Browsing articles in "Interview Transcripts"
Sep 21, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 21 September, 2018

Subjects: Scott Morrison; education; Peter Dutton; aged care; Rabbitohs; Redlegs; Roosters.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the program, good to have your company. Scott Morrison has announced an extra $4.3 billion for private schools over the next 10 years in a bid to finally end the funding war. For more I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Canberra. Good morning guys.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Karl.

STEFANOVIC: Let me start with this – Albo, isn’t Scott Morrison doing a good job?

ALBANESE: In whose world? This is a Government that’s in chaos.

STEFANOVIC: He’s getting stuff done.

ALBANESE: Well what he’s done according to the New South Wales Liberal Government, is recreate the education wars. Here we have this massive injection of cash but only to Catholic and independent schools. Public schools, where most kids go in Australia, are missing out. It’s changing again, moving away from the formula. And he should look after all children, not just some.

STEFANOVIC: So you would take away this funding?

ALBANESE: No. What we would do is give additional funding to public school students as well. Every kid deserves the best opportunity in life, not just some.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Christopher. In terms of the NSW Government, so they’re not going to tick this off. So what are you going to do about that? That ends it doesn’t it?

PYNE: Well Anthony of course has the Labor money tree. His solution to everything is to give money to as many people as ask for it. The truth is, that we did have a announcement of an education reform about half a year ago. We then relooked at the formula because the Catholic and small independent Christian schools said that the formula wasn’t working. In fact we were told that the formula could be improved. The $4.3 billion of extra funding is because of that change to the formula. It’s a very good outcome and of course funding for public schools or state schools – which are the responsibility of the state governments by the way, goes up every year for the next four years, and into the future, by billions and billions of dollars. So there’s a lot more money and what we should have to focus on of course, is outcomes. Not just the money, but the outcomes for students which Labor never focuses on.

STEFANOVIC: So essentially you’re looking after – or Scott Morrison is looking after, kids in Catholic schools like his own?

PYNE: No. His children don’t go to a Catholic school, Karl. They go to the local Baptist school. No that’s not what’s happening. We had a formula. The formula was improved. The outcome of the formula is fair funding based on income.

ALBANESE: There was a formula and you threw it out!

STEFANOVIC: Are public schools going to get any more, or is it going to stay the same? Because if they don’t you are pitting private against public.

PYNE: Not at all. Because the funding for public schools was enormously increased in the reforms introduced by the Turnbull Government and what we’ve done of course is take our share of the funding of state schools to a set 20 per cent. It was actually well below that under Labor. Because of that the funding to state schools has massively increased, but the formula that was developed was hurting the Catholic and small independent Christian schools, that’s been fixed and we can move on, stop arguing about the money and focus on the outcomes …

ALBANESE: But you can’t move on, that’s the point.

PYNE: Outcomes have slipped. And the NSW Government should focus on outcomes, rather than cash.

ALBANESE: They are focused on outcomes, that’s the point.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is, Chris, they have said no, they have said no to this. So that effectively kills this boost doesn’t it?

PYNE: No it doesn’t. Not at all. I’ve heard state governments say no to this and that – I’ve never seen them say no to extra money.

ALBANESE: Well they’re not getting extra money, that’s the point here.

PYNE: But they will be because those schools are in their states.

ALBANESE: As part of this formula, there’s a $1.2 billion fund that no one seems to know how it’s going to be allocated or what it’s for …

PYNE: You’re just disappointed that we’ve fixed the problem.

ALBANESE: It’s been described as a slush fund.

PYNE: You’re just sorry that we’ve fixed it. That’s what you’re disappointed about.

ALBANESE: What we’ve got here – we had a formula with all schools getting a level of funding. Seventeen billion dollars was cut from that. What they’ve done is put some of it back to private and Catholic and independent schools. But they haven’t put the money back for public schools and that’s where most disadvantaged kids are.

STEFANOVIC: So how much more would you put into public schools?

ALBANESE: We would put the total of $17 billion back.

STEFANOVIC: Where would you find that?

ALBANESE: Well we’ve made the funding announcements, we’ve made …

PYNE: Where is the money coming from?

ALBANESE: We have made a whole range of financial statements, which will put us ahead of you …

PYNE: Just funny money, empty promises.

ALBANESE: You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we’re increasing taxes and changing revenue …

PYNE: Funny money, empty promises …

ALBANESE: And then say it’s not real. You can’t have both arguments.

PYNE: Nobody trusts your bloke to deliver.

STEFANOVIC: Hang on a second. What’s funny money?

ALBANESE: I have no idea what he’s talking about. He’s lost it.

PYNE: They’re making up figures, Karl – $17 billion apparently.

ALBANESE: It’s been a long week for Christopher.

PYNE: Anthony’s got $17 billion to spend.

ALBANESE: The Government have been busy trying to defend Peter Dutton. He shouldn’t even be in the Parliament, let alone be a Minister. They’ve had this crisis …

STEFANOVIC: You tried your best but you didn’t kill him off.

ALBANESE: Well, Christopher tried to kill him off too – a couple of weeks ago in the leadership ballot.

PYNE: Labor has had two poor weeks, Karl.

ALBANESE: So it’s been around a while. This is a Government yet again – another week, another member has said that they’re going to resign because of bullying from their own party, this time the Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis. This is chaos.

PYNE: But if you’re right and your conversations about inside the bubble are true, how come your bloke is behind Scott Morrison as the preferred Prime Minister? All you do in Labor is talk about what’s inside the bubble.

ALBANESE: Well, you’re way behind when it comes to the vote …

STEFANOVIC: Just in relation – back to my original point …

ALBANESE: I reckon …

STEFANOVIC: No?

ALBANESE: I reckon that the people who live in Nowra …

STEFANOVIC: Yeah?

ALBANESE: It isn’t inside the bubble, the fact that their local member after two terms isn’t going to run again because they’ve been bullied out of the job.

STEFANOVIC: Can I say this, though. Scott Morrison, he is much more of a threat isn’t he, to you?

ALBANESE: I think Malcolm Turnbull, frankly, was the most effective person the Liberals could have had.

STEFANOVIC: Scott Morrison is a better retail politician than Malcolm Turnbull. He’s much more of a threat to you and he’s getting stuff done. Are you concerned about that?

ALBANESE: I don’t think that’s right, at all. I think Scott Morrison leads a rabble and we see that in Parliament. All week we see people pulling out of the team.

STEFANOVIC: He’s going so bad, but he’s still beating Bill Shorten in the polls.

PYNE: We’ve had two weeks focusing on aged care, on strawberries and small businesses and family businesses, on reducing income taxes, increasing jobs …

ALBANESE: Aged care? We called for a Royal Commission before you …

PYNE: All you’ve done is ask one question after another …

ALBANESE: Education, we said that they shouldn’t have cut funding.

STEFANOVIC: You two are just talking all over each other today.

PYNE: You know he’s talked over me all morning, Karl. I have not had a go all morning, Anthony has talked constantly.

ALBANESE: Poor Christopher.

PYNE: Because he is under pressure.

STEFANOVIC: Is Bill worried about Scott Morrison? More than Malcolm Turnbull?

ALBANESE: Not at all. What we’re doing is putting forward policies. This week again we had a policy to give women a fairer go when it comes to their superannuation.

STEFANOVIC: Scott Morrison might just give you another chance, Albo.

ALBANESE: No. The fact is that what I want to be is a minister and we’re on track to achieve that. We’re ready for government. We’re setting the agenda. And when you look at announcements like the …

PYNE: What agenda? What agenda are you setting?

ALBANESE:  The Aged Care Royal Commission, who called for that?

PYNE: That was months and months ago. You haven’t done anything lately.

ALBANESE: That’s right – it takes you months to catch up.

PYNE: What have you done lately, nothing.

STEFANOVIC: All right gentleman.

ALBANESE: Women in super, this week.

PYNE: Nope, all you do is talk about inside the bubble.

ALBANESE: It’s a $400 million announcement.

STEFANOVIC: Have a great weekend and good luck to your respective footy teams.

ALBANESE: Go the Rabbitohs.

PYNE: Go the Redlegs on Sunday in the SANFL final.

STEFANOVIC: Wow.

PYNE: That’s my team.

STEFANOVIC: Good to see them back, the Redlegs.

PYNE: Norwood.

ALBANESE: The Redlegs?

GEORGIE GARDNER: The Redlegs?

STEFANOVIC: We talked about this last week.

ALBANESE: What sort of a name is the Redlegs?

STEFANOVIC: Well, it’s after he’s been on the beach, you know.

PYNE: They’re 140 years old so don’t be rude.

ALBANESE: Oh, well, good on them.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah. Don’t be rude, Albo.

ALBANESE: Who are they playing?

PYNE: They’re playing North Adelaide, but that’s been a controversy of its own.

STEFANOVIC: It has been a controversy.

PYNE: Because they had 19 players on the field at one point.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah, that was ridiculous. That shouldn’t have been allowed.

ALBANESE: I’ll go for your mob Christopher, just for old times’ sake.

PYNE: Go the Rabbitohs.

STEFANOVIC: Finally we’ve got peace in the world.

ALBANESE: Old times’ sake.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you guys.

ALBANESE: He’s on board the Rabbitohs.

PYNE: I am, because of you.

STEFANOVIC: And peace broke out across the land.

ALBANESE: We’re having chicken tomorrow night.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER, 2018

Sep 19, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Subjects: Strawberries; Aged care and disabilities; Tony Abbott versus the Empty Chair.

HOST: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese joining us live. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning. I was worried for a second there that you had replaced Frankie with Van Morrison as our theme.

HOST: No.

ALBANESE: I thought that’s a bit chilled.

HOST: No, we wouldn’t do that – a bit of Astral Weeks to send everybody to sleep. Before we get down to brass tacks, we’ve been going big all morning urging our listeners to get out there today and buy a punnet of strawberries, echoing the excellent line from the strawberry industry: “Cut them up’’ … What’s the rest of it?

PYNE: Don’t cut them out.

HOST: Don’t cut them out. Thank you, Chris. Would you guys like to lend your voices to that campaign?

PYNE: You are such a smooth operator.

HOST: I’m having trouble breathing Chris.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. Our farmers are really doing it tough and the visual footage of farmers ploughing their strawberries into the ground is not only tragic for them, it’s so wasteful. So if we can all combine together and make sure that whichever lunatic is doing these incredible criminal acts isn’t successful.

PYNE: Absolutely. People have to go out and rush out and buy strawberries and prove that this terrible act is not successful. Goodness knows what the motivation for such behaviour is and the Government is working with the strawberry industry here in Canberra, I am sure in a bipartisan way with Labor, to try and address some of these issues and I think will make more announcements about that today. But the best way of dealing with it is to keep buying strawberries. You can cut them up. If there’s a weapon inside, you will soon find out. But please don’t ruin the strawberry industry by not buying strawberries.

HOST: Yes. Well said both of you.

ALBANESE: You’ve got the cut them up or chew them up anyway, that’s the truth.

HOST: That’s right, exactly. To matters of import in the world of Federal politics, Christopher Pyne, the Aged Care Royal Commission – the Greens are calling for it to be expanded to the realm of disability care. Why isn’t that a good idea?

PYNE: Well look. because the Aged Care Royal Commission is already a huge subject. The treatment, the safety and the quality of treatment in residential aged care and home care is a massive subject. So to widen it even further would make it extremely unfocused and a very large job and it is already a large job and I don’t think, while nobody suggests that there aren’t issues around the treatment of people with disabilities, and I have been listening to many of the speeches that have been given and reading about them in the newspapers, the reality is you can’t simply have a Royal Commission into the violence against everyone in the country. You have to have something that is digestible. Now maybe there is an argument for a Royal Commission down the track around people with disabilities and the way that they have been treated. But to put them together would make the job, I think, far too unwieldy. The first thing to do is to deal with people in residential aged care, including young people with disabilities who are in residential aged care, which is part of the Royal Commission. I think to widen it any further would make it very difficult to manage.

HOST: What do you think is a better model Albo? Is it broadening the terms of reference or having a stand-alone Royal Commission?

ALBANESE: No, it’s a model that we have called for. We called for a Royal Commission into the treatment of people with disabilities 18 months ago at the beginning of 2017 and that is important. It’s a significant enough issue to have its own Royal Commission. Royal Commissions shouldn’t be about political vendettas. They should be about getting evidence to change policies in the national interest. That is why we called for and certainly support the Royal Commission into Residential Aged Care. That’s why also we called for the disabilities Royal Commission as well.

HOST: Chris we saw a bit of a push by some of your colleagues in the New South Wales moderate faction this week to knock off Tony Abbott ahead of his pre-selection in Sydney’s North Shore. Do you think that the Liberal Party would be travelling better in his absence?

PYNE: Well these matters are for the organisation. I defeated a sitting member in pre-selection 26 years ago. That is part of the democracy of the Liberal Party. It’s the same in the Labor Party, the same in the Greens for that matter. The truth is that everyone has to be selected before they can actually run for the seat if you are running under the flag of a political party, rather than as an Independent. And that is a matter for the Liberal Party branches on the Northern Beaches and they obviously had a vote and he won the vote. In spite of the fact that there was no other candidate, they indicated some displeasure and that is a matter for the organisation on the Northern Beaches. That’s just the fact.

ALBANESE: (Laughter)

HOST: (Laughter)

PYNE: Why is it funny? It’s just true.

ALBANESE: You said that so straight Christopher.

PYNE: It’s true. That’s what happened. That’s the process. They have a vote on, you know, whether the person should be endorsed.

ALBANESE: You can have Tony Abbott or an empty chair.

HOST: And the chair was coming home with a wet sail.

ALBANESE: The chair, if it had gone on for another hour, the chair would have won.

HOST: People were warming to the chair.

ALBANESE: This is the second time. This is the only bloke I have ever heard of who has almost lost two ballots against empty chairs – once as Prime Minister in Canberra and once in his own seat. Look, this bloke is on the nose. He represents an electorate that voted 70 per cent in favour of marriage equality and he has the opposite view. He represents an electorate based on the Northern Beaches that is very conscious about the environment and the weather and climate change and this bloke has got a flat-earth position and he will be challenged at the general election. And I will tell you what, there’s a whole lot of people, when more than a third of Liberal Party delegates to his own FEC – these aren’t even rank-and-file members, these are senior members of the Liberal Party in his electorate – prefer an empty chair, then he is in trouble come the Federal election if there is a decent Independent. And there is a Mayor up there on the Northern Beaches. I know him. He has been a long-term Mayor. He is a genuine Independent and if he has a crack I think he’s a real show.

HOST: All right. We are going to have to leave it there, not just because we were laughing too much…

PYNE: But that’s just the process. I don’t know why the process is so amusing. I mean, it’s a democratic process for people to have a vote on the endorsement of their candidate.

ALBANESE: (Laughter).

HOST: (Laughter).

ALBANESE: I’ve been in the Labor Party for a long time now. I have never been a part of a political process where you vote in favour of someone or you vote in favour of an empty chair. It’s a Liberal Party thing.

PYNE: It doesn’t happen in the South Australian Division, it must be said. We don’t do that. They do it in New South Wales.

ALBANESE: Weird, that’s why. It’s weird.

PYNE:  In Queensland they have to have this endorsement meeting so you know, maybe they won’t have those in the future.

ALBANESE: Yes they’ll be worried about the empty chair occupying more than one seat.

PYNE: Everybody in the Liberal Party wants to vote for me. I can say that much.

ALBANESE: That’s only because you have imposed a rule which means that a chair can’t run against you.

HOST: The empty chair is firming to be our next Prime Minister. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese – Two Tribes.

Sep 18, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliamentary Doors, Canberra – Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Subjects: Women in Parliament, Liberal Party chaos, election.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Another day in Parliament, another episode of the Muppet Show. The Liberal Party caucus room meets today. They don’t need a chair; they need a referee for the ongoing brawls that are occurring within the Coalition. The fact is they have a systemic problem. It’s a structural problem they refuse to acknowledge. But when you have not just Julia Banks withdrawing from the Parliament, but now Ann Sudmalis; when you have an actual reduction in the number of women prepared to put themselves forward as candidates; when you have a Prime Minister who advocates for a woman to be the Liberal Party candidate in Wentworth but who finishes fifth in the ballot and men finish first, second and third; then that just identifies what the structural problem is.

Scott Morrison needs to address this. The Liberal Party needs to address this and that is why the Liberal Party isn’t fit to govern and people are looking on at this and saying if the Prime Minister himself can’t say why he is the Prime Minister and not Malcolm Turnbull, then it is time this Government just went to an election.

ENDS

Sep 17, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – RN Drive with Patricia Karvelas – Monday, 17 September 2018

Subjects; Ann Sudmalis quitting, Wentworth preselection, Royal Commission into aged care, Peter Dutton eligibility 

PATRICIA KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese is the Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure, Cities and Tourism and joins us on RN Drive again. Welcome.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good evening Patricia. Thanks for having me on.

KARVELAS: If we can deal with this sort of breaking news – Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis has announced she won’t be contesting the next election. Are you surprised by the news?

ALBANESE: Well this is devastating for the Coalition. We know that they have so few women sitting on the Government benches. They have removed one of them, or in Queensland of course, has lost preselection. There was a question mark over whether Ann Sudmalis would lose preselection to a man. And now, having gone through that process, she has decided to withdraw from nominating. She’s given the people who run the Liberal Party in her local area on the South Coast a spray on the way out and said that she can’t work with them and has spoken as well about bullying. So this is yet again a sign that there’s a real structural problem within the Liberal Party that Scott Morrison needs to deal with.

KARVELAS: Well he has said he’ll deal with it. He’s said that he will establish a process and has asked his party to do that.

ALBANESE: Well he asked his party to preselect a woman in Wentworth last week. They didn’t run first, second or third. His preferred candidate ran fifth, showing that the divisions within the Liberal Party run far beyond just the Parliamentary Party.

KARVELAS: What do you make of the argument though that what happened there was a case of merit? That ultimately David Sharma was the most meritorious candidate and therefore prevailed?

ALBANESE: Well I haven’t met any of the candidates I’ve got to say, except for Richard Shields who ran second in the ballot. But Scott Morrison I assume has met them, is the newly elected Prime Minister, made his views very clear and that seemed to be rejected. He was supporting someone who’s been a public office bearer from the local area. No doubt they did that with the fact that Kerryn Phelps will be a very strong independent candidate – having that in mind – and they were rebuffed. That’s not to say of course – I don’t support the idea that every woman is better than every man, obviously I’m in Parliament myself, but the fact is there’s a structural problem when the Liberal Party has been going backwards when it comes to representation of women in their ranks, whilst the Labor Party’s been moving forward substantially, not just federally, but in every state and territory branch across the country.

KARVELAS: On this question of aged care and this Royal Commission, the problems in aged care didn’t just emerge in the last five years, they date back decades. Does Labor take any collective responsibility for the state of the system?

ALBANESE: Look it’s true to say that with the ageing of the population the pressures will be more acute. But Labor has raised the issue of cuts that are there in the Budget, including the 2016 Budget which bears Scott Morrison’s own name, in Budget Paper No. 2 – it’s all there on page 101. And I quote from the Budget Paper, “The Government will achieve efficiencies of $1.2 billion over four years through changes to the scoring matrix of the aged care funding instrument that determines the level of funding paid to aged care providers”. It’s there very clearly that that cut is there and when Labor raised the issues of the national crisis that there is in aged care, the Minister just a couple of months ago stood up in Parliament and said that was, “verging on the abuse of older Australians”. So just last week the Minister was opposing a Royal Commission and it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of the Four Corners program tonight. I’m certainly of the view that the Parliament as a whole needs to work together on this issue because it’s an issue that is difficult to overcome. The ageing of the population needs a whole of government approach.

KARVELAS: You also think it should be above politics?

ALBANESE: Well yes, but your starting point as to be an honest appraisal of the existing circumstance and you can argue for a bipartisan approach and I hope that arising out of the Royal Commission that has now been agreed to by the Government – yet again, Labor leading from Opposition – that arising out of that there can be recommendations that will be undertaken by both sides of politics. But you do have to start with saying that, at a time when the population is ageing, the fact that those cuts occurred is not a good thing.

KARVELAS: So you’ve argued that a $1.2 billion decrease in planned spending in aged care has contributed to problems in the sector, so will you commit to restoring that funding if you win Government?

ALBANESE: Well of course we’ll make our funding announcements at appropriate times. I’m not the spokesperson and with due respect to Radio National on a Monday night it probably isn’t the place to be announced by the non-spokesperson. But we have been campaigning very strongly through Julie Collins, the Shadow Minister, and Bill Shorten raising these issues as the Leader.

And we think that there does need to be a serious Royal Commission, it needs to be comprehensive now that it’s been announced, we need to make sure that people have the time to make submissions. It will be a traumatic process no doubt. Those of us and just about everyone in our society will have had their own personal experiences with people needing increased care as they’ve got older.

It is important that the Royal Commission not just be a place where we find out what the issues and the problems are, because no doubt that’s part of the process and that’s important, but what is important is that recommendations about the way forward, that can provide the basis for a bipartisan response, are made.

KARVELAS: Just quickly, Kerryn Phelps has announced she is running as an Independent in Wentworth, which you’ve mentioned. She says she won’t do preference deals, will Labor preference her?

ALBANESE: We’ll make that decision…

KARVELAS: But do you think that would be, you know, a smart decision to make?

ALBANESE: The New South Wales branch will make that decision…

KARVELAS: You’re in the New South Wales branch. You’re a senior MP.

ALBANESE: I am not an official of the New South Wales branch, I moved on from that a long time ago and I was very glad to do so. So I will leave that decision for them. We’ll wait and see, obviously, when nominations close but what people do need to do of course is to issue how-to-votes and they need to issue how-to-votes numbering all squares in order to maximise the formality of votes.

So at the Federal level, preferences will be allocated and what’s clear is that the voters of Wentworth will have an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the person they elected as their local member and a majority of them supported not just Malcolm Turnbull being the Member for Wentworth, but being the Prime Minister of Australia. He was removed and no one including Scott Morrison can say why.

KARVELAS: Julie Bishop says on the current evidence she wouldn’t vote with Labor to refer Peter Dutton to the High Court over this section 44 issue. So what does that mean? It’s kind of dead, isn’t it? You haven’t got the numbers.

ALBANESE: We’ll wait and see what happens.  But I think people when they examine the facts including the important advice from people like Anne Twomey, the constitutional experts; when they look at the Solicitor-General’s advice that says that the only way you can provide certainty is with a referral to the High Court. Then when people examine those facts plus Peter Dutton’s own actions whereby it would appear that he has sat in Cabinet, while most of the discussions have taken place on child care, but has removed himself from the room because of a conflict of interest, that to me would indicate two things: one, that when you declare a conflict of interest then it is game, set and match. Secondly, you can’t remove yourself just once, you have to remove yourself every time or not at all. Either there’s a conflict or there’s not.

Quite clearly the way for this to be cleared up is by a referral to the High Court. That should happen because it is very serious that Peter Dutton as the Home Affairs Minister is making decisions each and every day that could be drawn into question if his status as a Member of Parliament and therefore a Minister is under a cloud.

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, thanks for your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks Patricia.

 

Sep 14, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop, Schofields – Friday, 14 September 2018

Subjects; Labor’s $30 million commitment to Park and Ride at Schofields station, the Coalition Government’s failure to govern.

MICHELLE ROWLAND: Good morning and welcome to Schofields train station. I’m delighted to be joined here this morning by Anthony Albanese, who is Labor’s federal spokesperson for transport, cities and infrastructure, to Ryan Park, who is Labor’s Shadow Treasurer in New South Wales and also to our amazing candidate for the state seat of Riverstone, Dr Annemarie Christie. Anthony is no stranger to the issues that confront us here at Schofields and in the North West of Sydney, where we have had chronic issues here at Schofields concerning the lack of commuter car parking. Two years ago Anthony came out here during the 2016 election campaign, identifying that it was important to improve people’s quality of life by providing extra commuter car parking. I’m very pleased that Anthony has returned here today in order to make a very important announcement on this very matter that is so important to local residents.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Michelle and it’s great to be here with Ryan Park, the Shadow Treasurer from New South Wales Labor, but also with champions of this region – Michelle and Annemarie. They’ve campaigned very strongly for commuter car parking here at Schofields and I’m very pleased to announce that a Federal Labor Government would contribute $15 million towards the $30 million expansion of commuter car parking here at Schofields.

That would transform the capacity of people to be able to use this rail line. Commuter car parking is essential. That’s why Federal Labor has established a $300 million Park and Ride Fund, to fund commuter car parking in our capital cities, particularly in our outer suburbs. This is consistent with Federal Labor’s commitment under Bill Shorten to deliver $6 billion towards rail to assist Western Sydney. We know that upgrading rail infrastructure is critical, but it’s also important to give people the capacity to be able to use that rail infrastructure. And since two years ago when we made this commitment, this morning I can see that the queues are even longer. The need is even greater, which is why it’s good that we will be able to work with Luke Foley and his New South Wales Labor team, with Annemarie as a local state MP who will actually stand up for this region.

RYAN PARK: Well what a contrast. Whilst there is chaos in Canberra, chaos in Macquarie Street, here on the ground in one of the fastest growth areas in Western Sydney we have Labor delivering for the people of Western Sydney, thanks to the tireless advocacy of Michelle and Annemarie. It is great to join with Anthony Albanese, someone who is always putting commuters first when it comes to the infrastructure we need in the suburbs right across New South Wales. There can be no clearer contrast today than what Labor will be able to deliver in Government, compared to what is happening already in New South Wales and Canberra. In Canberra we have a chaotic, out of control Government. In New South Wales we have a Government completely out of touch – one that thinks it is smarter to spend billions of dollars on Eastern suburbs stadiums, rather than funding local infrastructure like commuter car parks that suburbs like Schofields and Western Sydney communities need as soon as possible. It is a great day, this will be a great new piece of infrastructure, it will make such a difference to the working life of men and women right across this area and I’m delighted that Labor at a state and federal level, once again, are demonstrating that we’re putting the people of Western Sydney first.

DR ANNEMARIE CHRISTIE: I’m so excited to be here today with representatives from both State and Federal Labor to make this announcement. This will have a massive impact on our community here in Schofields, taking an hour each day off the travel time. People have to park half an hour away from the station, if they can leave half an hour later it means they can have breakfast with their kids and they can be home in time at night time to read them a bed-time story. This has a massive impact on our local community and we’re so excited that Labor is able to deliver this for us.

ALBANESE: Thanks very much, happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Anthony, why is North West Sydney such a priority for you?

ALBANESE: Well it’s a priority because this is where the growth is. One of the things that Federal Labor understands, and I know that State Labor does as well, is that you have to get the infrastructure right before you move the population in. What we’re seeing in this area is a massive expansion. We’re seeing literally hundreds of thousands of people moving into this region and the infrastructure isn’t keeping up. We can see it when we walk in any direction from this station, on either side of this station, that people have to walk for half an hour from where they parked their car. Increasingly people are having to get here before 6AM to get a spot anywhere near this station. We know that this is a national issue. Under Federal Labor, last time we were in Government, we changed the way that the Federal Government relates in particular to our outer suburbs by funding public transport. Funding public transport, new rail lines is important. The North-South line, the new Metro through to the north of the existing Western rail line is critical. But it is also important that we deliver on projects like this that make a real difference to people’s lives.

JOURNALIST: What does $30 million worth of parking in this area look like?

ALBANESE: It looks like about 500 spaces and we’d work, obviously, with local government, with Blacktown Council, to ensure that it maximises the benefit for the region. We know that park and ride facilities are very much welcomed. One of the things that we’ve had from Michelle and Annemarie is tireless advocacy. They’re in touch with what their local communities want. It’s extraordinary that a state member, here, has said that they’ll build a small, just a few dozen places, but they’ll do it a couple of years ago and nothing has happened. What we’re committed to is making sure that we get on with delivering what infrastructure is about. The reason why I’m very committed and have had this portfolio now for a decade is because I want to make a real difference to people’s lives. This project will do just that.

JOURNALIST: Michelle, what is it like seeing this neglect for so long for the people of Schofields?

ROWLAND: It’s extremely frustrating and it is the top issue that people raise when I doorknock or do mobile offices in the area and it’s been that way for so many years. It is really a sign of how, I think, in touch Labor is with our local community, that we have taken this up from Opposition, at a federal and state level. We haven’t seen this matched from the conservative governments who are in power and, in fact, at the last federal election, the Liberal candidate went so far as to effectively say, ‘Oh, it’s not an issue’. Well it is an issue. It’s something that people are affected by every day and it goes to their quality of life. So we want to do practical things to assist people. It’s hard enough living in outer-metropolitan Sydney. Sure, it is a fantastic lifestyle and that’s why people want to move in here and we welcome that but we need to have sustainable development and with that comes investment in being able to access public transport. It’s one thing to have public transport, but you’ve got to be able to enable people to access it.

JOURNALIST: Annemarie, why has this area been neglected for so long as well?

CHRISTIE: That’s a really good question, Jake. This is the fastest growing area in North West Sydney and you only need to look around to see how much it’s changed in the last eight years and nothing has happened. The State Government will say, well we have invested because we have the North West Rail Link. What they’ve forgotten is that that actually doesn’t cater to most of the people that live in North West Sydney. That will take people to Chatswood, but this line is critical in taking people to where they are actually working, so places like Blacktown, Westmead, Parramatta and straight, direct line into the city. So why they have neglected it, I can’t answer that, but we’ve had enough and the residents around here have had enough too.

JOURNALIST: What have residents been telling you on the ground? You’ve been doorknocking for quite some time now.

CHRISTIE: Yes, I’ve been doorknocking pretty much throughout the electorate over the last few months and universally people are saying that the Government is not listening, they’re not hearing what the people are saying, they’re not listening to the issues. People are saying that car parking, everyone I doorknock says car parking is an issue. Not just for the people who are catching the train, but actually for the residents of the area who can’t get in and out of their houses because of the cars parked all the way up and down the streets. This is a major issue in our area and the only thing that the residents have heard from the existing Government is that they don’t need to do anything about it, because they are doing something else on the other side of the electorate.

JOURNALIST: Anthony, can the Federal Liberal Party actually challenge this? Do they have the ability (inaudible)?

ALBANESE: Well, I hope that the Federal Government get on board and match this commitment. Labor has been leading from Opposition when it comes to policy. We’re leading from Opposition in funding the western Metro, in funding the North-South Rail Line through Badgerys Creek. We’re leading from Opposition when it comes to commuter car parks here, in Wyong, in Gosford, in Riverwood. The fact is that the Federal Government is too obsessed with its own internal fights and yelling at each other like cats in a bag rather than actually representing what people want. They’ve stopped governing, which is why we think they should call an election and put themselves, frankly, out of their misery.

 

Sep 14, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 14 September 2018

Subjects: Leadership spill; Malcolm Turnbull; Peter Dutton; Scott Morrison; envoys; Rabbitohs.

KARL STEFANOVIC: I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Adelaide. Good morning guys, how are you this morning?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, you’re first up again, Christopher. What is the former Prime Minister doing? Doesn’t he just need to shut it?

PYNE: Well look I don’t think people want us to keep talking about the internal dynamics of political …

STEFANOVIC: But he keeps talking about it.

PYNE: (Inaudible) whether it’s Labor or Liberal. We had great news this week on jobs figures. One million, one hundred and forty four thousand jobs created since the Government was elected five years ago, most of them full time. A lot more women, in fact, record numbers of women.

STEFANOVIC: OK.

PYNE: That’s what people want us to talk about.

STEFANOVIC: They do. But we’re being side-tracked by the former Prime Minister himself. Malcolm Turnbull, he seems to be actively involved in trying to bring your Government down now?

PYNE: Well Karl we’ve spent far too much time in the last 10 years talking about the internals of Labor or Liberal or Greens.

STEFANOVIC: Have you spoken to the former Prime Minister? Have you told him to be quiet, to get on with it?

PYNE: Well I’ve spoken to Malcolm several times since he left for New York and I’ve spoken to him, texted him. He’s a very good friend of mine, as is Lucy. And I intend to continue to be in touch with him, but I think it’s time for us all to stop talking about the internals of political parties and put the Australian public first.

STEFANOVIC: So have you urged him to stop talking publicly and get on with it?

PYNE: I’m not revealing my private conversations. He’s a private citizen now. He doesn’t need to have his conversations talked about on the Today Show.

STEFANOVIC: Is Julie Bishop also aiding and abetting?

PYNE: Julie Bishop seems to be perfectly relaxed. I spoke to her several times this week. She’s just getting on with it, just like the Government is.

STEFANOVIC: Okay.

ALBANESE: Yeah it’s going well, Christopher.

PYNE: It is thank you.

ALBANESE: Keep with that line mate.

PYNE: Unemployment is down.

ALBANESE: This is a Government in its death throes and the whole of the country can see it. We now have a Parliament where Peter Dutton is sitting there – people know there is a question mark over his eligibility. He should refer himself to the High Court. This Government should go to an election and give the Australian people a say in who the Prime Minister is. Because it’s now three weeks since they knocked off Malcolm Turnbull and no one, including Scott Morrison, can explain why that happened.

STEFANOVIC: Are you asking for clarity on Peter Dutton, Christopher?

PYNE: Well we have good advice on Peter Dutton. And there are half a dozen Labor MPs who have much bigger clouds hanging over their heads than Peter Dutton.

STEFANOVIC: Why does Julie Bishop say there needs to be clarity, then?

PYNE: We’ve moved on from all of that and if Labor wants to keep pursuing it …

STEFANOVIC: She’s asking for clarity on Peter Dutton why aren’t you?

PYNE: I think it’s perfectly clear. If Labor wants to keep pursuing it, there’s half a dozen Labor MPs who could be sent to the High Court as well. So be careful what you wish for.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is, your government at the moment looks like it’s eating itself. That’s a perception issue and it’s a reality.

PYNE: No it isn’t, Karl. We’re getting on with the job, we’re creating the jobs in the workforce. The economy is growing. It’s the fastest growing economy in the G7. So we’re getting on with the job, as we are in defence and defence industry. We’re dealing with the drought, reforming childcare.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, you also do talk straight on occasion. You have to know this looks so incredibly bad for your party.

PYNE: I think it’s time to move on, Karl. I think people are thoroughly sick of it.

STEFANOVIC: What with a different government?

PYNE: No, people are thoroughly sick of talking about it.

ALBANESE: Give the Australian people a say by calling an election. Christopher says there are doubts over others. The point here is Peter Dutton is a Minister. He is continuing to make decisions. There’s a question mark over every single one of those decisions.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, I’ve got a question for you. How on earth is Bill Shorten not further ahead of Scott Morrison? That to me defies any kind of logic.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is we’re way ahead in terms of the two-party-preferred vote. That’s the vote that counts. And if an election was held this Saturday, Labor would win 30 seats.

STEFANOVIC: How is Bill Shorten behind Scott Morrison?

ALBANESE: Well, a new leader gets a bit of a honeymoon. I think that’s happened in terms of a positive. But what they’re doing is marking down their entire team.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, how unpopular do you need to be before you get turfed?

ALBANESE: Well they are marking down their entire team, which is why they are just so far behind.

PYNE: Why don’t you answer the question?

ALBANESE: Well, I am. And what I want …

PYNE: You’re a straight talker.

ALBANESE: Our team is way ahead of their mob.

STEFANOVIC: You’re way ahead but your leader is not. Your leader is behind Scott Morrison. Who – I mean it defies any kind of logic that he is behind Scott Morrison, that’s how bad he is going.

PYNE: He’s as popular as arsenic.

ALBANESE: He leads a team that’s going extremely well.

STEFANOVIC: Come on Albo.

ALBANESE: Going extremely well, we’re a mile ahead.

PYNE: Stop it.

ALBANESE: And this mob, I mean Scott Morrison …

PYNE: He’s as popular as arsenic.

ALBANESE: Scott Morrison is just trying to – I mean this is like cats in a bag. They are all fighting and scratching. People can hear the noise out there …

STEFANOVIC: And still Bill Shorten is not more popular.

ALBANESE: And people are over it.

PYNE: Good question. Very good question, Karl – no wonder you get paid so much money.

ALBANESE: You just keep saying how well the Government is going, Christopher.

STEFANOVIC: You know what, Christopher, can we just level with each other and also the Australian people watching this morning.

PYNE: There’s only 600,000 people as part of this conversation.

STEFANOVIC: You have to know, the Australian people are sick of the way that this Government is leading this country. They are sick of it.

PYNE: They are sick of politicians talking about themselves that’s for sure. And that’s why I’ve been talking about jobs and growth.

STEFANOVIC: And your party keeps talking about themselves, the former Leader keeps talking about himself.

PYNE: Not me, I’m just talking about jobs and growth.

ALBANESE: You’ve got two former leaders as envoys, sitting on the backbench.

STEFANOVIC: I know, it’s bad.

ALBANESE: Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott – no one knows what their responsibility is. We can’t ask questions of them in the Parliament. But they’re being given jobs just to send them off, send them away.

STEFANOVIC: When are you going to have a crack? Bill’s not cutting it.

ALBANESE: The fact is, we are a stable team. I don’t think people want any instability. What people want is a political party that is going to focus on them and that’s the Labor Party under Bill Shorten.

STEFANOVIC: Good luck in the finals this weekend. Sorry Chris your side is not in the finals, you’re really having a bad run.

PYNE: Thanks Karl, I’m going for the Demons now. They’re my second team.

ALBANESE: Yeah, tomorrow night Souths and St George.

STEFANOVIC: Nervous, nervous Nelly.

ALBANESE: Traditional rivals. We’ll see how we go. I’ll be there, cheering on.

STEFANOVIC: You’re as nervous as Neil Mitchell.

ALBANESE: Watch it on Nine.

GEORGIE GARDNER: We don’t even pay him to say that.

ALBANESE: Go the Rabbitohs!

Sep 14, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Ben Fordham Program, 2GB – Friday, 14 September 2018

Subjects: Early election, Morrison Government dysfunction.

BEN FORDHAM: Albo, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Ben.

FORDHAM: Sure, we need to go to an early election do we?

ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly the Government has stopped being able to function. This week we saw a Government that wasn’t pursuing its legislation, it wasn’t pursuing policies. It was pursuing vendettas really within the Government, whether it be Malcolm Turnbull saying from New York that Peter Dutton should be referred to the High Court, Julie Bishop walking through the Press Gallery, happened to run into 30 or 40 journalists who got told that she may well vote to refer Peter Dutton to the High Court, whether it be Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce sitting on the backbench but as envoys with responsibility for policy, being a humiliation really for the Cabinet Ministers who are in charge of those policies. What we saw was Julia Banks standing up and saying that she would not run for Parliament at the next election because of bullying within the Liberal Party during the chaos that occurred three weeks ago. But most importantly, we had the existing Prime Minister, the current one, saying that he couldn’t really say why Malcolm Turnbull was removed .

FORDHAM: You have summarised all of their nightmares very succinctly there Albo, but I think, look, no-one’s got short memories on these things. We can think back to when Labor was in power not so long ago and there was plenty of drama in that time as well. In fact, I remember you calling a press conference at some stage and shedding tears over some of the internal dramas with the Labor Party, so it’s not really foreign to you either.

ALBANESE: No and certainly we did the wrong thing in 2010 when we removed an elected Prime Minister in his first term and we suffered for it. What has occurred with what’s now the ATM Government – the Abbott Turnbull and Morrison Government – is that this is the only ATM in the country where you can’t get anything out of it. It’s rusted and nothing is coming out of it. And the Government isn’t functioning. The Australian people should get a say in who the Prime Minister is which is why the sensible thing is to go to an election. I just heard your statement that Scott Morrison says if they lose the Wentworth by-election, they still won’t have an election. Well I’ve got news for Mr Morrison – if you can’t control confidence on the floor of the Parliament, you don’t have a choice. You have an election. And this Wentworth by-election is turning out to be a disaster already. We had Mr Bragg, who was the former Federal Director of the Liberal Party, withdrawing so a woman could win. Not only did a female candidate not win that pre-selection last night, they didn’t run second, they didn’t even run third. They ran fourth, showing complete contempt for what Scott Morrison had made very clear were his wishes. And Scott Morrison is from NSW. It just shows there is no authority in the show at all, which is why I say that Scott Morrison should call an election and give the Australian people a say and let’s get some certainty to policy direction in this country.

FORDHAM: I appreciate you coming on. Have a good weekend.

ALBANESE: Thanks very much Ben.

Sep 13, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Canberra – Thursday, 13 September 2018

Subjects: Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton, women in Parliament.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: The tweet from Malcolm Turnbull stating that Peter Dutton should be referred to the High Court is an extraordinary intervention. It follows revelations in today’s newspapers that Malcolm Turnbull has been lobbying his Liberal Party colleagues to vote for a referral to the High Court. What should happen today is that Scott Morrison should show some leadership. He has shown none in the first few weeks of his prime ministership. He is unable to explain why he was elected Prime Minister and why Malcolm Turnbull was removed.

What he needs to do today is to go to Peter Dutton and say: Listen, it’s not Its not appropriate that the person who is responsible as Home Affairs Minister for administering a range of serious laws relating to national security is himself the subject of doubt when it comes to his legal status to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives.

It’s very clear from Peter Dutton’s own statements that he believes there is a conflict of interest when it comes to the issues of child care and we know that arises out of his pecuniary interest. It’s about time that Peter Dutton himself stopped being angry, stopped making wild accusations against other people under parliamentary privilege, and actually acted like an adult and said: I am going to do what others have done’ – refer himself to the High Court and ensure that there is no doubt over his status to sit as a Member of the House of Representatives.

REPORTER: Do you think that the Morrison Government is protecting Peter Dutton?

ALBANESE: Well quite clearly what we have here is Scott Morrison running a protection racket for Peter Dutton. Scott Morrison knows that his own position as Prime Minister is very vulnerable, but he should learn from Malcolm Turnbull, which is that giving in to people in his own team and being weak will inevitably lead to his own destruction from within and that is why he needs to show a bit of strength and refer Peter Dutton to the High Court and he should do it today.

REPORTER: There’s been a lot of talk within the Liberal Party about bullying and perhaps the need for gender quotas. What advice from Labor do you have to the Liberal Party to clean itself up?

ALBANESE: Well quite clearly the accusations from very senior members of the Liberal Party, from Julia Banks, who has taken the step of saying that she’ll remove herself from politics over these issues; Julie Bishop, the former Deputy Leader and Foreign Minister; Kelly O’Dwyer, the Minister for the Status of Women, have all pointed out the issues that related to the challenge by Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison to Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership. They have said that they were bullied. They are entitled, I think, to expect much better and the people of Australia are entitled to expect much better.

What needs to happen in the Liberal Party is that those issues need to be addressed and they need to be addressed in a transparent manner. It’s not up to Scott Morrison to have a cup of tea with someone and sort it out in private. It needs to be sorted out transparently. The second thing that needs to happen is the Liberal Party needs to acknowledge that they’ve got a structural problem. The structural problem is they have been going backwards when it comes to women’s representation at a time when Labor has reached almost 50 per cent and we are very confident we will be on 50 per cent or more after the next election. And Labor has done that through a series of rules, by ensuring that the culture is changed, by ensuring that we promote women candidates. And you know what, we are stronger for it because the Parliament should represent the people who are voting for it and 50 per cent of voters are women. Fifty per cent of Members of Parliament should be women as well.

 

Sep 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview -FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Subjects: Female representation in Parliament, Newspoll.

HOST: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning team.

HOST: Chris Pyne, can I start with you? A big topic of conversation this week has been the prospect of the Liberal Party introducing a quota system on account of the fact that you just don’t seem to have too many women on your side of politics at the moment. Labor did it. They are about 50-50 now. Is it something you need to contemplate?

PYNE: We won’t introduce a quota system because it goes against the grain of the Liberal Party that every selection should be based on merit. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a lot more women in the Parliamentary party. We’ve gone backwards in terms of representation over the last couple of decades, whereas Labor has gone forwards and they have done a good job at balancing their caucus. It doesn’t mean that I think Labor should be in office by the way. Far from it. But on our side of the House we need to do more and we need to encourage women to run for pre-selection. We need to help to train the women about how to compete in pre-selections and Kelly O’Dwyer has started a fund in Victoria which we can all contribute to around the rest of the country to support women who get pre-selected to win seats from the Labor Party. So there are other ways to do it. We just haven’t been doing it effectively.

HOST: So you say the Labor position at the moment on the distribution of gender is laudable. They achieved that by way of a quota system initially, didn’t they?

PYNE: Yes and the problem with a quota system is there is always that doubt hanging over the heads of the people who have been chosen because of an affirmative action policy that they weren’t as good as other people in that particular race. Now I am not saying that all the women in the Labor Party aren’t as good as the men who were running in the pre-selection, but that doubt lingers because of the affirmative action policy.

HOST: How does it work on the Labor side, Albo? One Labor example of the moment, because of the fact that a well-known politician of the female persuasion is departing the local stage as the Member for Adelaide, we’ve now got a situation where Steve Georganas and Mark Butler …

ALBANESE: She’s only got one thing wrong with her, that Kate Ellis.

HOST: Thank you mate.

PYNE: You have beautiful children.

ALBANESE: No, it’s certainly not the children, and it’s not the dogs, including Zorro.

HOST: I’m being ganged up on by both of you. But you guys, to maintain your affirmative action targets, you are going to have to knock off either Mark Butler or Steve Georganas at the end of this term aren’t you.

ALBANESE: Well that’s not right, that’s not right.

HOST: But you are over the male quota now aren’t you?

ALBANESE: No, that’s not right. What we are doing is ensuring that the number two person who will go in from the Senate will be a woman and we also have a female candidate in Boothby. So what we have done is to ensure that there are structures in place that have driven the change, that have made Labor, I think, better, stronger and more representative of the community most importantly that we seek to represent and half the community are female and that should be reflected in the Parliament. One of the practical ways that we have done for example, that has driven the actual outcomes in New South Wales where we have 100 per cent rank and file pre-selection – if there is a woman candidate she gets a weighting of 1.2 for every vote for them. So guess what? The power brokers that exist in parties, whether it be the Liberal Party or the Labor Party, have an incentive to find and to support, where everything else is equal, a good woman candidate above a good male candidate because they have a greater chance of being elected and that has driven the change right through the party at both federal and state levels.

PYNE: And at the next election there will be a lot more women running for the Liberal Party and the Coalition than at the last election. For example, we have Georgina Downer pre-selected for Mayo. We have Anne Ruston …

ALBANESE: Yes, but she won’t win.

PYNE: … heading our Senate ticket in South Australia. We have Nicole Flint in Boothby. In Tasmania we have just elected two women on winnable positions on the Tasmanian Senate ticket. In Queensland we replaced a male senator with Susan McDonald for the Liberal Party at the next coming election. We have two women running in the Northern Territory in the two winnable seat there.

ALBANESE: But you have replaced sitting Liberal Members …

PYNE: Hang On.

ALBANESE: … who are in safe seats.

PYNE: Hang on, I let you talk and I didn’t interrupt you. We have had one woman replaced in Brisbane. We have had many other women now being pre-selected across Australia. The Nationals have pre-selected a woman for their number one on the Senate ticket in New South Wales. So there is a lot of movement. For the Liberal Party, by the way, we actually hold most of the firsts for women in Australian politics – the first woman to get elected to Parliament in South Australia; the first woman to be a cabinet minister in the national Parliament. We have had most of the firsts when it comes to women. We have had more Cabinet ministers in our governments over time who have been women than the Labor Party.

ALBANESE: That’s not true.

HOST: Hey just setting gender aside though, if Monday’s Newspoll is to be believed, hardly any Liberals are going to be gaining seats at the next election whenever that is held Chris. I wanted to get your thoughts though Albo. What does it say about Bill Shorten that after the chaos that the Liberal Party subjected us to and the fact that there was no widespread public clamour for Scott Morrison to become Prime Minister, that he is now ahead already of Bill Shorten as preferred PM?

ALBANESE: Well most people when they have taken over leadership positions, particularly prime ministers, have had a bounce in the polls in terms of the people are prepared to have a look at them and give them a go. What’s significant is that the Liberal Party would lose 30 seats based upon that Newspoll. So we’d see 30 extra Labor members. So for all of Christopher’s talk about women candidates in seats that are marginal but are held by Labor, they are not going forward.

HOST: But is Bill Shorten your Achilles heel? I mean, in the glare of an election campaign, and campaigns these days are increasingly presidential when it comes down to a choice between not just two parties but two individuals, if you have had four years of apparent stability on the Labor side and policy development and all that, and everyone has seen a lot of Bill Shorten in that time and, you know, four out every five people haven’t really got any time for the bloke.

ALBANESE: Well, they are prepared to vote for, and are saying they will vote for, the team that is led by Bill Shorten.

PYNE: He is deeply unpopular and he is very untrustworthy.

ALBANESE: That would give us 30 seats off the Liberal Party; would reduce them to a little corner of the Parliament.

PYNE: And you expect that to happen on election day do you, that they are going to have a 56 to 44 per cent result?

ALBANESE: No, I think things will tighten up as they inevitably do. But we have, I think, a stark contrast between Labor putting forward policies concentrating on the national interest and a Government that has become a rabble and that’s concentrating on themselves.

PYNE: I don’t think that you will be able to keep saying that. But the truth is that people have looked at Bill Shorten and they think he is a phoney. And they are looking at Scott Morrison and they realise it is authentic and the reality is that, as David said, there will be a large focus on leadership at the next election and of course the economy is growing very well. There are huge numbers of jobs coming into the system. We are funding the essential services that the Australian public want, whether it is defence or health or education or aged care, and I think the next election is more than competitive for the Coalition as long as we respond and listen to what the Australian people are interested in.

HOST: Good on you guys, Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese – Two Tribes. We’ll do it again next week.

Sep 12, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – David Speers Program, SKY News – Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Subjects: Road safety, Liberal Party, religious freedom.

DAVID SPEERS:  Welcome back to the program. I want to talk a bit of policy for a moment here because today quite a shocking report was made public, an independent review that was commissioned by the Government looking at road safety in Australia. It’s a big deal in a lot of regional areas; a lot of urban areas as well. This report showed that about 12,000 Australians are likely to die on our roads unless more is done by State and Federal governments over the coming years to spend, it’s been recommended, $3 billion a year on road safety and set a new target of zero road deaths by 2050. The report highlighted that the current plan, the ten-year strategy we’re currently in to cut the road toll by 30 per cent by 2020 is not going to be met, that more than 660 people have died on Australian roads this year alone and it’s only September, and that last year there were 1226 road fatalities. I’m joined now by the Shadow Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese. Thanks very much for your time this afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on.

SPEERS: It probably didn’t come as a huge surprise to you, a lot of this, but are there any simple answers to doing more on this front?

ALBANESE: Well there aren’t, but this is a very welcome report. I was the Transport Minister that commissioned the National Road Safety Strategy. And what had occurred over decades, really since seatbelts was the big change that made a difference in reducing the road toll, but year on year for three decades, we had three issues. New technology – seatbelts, ESC, air bags – all making a difference; cars being safer through new technology. The second change of course is better infrastructure – the duplication of the Hume Highway, getting on with the duplication of the Pacific Highway – better roads. The third is driver behaviour – much more consciousness now about things like …

SPEERS: Drinking and speeding?

ALBANESE: All of those things. And people also, I know when I was a kid, having a seatbelt on was something that was optional. Now it always amazed me that when my son or his friends are in the car I would say, ‘you’ve got your belts on?’ I don’t know how they did it in one movement, sit down, and it’s just part of that.

SPEERS: And it’s a cultural norm now.

ALBANESE: And people are conscious of it.

SPEERS: Other driver behaviours change, though. What about texting and fiddling with the mobile phone?

ALBANESE: That has got to be – one of the things that’s occurred over the last two years, is that we’ve seen an increase for the first time. So you see this trend going down and then all of a sudden this spike and it happens to be when smartphones have become more prevalent. People are feeling the need for immediacy in terms of texting or looking at information. Even new technology like some of the, looking at maps where people are going, can be dangerous if people are distracted from looking at the road, instead looking at a device for where they’re driving to.

SPEERS: What’s the rule on that because you know nearly every Uber driver, taxi driver, professional driver has their phone stuck next to the steering wheel and they’re following the maps and taking orders and all that sort of stuff? I mean they’re allowed to do that, presumably?

ALBANESE: In part one of the things that today’s assessment has done is to really take a bit of an assessment. Let’s stop, have a look at why it’s not working and see if we can work (Inaudible). It was commissioned by Darren Chester, the former Transport Minister, and myself and Michael McCormack launched the report jointly today. This is something that isn’t about …

SPEERS: Which is a bit of rare bipartisanship we need.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And Michael McCormack, I must say, has been very good as the new Minister in being consultative about that and I thank him for it. We had today interestingly – it wasn’t just road and transport experts – some of the people who participated in this report are people who are the parents and relatives of victims of road trauma. And of course every fatality on our road is an absolute tragedy. But it’s not just a tragedy for those people directly, it’s their family, their friends, the whole community can suffer.

SPEERS: So if the texting problem is the one that’s caused a recent spike and we have campaigns – you know ‘Get Your Hand Off It’ is a very successful campaign. There’s fines and so on and penalties in place. Do they need to be really ramped up or do we need to go with some sort of technology to block the use of a mobile phone while you’re in a vehicle?

ALBANESE: I think those issues need to be considered and that’s one of the recommendations. There’s a range of recommendations in the report that need to be examined. I thank you for having us on talking about it today. We want people to have a look at this and we want – myself and Michael McCormack are committed to working together to make sure that we get an outcome.

SPEERS: You’ve got to work with the states too, a lot of this is their jurisdiction.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. The states are responsible for a lot of the legislation and the law enforcement. In particular law enforcement has made an enormous difference.

SPEERS: A couple of other things away from the report there today. You were sitting there in Question Time this afternoon. The questions keep going to the Prime Minister: Why was there a change in the job? His answer today: Get over it. You think there would be Australians who agree that it’s time to get back to some policy?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s probably, maybe, 45 people who might agree in the country. But I think that Australians are entitled to know why it is that Prime Minister Turnbull was replaced. And what is extraordinary is that Scott Morrison, the new Prime Minister, doesn’t seem to know why that has occurred. There are Members of Parliament in the Coalition who are asking us, who are saying around this building – and you would know that David yourself – who were saying we don’t know why all this happened. We had circumstances whereby the Government was putting forward an argument that it was governing well. They can’t have it both ways.

SPEERS: You know though what happened here. There was a significant section of the party that were agitating and pushing and Turnbull couldn’t control it and everything happened the way that it did. It was untenable for him.

ALBANESE: I think there were some people who never saw Malcolm Turnbull as being a legitimate member of the Liberal Party. I think that is part of the problem of what we are dealing with here. If so, they should say that, because I will tell you what that means. What that means is that anyone who doesn’t have hard Right economic and social views isn’t welcome in the modern Liberal Party. If that is the argument, they need to say that and that is one of the reasons why they can’t answer the question.

SPEERS: But will Labor be getting over it? Or will you keep going with this line of questioning?

ALBANESE: We will continue to pursue the issues of the dysfunction because the dysfunction has an impact. It’s not a matter of who is sitting in the top chair. It is a matter of whether the Government can function or not and what we have seen as well, and I asked a question in the Parliament about the leaks of infrastructure investment, about a whole range of the other leaks as well about Catholic schools, the leaks with regard to discussions between the now Prime Minister and the Tasmanian Treasurer. All of these issues are having an impact. Take the infrastructure one. What we know now is the Government allocated $7.6 billion to various infrastructure projects in the Budget in May, but they are not telling anyone about it and they are not getting on with it. But why is it? Now we know for example there is $3.5 billion that has been allocated for Western Sydney Rail through Badgerys Creek Airport. Why isn’t that commencing so that people can actually … .

SPEERS: You guys never took a decision and held off the announcement?

ALBANESE: What we didn’t have David is this sort of massive leak whereby you have had the entire infrastructure program that the Government has set between the Budget and election day leaked out there.

SPEERS: All right. Let me just finally ask you about another theme that we heard from Scott Morrison today. He said in Question Time we are standing up for those people of faith and belief in this country and only this Government could be guaranteed to protect it. Do you get the feeling that this Prime Minister is going to be using faith and religion as, I don’t know, a political weapon, but certainly something to distinguish the Government from the Opposition?

ALBANESE: Well I hope not David, because Australia is a secular country and we have had a separation of church and state. It  is a very fundamental principle that we have in this country. I respect people of whatever faith they have and I’ve been a strong advocate for example, a consistent advocate, not always agreed to by people who I usually agree with in my party, about conscience votes for example. But the idea that one side of politics has a monopoly on faith, I think people of faith know that that is a nonsense.

SPEERS: Do you agree with the need for tougher religious protections?

ALBANESE: Well, I think you have got to make a case for what the problem is before you search for a solution. In this country what I recognise as one of our great strengths is that in my local community you have people who visit churches, both Catholic, Orthodox of various persuasions; you have mosques; you have a synagogue, and everyone is able to practice their religion I think in absolute freedom.

SPEERS: Anthony Albanese, thanks very much for joining us.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

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