglected when he was the member in spite of the fact he was a member of the Government. Justine Keay has actually been delivering for the electorate down there and she deserves to be re-elected in a few weeks’ time. I’m very hopeful that she will be.

PERNO: Anthony Albanese, enjoy the cane fields of Mackay, beautiful place, nice beaches and you got away from the chilly old minuses in Canberra. Anthony Albanese, Federal Member for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure (inaudible). Good to catch up with you Anthony, enjoy Mackay.

ALBANESE: Thanks mate, we’ll catch up again soon.

PERNO: And listen, don’t get too messy, I don’t want to see ugly Anthony on Facebook doing strange things all right?

ALBANESE: (laughs) I’m working too hard, I’ve been from meeting to meeting to meeting …

PERNO: Yeah, whatever.

ALBANESE: … and I’ve got an event tonight too.

PERNO: All right, enjoy it, don’t disgrace us.

ALBANESE: See you.

PERNO: Thank you Anthony.

[ENDS]

 

Jun 21, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – SKY News with Ashleigh Gillon – Thursday, 21 June 2018

Subjects: Tax cuts; by-elections.

ASHLEIGH GILLON: Here in the Canberra studio with me, is the senior Labor front-bencher Anthony Albanese. Good to see you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you Ash.

GILLON: Drama. A few fiery scenes this morning, in the House as well as the Senate.

ALBANESE: There has been indeed. The Government has not been prepared to actually defend its position. They came into Parliament this morning in the House of Representatives and crunched through debate – move that motions be put, before they even put their case for tax cuts and that’s because their case is so weak at the top end. What they’re wanting to do here, is to give tax cuts to the 20 per cent at the top of the income scale in – not this term, not next term, but perhaps the term after that. And it will have an impact of some 12 per cent on the Budget on an ongoing basis. This has real consequences for the future responsibility of the Budget. But they haven’t been prepared to debate it which was quite extraordinary.

GILLON: Is it really fair, though, to accuse the Government of not being prepared to debate this? We’ve seen this topic being pretty much all you lot have been talking about since Budget night. We’ve had this debate.

ALBANESE: Well, they haven’t been introducing the debate. They crunched it the first time in the House of Representatives – didn’t allow everyone to speak and now they’re doing it again today. It’s now before the Senate and they’re attempting to stop anyone to speak who doesn’t agree with them. And that’s not the way a democracy works and you can get really bad outcomes.

What we saw in the Senate last night, was that the Senate firstly voted to remove part three of the tax cuts, if you like, those really at the wealthy end from 2024. But in doing that they ended up with no income tax rates at all. They removed them from the schedule. So Labor moved a proposition to put back the schedules, as common sense would indicate should have happened. The Government voted against that, because they were just in – ‘we’re voting One Nation no matter what’s put up here’. So you had the farcical situation whereby the legislation that went from the Senate to the Reps, actually didn’t have any income tax rates at all in it.

GILLON: But what matters to people at home is the fact that it looks very likely now that, with the support of the cross-bench, this full income tax cut package will be passed. Which is a huge win for the Government because that seemed to be a pretty unlikely outcome from Budget night, when these tax cuts were first announced, and some of these key cross-benchers indicated, very early on that they wouldn’t have a bar of it. Especially those high income earner tax cuts that you were talking about.

You talk about the impact on the Budget’s bottom line but surely this is a good day for the economy, billions of dollars will be flowing back into the Australian economy. Australians are getting tax cuts. This is something that most people around the country will be cheering, today.

ALBANESE: We support the tax cuts in stage one. Those that are aimed at low and middle-income earners and we’d vote for it today. They could get it through with the support, I’m sure, of the entire Parliament. What we’re talking about here, is the Government that – just six months ago they were arguing for a $44 million dollar increase – billion dollar, sorry, increase in income tax. Now they’re arguing for a $140 billion dollar cut. So that is a $184 billion dollar turnaround in, what they themselves were arguing at the beginning of this year, this year. That’s been the change in six months. And now they’re suggesting that in 2024, all of their assumptions about economic growth, about what’s happening in the global economy, including the potential for significant trade disputes that would have an enormous impact on Australia’s bottom line and our fiscal position, that in 2024, we can determine now what will happen. Now I make this prediction, Ashleigh, there will be income tax debates between now and 2024. As sure as the sun will come up tomorrow.

GILLON: That’s a very bold prediction by you, Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: And the Liberal Party and the National Party will not have the same position in 2024. Between now and that day, each and every day between now and then.

GILLON: Well, we’re focused more on some by-elections that are coming up shortly. Do you see these by-elections as a litmus test on the tax policies between you and the Coalition?

ALBANESE: It certainly is on fairness, not just on tax, but right across the board. On fairness in terms of education, whether schools should be properly funded. On fairness in terms of health, whether healthcare should be properly funded. A test when it comes to the agenda that both political parties have.

Labor – that’s committed to fairness, committed to a strong economy, with a plan to ensure that future employment growth happens, through infrastructure investment, skilling Australians, giving people good educations.

And a Government that, once again is showing itself to defend just the top end of town. Including, of course, with their ally and Federal Coalition partner, One Nation, through Pauline Hanson.

GILLON: If the by-elections are a litmus test on policy, are they also going to be a litmus test on leadership?

ALBANESE: They are about the vision for the nation. And it’s a chance for people to cast their vote. There’s no doubt we obviously will have an election some time in the next 12 months. And we are putting forward a very bold vision. We are an Opposition …

GILLON: Sure, but again, if Labor does lose some of the by-elections, the by-elections that you’re running in, is that seen as a litmus test for Labor to look at reworking policy because it didn’t go down well at the by-elections and perhaps also looking at leadership issues?

ALBANESE: No, what it is, is a test of our Party as a whole. And our Party as a whole is united. Bill Shorten is showing strong leadership again this week. Being prepared to be out there with a strong plan. Not trying to just be an Opposition that hopes to sneak into Government, without putting an agenda out there.

GILLON: So you’re not waiting in the wings? Waiting to sneak into the leadership position if the by-elections don’t go well?

ALBANESE: What I want to be is a Minister in a Labor Government. And I’m focused on my portfolio. I’m also focused on doing what I can to assist Susan and Justine and Josh to return to the Parliament, and Patrick Gorman to be a fantastic new Member for Perth.

GILLON: But you are going to these by-elections telling some Australians that you’ll be taking a tax cut away from them, if you get elected at the next Federal election. Do you really think that’s a smart strategy?

ALBANESE: No, what we’re telling them is that people in the top 20 per cent bracket …

GILLON: Sure, which are Australians, they’re still Australian tax payers.

ALBANESE: Absolutely, and people like myself will be putting the case that people who are on $200,000 a year, that they have an interest in a strong economy. They also have an interest in things other than just themselves and their hip pocket.

GILLON: Those are the people already paying the bulk of the tax anyway, in this country.

ALBANESE: They have an interest in a good education system. In a good TAFE system. In a good health system, should they get sick. When Kerry Packer had a heart attack and needed to be revived, he went to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the Inner West of Sydney. To a public hospital to get that care.

We all rely upon a good society and a good society is one that recognises that we prioritise, unashamedly, tax cuts for low and middle-income earners because they spend it.

That creates jobs. That creates economic activity that benefits the entire economy as a whole.

 

Jun 20, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Subjects: tax cuts, Lucy Gichuhi.

HOST: It’s time for Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning, the full complement back today – Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning. You are back from hiding Christopher.

PYNE: I’m always hiding.

ALBANESE: She was pretty good Anne Ruston, I thought. You know you might be …

PYNE: She’s very good. She’s very, very good. That is why she should be re-elected to the Senate.

ALBANESE: That is your preselection issue. Well, compared with Lucy Guchihi, she is going well.

HOST: We will be getting to Senator Gichuhi very shortly Albo. But first Chris Pyne, what is your read on another senator – Pauline Hanson – who this morning it appears has restated her position to support your three-stage tax cut plan. Is that your read?

PYNE: Well I hope that all the crossbenchers support the Government’s tax plan because what it delivers is $140 billion of tax cuts to all Australians and they deserve tax relief. We have put the Budget in a strong position. The economy is growing. Revenues are up because of that. We have cut unnecessary spending and that means that we can return some of the people’s own money to them and let’s not forget the tax cuts are not a savings measure, tax cuts are giving people back their own money. So the full $140 billion should be provided to them, not the bottom half of the hamburger, which is what Labor wants.

HOST: That’s the argument for the tax cuts. Are you any closer this morning than you were yesterday to them being passed do you think?

PYNE: Well I think Mathias Cormann is the point person in the Senate for negotiations with the cross bench. He has proved to be very adept in the past so I hope that he will be as successful in the next fortnight.

HOST: Albo, you guys have suggested that you would pass the first stage. Two and three not so, even going so far as to say that you’d repeal those. For people who would benefit from stage two, that earn between
$90,000 and $120,000, tell them why they don’t deserve a tax cut.

ALBANESE: The fact is what we are saying is that the priority is low and middle-income earners. That is why we support the first stage and we indeed will give more money to those people who most need it on low and middle incomes. That is our plan and our plan is to deliver a bigger tax cut to those people who most need it, sooner. So we have an alternative plan. The Government’s plan relies upon the view that you can decide today what should happen in 2024. Now, with due respect to our political system, it’s difficult to know what is going to happen in a month, let alone in 2024, and that is why the Government’s proposals aren’t believable and shouldn’t be supported and why our plan is a better plan.

PYNE: I just don’t think people on $90,000 a year are rich. But Labor does. I think they are middle-income earners and I think they should get a tax cut. And people on $200,000 a year; sure they earn a lot more money, but they pay 13 times more tax than people on $40,000 a year and that is the way it should be. But they only get five times the income, yet they pay 13 times more tax. That is what a progressive tax system is.

HOST: Is that fair Albo? Is that Labor’s position, that once you hit the magical $90,000 figure you are sort of on your own, that you are rich and you don’t deserve support?

ALBANESE: No, of course that is not our position. Our position is though that when you are in government it’s about priorities. This Government’s priority is to deliver first of all an $80 billion tax cut to companies including big multinationals, including those corporations including the big banks. It’s to prioritise giving tax cuts to those people on incomes like mine who frankly don’t need it on incomes like mine, or Christopher’s for that matter. He is on more than I am. He is on almost as much as you two blokes probably.

PYNE: Not that much Albo. Come on.

ALBANESE: I said almost.

PYNE: Almost.

ALBANESE: I said almost.

HOST: It’s hardly Chris’s fault that the people of Sturt keep returning him.

PYNE: Well, I am a humble servant.

ALBANESE: Haven’t they suffered enough?

HOST: Just on the timing of all this, and we are focusing in on that $90,000 to $120,000 group – the stage two of the income tax cuts, that comes into effect July 1, 2022, just about four years away.

ALBANESE: That’s three terms away. It’s not this term. It’s not the next term. It’s at least the term after that. Politicians making decisions for governments …

HOST: Four years?

ALBANESE: Yes, that’s right.

HOST: It’s not a decade away. Surely that’s a reasonable …

ALBANESE: It’s three terms away. It’s not this term. It’s not the next term. It’s the term after.

PYNE: People want to plan.

HOST: Isn’t that an indictment on how stuffed our political system is, with our three-year national terms, that we regard four years’ time as a bridge too far in terms of planning for our future?

PYNE: Well Labor does.

ALBANESE: But it is three terms away. There are two elections between now and then.

PYNE: But David, Labor does. The Coalition is saying that we have a seven-year plan and I think the public are really, really welcoming a seven-year plan. Labor says: “Oh no, we can’t decide anything from month to month”.

ALBANESE: This Government struggles to have a seven-day plan in between their caucus meetings, where they blue over energy policy, over economic policy, over everything else.

HOST: We are going to change tack now guys. Hey Chris Pyne, when Malcolm Turnbull was like the cat who got the cream a few months ago when he announced that Lucy Gichuhi had been wooed over to the Liberals’ side. Do you think he might have been less thrilled about that this week when it emerged that she has been playing fast and loose with her entitlements?

PYNE: Well Lucy Gichuhi, (correcting pronunciation) rather than Gichuhi, – Lucy Gichuhi –

HOST: Sorry.

PYNE: … is a very valuable member of our team and I don’t think it is fair to say that she has been playing fast and loose with her entitlements. Sure, if you publish the travel of any MP, you can make it look bad. The truth is that she says that all of the entitlements have been within the rules for her normal travel to go to Sydney to do electorate business or committee business.

HOST: What is her electorate?

PYNE: Well when you travel as an MP and as a Cabinet Minister, you don’t just stay in your city or your state. You might well travel to learn about things that are informing yourself in the job of being a senator. That is part of the electorate business. It doesn’t mean you sit in your electorate all day because obviously you’ve got have jobs to do elsewhere. Where she says that there was grey area, she has paid it back. Lucy Gichuhi was for quite a long time entirely on her own as an Independent and as an accidental senator because of Bob Day going under the chariot wheels. And now she is a member of the LNP team, she will get a lot more support. And of course when a new person comes into the Senate without any party backing, it is often very, very difficult to work these things through, but if she feels that she has made an error, she has paid it back, which is the honest thing to do. In the other areas where the media might be saying this looks bad, it is actually within her job as a senator to travel and learn about the world around us.

HOST: Just finally Chris in the context of the tax debate, you just said that you thought that $200,000 was actually quite a lot of money. She doesn’t seem to think so though because that is her salary and she has complained about it on African television.

PYNE: Well the context of that, I understand it now, is that she was being asked to compare how MPs in Australia are paid with Kenyan MPs, who are apparently paid a lot more and that was the context of those comments. So I think that has been taken out of context. Lots of things can be taken out of context. The reality is that she is making a great contribution. She is the first African woman who is an Australian now to be elected to the Senate. I think that is a great achievement. She brings a perspective to our Parliament that nobody else has and I think that is the reason why she should be re-selected on the Senate ticket.

HOST: Well do you reckon Albo? Has she given you all a collective black eye with the way she has conducted herself?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s a couple of things about Christopher’s comments. Firstly, write down the date on which Christopher spoke about how tough it is to be an Independent or a Family First person. It’s the first time I have heard him defend people on the crossbenches.

PYNE: They are all valued colleagues.

ALBANESE: He is desperate to get their vote for things, so that’s all that is about. Secondly, she hasn’t been elected to anything. She didn’t get elected. She got appointed after the Family First person hit the fence and had to resign and then so she’s number two on a Family First ticket and somehow she ends up then as an Independent and then ends up as a Liberal. I think this game of people changing political parties without reference to actual voters, like it is some game, is farcical.

PYNE: You could say the same about Cheryl Kernot, your star recruit though.

ALBANESE: No. Cheryl Kernot, be very clear, resigned from the Senate and then ran as an ALP candidate and got elected.

PYNE: What about Peter Slipper?

ALBANESE: She did the right thing.

HOST: I think there are examples on both sides.

ALBANESE: Peter Slipper was swapping around everywhere as well.

PYNE: You are the one that got him into the Speaker’s chair.

ALBANESE: He was never, ever a member of the Labor Party. Never, ever a member of the Labor Party.

HOST: As long as you two guys stay solid and we know where everyone stands. We have got to have something to depend on these days. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning.

Jun 18, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 6PR, Oliver Peterson Program – Monday, 18 June 2018

Subjects: Clive Palmer, minor political parties, ABC, by-elections, Lucy Gichuhi, GST,  Wayne Swan. 

OLIVER PETERSON: It’s time we bring in two of the heavy hitters of Australian politics, none other than senior Government Minister Christopher Pyne. Good afternoon.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Ollie, how are you going?

PETERSON: I am very well. It’s good to be speaking with you and good to also have on the line senior Labor MP Anthony Albanese. G’day.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Greetings from a very cold and wet Canberra.

PETERSON: I’m sure it is. It’s been a little wet over here as well in Perth so maybe we’ve got a little bit of the Canberra disease.

ALBANESE: I’m sure it’s warmer.

PETERSON: It is a bit warmer – 16 degrees right now. Christopher Pyne, we’ll start with you. Senator Brian Burston has joined team Clive Palmer – the Australia United Party. Does Clive Palmer’s return to Australian politics worry any of you in the Government?

PYNE: The UAP is back.

PETERSON: It is.

PYNE: And bigger and better than ever. Look, Clive is a great showman and he has managed to take an opportunity, which is the resignation of Senator Burston from One Nation to gain parliamentary representation again. I must admit I got along pretty well with Clive Palmer when he was in the Parliament as the Member for Fairfax, but his career came to an end pretty quickly and I don’t think that he will be embraced by the Australian public in a big way. In fact, I would be surprised if he was re-elected. It was interesting to see The Courier Mail’s handling of this because when he was running for Fairfax they were giving him a great run and today they basically said: “We are not going to go to this again, surely’’. So while I welcome all people to politics, I don’t think that the UAP is going to be a major force in Australian politics again.

PETERSON: Anthony Albanese, we’ve seen billboards right across the country. There are plenty of them here in Perth. But it is not a new practice, pollies swapping parties. But really, we don’t need, or do we need I should say, some reform to stop this nonsense? Brian Burston last week was in One Nation. This morning he is an Independent and by lunch he is in the UAP. Why can’t we ban individuals from swapping parties when it suits their own personal interests?

ALBANESE: Well it’s pretty hard to ban it, the truth is. But there is a real question about ethical behaviour. If you are elected on one platform and all of a sudden you end up in another political party, I don’t agree with people doing it essentially. It’s up to people to have their own, I guess, sense of morality and what is right. The fact is that a whole range of people now have been in Nick Xenophon’s Party and then they are Independent. There are people who have replaced people who have never been elected.

PYNE: That would make your head spin. The Nick Xenophon Team makes your head spin with the number of changes they have had.

ALBANESE: The fellow in Tasmania who was number two on Jacquie Lambie’s ticket, he used to be in the Clive Palmer Party, but then ran as the Jacquie Lambie Network, I think it was called. Then she gets knocked out, the number two gets appointed, says he will be an Independent and then joins the National Party.

PYNE: Quite a journey.

ALBANESE: People, I think, deserve a bit better than that. But I tell you what, here is something that Christopher and I can agree on, I think. People should really think very hard before they move away from one of the parties of government, be it Labor or the Coalition, because you just don’t know what you’ll get. And now we have the Greens have got two senators who are resigning. One of them, Senator from New South Wales Rhiannon, is going, and she is being replaced by someone else. The Queenslander who replaced Larissa Walters is now resigning so that he can run for a lower house seat and Larissa Waters can come back. So I think it’s all a bit of a mess when you look at it, whether it is One Nation, the Greens, Nick Xenophon’s Team, all of these minor parties, the various permutations from Clive Palmer, Jacqui Lambie etc – I reckon vote for a party of Government.

PYNE: I think it also demonstrates that too many people see politics as a plaything of the pollies when in fact being elected to Parliament is a privilege that is bestowed on you by the Australian public – in Grayndler in Anthony’s case, in Sturt in my case – and resigning, creating vacancies like Nick Xenophon got elected to the Senate and within 12 months he’d decided he was going to run for the lower house. He got replaced by somebody who wasn’t on the Xenophon ticket – somebody who was just brought in from outside. The person who was on the ticket, he ended up in the Senate as well, now he is sitting as an Independent. You can’t play with your seats as though they are just pieces on a chess board. The public give you the responsibility to be a Member of Parliament and you’ve got to take that seriously.

PETERSON: Yeah absolutely. Christopher Pyne, you’re not going to sell the national broadcaster, but from the calls within your party and the weekend’s headlines, it puts you on a collision course with the ABC.

PYNE: Well of course we’re not going to sell the ABC. It’s a public broadcaster and it has a very, very important role, not least of which in rural and regional Australia. And it’s much loved across Australia. I mean, I don’t always agree with the ABC’s coverage of the Government. I’m sure that Labor Party doesn’t either, quite frankly. I remember John Howard used to say to me when we were in Parliament together, that oppositions always like the ABC because at least they give you a run. And governments don’t usually, because the ABC is always holding them to account. That doesn’t mean I always agree with the ABC. I don’t and I think they give the Government a pretty hard time. But there’s absolutely no plans whatsoever to sell the ABC. It will not happen under a Coalition Government. But our party is allowed to pass resolutions. That’s part of the democracy that we live in. It’s not a Stalinist party, and the parliamentary party has the privilege to either implement them or not implement them. And we’re not going to be implementing the sale of the ABC.

PETERSON: Anthony Albanese, will Labor’s strategy now to be to launch a Mediscare style campaign against the Government over the future of the ABC?

ALBANESE: Well the Liberals know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The fact is they don’t like anything that has the word public in it. Be it public broadcasters, public education, public health.

PYNE: Rubbish.

ALBANESE: There’s a theme when it comes to the values of the Liberal Party. And we gave the Coalition the opportunity in Parliament today to have a debate opposing the sale of the ABC and Christopher and his colleagues shut it down.

PYNE: We don’t need to debate it because it’s not going to happen.

ALBANESE: They wouldn’t allow a debate. Well, you say that, except the enormous pressure.

PYNE: Why would you debate something you’re not going to do?

ALBANESE: Well, no one spoke up at your Liberal Party National Council on the weekend supporting the ABC.

PYNE: Yes they did. Mitch Fifield did.

ALBANESE: Well he didn’t do a very good job, did he? What he did was bag the ABC.

PYNE: He is the Minister for Communications.

ALBANESE: He bagged the ABC and he got rolled. It went through by a majority of 2 to 1. And what we know, is that this is similar, remember when Malcolm Turnbull used to believe in climate change and doing something on it?

PYNE: This is such a desperate throw of the dice.

ALBANESE: The Liberal Party came up, and the Nats it must be said, attacking them and eventually they ended up with Tony Abbott’s policy, with Tony Abbott in charge.

PYNE: What a long bow this is …

ALBANESE: When it comes to the ABC …

PYNE: To climate change …

ALBANESE: It’s a matter of your base, you are shifting further and further to the right, further and further to the right …

PYNE: You are desperate for material (inaudible).

ALBANESE: Further and further to the right …

PYNE: Your federal (inaudible) are going to vote for weaker border protection …

ALBANESE: And you want to flog off …

PYNE: You’ve got people like Ged Kearney in witness protection …

ALBANESE: Our National Conference has been delayed because you’re having by-elections in Perth and Freo, where you’re not even running …

PYNE: You’ve got half your guard in witness protection …

ALBANESE: Where you’re not even running in WA.

PYNE: Poor old Ged Kearney, in witness protection so she doesn’t talk about border protection, because we all know she wants to have a porous border, honestly.

ALBANESE: Now you’re managing to somehow try and segue away from the fact that your party has a national policy of privatising the ABC.

PETERSON: Well there you go, we can already see the theme and the flavour and we’re still maybe – maybe – a year away from a Federal election so the battle lines are starting to be drawn. I know a couple of other issues. Christopher Pyne, is $200,000 a year salary a lot of money here in Australia?

PYNE: Two hundred thousand dollars is a very high income, but it’s not – from our point of view we actually want to change the tax system so that people don’t – people pay the same rate of tax from $41,000 to $200,000. With our tax changes people being paid four times the salary would actually pay 13 times the tax. So we’re strongly maintaining a progressive tax system because we think it’s important in Australia and $200,000 is …

PETERSON: So is Lucy Gichuhi out of line when she seemed to give an interview saying that it’s not a lot of money, $200,000 dollars?

PYNE: Well I don’t know the context of Senator Gichuhi’s comments in Kenya. I’ve only seen what’s been reported in the newspaper. Truth is $200,000 is a high income, of course it is, and MPs are lucky to be paid it. And of course they work pretty hard too. But the truth is it is a high income and people should feel that they are privileged to receive it.

PETERSON: All right, if we crystal ball this then Anthony Albanese …

ALBANESE: This is another one of those turncoat Senators, she got appointed, didn’t get elected by anybody, got appointed to replace the Family First Senator and now sits as a Liberal and says $200,000 isn’t a lot of money, when the median income in Australia is about $55,000.

PETERSON: Will you help the government though this week Anthony Albanese, and over the coming two weeks with its pledges here to cut personal income tax and cut the company tax cuts? If we crystal ball it, in two weeks will the Government be celebrating the fact that they got it through the Parliament?

ALBANESE: Well we certainly want to provide assistance to low and middle-income earners. But we’re very sceptical about a plan that says in three terms time we’ll make a decision about what the tax rate should be and we’ll make that decision on the basis of someone on $41,000 a year should pay the same marginal rate of taxes someone on $200,000 a year (inaudible) …

PYNE: Well Bill Shorten wanted to do that …

ALBANESE: We think that’s nothing progressive about such an approach that doesn’t have …

PYNE: But 13 years ago …

ALBANESE: … any steps between $40,000 and $200,000.

PYNE: Well 13 years ago Bill Shorten said that we should have only three tax rates in Australia. He advocated for three tax rates and now he said it’s the worst thing that could possibly happen. See the problem with Bill Shorten is you can’t trust him. He is completely inconsistent and we can’t afford him and Labor. If you’re a retiree right now you’d be terrified of a Shorten Government, because they’re coming for the retirees and pensioners’ savings because they have to fill their black hole, because they want to spend as much money but they haven’t got enough revenue so …

ALBANESE: Pensioners will always be better off under Labor.

PYNE: Well if only that were true …

ALBANESE: Always be better off under Labor.

PETERSON: All right we are almost out of time gentleman. I just want to whip through a couple of other topics before we go. Anthony Albanese to you – is Wayne Swan the right person to be president of the Labor Party?

ALBANESE: He’s been elected and I certainly congratulate him. I supported Mark Butler that’s the fact of the matter, in the ballot.

PYNE: You launched his campaign.

ALBANESE: Wayne Swan, he is a loyal servant of our party. He has been a Member of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister, a Treasurer, he’s been Queensland State Secretary, so he’s someone who brings in a knowledge of how to campaign and I think he’ll be a very good National President

PETERSON: All right, we’re picking up from a theme – we spoke with you last time, Anthony Albanese. If the captain of your team Bill Shorten goes down with a season-ending injury, will you be able to work with the President should you be parachuted into the leadership role?

ALBANESE: That’s not going to happen. But I work very closely with Wayne Swan and I look forward to working closely with Wayne Swan as a Minister in a Labor Government.

PETERSON: All right Christopher Pyne …

PYNE: Bill doesn’t stand too close to the railway yards, I can tell you.

PETERSON: Will the Productivity Commission report into the GST be made public this week? Will the Treasurer Scott Morrison make that public?

PYNE: Well we quite sensibly, I think, asked the Productivity Commission for advice about the GST and how it’s arranged and when that report is available, it will be released so that the public can see exactly how the Government’s thinking is being informed.

PETERSON: All right we look forward to the next two weeks of Federal politics thanks for giving us a few minutes of your time on the Odd Couple on the Monday Agenda, here on Perth’s 882 6PR.

Jun 15, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Today Show – Friday, 15 June 2018

Subjects: Energy prices, Trump-Kim summit, weapons sales, South Sydney Rabbitohs.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Christopher, to you first of all. Is your signature energy policy going to guarantee 24-7 power at internationally competitive prices or not, because it doesn’t look like it.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well Karl, I have to say that energy prices are actually starting to come down. The pressure on the rises in power prices has eased. Today there will be an announcement about prices actually being reduced in some states. In other states they are flat-lining because of the National Energy Guarantee, releasing more gas into the market, the Snowy Hydro Scheme coming on, putting a great deal more pressure on electricity companies, the prices actually are actually stabilising or reducing. Sure, we want it to do better and there needs to more pressure on energy companies. But it is not true that we have done nothing. We have done a lot, and actually things are changing whereas under Labor, they went up 100 per cent in the time that they were there.

STEFANOVIC: The front page of the Daily Telegraph today has the sort of story that will rock Australians I reckon. We produce huge amounts of natural gas, that’s a given. Get this: AGL first decides to sell our gas overseas; now it is going to import it – import it – and sell it back to us at a time when prices are internationally rising. Have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous?

PYNE: Well I haven’t seen that story Karl. But I can tell you what Malcolm Turnbull did last year sitting down with Josh Frydenberg and the gas companies was require them to put more gas into the market, to put controls from the Government over the export of gas, and that has had a big difference in the gas market, particularly the wholesale gas market.

STEFANOVIC: You’ve got some dramas there. Ablo, renewables aren’t able to do it according to Australia’s biggest aluminium producer this morning. Will your policy lead to lower energy prices or not?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, the fact is that what we need is certainty in the market. When Christopher said they have been doing a lot, they have. They have had one policy, then another policy, then another one, then another one and what has happened is we haven’t had the investment and that is as a result of the Government a lot of the time campaigning within themselves. They haven’t been able to agree. They asked for a Chief Scientist’s report then they rejected it ….

STEFANOVIC: But there’s no certainty in prices because there is no certainty with renewables.

ALBANESE: Well, renewables are part of the future. We know that that is the case and the Government has had to acknowledge that. They have had a war on renewables …

PYNE: Rubbish.

ALBANESE: And what that led to was uncertainty, a lack of investment and higher prices as well as higher emissions.

STEFANOVIC: Confidence in the market is at an all-time low. Customers are saying this morning that prices offered are worse value for money than banking and mobile phones. You did say you were going to fix it.

PYNE: We are fixing it, and I can tell you the Snowy Hydro Scheme #2 that we are investing in is the largest investment in renewables in the Southern Hemisphere because we have an agnostic view. We are not particularly pro one or particularly pro another kind of energy production …

STEFANOVIC: You don’t like coal anymore?

PYNE: We are happy to have coal as well, as long as they are providing baseload power, which they are, renewables, coal  …

ALBANESE: You fiddled around for five years Christopher.

PYNE: … gas, and we’ve done a great job at stabilising the market after it went up 100 per cent under Labor.

ALBANESE: You haven’t even stabilised yourselves.

STEFANOVIC: All right, you have to continue trying to work harder at that because this is one of the biggest issues facing the Australian electorate and a lot of people in this cold, cold winter will start to really struggle with their power bills and they will start to lay the blame game as well. Let’s move on, an historic week, I just wonder Chris, when will Julie be heading to Pyongyang with her hard hat on to start sorting out Kim Jong-un. Un needs to be sorted out and we need to start denuking as well. When is she going to do that?

PYNE: What has been good this week is that there has been a proper dialogue between the United States and North Korea and North Korea is committed to denuclearisation. We obviously want to see, and Julie Bishop has quite rightly said we want to see, real, concrete moves toward denuclearisation, not simply statements of intent. But I think we have made real progress this week because of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un’s meeting, but we want to see the truth of the outcome, not just the announcement, and I think that is what Julie Bishop has been saying and she is right to say it.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, do you trust Donald Trump?

ALBANESE: I think it is a good thing that both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are sitting down …

STEFANOVIC: You are avoiding the question.

ALBANESE: … and coming up with constructive ways forward rather than tweeting and arguing with each other and I think Julie Bishop is playing a really good role as well in pointing out that we need is those concrete steps, not just statements.

STEFANOVIC: Very good. Moving on Christopher, you went on a trip to Paris, to gay Paris over the last week selling Australian weapons. Some wonderful photos of you on the Interweb.

PYNE: The Intertube? Yes.

STEFANOVIC: There he is, just a young man just doing his thing overseas selling our hardwares, our military hardwares. Honestly, eat your heart out Demtel man. Did you manage to sell the steak knives as well?

PYNE: Well we have a huge emphasis on our defence exports at the moment from this Government Karl in a way that we have never had before and we are making real progress into Europe, the Middle East, the United States. That’s creating jobs, higher wages and investment in our economy and that is what it is all about. We have got some great things to talk to them about.

STEFANOVIC: How was the escargot, tiger?

PYNE: I didn’t have any escargot. I’m not sure what is going on over there. I can’t see your screen but nevertheless …

ALBANESE: That’s a good thing Christopher.

PYNE: I’m sure it is. My photos  are always great.

STEFANOVIC: I am sure it is. Would you buy a rocket launcher off Christopher?

ALBANESE: I’d check my pockets.

STEFANOVIC: That’s uncharitable.

ALBANESE: He’s over there, living it up, but good on him.

PYNE: Living the dream. Left Saturday night and got back Wednesday afternoon  – 42 hours in planes for a day and half or something.

STEFANOVIC: Just feeling the joie de vivre.

ALBANESE: I went to Homebush last night to see Souths smash Parramatta.

PYNE: It’s nice to have you in the country for a change. Why aren’t you in Braddon, Longman or Burt? Why aren’t you campaigning all around Australia like you usually do?

ALBANESE: I was watching my Rabbitohs.

STEFANOVIC: You went to Paris, I went to Homebush. I love these two.

PYNE: He’s usually in Braddon, Longman, anywhere else other than your own electorate.

ALBANESE: There’s nowhere better than Homebush when the Bunnies are winning.

STEFANOVIC: You should take Christopher out for a look.

ALBANESE: You should come to the rugby league Christopher.

PYNE: I am big out in Homebush I have to tell you. You would be surprised, you would be surprised.

ALBANESE: You would go well in the Burrow mate. They would sort you out.

[ENDS]

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