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Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 3AW Drive – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Leadership Spill.

TOM ELLIOTT: Well I’ve seen a number of times, all this instability in the Liberal party pretty much guarantees Bill Shorten a victory at the next election. Joining us on the line now, a man often touted as a future leader of the Labor Party, he’s the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Transport Cities and Tourism. Anthony Albanese, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon, Tom.

ELLIOTT: What did you think about this week?

ALBANESE: Look it was a debacle, I think, for the people of Australia who think that they should get to decide who the Prime Minister is. We’ve seen a real ruction between the Conservatives and the Moderates in the Liberal Party. It is very hard to see how it can be put back together. We have already seen because of that ideological war that’s going on, a government that’s incapable of having an energy policy, which is pretty important if we want to drive down prices and reduce emissions. And yesterday in the Parliament I saw something I thought I’d never see, which is a government say: ‘it’s too hard this governing business, we’ll just stop’. And that’s what they did.

ELLIOTT: That’s what they did. Now, could I ask you – several years ago of course Labor had the same problem, there was a lot of leadership instability. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and you – post all that had a good long hard look at yourselves and decided to change the rules by which the Labor Leader is elected. So, you know that pretty much means there can’t be, you know, coups in the middle of the night anymore, in the Labor Party. Do you think for the good of the country the Liberals should do the same thing? Like remove this ability to just get rid of a sitting Prime Minister, just like that?

ALBANESE: Yes I do. They do need to look at their rules. But secondly they need to look at their culture. This week you had a group of people, and Malcolm Turnbull identified them in his press conference. Who essentially were saying: ‘if we can’t run the show we will wreck the show’. And saying it pretty overtly. It was quite an extraordinary effort, they had of course the leadership ballot on Tuesday and you would have thought that would have put it to bed for at least a little while. But it just – from that point on they just ramped it up including putting information out there that clearly just wasn’t true. I mean they didn’t get their 43 signatures today, until just before the meeting was held. And it’s pretty obvious why they didn’t, because a majority didn’t want to have Peter Dutton replace Malcolm Turnbull.

ELLIOTT: Well speaking of that, you were quoted in The Courier Mail this week – in fact it was today, sorry. You described Mr Dutton as being a cold character and having no heart and soul.

ALBANESE: Well, I think I’m yet to see the bloke smile.

ELLIOTT: Actually, I’ve never seen him smile either.

ALBANESE: You know, in dealing with the challenges of this country – one of the things I said is that you need a strong head. You need a good brain and you need to be able to work those things through. But you also need empathy with people. People who are less fortunate than you are. People who are disadvantaged, people who have been left behind and a capacity to have that empathy and to reach out and try and lift them up, not leave them behind. You need to not divide the country, and I was pleased that one of the things that Scott Morrison said, was he spoke about the need to unite the country and that is the job of political leaders to try to do that.

ELLIOTT: Okay, very quickly. I mean, how long do you reckon Scott Morrison has got? How long until the next
election?

ALBANESE: I think he should call an election very soon. It’s very clear, he doesn’t have a mandate and the instability, I think, will continue and the Australian people should get to determine whether they want him to continue to serve as the Prime Minister, they should be given a say.

ELLIOTT: Just quickly, we’ve asked your leader Bill Shorten to come on so many times in the past two years and you have come on several times. Chris Brown comes on, but Bill Shorten always says no. Can you have a chat to him about that?

ALBANESE: Neil Mitchell suggested the same thing to me when I was in the studio there, just a little while ago. Look Bill’s very busy with media commitments but I will pass it on.

ELLIOTT: I appreciate your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks Tom.

ELLIOTT: Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism and in a few months he’ll be the Minister for all those things.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2GB – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party leadership crisis.
BEN FORDHAM: Live on the line, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. Anthony Albanese, Albo, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Ben.

FORDHAM: Do you notice that I now say Anthony Alba-na-se instead of Alba-ne-se, like I used to always say.

ALBANESE: Oh mate, you’re on fire when it comes to the correct pronunciations.

FORDHAM: That’s right. I’m a try-hard Italian mate. Now listen, I don’t know if you just heard Scott Morrison’s news conference. We’ve got a new Prime Minister. What’s your take on the events of the day?

ALBANESE: Well look, it’s going to be a very difficult job to put this rabble back together.

FORDHAM: I’m glad to see you so positive about the state of the nation, Albo.

ALBANESE: Well it is very hard, let me tell you, to be positive about where the nation is going after this week in Canberra. Today, I’ve been in Sydney and Brisbane. I’ve spoken to a lot of people, as you do when you go through airports and you’re travelling around and no-one was positive. That’s not a partisan comment by the way. No-one was positive about the state of politics in Australia and the truth is that it’s going to be very difficult. You’ve got Ministers who pledged their loyalty to Malcolm Turnbull in the Parliament, which is pretty serious, quite clearly misled Parliament, on Tuesday, before they pulled out the day after. You’ve got a problem whereby you’ve had Mathias Cormann and the other two, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash, say that the only reason they were moving away from Malcolm Turnbull was because Peter Dutton had a majority, when quite clearly he didn’t without them. Without them, there wouldn’t have even been a spill.

FORDHAM: It’s difficult ground for you guys to really stand on and lob rocks because everyone remembers and it’s not ancient history here, it was very recent history when the Labor Party did exactly the same thing. I’m not sure you’re going to be able to score too many points on this.

ALBANESE: I’m not trying to score points Ben. I’m worried about the state of the Government. You would well recall that I both publicly and privately said that deposing Kevin Rudd …

FORDHAM: I remember.

ALBANESE: … in 2010 would be a mistake and that we would damage two Labor Prime Ministers and that was proven to be correct. What we’ve seen this week is a no-holds-barred cage match and the problem here is that the divisions are very ideological and go to the fundamental values of the Liberal Party. Malcolm Turnbull has been rejected. Malcolm Turnbull had won every single preferred Prime Minister poll that was held, 58 Newspolls in a row.

FORDHAM: Yeah, but you guys were going to beat him at the next election weren’t you.

ALBANESE: Well, I think we were in a strong position on 51-49 …

FORDHAM: It might not be so easy anymore.

ALBANESE: That’s not a certain position.

FORDHAM: It might not be so easy any more because I get the sense on the open line this afternoon, and maybe I’m a little glass-half-full compared to others, but I’ve got a feeling there’s a bit of unity out there now.

ALBANESE: I think Ben that would be incredibly optimistic to think that there’s a bit of unity. You’ve got some of the Peter Dutton forces making comments already through background to various journalists that have been quoted out there.

FORDHAM: Oh really, rumours and innuendo Albo? You can’t engage in that.

ALBANESE: Well I’m not. They are.

FORDHAM: Well in fact this has just come across my desk. I’d better read this to declare this. The ABC has bumped into Peter Dutton in Canberra somewhere. He has described himself as a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity than Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party. He said: “I don’t regret it at all, I think it’s a turning point. I think there’s a healing point now for the Liberal Party’’. He says he has no regrets about bringing on this week of drama. He says he wants to rise above criticism but he does describe himself as a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity than Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party. Well that doesn’t matter because Malcolm Turnbull is out of the way. Let me ask you this Albo, you’ve been around for a long time, and I know that even though you fight for the Labor Party tooth and nail, you’re also reasonable enough to look at people on the other side of politics and get along with them and acknowledge when they do have some positive about them. I’m sure there will be plenty of negatives that you’ll highlight over coming weeks and months about Scott Morrison. Are there any positives that you would like to share with us about ScoMo this afternoon considering he’s just been handed the highest honour in the land?

ALBANESE: I wish him well on a personal basis. He obviously cares about, I’ve seen him with his family, and he obviously is a loving family guy. Secondly, it is good that someone who genuinely supports rugby league – I think that Malcolm Turnbull was always hoping that the Wallabies would win the NRL Grand Final. Scott is a genuine rugby league fan and a genuine fan of the Cronulla Sharks. I think that’s a good thing, because the truth is that when you’re at the footy and people are talking to you, I always catch the train out to watch Souths, and people talk to you and it’s a good way to get contact with people who aren’t engaged in politics.

FORDHAM: Should the Liberal Party follow the Labor Party’s path in putting some rules in place to stop this leadership madness from going on because Australia’s just had enough of this?

ALBANESE: Yes they should but you can have all the rules in the world; the truth is that it’s about culture and it’s about people behaving in a responsible and constructive way. If people want to tear things apart, what we’ve seen this week is that there was a minority, always, who were behind this and they weren’t rewarded. But it was quite extraordinary that you have now, a Government that has been paralysed over issues like energy policy I felt a lot of sympathy for Josh Frydenberg, in trying to put together a policy. I didn’t agree with the policy he was putting forward, but any policy is better than no policy. And that’s what we’re left with at the moment because the Government hasn’t been able to actually move forward.

FORDHAM: Well Peter Dutton says that Scott Morrison’s got his full support just like Bill Shorten’s got your full support. So they’re very lucky leaders indeed and we’ll talk soon.

ALBANESE: Good to talk to you Ben.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Melbourne Drive – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Leadership spill.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon Raf, thanks for having me on.

EPSTEIN: What do you make, first of all, of Malcolm Turnbull’s departure – Imminent departure from politics, just the man and the politician?

ALBANESE: It is a tragedy that someone with so much capacity has been torn down by his own side. He of course must accept some responsibility for that given that in order to secure the leadership of the Party he gave up so many of his core beliefs including the need to take action on climate change. I think this week, where we saw the Government essentially say that energy policy is too hard, was a final indictment of that.

EPSTEIN: Forgive me interrupting but that’s exactly what the Prime Minister said today. I don’t think he believes his own party is capable of dealing with emissions or climate change.

ALBANESE: I missed his statement, but I’m not surprised. He’s right. But in order to do it he had an opportunity – holding the office of Prime Ministership to show leadership and he didn’t do that. He compromised. We’ve had the Emissions Intensity Scheme, the Clean Energy Target and then various versions of the National Energy Guarantee, and Tony Abbott and the forces around him were just determined to see absolutely nothing happen. And the tragedy of their obsession, means that now we will have higher prices and higher emissions than we would otherwise, almost as if any policy is better than no policy.

EPSTEIN: Can I ask you a systemic question, Anthony Albanese, your party paid dearly for exactly the same dysfunction when you were in government. Now we have watched the same group of people from the other side go through – well they basically walked off the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. How do we know this isn’t going to happen again if you win the next Federal Election?

ALBANESE: I think quite clearly it requires people to take responsibility for their own actions. I argued on 23 June 2010 that there was a diabolical decision that if people proceeded down that track, they would destroy not one but two Labor Prime Ministers. And that unfortunately was proven to be correct. The fact is that we have been stable and we …

EPSTEIN: I don’t doubt that you’ve been stable in opposition, and forgive me interrupting, but how do you – how can you reassure people and this is not a partisan question, this is a system-wide: how can you reassure people it won’t happen when you’re in government? Just because it seems the incentives are there to produce what is collectively irrational but individually seems rational.

ALBANESE: Well, one of the things that we did of course, is that when I became Deputy Leader to Kevin Rudd, we took reforms to the Party that ensured that you just can’t have almost an overnight insurrection such as we’ve seen this week. I mean this week, of course, has lasted for a very long time. It needs a substantial majority to want to change leader, and that figure is higher in government than in opposition, which is appropriate. And it requires a cultural change as well. The truth is that you can’t determine these things just by rules. You have to look at what the fundamental driving forces are there behind this week’s activity. And that is that there are some people in the Liberal Party, who don’t see, never saw, Malcolm Turnbull as a legitimate leader of their Party. They regard him as an entrist into the Liberal Party who happens to have taken it over. So what we saw today was that the Liberal Party’s most popular figure and bear this in mind, Malcolm Turnbull didn’t lose a preferred Prime Minister poll, any of them ever, the entire time he was in the leadership. It was something like 58 Newspolls in a row. He was ahead and that matters, the truth is, in election campaigns.

EPSTEIN: Labor has spent two years telling us it doesn’t matter.

ALBANESE: The truth is it does matter. Of course it matters. And just like any politician who says that they don’t look at polls knows that it’s just not true. Of course people look at polls.

EPSTEIN: Can I just ask you about the different prospects. To be honest neither Scott Morrison nor Peter Dutton are very high up in terms of preferred Liberal leaders for any set of voters, Labor, Liberal or everybody else. Scott Morrison, though, is more of a centrist. He is a tougher proposition for Labor to tackle isn’t he, than Peter Dutton?

ALBANESE: I think that is probably a fair assessment. But the truth is that Scott Morrison has been different things at different times of his career. Whether he can put together the rubble that’s left of the Liberal Party, I doubt frankly.

EPSTEIN: It’s all over. Greg Hunt says they’ve drawn the line under a decade of tension. Tony Abbott says we’re all going to be united.

ALBANESE: Well Tony Abbott of course has behaved – look I think for some context I understand people’s frustration with the last 10 years against all sides of politics. But I’ve got to say this year, this week colleagues of mine were saying and the Liberal Party members around Parliament House were agreeing, saying: ‘and we thought you behaved badly’. And there’s no doubt that we did, but these guys have just been relentless, ruthless, overt.
It’s been quite an extraordinary operation.

EPSTEIN I have heard that from a few people, I couldn’t quite get a gauge on it myself. Albo I want to leave it there because Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are about to speak to the media.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

 

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Brisbane – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Linkfield Road overpass; leadership spill; Peter Dutton; election; health.

ALI FRANCE: Well, good morning everybody and thank you for being here today. I have with me here today the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese and the Labor candidate for Petrie, Corinne Mulholland.

We’re all here today to make an announcement that is going to be a game changer for businesses and residents in Dickson and Petrie. I’ve had a lot of feedback from residents who live in Albany Creek, who live in Brendale, Warner and Eatons Hill, about congestion in this area.

And what they’re telling me is they’re frustrated about having to sit bumper to bumper, day in day out, in traffic while they’re trying to get to and from work and I absolutely feel their frustration because I regularly travel across the Linkfield Road overpass, and the traffic is always at a standstill before and after work.

We know that the Linkfield Road Overpass is a bottleneck and the RACQ has determined that it is a key area for future government action. So I’m really pleased to have Anthony here today, to make an announcement that will reduce congestion in this area and will be of great benefit to all the residents here in Dickson. Now before I hand over to Anthony I’m just going to let Corinne say a few words.

CORINNE MULHOLLAND: It’s great to have Albo here in Petrie and neighbouring Dickson. We are a fast growing community, in fact one of the fastest growing communities on the Australian continent. We’re a big, bold area here on the north side of Brisbane and we are absolutely hungry for infrastructure, just as Ali has said. Our community sits in traffic like you can see here today and our Federal politicians are sitting in Canberra talking about themselves.

Our locals have been outraged by what they’ve seen in Canberra this week. They’re supposed to be delivering for us and they’re not. So while Luke Howarth and Peter Dutton are sitting in Canberra playing political games, we’re here on the ground standing next to this bottleneck, doing something about it. So it’s great to have Albo here talking about this announcement, great to be working with my federal colleague Ali France delivering for the people of the north side.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Ali and Corinne for being here with me for this important announcement today. A Federal Labor Government will deliver $60 million for the duplication of this Linkfield Road overpass. This has been identified by the motoring organisations as well as by the Queensland State Government as an absolute priority, because of the growth that we’re seeing in the suburbs of Dickson and Petrie. They have currently two local members who are more concerned about internal squabbling within the Liberal Party than they are about actually delivering for their electorate. And it’s just like these two who opposed, of course, the Redcliffe Rail Line, first promised in 1895, but delivered by Federal and State Labor as well by the Moreton Bay Council. It’s just like these two who oppose Federal funding for the Cross River Rail project. They’ve done nothing to fix this bottleneck. Well Federal Labor won’t just put out petitions, as if we’re not in any authority. If we’re in government we will deliver and we’ll work with the Queensland State Government to deliver this vital project.

Nothing can symbolise more the difference between the current Government and Federal Labor under Bill Shorten than this announcement here this morning. We have a Government that yesterday put its hand up and said it’s too hard to govern even though they have an absolute majority on the floor of the House of Representatives. They shut down Parliament and it’s like workers walking off a workplace because they don’t like the boss. These same people who would criticise unions if they did that – did exactly that yesterday.

Well we have been preparing for government with the hard policy decisions, with decisions to fix up commuter parking at places like Mango Hill Station, with the delivery that we did consistent with what we did last time when we were in office when we actually delivered on projects like the Gateway North project, when we delivered the Redcliffe Rail Line, when we delivered the upgrades to the Bruce Highway.

This is an absolute priority. It’s something that Ali and Corrine have consulted with their local communities about. They’re showing more leadership today than Peter Dutton or Luke Howarth have showed in the many years that they have represented these electorates. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, when was your visit here to make this announcement planned and was it brought forward to coincide with the leadership challenge?

ALBANESE: Well we’ve been working on these announcements for a considerable period of time and both Ali and Corrine have raised this issue. We have a policy development process and this is my third visit to Dickson and third visit to Petrie in the last six months. So we’ll continue to come back. We’ll continue to have policy announcements to make because we are doing the hard work in Opposition to prepare for a stable and effective government.

And what we see at the moment is anything but that. I mean, Peter Dutton is putting himself forward for the leadership today even though if you look at the Solicitor General’s advice, the same advice that told Tony Abbott “nothing to see here, no problem”, the same advice that was relied upon by Government members to stay in the Parliament, the same advice that was overturned by the High Court. Today the Solicitor General has produced advice that says: “Well I think he might be OK, maybe not. The High Court might determine something different, but we think, on balance of probability, my opinion is it’s OK”. And this guy thinks that that’s an acceptable level of assurance, that he even has a right to sit in the Parliament, that he wants to be the Prime Minister of the nation. It’s quite extraordinary.

JOURNALIST: It’s been over a decade since a Prime Minister last served out their full term. Do you give an iron-clad guarantee that you’ll support Mr Shorten’s leadership not only in this Parliament but the next?

ALBANESE: It’s a bit of a boring question really. If you watch what’s happened on our side of politics, I have my entire political career been loyal to leaders. I stood up on 23 June, 2010, and said that on that night what happened would be that we would destroy two Labor Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. I’ve been consistent about my views and in spite of the fact that I stood for the leadership in 2013, what I’ve done since 2013 is get on with the job of being part of the Labor team under Bill Shorten.

JOURNALIST: And you won’t deviate from that principle?

ALBANESE: It’s not words. It’s what you do that’s important. Have a look at what I have done, which is to work each and every day, as a member of the Labor team. What’s important is that you work as a member of the team. I continue to do that. I’ve done it each and every day. Five Ministers misled Parliament, on Wednesday. It’s a serious offence to mislead Parliament. They stood up and they said when asked directly in the Parliament, not at a press conference, in the Parliament where they are obligated to not mislead, they said that they were loyal to Malcolm Turnbull. Have a look at what they’ve done, have a look at what I’ve done. I stand by my record.

JOURNALIST: What about your colleagues,? I mean Labor started off this idea of knifing a Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: Let’s be very clear – what happened in June 2010 was a mistake. I said it at the time. I think history has proven my judgement on that night to be right. Notwithstanding the fact that I think both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were outstanding Prime Ministers, there’s no doubt that we were damaged by those events. But there’s no doubt also – I was the Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives in a Parliament where we had 70 votes on the floor. We managed to do the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Gonski reforms on education. We did climate change policy, we did infrastructure policy. We did policy right across the board that made a real difference to the way this nation is run. What we’ve got under this mob is a Government that on Monday said we can’t have an energy policy, because we can’t get agreement to it. Regardless of the fact that everyone in the sector is saying what they need is certainty in order to invest, in order to reduce prices and the cost of energy and to reduce emissions.

This Government can’t function and we see that each and every day and the idea that they will turn to Peter Dutton, who is a cold character – I mean it’s one thing to have a hard head and you need that to lead the nation. But you also need a heart and a soul. There’s no evidence that Peter Dutton has either. He’s a cold character who has no empathy for people who aren’t the same as him. And that’s a real problem for the nation and it’s extraordinary that they are considering putting him up as the Prime Minister. And we saw that, we know what a Peter Dutton prime ministership will be like, because we saw that when he’s performed as Health Minister. He ended up being ranked as the worst Health Minister in Australia’s history, not by the Labor Party, didn’t say that – the doctors of Australia said that. And he tried to of course introduce the GP tax. He ripped $50 billion out of the health system and he initiated the inquiry into privatising part of the Medicare health system. This is a bloke who can’t be trusted to support Medicare, a bloke who’s saying that the Liberal Party should just go back to the past, a bloke who wants Australia to be a nation that isn’t one of the 21st Century.

JOURNALIST: Ali can we ask you a couple of questions?

FRANCE: Yes.

JOURNALIST: Hypothetically, Peter Dutton does become the Prime Minister today. What’s it going to feel like for you challenging the Prime Minister at the upcoming election?

FRANCE: Well, it doesn’t matter whether I’m up against a Prime Minister, a Minister or a backbencher. My job is the same. I will be focused on talking to and listening to the people of Dickson about the issues that they are really concerned about. And that is health, education, penalty rates, TAFE. These are the things that I am hearing about all the time and that’s what I’m going to be focused on.

JOURNALIST: What sort of impact do you think it will have on your chances? He’s clearly going to have a much bigger profile.

FRANCE: Well I think Peter Dutton should be concerned. This is a marginal seat and the people of Dickson will have a clear choice at the next election between somebody who is going to fight for them on the issues that matter or somebody who is really only concerned about furthering his own career.

JOURNALIST: What sets you apart from Mr Dutton in terms of your character?

FRANCE: My story I think everybody knows. I’m quite different to Mr Dutton. Seven years ago I lost my leg in an accident and seven years ago I was in a hospital bed coming to terms with the fact that I had lost my leg and I might never walk again. And from that I spent many years in hospital in and out of doctors surgeries and I saw that a lot of people were struggling. I see the issues that we are having now with cuts to our health system. I went on to represent Australia in sport. I won a gold medal last year and now I am taking on Peter Dutton and I feel stronger than I have ever been.

JOURNALIST: But in terms of, rather, do you have any reflections on Mr Dutton and his character?

FRANCE: No I don’t. I’m purely focused on doing the best I can in Dickson and in terms of what I’m fighting for in this electorate. This Government is going to be cutting $130 million from our Metro North Hospital. We’re going to lose over $13 million from our local schools. Eleven thousand people are losing penalty rates. We’ve lost over 200 apprentice places here in Dickson. So I’m not  focused at all on Mr Dutton. I will be spending every day up until the next election, talking to people, door-knocking and campaigning on the issues that matter.

JOURNALIST: What do you think of the vandalism of his electorate office overnight?

FRANCE: Well I condemn that, I condemn any act of vandalism or aggression against any Member of Parliament. I think that people should take out their frustrations at the ballot box.

JOURNALIST: In contrast to Mr Dutton you are on record as having a very compassionate view towards refugees. Where would you like to see Labor’s policy go in that area?

FRANCE: I support – Labor’s policy on this issue is very clear and I support Labor’s policy 100 per cent.

JOURNALIST: Do you support it because it’s Labor’s policy or because you share that (inaudible).

FRANCE: I support it because it’s Labor’s policy.

JOURNALIST: Does that policy reflect your personal opinion?

FRANCE: Yes, it does. I want to see an end to indefinite detention. I want to – I think we can be tough on people smugglers while at the same time treating people humanely.

JOURNALIST: Might that involve bringing them to Australia?

FRANCE: I completely support Labor’s policy on this issue and I have said that so many times. I am 100 per cent supportive.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, where are you going to be at midday today? Any special plans?

ALBANESE: Well, we will wait and see what happens at midday. But regardless of who emerges from what is a rabble of a government, they will inherit just rubble. It is just a mess and it is impossible to think that whoever emerges will be capable of uniting the Liberal Party. One of the things that we have done is to work as a united team, is work on policy and to be effective in doing it. And today is just another example of that. Labor here, Shadow Minister with two local candidates, standing up for the issues based upon the feedback that Ali and Corinne have had about the needs of their electorates where they are running. Peter Dutton is senior member of the Government, or he was, for a long period of time. He wants to be the Prime Minister. He’s out there doing a website about this issue. If you want websites and petitions in the electorate of Dickson, then vote for Peter Dutton. If you want someone who will actually get things done, vote for Ali France.

JOURNALIST: Just one more question for Ms France. What will be your signature thing that you pursue in Parliament? When people think about Ali France, what policy area should they (inaudible)?

FRANCE: Health. I have been in and out of hospital over many years, I have been sitting in doctors waiting surgeries over many years, and I know that people are struggling. The things that I hear all the time, and the feedback I get from the people in my electorate is that they are struggling with out-of-pocket health expenses. That they can’t afford the extra for scans and tests. That they can’t afford the gap to go and see a specialist. This is my number one issue, because I have been through it myself.

JOURNALIST: Is that a question of funding or do you have new and innovative ideas that you might share?

FRANCE: Absolutely it’s a question of funding. Cutting money from hospitals impacts patient care.

JOURNALIST: But other than funding do you have anything else in the health space that you might pursue?

FRANCE: Funding makes a difference. Medicare; what I’m hearing from a lot of the people in my electorate is that they are starting to pay money, having to pay more when they actually turn up to a doctor’s surgery. I spoke to a woman the other day who had to leave her doctor that she’d been with for 20 years, because they started insisting that she make the co-payment. Things like that I am hearing all the time. I think that prevents people from going to see their doctor and I think that’s a real problem in our health system. And we saw a report only last week in which one million people had said that they had – that the cost of going to the doctor had prevented them from going to see the doctor or they had put it off and I think that is a massive concern for this area.

ALBANESE: Can I finish up by saying that whoever emerges after noon today I think has a responsibility to actually go to see the Governor General and to call an election. This farce must end and it’s about time the people of Australia had a right to make a judgement on this Government. When it comes to health and the need to defend Medicare, when it comes to proper funding for our schools and our universities and our TAFE colleges, when it comes to proper nation building infrastructure, this Government knows that it is not capable of governing and it’s about time the Australian people got a say. And when they do, I am very confident that Ali and Corinne will join the Labor Caucus in Canberra after the next election.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Nine News – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Linkfield Road Overpass, Liberal Party leadership chaos.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has announced a major road announcement in Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson. Anthony Albanese joins us now. Very, very good of you to stand up and announce a policy in the middle of all of this Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, what we are doing is being constructive. This is what the Australian people want to see. Today we have announced the duplication of the Linkfield Road Overpass. It runs in between Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson and Luke Howarth’s electorate of Petrie and I stood up with Ali France and Corinne Mulholland – they are our great candidates for these seats. They are concerned about issues like traffic congestion. They are concerned about schools and hospitals. The Liberal Party have put their hand up and said this government business is too hard for us.

KNIGHT: All right. The Labor Party has been there before Albo. You are hardly the ones to cast judgement. We’ve been through the Rudd and Gillard years, but are you surprised by the confusion here?

ALBANESE: And I said in June 2010 that that was a mistake. I said it at the time. I said it publicly. I maintained that position and here we are seeing for the fourth term in a row an elected Prime Minister deposed. We should change prime ministers at Federal elections when everyone gets to vote, not under these circumstances, and I think the idea that Peter Dutton, who would appear to be the favourite, who is supported by 10 percent of Australians, as the Liberal Leader – it would be quite extraordinary if he comes through this process.

KNIGHT: Well we have seen the Solicitor General bring down advice stating that he believes that Peter Dutton is eligible to sit in Parliament. Still some question marks about that though. Are you happy with that advice? Is that good enough?

ALBANESE: Well, the advice doesn’t say that of course. The advice says that maybe, on the balance of probability, he may be OK. This is the same Solicitor General who told us that Barnaby Joyce was OK. What the Solicitor General also indicates in that advice is that the High Court might decide a different view from the Solicitor General.

KNIGHT: Will Labor be taking this to the High Court?

ALBANESE: Well when you look at the High Court, well we can’t take it.

KNIGHT: Can you refer it?

ALBANESE: The Parliament can refer it. The High Court have also made a decision over the issue of David Gillespie that it requires the Parliament to refer. I would have thought it was impossible frankly, for Peter Dutton to be sworn in as Prime Minister while there is a cloud over his eligibility to sit in the Parliament.

KNIGHT: Well it looks as though we will be having a three-way contest. Who would Labor like to see as Prime Minister?

ALBANESE: Look, that’s the business for the Liberal Party. What we know is that the Liberal Party have become a rabble. Whoever gets elected will inherit just rubble and will be incapable of uniting their own party, let alone the sort of unity that is required to lead the nation. We are a country that has big challenges ahead with what is happening in the global economy – the uncertainty that is there in foreign affairs; the need to give people opportunities in life as the economy changes. And what we have got at the moment frankly is just a mess and yesterday when the Government gave up on the Parliament and moved that it be adjourned at a time when we had legislation before the Parliament to outlaw modern slavery, it’s quite clear that this Government isn’t capable of government and whoever is successful at midday should go visit the Governor General and give the Australian people a say. That’s the feedback that I have had in Sydney this morning and now in Brisbane.

KNIGHT: All right. Anthony Albanese, thank you for your time.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 23, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – 730 Program – Thursday, 23 August, 2018

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
ABC – 7.30 PROGRAM
THURSDAY, 23 AUGUST,  2018

Subject: Liberal Party leadership crisis, Labor Party.
LEIGH SALES: A short time ago senior Labor MP Anthony Albanese joined me from Canberra Airport. Anthony Albanese, it’s self-evident in straight political terms that this is good for Labor, but what do you think it means for the country?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well it’s certainly bad for the country, the fact that for the fourth term in a row we’ve seen an elected prime minister deposed by their own party. I think that is adding to the disillusion that much of the Australian population has with mainstream politics.

SALES: We saw how it played out initially for Julia Gillard and the transactional costs associated with that. Why does this keep happening in the major parties?

ALBANESE: Well it’s quite extraordinary that the events of this week, I mean this week we’ve seen today the Government literally put its hand up and say governing is just too hard. They’ve got a majority on the floor of the House of Representatives. But today they abandoned the Parliament. What we’re seeing here is a collapse in the dynamics of the Liberal Party so that the hard right of the Liberal Party are just saying if we can’t run it will destroy it.

SALES: Well you mentioned before the numbers on the floor of the House of Representatives. It is obviously a very precarious situation and they could easily lose control of their numbers there depending how things play out. Is there any way for Labor to test that beyond a no-confidence motion? Is that what likely lies ahead?

ALBANESE: Well we’ll see what happens if Parliament comes back. I think that it’s untenable for whoever leads what is now a rabble of a Government. They’re going to inherit a rubble of what’s left of their own Coalition and it’s untenable for them to do anything, I think, other than to call an election and let the Australian people have a say. If Parliament is brought back, then Labor will consider all of our options. But given that they’ve been incapable of governing, even though they have an absolute majority on the floor of the House of Representatives, it’s pretty hard to see after this conflict this week how they will survive a day, let alone a week.

SALES: So does that mean Labor is preparing for an election within the next couple of months?

ALBANESE: Well, Labor has been preparing for some time. We’re ready Leigh. We’ve got candidates in the field. We’ve got our policies we’ve been announcing essentially for five years. We’ve done the detailed work in Opposition to prepare for Government.

SALES: Is it a foregone conclusion that we’re looking at Prime Minister Shorten?

ALBANESE: No, you can never take these things for granted. But we believe that people will walk away from a Coalition that is in disarray, that has said today – we don’t have to say it – they’ve said today that they’re not capable of governing the nation and therefore, as the alternative government, I think we enter into a campaign, whenever it’s called, in a strong position.

SALES: Anthony Albanese, thanks for joining us this evening.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

[ENDS]

THURSDAY, 23 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 23, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Thursday, 23 August, 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party leadership crisis.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Albo, for you to be watching on here, a little bit of deja vu and the similarities are obvious?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, unfortunately what we are seeing is a Government that is killing itself. I warned on the 23rd June, 2010, and indeed said on that night, that we will kill two Labor Prime Ministers if we do this. And unfortunately I think that was proven to be historically correct. What we are seeing here is a very small group of people, essentially around Tony Abbott. I called Peter Dutton Tony Abbott’s glove puppet on the Today Show last Friday and I think that is right. There is a small, disgruntled group of people who, when combined with social media and some of the shock jocks, are running this campaign for a bloke who, frankly, I have never seen hit 5% as preferred leader. He rates about two or three. Christopher Pyne rates ahead of him as preferred leader. There is a possibility that he may well be the unelected Prime Minister of Australia without a mandate. The Australian public should be very angry about the behaviour of Peter Dutton and the people around him today.

GEORGIE GARDNER: The Australian public is very angry. The Australian public is very disillusioned. You are a passionate politician. This is a sorry day for politics all around isn’t it, no matter what the outcome?

ALBANESE: It is absolutely. Look, we saw on Monday, Georgie, a poll that had 32% of Australians voting for neither the Coalition nor the Labor Party. I think the next poll might be higher, that figure. They are sick of politicians being concerned about ourselves and not the public interest. Peter Dutton, for him to launch not just one campaign, he had that on Tuesday, he had a ballot; since then we have seen, essentially, the Peter Dutton forces say very clearly they don’t care about the Government. They just want to have Peter Dutton’s name on the wall as a Prime Minister for however short a period of time.

What should happen is an election. This is a Government that is out of ideas, that is out of steam. You had Malcolm Turnbull put his hand up on Monday and say: “We can’t have an energy policy because I can’t get it through the House of Representatives’’. If Peter Dutton is successful in this extraordinary campaign that he is undertaking of just blowing the joint up completely, this is a campaign of destruction; if he is successful he will inherit just rubble. I mean, the Government is a rabble and he will inherit rubble on the ground. That will be all that is left of the Government and whoever is in charge should go to Yarralumla and give the Australian people an opportunity to put this mob out of their misery.

GARDNER: Anthony Albanese, you talk about the Peter Dutton forces. Just elaborate on who precisely the Peter Dutton right forces are.

ALBANESE: Well, this is the hard right wing of the Liberal Party. These are the people who believe that climate change isn’t happening, in spite of all of the evidence that is out there. These are the people who believe in the public funding of coal-fired power stations. These are the people who believe in the past. They hanker for an Australia that, frankly, we have moved on from as a modern nation. And they are people who are very frustrated about any progress in society, and they want to turn at the clock back. And they are angry at Malcolm Turnbull. They are angry at Labor. They are angry at anyone who disagrees with them. You have had circumstances now here in Parliament whereby you have had many women MPs – they don’t have that many on the Liberal side – complaining about being intimidated to sign petitions. You have had quite an extraordinary series of events that have just rolled on. And meantime they are not governing. We are supposed to have a Ministerial Statement today that I was supposed to be responding at 9.30 about the MH370. That is an issue which of course directly affected Australian families in that tragedy. It is not going ahead at any particular time because the Government has simply stopped functioning in this building.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, you know what it is like though as an analysis as well, to be inside that party when it self-destructs. You know that there are decisions that need to be made if you believe that the leader that you have cannot lead your party to the next election to victory and something needs to be done; the wound needs to be cauterised, and you were involved in that. The problem for you is the people who you are attacking this morning, in terms of the right of the Coalition, may be the very people that make it harder for you to win at the next election.

ALBANESE: Well the truth is that in Australian politics it is won more from the centre, than either the extreme right or the extreme left. That is the history of politics in Australia, that people have to be prepared to reach out and appeal beyond just the core base. What the Liberal Party are forgetting here is that it is not just Liberal Party members who go to branch meetings who get to vote at federal elections. There are other people. And what they expect is a bit of common sense in their politics, is less ideology, is a government that is prepared to stand up for them.

We had a chat, Karl, just a couple of months ago – it seems like a long time ago – the speech I gave in the Whitlam Oration was pretty prescient given the events this week. What I was saying there is that people want more solutions, less argument. They want people to be prepared to reach out, to both unions and employers. They want a more consensus approach in their politics. They are sick of people just yelling at each other. What we have seen – I mean, Peter Dutton, I get on with him OK, but the bloke can’t crack a smile. You know he is so angry at the world. What we actually need is to lift people up. That is what political leaders need to do and I don’t think Peter Dutton, if he is successful, will be capable of that. And Malcolm Turnbull, unfortunately, is in a circumstance whereby all of the things that he believed in he has given up in order to, one; gain power from Tony Abbott but, two; keep power at the moment and we saw that with a complete capitulation. Even though last week on energy it was overwhelmingly carried by his party room, that wasn’t enough because again you saw that small group of angry people effectively have veto over policy.

GARDNER: Let’s get back to this proposed second spill and knowing spills as you do, intimately, from within Labor ranks, give us a bit of insight as far as you know as to what will be going on as we speak? We understand that Mathias Cormann, who of course carries a lot of influence in this situation, is meeting now with the Prime Minister. Give us a bit of an understanding as to what would be the next step, if you could.

ALBANESE: Well, what will be going on is a strategic assessment of whether, on the one hand, a Leader, when someone asks for a ballot, people give them one. That is the history. When on the night of 23rd of June, 2010, Kevin Rudd and senior people in the Government debated whether we should bring on the ballot for leadership the next morning, or whether the rules would apply of signatures on a petition. Kevin Rudd announced, I think quite the rightly at that time, to bring on the ballot the next morning, knowing, I think at that time, that it was likely he would not be successful, but it was in the interests of the Government continuing, the Labor Government continuing, that he do that. So he put the collective interest before his own, if you like, and Julia Gillard of course emerged as Prime Minister the next day.

The circumstances here are very different because what they will be weighing up is that they have had a ballot just two days ago. I mean if they give them another ballot today, if Peter Dutton can’t get the 43 signatures, and at this stage it would appear, I reckon, if he had them, then he would be waving them in front of a camera now. If they give him another ballot today, do they have another one in two days’ time? I mean, there is a limit. So I think Malcolm Turnbull is within his rights to say no, you had your ballot. There is another party room in a couple of weeks. There is no doubt this instability is permanent now. What we might be seeing, essentially, is a split emerging which can’t be repaired and effectively, a split in the Liberal Party between the conservative forces and the moderate forces, because this sort of behaviour is very difficult to put back together. That is the problem that they have. There is the added issue, of course, is Peter Dutton eligible to be in the Parliament?

Now, Peter Dutton’s so-called legal advice isn’t explicit about that at all. We have released advice from Brett Walker, SC. He is one of Australia’s leading legal minds, saying there is a very real issue here. Professor Anne Twomey has said the same thing. The circumstances whereby, I don’t believe it is possible that Peter Dutton could be sworn in with that cloud over his head, and the circumstances whereby the Government has sought advice from the Solicitor-General, certainly when that is received that should be released. There is, at the very least, a cloud over Peter Dutton and it is a cloud that probably can of only be settled by the High Court of Australia making a determination.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, you’ve also got a great ability to cut through and also to talk in a fairly neutral way in terms of some issues. If you were to be the Prime Minister right now, given you know him, also given what is happening around him, what is his move? How does he survive even today?

ALBANESE: Well he just has to hold his nerve today. There is no doubt that Christopher Pyne will be giving him that advice this morning. I think the issue of the cloud over Peter Dutton’s eligibility to be a Member of Parliament – and what we know is that the High Court has been really strict on these issues. People who thought and they had legal advice saying they were OK, went to by-elections or, in senators’ cases, were simply replaced by the next person on the ticket. And the High Court has ruled: don’t worry about if it was an accident or because you thought it was OK or you didn’t have time to fix up your eligibility. It is a black-and-white interpretation is what this High Court has had. And there are real circumstances here. We had of course the South Australian Senator from Family First, Bob Day, rubbed out on the issue of Section 44 of the Constitution. That led to his resignation from the Parliament. So we will wait and see where that ends up. But I think that means almost that Malcolm Turnbull has an obligation to not just walk away.

There is the other thing that may well happen here as well, which is there is a possibility of the emergence of a Scott Morrison or a Julie Bishop. Certainly both of them, Julie Bishop in particular, is obviously much more popular in all of the polls than Peter Dutton. There will be people who are either in the Turnbull camp or maybe they voted for Dutton because they think it is time for a change of some sort, or there are people who just want an end to all of this who will be considering whether there is the possibility of the emergence of another candidate which is of course more likely if the Prime Minister of this morning is still the Prime Minister of this evening.

STEFANOVIC: Well tomorrow morning on the Today Show you might be joined by Prime Minister Christopher Pyne for your weekly segment and we look forward look to that.

GARDNER: Well there is a thought.

ALBANESE: Well I think that at least would be a more interesting ride for the nation.

STEFANOVIC: Thanks Albo.

[ENDS]


THURSDAY, 23 AUGUST, 2018

 

Aug 23, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Richo Program, SKY News – Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party chaos, infrastructure, toll roads.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: G’day Anthony. How are you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: How are you going Richo?

RICHARDSON: Well I am having a great week. What about yourself?

ALBANESE: It’s been pretty extraordinary as those ministers took the walk of shame today to express their confidence and their support in Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership. It was a pretty weak effort. It has been a shambles all week for the Government that began with the Prime Minister standing up and saying he didn’t have the numbers to get one of his signature policies through the House of Representatives. And his biggest fear wasn’t that Labor would actually oppose the NEG, it was that we might support it. So therefore he wouldn’t put it before the Parliament. Then you have had the debacle of yesterday’s leadership challenge. You have had a whole bunch of ministers essentially pretend that they were still with the Prime Minister. You’ve had the events of tonight unfolding. It’s not quite clear what the facts are. I heard Speersy before and he was very wise I think to be cautious about how many signatures are on a particular letter until it is actually seen. But this is a Government that really should, whoever is the Prime Minister, should visit the Governor General and just call an election and put them out of their misery.

RICHARDSON: Well certainly put them out of a pile of it. I think it will make them more miserable. It won’t put them out of the misery. It will put them in further. This is the problem. Malcolm Turnbull is a bloke with a pretty fair sized ego and now he has a choice – he can get slaughtered by his own party, or get slaughtered by the electorate. It’s not much of a choice is it?

ALBANESE: Malcolm’s problem has always been just dealing with politics. This is a guy who saw it as his destiny to be the Prime Minister and who just isn’t very good at politics. We saw that this week over the energy policy, well, we have seen it over the last number of years over energy policy on his watch. We’ve had the Emissions Intensity Scheme. We’ve had the Clean Energy Target. We’ve had the National Energy Guarantee in about five different forms and we have ended up with nothing. This is a bloke who, as I said in the Parliament yesterday, the tragedy is that Malcolm Turnbull does believe in action on climate change to combat it, but he has done nothing about it. He actually does understand communications policy and the need for a high-speed broadband, and yet he has trashed it and purchased some 21 million metres of copper wire which is like going and putting horse-and-buggies on your motorways. It’s just a tragedy I think that is unfolding before us. And the sad thing is that it is bad for the nation because out there people watching your program, people watching these unfolding events are marking down everyone in politics. It’s why in Monday’s poll 32 per cent – I can’t recall anything like that; you are a follower of polls Graham – but 32 per cent, almost one in three, said “I don’t want to be with the Liberal-National Party or with Labor”. They just look at what is going on, the idea that we will replace an elected Prime Minister in the term in which they have been elected for the first time four terms in a row, is just an indictment I think on the state of politics.

RICHARDSON: Well we are looking a little bit like Italy. I mean they average, since the Second World War, a government every nine months or something like that and we have had – this will be our fifth prime minister in ten years.

ALBANESE: The thing is that at least Italy has a little bit of an excuse in that under the system that they have they don’t have majority government so they have various coalitions have to be cobbled together. We have had majority governments in three of those four terms where this has occurred and you could put an argument that the Gillard Government with 595 pieces of legislation – I used to get together with Stephen Smith every morning, my Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives. We were responsible for keeping the Government in place, and we would say, ‘We’re still here’, because people were predicting that it wouldn’t last. We had 70 votes out of 150. This mob haven’t been able to run the Parliament with 76. They’ve got a majority in their own right and they still haven’t been capable of governing and Tony Abbott is –  I heard your endorsement of him coming back, but the problem with Tony Abbott is that, you know, he is a wrecker. He was very good at undermining and wrecking and being destructive against the Labor Government. The problem is he did the same thing as the Prime Minister and now he’s done the same thing as a backbencher to Malcolm Turnbull. He is incapable in my view of actually putting forward a constructive vision for the country and I just don’t believe that Peter Dutton is going to be able to do it either if he is chosen tomorrow. I think there could be a way to go in this. We could see a third candidate come through. We will wait and see the next 24 hours.

RICHARDSON: Well there is talk about Scott Morrison, but I know Scott Morrison pretty well personally and when he put his arm round Malcolm Turnbull today and said he has ambitions for him I just can’t see Scott going back on that. He made it pretty hard to run against Turnbull. The only way Scott Morrison can run and, you know, retain his integrity is if Turnbull pulls out. But Turnbull is not the kind of character who will do that.

ALBANESE: I think that is absolutely right. I don’t think so. Malcolm is pretty good. You just have to ask him and he will tell you. The problem is that Malcolm’s promise hasn’t been met with the reality of Malcolm Turnbull and I think people, many people out there do quite like Malcolm. They wanted him to succeed. I think there was a sigh of relief when he took over from Tony Abbott. But what they have seen is that Malcolm Turnbull compromised all of his principles in order to get the top job and if there is one thing people are looking for in politics it’s authenticity and Malcolm Turnbull just doesn’t have it any more. And his capitulation to the climate change sceptics of the last week; we know that Josh Frydenberg has worked very hard on the National Energy Guarantee and we know that companies that were ready to invest in new infrastructure aren’t going to do it now without the certainty that they required.

RICHARDSON: Now, it’s interesting you know if you look at the criticism that has been advanced over the last few days on the NEG, it doesn’t go to Frydenberg at all. All of it has been directed to Malcolm Turnbull. Frydenberg really hasn’t suffered, I don’t think, any great blows to his reputation. People don’t blame him, they blame the Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: Well I think they blame the Prime Minister for his capitulation. But they also look at the rabble that is the Liberal Party and the fact that people were prepared to argue against their own creation. Tony Abbott was the person who signed up to the Paris Agreement. Tony Abbott was the person who said 26 to 28 per cent in terms of the reduction in emissions as Australia’s target. And you would think he wasn’t ever there – he wasn’t at Paris – he wasn’t at the G20 meetings he had nothing to do with any of the targets that were set. It’s quite absurd the way that you have people in senior positions in the Government parties are prepared to completely disassociate themselves from reality. But that is what we’ve seen in practice. Labor – I think if you look at the work that we did on energy policy we were prepared to be constructive with each of the proposals that was put forward. And we haven’t even seen the legislation – ended up not even making it to the Parliament. And that’s pretty pathetic because what the analysis showed was that the NEG was going to be responsible for, even with the target that was in there that the Government was proposing, a $550 decrease in energy bills. Four hundred dollars of that was due to the renewable energy target, which will be met and indeed exceeded. It will be at 24 per cent by 2020. So you only need another couple to get to the 26 over the next decade. But $150 was basically due to, according to the Energy Security Board chaired by Kerry Schott, was due to the reduction in the risk premium as a result of there being a certainty for any policy. It’s almost as if what industry had been crying out for is any certainty at all. What you’ve had though, since the election of Tony Abbott in 2013 and continued under Malcolm Turnbull, is no policy. And it’s what you’ve still got tonight.

RICHARDSON: And you also have to believe that a government can deliver on a promise in eight years’ time which I don’t think anyone believes.
What about population policy? Because if Peter Dutton gets up tomorrow as most people now expect, I mean, I hear what you say about the possibility of a third candidate but it doesn’t look likely to me right now. If that’s the case, Dutton will scrap the energy targets – the renewable energy targets in a trice, they’ll just be gone. What about population policy, Anthony, where do you stand on that? Do we have too many people coming into this country or not?

ALBANESE: Well it will be interesting to see what Peter Dutton does. He’s been the Immigration Minister. He’s been responsible for the immigration numbers that have been coming in. What I say, is that it is about people’s quality of life that is important. That’s what concerns them. So have we got the infrastructure right? Are we building public transport in our cities? Do we have a policy for decentralization? It is unsustainable to have all of the increase in population in Sydney and in Melbourne.

One of the reasons why I support High Speed Rail down the east coast is so that we can have growth in cities like the one where I am speaking to you from. Australia’s largest inland city is our national capital here in Canberra. Now there is a good quality of life here, people would be attracted to living here more if you were under an hour from the CBD of Sydney and that’s one of the policies that we need – a comprehensive policy rather than – I think people feel very frustrated that you have ad hoc development, that you’ve had increasingly sprawling cities in our east coast capitals in particular without the appropriate transport, health, education infrastructure, without places for kids to place sport on the weekend. And increasingly we’re seeing, in my view, around places like Green Square and Arncliffe in Sydney you’ve had a massive increase in density without any thought being given in advance to where will the kids to go school, where will people get health facilities and importantly something that I know from my electorate in the inner west there’s a crisis in terms of sporting fields, places for kids to play sport on the weekend. You have shifts at night down at Mackey Park at Marrickville. You have four shifts, so that kids are training for soccer at eight o’clock at night. We need to make sure that – it is quality of life that people want. Migration has been very important for us, it will continue to be important for us. But it’s the infrastructure questions that are falling behind.

RICHARDSON: Can I ask, when it comes to that the great bugbears I have is that we’re trumpeting all these new roads but we don’t have freeways anymore. Everything has a toll on it. And if you talk to people from the far west who have got to come into the city or go to the airport or go to the eastern suburbs, they’re paying fortunes and it’s just beyond their control; they have nothing to do with it. And of course the New South Wales Government has announced yet another new road with another big toll and it’s just quite absurd and I think that’s happening all over Australia.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. That’s absolutely right Graham.

RICHARDSON: What happened to governments building roads and not charging a toll? What happened?

ALBANESE: Well part of the problem is what you’ve had under Malcolm Turnbull and under Angus Taylor – all of this view about value capture – you hear all this gobbledygook basically, and what it essentially means is you’ve had a distortion in the market. If you want to get infrastructure for free then essentially what you do is you end up with toll roads. So you’ve had a distortion. So they cancelled for Cross River Rail in Brisbane, for Melbourne Metro, the Western Sydney Rail Line through Badgery’s Creek airport has no actual dollars for construction attached to it nor does the Melbourne Airport Rail Line. They say ‘Oh we’ll get that through value capture or through an equity injection that will receive a return’ – it’s nonsense. The truth is if you want infrastructure you need to pay for it and the problem with our toll road system is that those people who are for reasons of economics forced to live further away from their workplaces are the very people who are being hit for more with tolls and there’s a real inequity in the system and it’s one that is directly as a result of – to shoot the blame home, I mean Tony Abbott cancelled every dollar that had been allocated in Federal Budgets for public transport infrastructure and gave it all to toll roads. And even the Perth Freight Link, he wanted the first ever toll road to be put on in Perth, the East-West Link in Melbourne was going to be a toll road. WestConnex in Sydney – I mean the first road ever which has been under construction for four years. They’ve got the tunnels going down, they’re not sure where the tunnels are coming up yet. The only thing they are certain of is that people are going to be hit for using the road.

RICHARDSON: I’ve got to say just to get from my home to work and back tonight I spend about $23 on tolls. Now I can probably afford it but gee there are a lot of people who can’t and I just get worried that we’re all addicted now to this idea of tolls. You can’t build a road without a toll, that’s what we’re coming to and I think that’s a very sad situation. Mate I’ve got to leave it there, they’re telling me it’s time to go. But thanks for your time Anthony. You will have very few weeks where you’ve had as much fun as this week, so good luck to you. Enjoy it while it lasts.

ALBANESE: I must say I think we’ve had worse weeks but the country has had better weeks and that’s the problem.

RICHARDSON: It is indeed. Thanks very much for your time.

[ENDS]

Aug 22, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes segment – Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Australian political system.

HOST: Good morning to Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day. I think that Two Tribes is now just about the Liberal Party. I am redundant.

HOST: No. We will get to you Albo.

PYNE: Boom tish.

HOST: You will have your turn.

HOST: You guys changed the rules to make it too hard. You can’t have any fun these days.

HOST: I would argue that what the Liberals are going through now is something that was invented by the Labor Party about 10 years ago Albo. But we will get to that shortly because we are going to start with Chris. Now Chris, you are obviously a Malcolm Turnbull loyalist and you tried yesterday to do your level best to prevent Peter Dutton from becoming Prime Minister. The consensus though is that Malcolm Turnbull’s position is untenable. Given that that is the case, what is Plan B?

PYNE: I don’t think that is correct that Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership is untenable. Yesterday he won 48-35. A number of people who voted for Peter Dutton have indicated to the Prime Minister in writing that they will support Malcolm Turnbull and not support another spill motion. That means that in fact Malcolm Turnbull’s position has strengthened, not weakened, since yesterday’s vote. I don’t believe that we will see another spill in the short term. In fact I think the Government is skating close to the precipice and my colleagues need to understand that. We have three colleagues who have indicated they would sit on the cross benches if Peter Dutton becomes the Prime Minister and in that situation, you know we could well be at an election within a matter of weeks. So people need to really take stock of the destruction that they are wreaking on the Government and that this is actually a zero-sum game. One party wins, another party loses. And if the other party wins it will be the Labor Party in government and Bill Shorten will be the Prime Minister. That is what people are playing with.

HOST: But how can Malcolm Turnbull go into Question Time today when everyone in Australia knows that more than a third of his ministers don’t want to work for him?

PYNE: Because he has more than 50 per cent plus one of the party room ballot and that is a win. There is an old saying in politics that one vote is a win, two votes is a landslide and three votes is wasted effort. The truth is of course that it is a saying, but what it means is that a win is a win is a win.

HOST: Given how much damage, and it is undeniable damage that he has sustained in the past 24 hours, what do you make of the theory, and it is a strong one, that rather than the more progressive people in the Liberal Party copping Peter Dutton ending up seizing power, that you come up with a compromise candidate, namely the Treasurer Scott Morrison, and that for the good of the party, to stop the blood-letting, Malcolm Turnbull should walk away and that Scott Morrison should contest a ballot?

PYNE: Because Malcolm Turnbull was elected Prime Minister in the 2016 election. He is the person who is most popular in the country to lead the country. All of the polling indicates that he is vastly more popular than Bill Shorten. The public willed Malcolm Turnbull to succeed and they want him to win and to do well. The idea of removing him simply because there are a group of people in the Liberal Party who have tried to destabilise his leadership and that the answer to that is for them to win and for him to walk the plank is quite frankly absurd. Malcolm Turnbull is the Prime Minister. I support him. A majority of the party room supports him. The public wants him to stay. Stability is our watchword for the future. Instability will see Bill Shorten as Prime Minister of Australia and potentially very soon.

HOST: We will get to Albo in a tick. Thanks for your patience Albo. One final one to you though Chris.

PYNE: This happened to him the other day too, if you remember.

HOST: It did. It did.

ALBANESE: I had nodded off.

HOST: We will get to you shortly. Neither of you were disappointed about playing the role of mute either.

PYNE: He did it better than me.

HOST: Chris, would you serve under a Dutton Prime Ministership on the frontbench?

PYNE: I don’t believe that there will be a change of leader. I believe Malcolm Turnbull will lead us to the next election and with a growing economy, with a million jobs in the last five years, with reform in education and health, in aged care, in child care and defence industry that we have been able to do as a Government I think we will win, especially when the contest is between Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten.

HOST: But what if you didn’t? What would you do?

PYNE: I’m not going to speculate about that because my view is that Malcolm Turnbull will lead us to the next election and I am a loyal member of his Cabinet.

HOST: Albo, what is wrong with our political system? This is the fourth time now in less than a decade that the Australian people have voted for X and got Y.

ALBANESE: I think there is a bit of a cultural problem. I bring it back to – I don’t want to blame any individual – but I think the rise of Tony Abbott to the Opposition leadership in 2009, where he had a ruthless and relentless negative campaign against the Government, including between 2010 and 2013, when Julia Gillard was the Prime Minister, the argument that an elected Government wasn‘t legitimate, I think, did a lot to damage the fabric. We saw motions in Parliament every single day to suspend standing orders and to disrupt and wreck and the problem is that Tony Abbott brought that wrecking strategy into Government as the Prime Minister and he is still doing it now.

HOST: OK, but tell the truth Albo. That might have sounded too strong. I’m certainly not suggesting that you are lying. You can say what you like about Tony Abbott, but you were a massive Kevin Rudd loyalist right through that whole torturous process within the ALP. Surely you would have to concede that this knifing, backstabbing, backgrounding model that the Liberals are now paralysed by themselves was pioneered and perfected by the ALP with what happened to Kevin Rudd in 2010.

ALBANESE: I say that publicly. I said it in Parliament again last night that the mistake of the 23rd of June, 2010, where people woke up the next morning and saw that there was a different Prime Minister and there was no lead-up to that at all. You will well recall people including the caucus chair, Daryl Melham at the time, as he left Parliament House saying the ABC were making it all up.

HOST: Yes.

ALBANESE: Which is what most people thought. That changed politics in this country.

HOST: Because I’ve got to say and to both of you and you Chris, I mean as Defence Minister the big story here has been the insecurity for the workers at the ASC. You guys on both sides of politics, not to put too fine a point on it, are giving our listeners the shits because it looks like you are just talking about each other and not talking about the voters.

PYNE: Yes and I absolutely hate it. And I agree with them. They are right. Those colleagues of mine who want to have this introspection here in the bubble in Canberra, fed by the media, but they are obviously giving them the story, are not talking about the things that people care about.

Those 90 workers at the ASC, I am happy to be able to say that we have put in place, I have done this as Defence Industry Minister, a number of other projects which means that even though they might not be wearing ASC t-shirts they could well be wearing Offshore Petrol Vessel t-shirts, Collins Class Sustainment and Maintenance, Osborne South Shipyard and Construction, Osborne North Submarine Construction, scholarships at the Naval Shipbuilding College. And that is what I have done. We have created about 1200 new positions across the shipyard so even though the 90 are at risk on the Air Warfare Destroyer because of course the Air Warfare Destroyer is finishing, I believe they will all get jobs across the shipyard so that we won’t lose their skills from the workforce.

Now that is the kind of stuff that we should be doing. When Anthony was the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, every day he got up and he tried to do jobs for the Australian public that made their lives better and as Defence Industry Minister, that is what I want to be able to focus on every day and I think I have done for the last two years. But these kinds of ludicrous distractions, the public are right to be furious about them.

ALBANESE: Can I say this David, I agree with what Christopher just said. The Whitlam Oration speech I gave a couple of months ago, that got written up by people who never read it, talked about his. It talked about the political culture. It talked about the need for more consensus across the political spectrum between unions and business as well. The form of politics that we have descended into at the moment is a huge problem and I tell you what people missed perhaps in the poll that was out on Monday was there was a 32 percent vote not for the Liberals or the Nationals or Labor, but for someone else.

HOST: We made that point yesterday on air.

ALBANESE: Now what that shows, well – great minds think alike David. You know 32 per cent are voting for what ends up being chaos because we know what happens when we have the minor parties in control. They swap around and you don’t know what you are getting. But that is an indictment of – we need to do better – the Coalition and the Labor Party – need to do better.

HOST: Is this where potentially someone like a Peter Dutton might well be a more dangerous political adversary for Labor at the next election? Nineteen percent of that 32 you mention are from other – largely One Nation, Bob Katter in Queensland and others. If the Liberals are led by a conservative more able to galvanise the conservative vote, doesn’t that make him potentially more dangerous than Malcolm Turnbull for you?

ALBANESE: I think it is delusional. I think the idea that you win elections from either the hard right or the hard left in Australia is delusional and Peter Dutton we’ll see, if he was the Leader of the Liberal Party, we’ll see people who are currently in the Liberal column go across to us because he’s divisive. When he was Health Minister he was the guy who wanted a GP tax. He was the guy who cut health. He’s the person who has shown on asylum seeker issues no capacity for any empathy with people at all.  I think that he would alienate the great mainstream of Australia, which is basically in the centre and I think that he would be a disaster for the Liberal Party if he was Leader.

HOST: I note that Christopher didn’t interrupt you once as you were providing that free character assessment there Albo. Was any of that wrong Chris?

PYNE: Well I think Malcolm Turnbull is the best person to lead the Liberal Party to the next election. I have been saying that for many years. I have strongly supported Malcolm Turnbull. He is the person with the biggest brain in the room and he is the kind of guy who I think the Australian public warm to. If he wasn’t being attacked from within his own side I think we would be in a much better position politically and I don’t think that we should change the leadership. I think that the disease of the last 11 years in politics, when people feel that there is a bit of pressure on the first thing to do is smash glass and change the Leader, is very destructive and I would leave you with one statistic. We have had six leadership spills in the Liberal Party in the last ten years. We had four in the previous 50.

HOST: The numbers do speak for themselves.

PYNE: They do.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, as always a rollicking chat and that was a particularly good one. You guys are absolutely in the thick of it over there in that mad house and we appreciate you making time for us here in Adelaide. We are particularly glad too Chris that you gave us that answer on that ASC question because, as you both said in your own different ways, that is exactly what politics should be about. Chris Pyne and Albo, good on you.

PYNE: Thanks a lot.

ALBANESE: See you guys.

Aug 21, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Canberra – Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Subjects; Coalition Government in chaos, NEG. 

JOURNALIST: What do you make of what is happening within the Government?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is not a government. This is a rabble. And the problem is that that creates a problem for the nation. We’ve had now five years of energy uncertainty. We’ve had as a result of that, higher energy prices because this Government can’t get its act together. They’ve come up with a whole myriad of plans. They had the Emissions Intensity Scheme, then they had the Clean Energy Target, which the Chief Scientist recommended, then they’ve had various iterations of the national energy guarantee. And what we’ve had there is a government that is simply incapable of having its act together. They’re a government that’s at war with itself and they’re governing to survive to the end of the day, rather than governing in the national interest.

JOURNALIST: Has Labor deliberately stalled negotiations on the NEG to watch the Government implode?

ALBANESE: The Labor Party has been constructive. The Government stood up yesterday through Malcolm Turnbull, on the floor of the chamber of the House of Representatives, and conceded that he wasn’t worried that Labor might oppose it – he was worried that Labor might support it.

And he said, himself, he wouldn’t bring it forward unless he could guarantee that there was a majority of Government members, that is, every single one of them, would vote for the NEG. What that means is that there is a veto over the NEG from any single member. We know that Tony Abbott is completely out of control and isn’t concerned with anything except for vengeance.

JOURNALIST: Labor could end that uncertainty by coming forward and saying yes we will support the NEG?

ALBANESE: We haven’t seen the legislation and Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that he’s not interested in Labor’s support. What he’s interested in is whether he has 76 votes on his side to support the NEG.

JOURNALIST: A little while ago it seemed the Labor Party was heading in this direction too. There was speculation that you would make a tilt at the leadership of the Labor Party. What’s it like to watch this happen?

ALBANESE: Well if you compare with the way that I conduct myself, and the way that we in the Labor Party conduct ourselves, we have always been interested, including at a time when various journalists were speculating, what we were concerned about is the national interest and getting out there and campaigning. And as I said we would, win those by-elections, as I made clear that that was my view that we would. I campaigned very strongly with the entire rest of the Labor team to ensure that we did.

JOURNALIST: Has Labor done any polling on whether Peter Dutton would be a popular leader?

ALBANESE: I’ve met Peter Dutton. I talk to people in the street.

JOURNALIST: What are they saying?

ALBANESE: I think that if you go out there and do a vox pop, I reckon if Peter Dutton stood we would be a real chance of winning seats that we’ve never dreamed of winning on the north shore of Sydney and in the suburbs of Melbourne. And, indeed, I think right around the country, Peter Dutton is a divisive character. And you’ve got to look at what happens in terms of how people rise. I think here we have a very small rump of people who are causing this chaos. We can name them: Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Craig Kelly. They’re there in the Sky News studio, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, causing chaos. A majority of the Coalition want to get on with the business of being in government. But a small group behaving badly are wrecking the Government, which is a problem for the Coalition, but it is a disaster for the nation.

[ENDS]

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