Browsing articles in "Interview Transcripts"
Nov 28, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday, 28 November, 2018

Subjects: Sydney weather; minority Government; Parliamentary Sitting Calendar 2019.

HOST: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us. Hopefully, Albo, your electorate hasn’t entirely washed away this morning. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good Morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good Morning. I actually have to get to Sydney to give the eulogy at a funeral of the late Ann Symonds. And it does not look good at this stage and I may well be driving.

HOST: Yeah. And drive carefully on your way up there, Albo. We’ll kick off with you, Chris. Yesterday not really a great day for the Government was it?

PYNE: Well and if you think that continuing to be a minority is a bad day for the Government, well, we’ve been a minority since Malcolm Turnbull left as Prime Minister.

HOST: Yeah, but, sort of a bit more of a minority now though.

PYNE: Look, we need two votes from the crossbench to pass anything in the House of Representatives and yesterday we won every vote. Anthony and I have been through this before, in the 43rd Parliament Labor lost 76 votes in those three years. I’m sure that we will probably lose votes. The point is, will the Government continue? Yes, through to the next election at least and hopefully beyond because we’re delivering on the fundamentals for Australia. A strong economy, growing number of jobs, low interest rates, low inflation, almost full employment. And I think that we will get the support from the people to continue to do that rather than the big-taxing agenda of Bill Shorten, who wants to change everything.

HOST: How do you focus on that economic narrative? Because you have got, on the economic fundamentals, you’ve got a story there to work with, you’ve got a good story to tell. The problem is every time Scott Morrison stands up it’s like there’s an explosion going off in the background.

PYNE: Well look that’s right. Yesterday we announced that next year’s Budget will be in surplus. Which is a great achievement, it’s ahead of schedule. The last time Labor delivered a surplus was 1989. But we will deliver a surplus next year reminiscent of the Howard Government, unlike the Rudd-Gillard period. This morning in The Advertiser there’s another great story about how the Hunter Class Frigates are adding billions of dollars to the South Australian economy and thousands of jobs. So we’re getting on with it, I’m getting on with it in defence. That’s good for our state and good for the country. The actual business of government is going very well. The problem is the politics that gets in the way and that’s why we need to be focused on the public, focused on the people – what they want – as opposed to this inside the bubble obsession that we have here in Canberra sometimes.

HOST: Yeah. Anthony Albanese the numbers for the Government are more precarious on the floor of the Parliament, but are you going to allow them to get through to the election date that was set yesterday, or broadly pointed to yesterday? Or is your plan on your side of politics now, to try and wreck the joint, effectively?

ALBANESE: They’re doing a great job of wrecking the joint themselves, at the moment. For Christopher to say, that essentially it’s all going well, defies belief. The fact is that this is a Government that isn’t in control. And yesterday when Christopher tabled the sitting pattern for the Parliament next year, which we’ll see when Parliament gets up next week, on December 6, for the next eight months right through to August there will be ten sitting days of the National Parliament and only seven sitting days of the Senate. That’s it, over the next eight months. Having once abolished, of course, or got rid of a week’s sitting because it was all too hard because the banking Royal Commission was going to be carried they then, of course, when they had the coup against Malcolm Turnbull, shut-down the Parliament in the middle of the day.

HOST: Are you going to attempt to bring on an early election, or are you going to see it out until May?

ALBANESE: Well we’ll wait and see what happens on the floor of the Parliament. What’s clear is that the Government themselves are saying they’re incapable of governing. They don’t have an agenda. And if they had any self-respect they would put themselves and importantly the Australian people out of their misery and call an election.

PYNE: Well apart from the fact that Anthony’s math is all wrong as usual, the truth is the Budget has been brought forward a month to April 2nd. It’s usually in May. But obviously the election will probably be in May. So therefore the Budget has been brought forward a month, a surplus Budget, showing that we’re getting on with the job. And that means the extra couple of weeks we would normally have, we’re not going to have because of the Budget being brought forward a month …

ALBANESE: Christopher has had a good go …

PYNE: This is one of those classic cases. I’m happy for you to have a go, I thought it was my turn. I’d hate to talk over you, goodness gracious.

ALBANESE: Well, when you stop. The fact is that – I’ve done the sitting timetable on six occasions and what you do is you look for when Australia Day is, and Parliament comes back the week after Australia Day. That’s the normal process. The Parliament also sits in March. There is either five or six sitting weeks in the schedule prior to April, and there is no reason why you can’t have five or six sitting weeks prior to the April Budget. The only reason why there is not, is because they are running from democracy.

HOST: And the Budget has been brought forward.

PYNE: And the Budget has been brought forward a month. So it’s actually a completely different sitting schedule. There are 17 sitting weeks next year, which is the average, is the norm and everyone knows that – 17 sitting weeks next year.

ALBANESE: There’s ten days until August.

PYNE: Your maths is completely wrong.

HOST: Thank you, guys.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER, 2018

 

Nov 27, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Triple M – Australia By Night with Stephen Cenatiempo – Tuesday, 27 November, 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
TRIPLE M – AUSTRALIA BY NIGHT WITH STEPHEN CENATIEMPO
TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2018

Subjects: Social media; bipartisanship.
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: I picked up an article in The Australian today and I read it and I thought: ‘Yep this is what I’ve been saying for years’. And it was written by a bloke that – look I’ve had some knock-down, drag-out battles with him on-air during my career and we probably don’t agree on anything ideologically, but I think he’s 100 per cent right on this. He’s the Opposition Infrastructure Spokesperson, Anthony Albanese. Albo, good to speak to you mate.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you. I’m glad there’s something you agree with me on.
CENATIEMPO: Well you and I have we’ve had some pretty robust discussions on-air. But you always speak common sense and that’s the one thing I’ve admired about you and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this opinion piece in The Australian today, about the echo chamber that social media has become.
ALBANESE: Well that’s right and I guess in part me talking to you now is a part of what I’m saying through this article – that you have to talk to a broad audience. You need to talk to people who just don’t agree with you. You need to be prepared to engage in the debate and if you’re confident about your views, you shouldn’t fear that. But one of the things social media does, is that people follow people that they agree with. And that therefore reinforces their opinions, and this can be either on the Left or the Right, and that creates a polarisation of views that I don’t think is particularly healthy.

It also creates a tendency away from understanding that compromise is important in politics, as in life. And a lack of respect sometimes for people of different views and – even the fact that the article was published today in The Australian and I tweeted it out, I put it on my social media and people responded, some people responded to that by saying: ‘How dare you write an opinion piece in The Australian, it’s an echo chamber itself’. Which, I guess, just reinforces what the article was saying.
CENATIEMPO: Albo, you’ve been around a long time and I was just looking at your – eight elections now you’ve held the seat of Grayndler – it makes me feel old to think that I ran at the same election you were elected in all those years ago. But there seems to have been this view, I mean, and you’ve been around long enough to remember politics before social media. Are politicians responding to this echo chamber too much these days?
ALBANESE: I think they can and if you look at – even the comments of Julia Banks today with her resignation from the Liberal Party – I think that there is a danger that politicians will respond to people, essentially, who have similar views to them and that will be reinforced and that they won’t engage because they will continue to have a view that everyone thinks in a particular way. This was a part of my piece today, arose from the John Button Lecture that I gave in Melbourne during the election campaign just a couple of weeks ago. And one of the points that I made in that, was to say that the phrase: ‘Everyone thinks that … ‘, is more and more common now than when I was elected 20 years ago. People will say to me verbally, but particularly on social media: ‘Well, everyone thinks …’, in a particular way, whether it be about migration or about transport issues or about the environment. And the truth is that there are very few issues where everyone has one opinion. I mean, I wish everybody was a South Sydney supporter, but the fact is they’re not. And you need to be prepared to respect that. Engage in dialogue. There’s too much shouting I think at the moment and people wanting answers that are just essentially in – Twitter now is 280 characters – but you can’t for example have a sophisticated policy on climate change in 280 characters.
CENATIEMPO: Well that’s an interesting point. But I guess the extension of this is, how do we reach across the aisle these days? You know, I mean I remember the days in Parliament where you’d go and have a beer with your opposite number on the other side after you’d had a debate in Parliament. That seems to be disappearing a bit, too. And it’s permeating the entire population now. How do we close the gap?
ALBANESE: Well, I think we’ve got to talk about it. And that’s what my opinion piece today is about. But we’ve also got a responsibility to just act. I try to engage in different forums. I talk to people like Andrew Bolt and others. I was the only minister who went on Andrew Bolt’s program during the period of the Labor Government, when he was on commercial TV. And I felt that was talking to his audience. Now I might not agree with Andrew Bolt on a whole range of issues, but I found the interviews respectful and that was a good thing. I think the opinion pages of The Australian actually reflect a very broad range of opinion, and that’s a good thing. And the idea that people say – obviously it’s a newspaper with a conservative bent – but it’s not exclusively so, particularly not when it comes to opinion. And the idea that we should shy away from engagement in that because I’m a progressive member of the Labor Party is in my view very counterproductive.

One of the things that I do is appear on a few programs with Christopher Pyne, including the Today Show, every Friday morning. Now, some people say to me: ‘How can you appear with Christopher Pyne?” Well I think it’s a good thing. We try to not yell at each other. We try to, it’s early breakfast TV, we try not to be too partisan in our comments where that’s possible, while sticking up, obviously, for our own side of politics. Christopher I think gets the same feedback. People say: ‘Why are you talking with someone from the other side of politics and it seems like you like each other. How can that be?’ To people for whom that might be their only political thing they listen to or watch in an entire week, who enjoy the fact that we’re respectful of each other and that we do like each other, we get on. That’s a good thing.
CENATIEMPO: Albo, in almost a decade a decade of broadcasting whenever I’ve picked up the phone to you, you’ve always picked up, you’ve always been available, you know, unless you had something else on, of course. But what I find is more and more politicians are reluctant to come on a program like this. I mean we’re broadcasting to 35 radio stations across regional Australia. Talking to real people tonight. Are politicians afraid of that feedback these days? Why is it that less and less of your colleagues will, I guess, come on a program like this these days and answer questions?
ALBANESE: Well I think that for many of them it is more comfortable to go on programs where they know they’ll get agreements, where they’re more comfortable. And I’m someone who goes on a whole range of radio programs, you know, across the ABC, SBS, but also commercial radio. I think it’s an opportunity to put my point of view about issues and I’ve never been frightened of saying what my views are. And one of the things that I say in the article today is, if you have faith in your ideals and policies there’s nothing to fear from debating them, particularly with those who disagree. And when you think about it, if you’re trying to win majority support for your political positions then talking to people and convincing them of your position is one way in which you can do that. The truth is that I hope that we’re always open to discussion and to changing my mind. I’ve certainly changed my view about issues over the years and I would hope that that’s the case based upon when facts change, you have to change your view of the world. And in part one of the ways that we do that is by conversing with people and I enjoy conversations that I have with people, whether it’s in the supermarket or whether it’s on radio. And radio is a particularly effective form, I think, in which to have mature conversations as long as people are respectful, then I’m prepared to talk to them.
CENATIEMPO: Well said. It’s a very old-school outlook, Albo. But I think a lot of people could learn from it. Always good to speak to you.
ALBANESE: Thanks very much for having me on the program.

[ENDS]

TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 27, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Canberra – Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nov 27, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ENDS]

TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 25, 2018

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

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

PATRICIA KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, welcome to National Wrap.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on the program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, thanks for coming on.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on Patricia.

Nov 25, 2018

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

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

PATRICIA KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, welcome to National Wrap.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on the program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, thanks for coming on.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on Patricia.

[ENDS]

SUNDAY, 25 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

HOST: Who?

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

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

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

ALBANESE: How are you?

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

ALBANESE: At an event for Martin Foley.

HOST: That’s it, that’s it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOST: In other words, we value human life.

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

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

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

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

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

HOST: It was, wasn’t it?

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

HOST: I think Macca has to say something.

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANESE: For a week.

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

ALBANESE: Let alone his internet bill.

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

HOST: Gold.

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

HOST: Victorian Libs.

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

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

HOST: Should we – no, no go on.

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

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

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

HOST: Yes.

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

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

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

HOST: I think they’re worse.

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

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

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

HOST: Yes.

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

HOST: Yeah.

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

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

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

ALBANESE: That’s right.

HOST: That’s how long …

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

HOST: That’s right.

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

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

HOST: I just have to tell another anecdote Tass.

HOST: Well you better hurry up.

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

ALBANESE: It was a succinct but effective grab.

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

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

HOST: But we’re asking you to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANESE: It’s been my pleasure.

HOST: Yeah cheers. Thanks a lot.

[ENDS]

SATURDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 22, 2018

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

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, gentlemen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOST: What do you say Christopher Pyne?

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

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

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

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ENDS]

MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 14, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 14 November 2018

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

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, gentlemen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANESE: Ambassador at Large, perhaps?

HOST: Yeah, exactly right.

PYNE: He would want a new uniform, though.

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

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

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

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

PYNE: That’s right, from North Korea.

HOST: We can arrange it.

ALBANESE: There we had all that love …

PYNE: Now we are piling in.

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

HOST: It’s always going to be tense.

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

PYNE: The Democratic Republic of Marrickville.

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

PYNE: They’re not allowed not to be.

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

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

 

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