Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Jun 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PYNE: Rubbish.

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

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

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

STEFANOVIC: You don’t like coal anymore?

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

ALBANESE: You fiddled around for five years Christopher.

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

ALBANESE: You haven’t even stabilised yourselves.

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

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

STEFANOVIC: Albo, do you trust Donald Trump?

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

STEFANOVIC: You are avoiding the question.

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

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

PYNE: The Intertube? Yes.

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

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

STEFANOVIC: How was the escargot, tiger?

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

ALBANESE: That’s a good thing Christopher.

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

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

ALBANESE: I’d check my pockets.

STEFANOVIC: That’s uncharitable.

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

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

STEFANOVIC: Just feeling the joie de vivre.

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

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

ALBANESE: I was watching my Rabbitohs.

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

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

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

STEFANOVIC: You should take Christopher out for a look.

ALBANESE: You should come to the rugby league Christopher.

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

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

[ENDS]

Jun 13, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Subjects: Trump-Kim meeting, privacy.

HOST: Anthony Albanese and Anne Ruston join us now. Fascinated with your thoughts. Good morning to you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: Albo, as the incumbent, we might start with you. What did you make of it? Was it a victory for peace or was it just a meaningless gabfest?

ALBANESE: I think it’s a positive thing when people who previously have been in conflict are at least in dialogue. I don’t think you can take it too much further than that. I think the jury is out as to the detail of how denuclearisation can occur. But it is a positive thing and any time where previous foes are chatting, that’s got to be good.

HOST: Senator Anne Ruston, good morning in the role of Christopher Pyne this morning.

RUSTON: I’d rather be in my own role if it is all the same to you.

HOST: OK.

ALBANESE: Very wise Anne, very wise.

RUSTON: At the risk of having to agree entirely with Albo, look, I think it is little steps. They are small steps. They are first steps. But it is a good first step and I think the world is looking on to see how everybody responds to delivering on the promises that were made yesterday. It’s the first time in as long as I can remember when a US President has sat down with North Korea. So yes, we just have to be very positive about this and make sure that it works because it is in the best interests of our region and the world that it does.

HOST: Anne, I know, obviously, you are not the Foreign Minister, but as a member of the current Government do you have any qualms given the importance for Australia of a continuing US role in the Asia Pacific? Does the Government have any concerns where almost on the fly it sounded like President Trump told Kim that he would be happy to stop the US military exercises in conjunct with South Korea. We don’t want to see America sort of withdrawing from the region at the behest of a bloke who has got a million people rotting away in a gulag do we?

RUSTON: Well no and I think as you rightly point out, I am not the Foreign Minister and these sorts of conversations are always particularly delicate because there are so many things that could impact on the discussion. But I think overall anything that kind of moves towards us having a peaceful set of political circumstances in our region, anything that is going to, well certainly denuclearise our area, will have to be positive. But we need to take this slowly. We need to take this step by step and as each and every step gets taken in the process hopefully to reach the conclusions that were being agreed. There will be many more side issues that need to be dealt with, but I think we have to just take a very positive approach from what has come out yesterday. Let’s not read any negatives into it and give both parties and the rest of the region an opportunity to deliver the outcome that we have all been wanting for such a long time.

ALBANESE:   The way this segment usually works Anne, by the way, is I say something, and then Pyney just agrees with me. As long as you stick to that you will be right.

HOST: What is it is about Bill Shorten’s leadership?

RUSTON: Yes, I am sure we probably will agree on that one too.

HOST: You are warming to this Anne Ruston. Can I ask you your thoughts, Senator, on Barnaby Joyce being cast in the role of a champion of individual privacy in Australia. Does he have a point? Is it time we enshrined individual privacy in law?

RUSTON: I am really of the view that the laws that we have at the moment to protect people and their privacy really go far enough. We are a free country. We like the idea that we can walk down the street and talk to anybody we like as politicians and that is part of the game in Australia is that you are freely accessible to the public and that means to the media and I wouldn’t like to think that I would turn around and have to say to you, or anybody else in the Fourth Estate, you know: “Stay away from me because you are not  allowed to come anywhere near me”. I understand Barnaby has got a set of very personal circumstances that are playing out uncomfortably for him but I think that a change in our privacy laws would be unnecessary on the whole.

HOST: What do you think Albo? Have you at any times – you have been an MP since the dawn of time now mate, you are an elder statesman – have you ever had a moment in your life where you have felt that your privacy, be it something involving you wife or son, that it has gone too far?

ALBANESE: Yes, absolutely. It has happened on a number of occasions. Unfortunately that is part of the job. Most journalists are very good. There was the time where there was a TV crew outside my son’s pre-school, that I took the camera guys aside. At the time my wife was the Minister for Community Services – people who have been involved in those sort of family issues know that that raises security concerns. For example, the Department of Community Services in New South Wales certainly is in a non-disclosed secure-floor area for security reasons. I took them aside and said: “You can’t be serious, you are going to show where our son goes to school’’. And they said: “We didn’t see you’’ and walked away. They showed their decency by doing that and I think by and large the Australian media is responsible.

I think it is unfortunate that – any serious privacy reform proposal I think should be considered –  but it is not advanced by having Barnaby Joyce, who took 150K for an interview, advancing the cause. I think I’ve only had media knock on my door once for an interview at home. I said that is not the way it is done and they went away as well. But I certainly understand that the idea of people being papped by photographers can be really problematic, not just for politicians but in general. I feel sorry for a number of people involved in the media themselves, celebrities who get photos that amount essentially to harassment. But I would hope that most media outlets in Australia are, I reckon, pretty responsible.

HOST: Yes, we certainly haven’t gone headlong down the sort of old Fleet Street path. Albo and Anne Ruston, great to catch up. Beautifully done Anne, filling in for Pyno. We should call you Rusto this morning.

Jun 12, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Melbourne – Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Subjects: Federal infrastructure investment in Victoria, Melbourne Airport Rail Link, Donald Trump, penalty rates

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This year’s Budget has seen Victorians once again being dudded when it comes to Federal infrastructure funding. There was a lot of talk prior to the May Budget that Victorians were going to benefit, including the $5 billion that was allegedly coming for the Airport Rail Link. Of course, that construction funding didn’t eventuate and in the Budget Papers what we saw was actually a statement saying they would look to provide equity funding for the Airport Rail Link. We know that that doesn’t work and we know that no public transport project operating anywhere in Australia produces a return in terms of revenue that is higher than its operating and maintenance costs, let alone pays back the capital that will be required to construct a rail line to the airport.

But what is worse is the figures that we see when we actually look at the detail in the Forward Estimates. This year, 2017-2018, there are no new dollars. In the coming year there is just 0.4 per cent of any new allocation of funding that was in the Budget for Victoria coming through and over the Forward Estimates going right up to 2021-22, the figure is 9.1 percent.

So having endured during the period of the Turnbull and Abbott governments around about 8 per cent to 9 per cent of Federal infrastructure funding in spite of the fact that one in four Australians live here in Victoria and in spite of the fact that Victoria is Australia’s fastest-growing state and Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing city, the Federal Government is once again dudding Victorians with this figure.

When they talk about projects, you have to look at the detail. For the North-East Link, for example, they speak about a $1.75 billion announcement and yet only $200 million is available before the 2023 financial year. When you look at Monash Rail, that figure is just $23 million out of $475 million. When you look at Frankston to Baxter – the rail line electrification – that figure, out of $225 million, is just $60 million.

And of course there is no actual construction funding in the Budget for the Airport Rail Link. That is why Victorians are entitled to wonder what it takes for Victoria to get its share of Federal infrastructure funding. What it takes is the election of a Labor Government led by Bill Shorten that will actually end the discrimination that has occurred and the punishment of Victorians for having the temerity to elect an Andrews Labor Government here in Victoria.

REPORTER: These are long-term projects. Construction wouldn’t be starting in the short-term future. I mean, how much money should they be allocating to something like Monash Rail or the Airport Rail?

ALBANESE: Well quite clearly when you talk about no dollars at all for the Airport Rail Link. In the Budget papers themselves, they said that this is going to be an equity injection, that is off-budget financing for this project. That’s just a recipe for it not happening, because unless you have on-budget funding you won’t get that construction and the Government is saying that it will be off-budget funding into the future.

Similarly, with other projects it is true that projects step up from the beginning. But the fact that you have right up to 2023 just 9.1 per cent of the funding being available, that would require an election or a re-election of the Turnbull Government, then another re-election of the Turnbull Government and then sometime in the future beyond 2023 before actual real funding of any significance flows.

Now the Government should have been fair dinkum with the Australian people when they made these announcements. For example Frankston to Baxter – the electrification – that is a commitment that we made in the lead-up to the 2016 election. That has been spoken about for some time. We are not talking about a completely new rail line. We are talking about an electrification and certainly one that will increase the capacity substantially on that line.

So in terms of these projects I think that the public are entitled to be very sceptical about a Government that knows that it is under pressure for the fact that Victorian has received over the period in which it has been in government under 10 per cent of the funding. And you compare that with a project like Westconnex in Sydney, where the $1.5 billion grant has already been forwarded, where the $2 billion loan has already been made available and that is a project that hasn’t even had its final approvals for the final stage of that project made yet. This Coalition Government has been quite prepared to make payments to governments which they regard as friendly to the Coalition, particularly NSW, that receives something in the order of 45 per cent of the infrastructure budget in the current financial year. But they haven’t been prepared to provide that support for Victorians. What they have done here is make big announcements, not for the current term, not even for next term but for the term after and surely Victorians deserve much better than that.

The options were certainly there over the recent years to fund, for example, to provide assistance to – the work that the Andrews Labor Government are doing on level crossings. That is work that makes a real difference to urban congestion and to safety on Melbourne’s road system and of course improves productivity on the road network as well. They could have provided funding for the Melbourne Metro project that is under way now and yet they ripped $3 billion of funding out of that in Tony Abbott’s 2014 Budget. What we are seeing is a pattern of behaviour here from the Federal Government. Malcolm Turnbull likes coming to Melbourne. He likes taking selfies on trams. He just won’t fund them

REPORTER: On another issue, do you think Trump is simply grand-standing with this summit in Singapore?

ALBANESE: I think we are entitled to wish for a good outcome of this summit. We want to see the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and certainly I hope that there is a positive outcome from this. The fact that Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are sitting down and having a discussion is in itself I think a positive step rather than trading criticism over the Internet or over Twitter in each other. I think that the whole world, and particularly our region, has an interest in a positive outcome and I certainly hope that there is.

REPORTER: Back on infrastructure, do you have a preferred route for Airport Rail?

ALBANESE: We will wait and see the outcome of the work that the Victorian Government is doing. Certainly in the briefings that I have had up to now what we need to look at is not just at what happens with the Airport Rail Link but look at what the flow-on impacts are. Certainly a route that goes through Frankston builds on the work that we did with the Regional Rail Link and will provide for increased capacity and reduced travel times from Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. So certainly there is a bonus in that particular route.

But I do take it as positive that Malcolm Turnbull has said that he is prepared to look at the outcomes and to work co-operatively with Victoria and of course at the end of the day, the Victorian Government runs the public transport system here and they are the ones running the study. But what we need to do is to make sure that we get it absolutely right. We have waited a long time for there to be an Airport Rail Link. It’s quite clear though that it won’t be free and the idea that the Commonwealth’s contribution will be off-budget and will essentially be at no cost in effect to the taxpayer is something that I don’t believe is realistic. And I don’t think that we should confuse issues like what happens to the defence land around Maribyrnong. That should be considered on its own merits rather than it distorting getting the best possible route for this rail line.

REPORTER: Can I ask you about Monash Rail? There is division between the state and federal governments about whether light rail or heavy rail is the best option. Do you have a preference?

ALBANESE: I would look at the appropriate study. I certainly don’t have an ideological view in favour of one or the other. What is clear is that the Monash precinct – I was there just a few weeks ago – that is a growing area. We see the university has led to a whole range of very high-value jobs. We have of course the major shopping centre in that vicinity. We have also had considerable growth in terms of housing in that area. And so there is a need for public transport. That was identified by the Andrews Labor Government first. The concern here is that the Federal Government has said there is money available but frankly up to 2023 the figure of $23 million is very much a  minimalist contribution so we need to actually look at this. I’d await what comes out of the Victorian detailed work and the business cases before I would finalise what my view would be on that.

REPORTER: Just on another issue, penalty rates for some workers are set to be cut from July 1. How quickly would a Labor Government restore them or would you need to wait for the Fair Work Commission to go through its processes?

ALBANESE: We have said that we are opposed to the cut in penalty rates and we are opposed for very good reasons. We have just seen a long weekend in Victoria and New South Wales and what we saw there was at the club where I was yesterday, people being paid penalty rates for giving up their long weekend. They deserve to be compensated for that and what’s more, they rely upon those payments to pay their mortgage, to feed their kids, to look after the necessities of life.

We know that real wages haven’t been keeping up with inflation. The Government, the Reserve Bank, every economist, has identified wages not keeping up with inflation as a real issue that is holding back the economy. So it seems to me that it is quite absurd that at a time such as this, we would be cutting penalty rates. Certainly Labor would be committed to restoring penalty rates that have been cut as soon as possible.

In terms of penalty rates also I do note that a whole range of employers – good employers – are keeping faith with their employees and will continue to pay penalty rates after July 1 because they value their workforce and they value what they contribute to the companies that they work for. After all, if you don’t have loyal employees, you won’t have successful companies and loyalty is a two-way street and I congratulate those companies who have said that they will continue to pay those penalty rates.

REPORTER: Can you define as soon as possible?

ALBANESE: Well I am not the IR spokesperson so Brendan O’Connor will get down to the detail and Brendan O’Connor has certainly campaigned on this as has each and every member of the caucus because we see this as being a fundamental issue of fairness. I know myself, when I was at university working the Saturday night shift at Pancakes on the Rocks from 11pm to 7am, the reason why I gave up my Saturday night was because of penalty rates. It made a difference. It helped me work my way through my economics degree at university. That was essential for me. But what’s more, for many people for whom it’s their full-time job, it is those penalty rates that really make a difference. It’s the penalty rates that allow them to buy a present for their kids. It’s the penalty rates that allow them to have night out of with their wife or husband. That makes a difference to people’s lives and the idea that you will just cut that back in such a savage way is something that I don’t believe is fair.

REPORTER: Just back on infrastructure again, are there any other projects in Victoria that a Labor Federal Government would be looking to fund and back?

ALBANESE: Well there is a range of projects. Of course, we have already announced the tram extension during the Batman by-election. We are particularly interested in public transport projects and of course Labor is also very interested in advancing High Speed Rail in a real way from Melbourne to Sydney. The study that we did showed that there was a significant positive when it came to benefit over cost. We also will look at projects that boost productivity. When we were in government we looked at expansion of the inter-modal system to improve the freight network here in Victoria. And certainly many of the regional roads as well need fixing up. We did a lot of work on the Princes Highway East and West when we were in government, on the Geelong Ringroad. But we’d particularly look at the areas where you have the expansion of the population, I am particularly proud of the fact that the Regional Rail Link is the largest-ever investment by a Federal Government in a public transport project in Australia’s history and we would look at working with the Victorian Government as we have in the past.

You know, when we were in government, we were able to work with both Labor and the Liberal Government, which was who we finalised the agreement with on the Melbourne Metro, We actually had the Deputy Secretary of what was my Department of Infrastructure on the management board looking at taking that project forward. Now the Commonwealth has of course withdrawn from that project and I think that is most unfortunate indeed. But we would work co-operatively with Victoria and I am sure would be able to make a difference as we did the last time we were in government on projects like Regional Rail but also projects like the M80, the Princes Highway, and other road projects. Thanks very much.

 

Jun 9, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Devonport, Tasmania – Saturday, 9 June 2018

Subjects; Labor’s $60 million commitment to Bass Highway upgrade, by-elections

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Federal Labor will commit $60 million to fixing up the Bass Highway between Wynyard and Marrawah. We think this is a critical area for road safety. We also know that along that section of the highway we have a million tonnes of freight worth a billion dollars to the Tasmanian and national economy. So this is a critical issue of road safety and yesterday we met with people who take kids to and from school in buses. They spoke about the dangerous sections of the road, the fact that repairs have been done but it hasn’t been fixed properly.

Federal Labor in our first term will commit to start on this project. Funding committed by Federal Labor, just like we did when we were last in office when we doubled infrastructure funding for Tasmania, both road and rail.

JOURNALIST: What is the dollar figure?

ALBANESE: Sixty million dollars is what we will contribute to this important project. The dollars will start to flow from the time that we are elected in our very first budget. One of the concerns that we have is that the current Government have made a big announcement but it doesn’t flow. There’s just $10 million flowing. Nothing this year; $10 million the following year.

That’s not good enough for Tasmania and just like we did, when we were last in office, Federal Labor is the nation building party. We want to work with Justine Keay and other Tasmanian Members to make sure that we improve road safety, we improve productivity and we create jobs, as well, here in the North West while this project is being constructed.

JOURNALIST: Are you worried about being seen on the back foot after the Liberals made an announcement on that stretch of road previously?

ALBANESE: Well they haven’t put the dollars there in the short-term. This is an announcement from them off onto the never never. And we know the Liberals haven’t even spent the money on programs like the Black Spots Program that’s been allocated in budgets. Tasmanians know that the Liberal Party has been in Government for five years at the Federal level and there’s not a single major infrastructure project underway in Tasmania that wasn’t already funding in 2013 or before. Not one.

All they have done is cut funds to programs like the Rail Revitalisation Plan, put some of that money back five years later, and pretend that it’s new.

JOURNALIST: But the current Government are working up there and there’s more works to be done in the near future. You don’t think that’s enough?

ALBANESE: Well the Government hasn’t done enough. They’ve been asleep at the wheel. What they’ve done is cut infrastructure funding for Tasmania. We doubled it. And if we’re elected to Government we will once again be contributing to nation building with the support of people like Justine Keay here in Braddon, Ross Hart in Bass. We have two Members who have stood up for the north of this state in the House of Representatives, unlike we saw what happened last time: we had the three one-term Members elected. There’s a reason they only lasted one-term – because they didn’t deliver.

Justine Keay has been standing up for the North West. She will continue to do so after the July 28th by-election where I’m very confident that Justine will be returned as the Member for Braddon.

JOURNALIST: You’ve been on the front page of a Fairfax paper today – is that your pitch for the leadership?

ALBANESE: I’m just getting about doing my job for the Labor Party as part of Bill Shorten’s Labor team. That’s what I’m doing here today. Earlier this week I was in Longman and the entire Labor team is out there campaigning to get rid of this Government because we know that this is a Government that has prioritised tax cuts for the big end of town, tax cuts that won’t benefit people here in Braddon.

Braddon will receive the fourth lowest benefit of the 150 electorates from Malcolm Turnbull’s tax plan. What we want to do is to stand up for working people, stand up on issues of education and health and infrastructure. We’ll continue to do so.

JOURNALIST: Do you see yourself as a source of lingering pressure though for Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: I see myself as part of the Federal Labor team – a Labor team that is united, a Labor team that is determined to get rid of the Turnbull Government. And one of the great divides in Australian politics is the united Labor team with the current Government, which is at war with itself. Within the National Party there’s an ongoing blue between Barnaby Joyce’s supporters and those now in the leadership position. There’s the ongoing war between Tony Abbott , down here again, eating pieces of fruit and vegetables, once again down here in Tasmania, last week.

Brett Whiteley is part of the Abbott team that opposes Malcolm Turnbull’s team. The Labor team is united, the Labor team is determined to see Justine Keay returned as the Member for Braddon. And what you’ll see over coming weeks is Labor senior Members down here campaigning with Justine, making sure that she’s returned as the Member for Braddon.

JOURNALIST: So are you ruled out going for the leadership?

ALBANESE: We have no leadership issues. What we have, as a united team, determined…

JOURNALIST: Will you rule out?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. I’m not interested in fighting anyone other than Malcolm Turnbull. That’s my priority and I continue to do that each and every day as part of Labor’s team.

JOURNALIST: Just one more – do you think you would be a more popular leader than Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: I am part of the Labor team. And one of the things about being part of the team is that everyone has to play their role and everyone has to head in one direction. That’s what’s happening with Labor. We are united, we have more policies out there than any Opposition has had in living memory.

And today’s announcement is just another policy to go with our commitment on hospitals, our commitment in education, early childhood, other infrastructure issues where we’re determined to put forward a real alternative to the current Government. We’ve been determined not just to be elected by default, but to be elected with a platform in our own right. And part of that platform is representing the North-West of Tasmania and indeed the whole of Tasmania and making sure that we stand up.

The Liberal Party are running a candidate in this seat who won’t even say whether he supports Tasmania continuing to get its fair share from the GST. A person who won’t say that he supports penalty rates. A person who wants tax cuts for the big end of town, rather than tax cuts that benefit the people in this electorate in the North-West. Thank you.

 

Jun 8, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 8 June 2018

Subjects; Foreign interference laws, by-elections, Katy Gallagher, sugar tax

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Attorney-General Christian Porter will attempt to rush new foreign interference laws through Parliament before the winter recess and it comes amid concerns that the July by-elections could be compromised by spies. Joining me now is Anthony Albanese and in Adelaide, Christopher Pyne. Anthony is chuckling but I’m going to go first to Christopher Pyne. Is this about China, Christopher?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well Sylvia, good morning. No the foreign interference laws are kind of the first of their kind in the world, which is really interesting and other countries are watching to see what we’re doing. There’s obviously been a heightened concern about espionage and foreign interference from all countries around the world that partake in those kinds of activities…

JEFFREYS: Specifically China though.

PYNE: And these laws are not directed at China or any specific nation. They’re directed at protecting Australia’s interest. I live in Adelaide as you know and, of course, because of our submarines and shipbuilding activities here, we’ve become a hot spot for foreign espionage. So we need to get our laws clear and consistent and that’s what Christian Porter and before him George Brandis have been doing, working with the Labor Party in a bipartisan way.

JEFFREYS: How vulnerable do you think our July elections are?

PYNE: Look these laws and the by-elections are not linked at all. The foreign interference…

JEFFREYS: Then why the rush to get them through before the recess?

PYNE: There’s no rush, we’ve been discussing these laws since last November/December when George Brandis first put them on the table. And there’s been a long committee process, which has been gone through with Labor and the crossbenchers and this is where we’ve arrived at: increasing the public interest protections for journalists for example, ensuring that civil liberties are protected but, more importantly, protecting Australia’s national interest. And that’s not a rush; it’s been an eight/nine month process.

JEFFREYS: Ok, Anthony, will Labor support these laws in their current form before the recess?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well there’s agreement on the first of the pieces of legislation and that has been a lengthy process. These laws were introduced last December. What happened was last night Christian Porter forwarded some amendments for the second bill that also went too far, needed some amendments, there’s no question about that. But he only forwarded them to Labor last night. So we’ll give them due consideration, we’ll work with the Government. These laws and national security needs to be above politics, they need to be dealt with in a bipartisan way. That’s the spirit in which we enter the negotiations. I think, frankly, Christopher is right, the by-elections are taking place and they don’t need…

PYNE: Again.

JEFFREYS: Well the by-elections are taking place…

ALBANESE: Any idea that somehow there’s foreign interference in these by-elections is, I think, a headline looking for some substance.

JEFFREYS: All right. Well on the by-elections, Albo, they are looking like they’re going to be a big worry for Bill Shorten. The polling hasn’t been good up until this point. If they don’t go as planned, if they don’t work out well for the Labor Party, are you going to make a move for the leadership?

ALBANESE: I’m just working to ensure that we win those by-elections. Indeed after this morning I’ll be heading to Burnie in the electorate of Braddon in Tasmania…

PYNE: He is very active, believe me.

ALBANESE: I’ll be in Devonport tonight…

PYNE: He is very active; Bill wishes he’d stayed home.

ALBANESE: And I’ll be campaigning for Justine Keay to make sure she gets elected. Earlier this week I was with Susan Lamb in Longman. She’s a great candidate.

JEFFREYS: Making your presence felt in all of the by-elections in crucial seats.

PYNE: Bill wants Albo to get the flu.

ALBANESE: Well I’m doing my bit to make sure that we win every one of those by-elections…

JEFFREYS: Is Bill Shorten doing his bit?

ALBANESE: As is Bill Shorten, as is the entire Labor team.

PYNE: Bill is sneezing in Albo’s general direction in the hope he catches the flu.

JEFFREYS: Quickly, news about Katy Gallagher this morning making another run, or re-entering?

ALBANESE: Well it’s good news that Katy Gallagher will be making an announcement today. I certainly welcome her recontesting as a Senator for the ACT. Katy Gallagher was making an outstanding contribution. She has more to contribute and I’m sure that everyone in Labor’s leadership team will welcome that.

JEFFREYS: Ok, very quickly gentlemen, because we do have to wrap things up. We’re talking about a sugar tax on The Agenda segment later this morning. Christopher, would the Government support a sugar tax?

PYNE: Well Sylvia, where do you end if you have a sugar tax on drinks, fizzy drinks, do you then have a sugar tax on hot chips, on potato chips, lollies, chocolates, Dagwood Dogs? I mean this is where governments have to seriously consider these issues before rushing into them. I do think the public needs to know that the sugary drinks that they are drinking, even orange juice, are full of sugar and sugar in many respects is the enemy of good health. Obesity of course is one of the major causes of too much sugar intake, but whether governments should be taxing these particular products -where do you draw the line?

JEFFREYS: And Albo; Labor’s take on this?

ABANESE: Look I think certainly we are consuming too much sugar. There’s no doubt about that. Per capita we intake much more than other nations and we need to look at healthy diets but we also need to look at the impact of taxes, who it is hitting and whether it is hitting working people who are already struggling to make ends meet. So we would look very cautiously at any proposal.

JEFFREYS: Sounds like a big fat no from both of you at this stage to a sugar tax. Gentlemen, thank you very much for joining us this morning. We appreciate your time and may you both enjoy a tax-free Dagwood Dog this weekend.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

PYNE: Thanks Sylvia.

Jun 6, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Subjects: Labor Party, by-elections, Barnaby Joyce.

HOST: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: Now we are going to kick off with you if we can today Albo. We had a bit of fun last week …

ALBANESE: Why not? Alphabetical order.

HOST: Yes, that’s right. AA. It’s got to be you. First in the White Pages. Now we had a bit of fun last week talking about the poll showing that you are the preferred Leader of the Labor Party. I want to ask you in all seriousness though, and you have obviously been campaigning in these two by-elections on the ground in Longman and in Braddon, do you think that if Labor does fall short in either of those by-elections that it will open up a question of the federal leadership?

ALBANESE: Well, in all seriousness, we are not about falling short. We are about winning these by-elections and we are not about conceding that members who have been very good in Susan Lamb and Justine Keay are going to be doing anything other than being returned. That is what we are focused on. I was with Susan Lamb yesterday. We caught the train from Brisbane Central Station up to the Longman electorate, the Caboolture line, and Susan was very well received.

HOST: I know that you are focused on that now. Obviously the party is focused on winning those seats now. But in politics people are always planning for contingencies and thinking about the consequences. So the question is, in the event that the worst happens and Labor doesn’t win either of those seats, doesn’t it become a leadership test for Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: But the whole premise of the question is wrong.

HOST: Not if you lose it’s not.

ALBANESE: Well, what we are about is winning not just these by-elections but winning the next election and ensuring that Bill Shorten is the Prime Minster and I am the Infrastructure Minister in a Government which he chairs and that’s my only focus.

HOST: Can I just ask you when you go out campaigning as you have been in Longman and Braddon, does Bill Shorten ring you and say: “Hey Albo mate, it would be great if you could give me a bit of back up here with your high profile and the fact that you are so popular, I want you out there with me using your star appeal to hold this seat’’.

ALBANESE: Well Bill Shorten, certainly, we had a chat last week about campaigning because early last week I was in Perth and Fremantle. The week before I was in Braddon and we do swap notes about issues that come up in those electorates and the point is that yesterday we had Amanda Rishworth in Longman in the morning. We had me there in the afternoon and early evening. Bill was in Braddon. We are a team. I know that might seem unusual for the chaotic rabble that we oppose.

HOST: I thought you were going to say 5AA for a second there.

ALBANESE: No, you are a united team. I’ve seen you blokes in there and there’s no doubt that you two are united, just like there is no doubt that Labor is united, unlike the other lot.

HOST: Right.

ALBANESE: You are almost as one.

HOST: We are in lock-step, that’s right. Hey Chris Pyne, we know you were spotted at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday for the Crows’ disappointing loss to GWS. Afterwards, what did you sit back and watch on TV to unwind? Was Channel 7 on the dial?

PYNE: Well just before we get onto that subject, the thing is it’s not just Longman and Braddon that are the tests for Bill Shorten. It’s also Mayo because Labor are in lock-step behind Rebekha Sharkie in that seat. Leon Bignell is dropping a bucket on our candidate on a daily basis in the State Parliament. Labor is supporting Rebekha Sharkie and she has embraced (inaudible). Labor has embraced Rebekha.  Rebekha has embraced Labor. So there’s a lot of tests for Bill Shorten and the truth is we shouldn’t win any of these by-elections. The Government hasn’t won a by-election from the Opposition since 1920. So the fact that Bill Shorten is even under any pressure in these by-elections is extraordinary and I must admit I haven’t heard Anthony giving a fulsome endorsement of the Bill Shorten as the Labor Leader from now until the next election. And while Anthony is very busy criss-crossing the country Bill Shorten is in hiding. He hasn’t been to any of these seats campaigning. He’s leaving it up to Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: He was in Braddon yesterday.

PYNE: He’s leaving it up to Anthony because he knows that Anthony is a lot more popular. Anthony is being very coy and it’s nice to be coy. He’s a lovely humble fellow. But the truth is we know he is campaigning for the leadership.

HOST: What about Barnaby though, Chris Pyne? Did you watch the show? Surely the Turnbull Government, seeking re-election as it is, you would be better off without him as a candidate wouldn’t you?

PYNE: Well whether he is a candidate or not is a matter for Barnaby and the National Party; whether he nominates for pre-selection – he says he will – and whether the National Party endorses him. Every single candidate including me, including everybody, has to be endorsed by their party to run that flag in that particular seat. He says he is going to nominate again and good luck to him. I did watch the show on Sunday night I must admit and I thought well, that was a choice that Barnaby and Vicki made and I hope that they are happy with the way it turned out.

HOST: What did you think about them getting paid so much money for doing it?

PYNE: Well Barnaby is a backbencher so he doesn’t have the same rules that apply to him as apply to say me as a Cabinet Minister and he has to obviously declare other sources of income on the Register of Interests. I don’t think a Cabinet Minister would get away with being paid for a television interview. I must admit I haven’t noticed you offering me any money.

HOST: No.

ALBANESE: We don’t even get a biscuit. That’s why they won’t have us in the studio because they are worried we will have a cup of coffee.

HOST: We’re not made of money here. You are getting our standard fee.

PYNE: Exactly. Just a certificate of appreciation would be nice at some point.

ALBANESE: We could put it on our walls.

HOST: We will get one printed up for you at the end of the year fellas – the gold star. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese for Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning, Thanks for joining us.

Jun 5, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Brisbane, Steve Austin program – Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Subjects: State of Origin, Longman by-election, Cross River Rail, Susan Lamb, Infrastructure Australia.

STEVE AUSTIN: Anthony Albanese, thanks for coming into the studio.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be here.

AUSTIN: I am surprised you are here. I thought you would be flying to Melbourne for State of Origin.

ALBANESE: No, no, no. I will watch it at home in Sydney tomorrow night.

AUSTIN: You can’t afford the tickets either?

ALBANESE: At the airport this morning there were quite a few of the NRL guys heading south for the big game tomorrow night. I think it will be very exciting once again – a new Queensland side. We are actually a chance. But I think that every year. So we will wait and see.

AUSTIN: Amanda of Kingston says: “Anthony Albanese, go the Rabbitohs’’. So there you go – a message for you.

ALBANESE: She’s a good person, Souths have supporters everywhere. We’ve got four Souths players. I just hope none of them get hurt.

AUSTIN: Is it significant that you are here helping Susan Lamb in Longman? Is that because you relate better to the outer suburbs than does Leader Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: No. Bill Shorten has been here already and today I think he was in Braddon in Tasmania. We will all be campaigning. Earlier on today I was in Petrie with Corinne Mulholland and Anika Wells campaigning there, talking about the Redcliffe Rail Line of course that was built by Federal and State Labor working with the Moreton Bay Council there.

AUSTIN: With not enough train drivers to run it.

ALBANESE: Well, that is absolutely true and that is why you need proper planning and certainly the Newman Government didn’t really like the project from the beginning, let alone Tony Abbott, and I was here talking about the need for the next project, which is of course Cross River Rail. That is essential, not just for the people of Brisbane but for the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast as well because you’ve got to do something about the capacity of the rail network in here in South-East Queensland.

AUSTIN: Did State Labor shoot themselves in the foot when they blew raspberries at the Federal Government, saying “no matter what we will go it alone and we can do it’’ and the Federal Government said OK.

ALBANESE: Not at all. Let’s be clear about what happened there. Infrastructure Australia approved the Cross River Rail project in 2012. It was put in the Budget with funding in 2013. I sat down with Campbell Newman, the Premier of Queensland then. We had an agreement. We had $715 million from each level of government, an availability payment going forward.

We had the media release all signed off for the press conference on the Friday. We were going to do it at Kangaroo Point and at the last minute the Queensland Government pulled the pin and the reason they gave was because Tony Abbott had made it clear that he would withdraw all funding from any public transport project that wasn‘t already under construction. And he did just that for Cross River Rail, for Melbourne Metro, for Perth Airport Rail, for projects right around the country that weren’t under construction because he didn’t believe there was a role of the Commonwealth. Now the …

AUSTIN: Under the new, with the new Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, they are funding extra lines to the Sunshine Coast. They are looking at a fast train project.

ALBANESE: Except it doesn’t really work …

AUSTIN: They are putting in serious money.

ALBANESE: Well are not putting in serious money.

AUSTIN: They are putting up multi-millions of dollars.

ALBANESE: There is a study off into the Never-Never, is what they are doing. They have got money for a study for faster rail. They have got money off into the Never-Never for the Sunshine Coast. But they know …

AUSTIN: And for duplicating the track.

ALBANESE: Well again, not in the immediate sense.

AUSTIN: Not next year but, you know …

ALBANESE: Well, it is very much off into the future. That’s the problem.

AUSTIN: I mean the money is there. They have allocated it.

ALBANESE: The money is there but the money that they are doing is over ten years and the truth is that if you want to do anything about the rail network in South East Queensland, Cross River Rail is the number one project. It is the pre-condition for anything else. They know that and out of stubbornness really, they are refusing to fund Cross River Rail. We have put $2.24 billion on the table for that project because we regard it as essential.

AUSTIN: The State Government is rolling in coal royalties. They are giving away cash hand over fist at the moment because they have got a lot of money coming in that they didn’t expect to have. They have made it quite plain that they will go it alone and the Federal Government has called their bluff and it’s saved the public money you know because the Queensland Government is going to fund it …

ALBANESE: Well it hasn’t saved the Government money. What it has done is meant that …

AUSTIN: They have saved the public money.

ALBANESE: No, what it has meant is that the State Government has had to do just that, unless we are elected. That means less money for projects throughout Queensland that the State Government will have. We think that there is a role for the Commonwealth in urban public transport and Malcolm Turnbull, it is true, has said he supports public transport. I just wish every time he took a selfie on a train or a tram some money flowed because if that happened then we would have no problems with any funding at all.

AUSTIN: Let’s talk about the Longman by-election, which won’t be the beneficiary of the Cross River Rail project because it’s a long way away.

ALBANESE: Well, it will because of the capacity. And indeed after this interview I’ll be getting on a train with Susan Lamb going up to her electorate to a function there.

AUSTIN: Taking selfies?

ALBANESE: We’ll be going up on the train from here. We’ve got a function there tonight. And the truth is that the capacity of the network needs fixing and the Cross River Rail is the project to do it.

AUSTIN: My guest is Anthony Albanese. Why is Susan Lamb standing again when she caused the by-election in the first place over refusing to fix up her dual citizenship.

ALBANESE: Well it’s not a matter, and you know full well Steve, that it’s not a matter of refusing.

AUSTIN: Well she pooh-poohed any … well she almost denounced any horrible suggestion that there might be something worth looking at. She blew raspberries at anyone who said: “How dare you say I haven’t done everything right?”

ALBANESE: Well that’s not right. What she did was comply in accordance with what everyone thought, including her legal advice, was the previous High Court rulings.

AUSTIN: It was the ALP’s legal advice.

ALBANESE: No. The previous High Court rulings had found that essentially what you had to do was make best endeavours. And the reason why the High Court had done that was because if it was not the case – if it was a strict interpretation, which they’d currently made, then what that did was give the power of a High Commission or a government of another nation to delay the processing and therefore determine the outcome over whether someone was eligible to run for Parliament or not.

That was the previous understanding of High Court rulings and in previous cases that is as what they’ve done. Now they’ve tightened that up. Susan accepts that. That’s why she resigned and is recontesting, like other members around. We’ve got four by-elections as a result of that High Court ruling. She is putting herself forward because she’s got a lot more to do. She’s been a great local member. She’s passionate about her local community.

AUSTIN: What’s she actually done? What’s she actually done? If she’s been a great local member, point to one project, one achievement, something that the residents of Caboolture, Bribie Island, Ningi, any of those areas, that they can say: “Susan Lamb did that.

ALBANESE: Well, when I’ve been with her, in Caboolture for example, at the medical centre there: standing up for the medical centre; saying it’s not good enough that the NBN, because it’s reliant upon copper wire for the last portion, when it rains they don’t have access to the Internet, to medical records; drawing attention towards that, making sure that Caboolture is not forgotten. She’s done that very strongly. She’s done that in a range of areas, pointing out some of the problems that the Government has created in childcare, in education, with the failure to properly fund schools, with transport issues …

AUSTIN: I think the Government has thrown billions of extra dollars …

ALBANESE: They’ve cut the…

AUSTIN: They’ve cut the forward forecast that your party put out but you didn’t get money to actually do it.

ALBANESE: We did.

AUSTIN: The Federal Government put billions more into education.

ALBANESE: They have not. They have cut $17 billion out of education.

AUSTIN: The RMIT fact-checked that claim and found it to be not true.

ALBANESE: Well it is true. The fact is that compared with what Labor had planned to do under Gonski Mark 1, there would be $17 billion more go into schools. And the other thing that she’s done is point out that the people of Longman will not benefit from the big business tax cuts. Budgets are about priorities. They are about what you determine is most important. There are a finite number of funds and Labor’s priority isn’t tax cuts to the big end of town, it’s tax cuts for low and middle income earners, which the people of Longman will benefit from. It’s funding of education and health services. It’s funding of early childhood and she’s been campaigning earlier today with Amanda Rishworth on those issues.

AUSTIN: My guest is Anthony Albanese. He’s the Federal Shadow spokesperson for Transport, Regional Development, Infrastructure, Cities, Tourism – have I missed anything?

ALBANESE: Building stuff.

AUSTIN: You’re the Russ Hinze. Remember Russ Hinze was the minister for everything in Joh’s old government?

ALBANESE: Yes, except there are no special roads to any of my many pubs that I own throughout Marrickville in my dreams.

AUSTIN: I’ve got a few listeners who want to tell us horse stories in Queensland so I don’t know if you want to stay for that but there’s a couple of things I want to ask about. Just back to talking about rail. If Cross River Rail, as you say, is so much of an important project, why wasn’t it prioritised by Infrastructure Australia, the independent authority body that makes those decisions?

ALBANESE: Well it was prioritised, Steve. It was prioritised as the number one project in the country in 2012.

AUSTIN: Not any more.

ALBANESE: Well I do note the CEO of Infrastructure Australia has just said that he won’t bother to take up his contract. It’s interesting that many of the people who were associated with IA, who have been very disappointed that they have been nobbled, that they’ve had circumstances such as…

AUSTIN: Are you telling me that there is political interference into the decision making process of Infrastructure Australia?

ALBANESE: Well what they’ve done is replace every single person who was appointed. No one has survived on Infrastructure Australia, on the board, in terms of the CEO was replaced, removed and not replaced with anyone for 18 months. I am concerned about how it is that a project that was number one on the priority list in 2012 could not stay in that position, because we know that, when I’ve had discussions with Infrastructure Australia, they’re very clear that they understand that it’s a pre-condition for doing other works and is so important for South-East Queensland.

AUSTIN: So you’re telling me that Infrastructure Australia has been politically interfered with?

ALBANESE: I’m saying that Infrastructure Australia has changed its determination when the government changed.

AUSTIN: (Inaudible) on the basis of evidence?

ALBANESE: Well it’s up to them to explain how it is that a project whereby it’s become more important as the population grows, as urban congestion in Brisbane grows, the project is more important. We know that you need a second crossing of the river here in Brisbane and we’ve known that for a long period of time.

AUSTIN: But because the Brisbane River is such a logistical and topographical problem for us, we’d actually be better off to have a whole lot more bridges (inaudible) the expensive underground tunnels.

ALBANESE: Well, no one is suggesting that as an alternative.

AUSTIN: True.

ALBANESE: And what you’ve got to do is get through the built up areas and the way you do that, it is expensive, is to have tunnelling. One of the things that was identified by Infrastructure Australia in all of its original assessments was the uplift value that will occur around Woolloongabba for example from the new access to public transport that will occur there.

AUSTIN: Thanks for coming in.

ALBANESE: Great to be with you.

 

Jun 4, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC Canberra, Richard Perno Program – Monday, 4 June 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure, public transport, Labor Party conference, by-elections, Barnaby Joyce, Pauline Hanson.

RICHARD PERNO: Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler and the spokesperson on everything else. G’day Anthony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Richard, good to be with you.

PERNO: And you. You kicked off the Financial Review conference at the Sofitel in Sydney today. And of course, being the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure that was your main thrust. You know, I don’t know if this is maybe naive Anthony, I’ve always thought infrastructure is almost a bipartisan thing.

ALBANESE: Look, it should be and that’s why we created Infrastructure Australia, to try and get the politics out of the choice of infrastructure projects. But the truth is that there is also always going to be some differences. But I’d like to see them minimised. Today though I was pointing out that some of the general direction the government is going in is really problematic. The idea that you can fund public transport projects off-budget, that is rather than giving grant money to build a project that costs money to the Budget, that it somehow is just a loan or can be done effectively for free because the money will be paid back, is just not realistic. And that will lead to projects essentially having the expectation that they’re going to be built, like the Airport Rail Line to Melbourne, but not actually eventuating.

PERNO: Yeah, I’ve often wondered why in major cities, Anthony Albanese, public transport isn’t free. I mean why isn’t it just treated as a shuttle service and not really a luxury?

ALBANESE: Well, it certainly makes a contribution to the economy. That’s the thing. But the return isn’t direct to the owner of the infrastructure. The state governments or the private sector doesn’t make money in itself from a public transport project.

PERNO: Yeah.

ALBANESE: It’s the fact that the fare box usually contributes. It’s around about 25 cents for every dollar of maintenance and operating costs, let alone the upfront capital that it costs to build the rail line or the light rail line.

PERNO: Yeah.

ALBANESE: That’s just a fact. But it makes a big difference to the economy in a city. If you look at it all the world’s greatest cities they have very effective public transport networks. There in Canberra I’m convinced the light rail line will make a major difference, not just for people who live in Canberra, but for visitors to Canberra as well. One of the things about public transport, you know from your own experience when you visit a city overseas, you catch public transport.

PERNO: You do, you do. The number 8 bus in Hawaii springs to mind. Anthony, you’ve used that the big orange one that takes you anywhere and drops you off. But it’s a shuttle service and one comes and one goes. You hope that’s what’ll happen with the light rail here in Canberra, Anthony Albanese. But it’s causing a lot of heartache for those who have businesses or live along the rail at the moment. There are businesses closing down and they’re closing down because no one’s going to them because it’s too bloody noisy mate.

ALBANESE: Yeah, look it’s always difficult when you’re building infrastructure. The Gold Coast light rail line was problematic while it was under construction. Now everyone regards it as just such a major benefit for the Gold Coast. It’s one of the things that made the Commonwealth Games work so effectively. Without it, it would have been a real problem.

PERNO: Yeah, but they’ve had problems in Sydney, haven’t they? I mean there’s been businesses shut down on that route rail line.

ALBANESE: Oh, Sydney is taking a very long period of time. And there are other issues with the Sydney light rail project because it won’t actually match up to the existing small amount of light rail that’s there. So you won’t even be able to go from the Inner West to the footy for example because you’ll have to change at Central because they’re two different systems, which is really a question of competence of the State Government and the way that they’ve done the contracting for that project.

PERNO: Yeah it’s been a real dog’s breakfast. Anthony Albanese on Canberra Live. Thirteen past 4. You’ve finally succumbed. You’ve decided to shift your conference because you spat the dummy because of the July 28 by-election. Cry me a river.

ALBANESE: Well we had to shift it …

PERNO: What was all the kerfuffle about? Is it, oh dear, we know, its politics. And I’m quite surprised, Anthony, that your party said: “Oh Malcolm Turnbull is doing this because its politics’’. Hello, you’re all politicians. What did you expect?

ALBANESE: I did expect that when you have a vacancy, like we had in New England or in Bennelong, that you’d call a by-election and you get that position filled as soon as possible because people do have a right to be represented. This is a very long way away. We’re talking now, it’s the fourth of June, and these seats have been vacant for some time and they won’t be filled until the 28th of July. It is possible that the by-elections could have been held on the 16th of June, so six weeks earlier than they are being held. And that is the objection, and the fact that they happened to pick a date that was the same as the ALP National Conference, it means as Santa’s getting ready to fly around we’ll be in Adelaide at the ALP National Conference from December 16-18.

PERNO: You’ll just have to change your cuisine and eat some South Australian food and drink some South Australian wine.

ALBANESE: There’s never anything wrong with South Australian food and wine.

PERNO: I’m sure there isn’t. Anthony, how confident or not are you in these by-elections?

ALBANESE: Look I’m confident. We’ve got very good candidates and we’ve got a good story to tell and we’ve got a Government that’s pretty dysfunctional at the moment that is at war with itself. Today I noticed Tony Abbott down there campaigning in Braddon. I’m not sure if he is campaigning for Malcolm Turnbull or not.

PERNO: No, he is eating onions Anthony. He is eating onions.

ALBANESE: That did happen in Tasmania actually.

PERNO: I know.

ALBANESE: Anything is possible from what comes out of that. I think we’ve got a good story to tell about the policies that we have there in education, health and infrastructure. We have a Government that I think is not just eating onions, it is eating itself in the way that they seem to be campaigning and fighting amongst themselves. We have good local members- Justine Keay and Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson are all re-contesting. They’ve been good local members in their first term and we’ve got a new outstanding candidate in Patrick Gorman in Perth.

PERNO: Yes Perth, took over from that. Hey what about Mayo?

ALBANESE: Well Mayo, it’s unlikely the truth is that we’ll win, but we’re doing the right thing putting forward a candidate.

PERNO: Who? Who will that be?

ALBANESE: I think we’re in the process of selecting a candidate.

PERNO: Well come on. You knew. Just imagine if they put the by-elections where you think they should have had it in the middle of June. You would have stuffed up there too, wouldn’t you?

ALBANESE: No, we would have had one sooner.

PERNO: Would you?

ALBANESE: We will certainly be putting forward a candidate there, unlike the Liberal Party who don’t have a candidate in Perth or Fremantle. In Perth last time they got 42 per cent of the vote. Labor in Mayo last time got in the teens.

PERNO: All right Anthony, I was reluctant to ask you, two final points, Albo. One, did you watch the soap opera last night?

ALBANESE: I did, for better or worse, I did watch it. I didn’t think there was much new in it. I couldn’t care less about the personal issues, they’re a matter for Barnaby and the people directly impacted. But I did think that out of it the fact that Barnaby Joyce said that he knew that his career as Deputy Prime Minister was finished…

PERNO: That he’d lose his job.

ALBANESE: But he still ran in the by-election in New England.

PERNO: But he won.

ALBANESE: He did win, but he kept the fact that he thought his career as Deputy Prime Minister was over from the voters in New England at that time.

PERNO: Do you reckon he will come back after this vacation?

ALBANESE: He will come back I am sure to Parliament, But my view is that Barnaby probably needs to recognise the reality which is he is not coming back into the senior role that he has had in the past and probably needs to, you know, enjoy some time with his new family and move on. But I mean, that is really a matter for him.

PERNO: Will your side of the Green House Anthony Albanese hold back, or will you chuck stuff at him when he stands to his feet? Or will you ask the Prime Minister about his future?  Will you do all that?

ALBANESE: Well his personal issues are a matter for him and we made sure earlier on in the year we didn’t raise those issues. We didn’t seek to gain political advantage from it and that is as it should be. There are other parties to these issues which need to be borne in mind and I think it is very unfortunate that they chose to do that interview frankly, particularly a paid interview. I don’t think that parliamentarians should do paid interviews. I am certainly not being paid for talking to you on a regular basis.

PERNO: I can’t afford it Albo. I’ve only got $4.

ALBANESE: Nor would I want to. I mean it is part of our job is to communicate …

PERNO: That’s right

ALBANESE: … with the public through the media.

PERNO: I’m just feeling that he will come back and maybe think about his future. He’s not the, if you like, the rogue boy and we supported him. That has all changed in our eyes. Maybe he will throw in the towel. Speaking about those who are out and about, what do you make of Pauline Hanson and One Nation?

ALBANESE: Well they have fallen apart again. Pauline Hanson seems to have an incapacity to manage people in her party and the giveaway is any political party that is named after an individual is a form of demagoguery really and a cult-like status and it’s not a democratic party. Pauline Hanson has a structure to that party which ensures that she is in charge for life.

PERNO: Yeah, but you don’t give her any credit at all? I mean you have never started a party have you Anthony Albanese?  You’ve never come out and said I’m going to form a party, we are going to call it the Albo Party. So you’ve got to give her some credit that she has stood up for herself, formed a party, was hugely successful. Things fall apart in a family. You don’t give her any credit for that at all? When are you going to start your bloody party?

ALBANESE: I travelled to India last year with Pauline and we got on quite well on a personal basis.

PERNO: Yes.

ALBANESE: But the truth is that her party when it gained a number of seats in Queensland fell apart. This time round she got four people elected. That is to her credit. It has been cut in half to two now and you know there is something structurally wrong with that as opposed to just being, I guess, an independent. The attempt to go to the independents in general is, I think is a lesson from the current Senate. There are so many people who have changed parties from One Nation, from Nick Xenophon’s Team, to Family First, Jacqui Lambie’s Party Number 2 was replaced. It was an Independent. He’s now a National Party member in Tasmania. I really think that if you change your label you are obligated to go back before the people and be elected as such.

PERNO: Start again. All right, I will mention two more words Clive Palmer. We don’t want to go there. That’s another one.

ALBANESE: Exactly and that didn’t end well either.

PERNO: No it certainly didn’t. So maybe the way to go is not to form your own party, not stick your neck out, not try and do something independently but go with the flow. Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler  and Shadow Minister for everything else in the world, we will catch up in a couple of weeks. Look forward to seeing what is going to happen. Thank you Anthony.

ALBANESE: Great to talk to you.

Jun 1, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 1 June 2018

Subjects; Pauline Hanson, company tax cuts, Greg Hunt, Amazon

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the program. Well it was an extraordinary TV moment, Pauline Hanson breaking down in tears on live television accusing a One Nation colleague of stabbing her in the back. It’s difficult to watch. Take a look.

PAULINE HANSON: You know, this isn’t the first time Brian’s … Brian’s stabbed me in the back. And that goes back a long time ago. And you think I … This hurts me. It hurts me deeply because … It means so much to me what I’m trying to do.

STEFANOVIC: Joining me now is Anthony Albanese and in Adelaide Christopher Pyne. Good morning guys, thank you for your company this morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, to you first of all, One Nation now divided. Can you believe she was betrayed like that?

PYNE: Look it’s never nice to see anybody under so much pressure, obviously feeling it on national television and I’m sorry that Pauline became emotional about what’s obviously hurt her very deeply. But I don’t know what’s going on in One Nation, that’s a matter for the One Nation Senators. I know that some of them obviously want to support the Government’s attempts to help the economy and grow businesses and jobs and have the company tax cuts. Obviously others don’t. They’ll work that out. I hope they also work out their personal relationships because, you know politics is politics, but friendship is more important in many respects.

STEFANOVIC: She made a good point during that, just a short time after that, saying that people are sick of politicians not achieving anything. About going to Canberra and not actually doing anything. I think she’s right.

PYNE: Well we are achieving a lot in the Federal Government. We’ve created over a million jobs in the last four and half years, 415,000 in the last 12 months. In my area of defence industry we are transforming our strategic industrial base with $90 billion of ship building and $200 billion of military capabilities. So, we are achieving a great deal. I know that Pauline really takes her job very seriously and we’ve got big decisions to make between now and the end of June.

STEFANOVIC: Ok. Albo, does it make you a little bit now more nervous now that these company tax cuts have a higher chance of getting through?

ALBANESE: No. The Government is struggling to get through its agenda because it’s not a good one. And if they want to be out there arguing for tax cuts for big business: we’re happy to be out there arguing for funding for education, funding for health, funding for infrastructure and helping people out by having larger tax cuts for low and middle income earners.

STEFANOVIC: When are you going to lead the Labor Party?

ALBANESE: Look, we’re ahead in the polls Karl. We’re ahead. And we’ve been ahead now for 32 Newspolls in a row.

STEFANOVIC: Bill’s not tracking very well at all. When are you going to take over?

ALBANESE: Well one of the things about the Labor Party is that we’re focused on the needs of the Australian people, not focused on our internals …

STEFANOVIC: Come on Anthony.

ALBANESE: … unlike the Government and One Nation.

STEFANOVIC: Anthony grab the bull by the horns.

ALBANESE: Everyone else is melting down. We’re just focused.

STEFANOVIC: Anthony, it’s your time.

ALBANESE: We’re very focused.

PYNE: He gave a very statesman-like speech this week in the Parliament about how we should all be working together and be less partisan, which is not like his boss.

STEFANOVIC: You can smell it can’t you? Christopher, you can smell it, that change of leadership. You’ve seen it before.

PYNE: It’s very much in the air. I’ve seen it before. It’s very much in the air, Karl.

ALBANESE: Well he might be seeing it, because he is looking at his own party at the moment where Malcolm Turnbull is really struggling.

PYNE: No, I don’t think so…

STEFANOVIC: Malcolm is going a bit better.

PYNE: It’s all right; your secret is safe with us.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Greg Hunt has been grilled in Parliament after it was revealed that he swore at a small town mayor and grandmother telling her to get over herself. Chris, this happened in December. Why has it taken nearly six months for him to apologise?

PYNE: Well he said yesterday that he should have apologised earlier. He has fully fessed up to that. He’s said that it was entirely his responsibility and he did that in the national parliament, which I think most people found a good thing for him to do. Obviously he has said he is sorry. I hope we can all now move on.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, let’s talk about Amazon really quickly. Anthony, they’ve slapped a blockage on Aussie shoppers, which will see them locked out from buying their favourite goods on Amazon’s US and UK platforms. What a massive dummy spit by Amazon.

ALBANESE: Well it is, but it also is an error by the Government.

PYNE: Rubbish.

ALBANESE: It was pointed out at the time that they were getting this wrong.

PYNE: That’s outrageous.

ALBANESE: That they weren’t on top of the detail.

STEFANOVIC: It’s long overdue isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Of course it is. But we need to make sure that we get the policy right so that consumers actually get more choice to drive down prices. What’s happening now is that they’re being locked out of the market.

PYNE: Labor’s got this wrong, Karl.

ALBANESE: Well quite clearly you’ve got it wrong.

PYNE: And they’ve made a bad call. Amazon should pay their tax just like every other company. Aussie retailers should not be disadvantaged in favour of multinationals. Australian taxpayers should expect multinationals to pay their full tax. Labor’s made the wrong call. They should be backing the Government to make sure that Aussie retailers are treated the same.

ALBANESE: Well the Government’s got it wrong. They need to get the detail of policy right.

PYNE: You never got this right. When Bill Shorten was the Minister for Financial Services he did nothing about the GST being charged on internet sales. It’s not fair that you can buy things on the internet from overseas and not pay GST but you can go into a bookstore in Australia and you have to pay it.

ALBANESE: When you look at what’s happening with the internet, you and I both know that what we’ve seen in recent times is an explosion, in terms of the rise that is on and the rise of these companies.

PYNE: You’ve made the wrong call. You should be backing the Government.

STEFANOVIC: You should be backing the Government on this though.

PYNE: And you should be backing Australian consumers and taxpayers.

ALBANESE: We support international companies paying their fair share of tax and we support Australian retailers, but we need to get it right. The Government has got it wrong.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you gentlemen. And just quickly, a quick message for Georgie. It’s her birthday.

ALBANESE: Happy birthday.

PYNE: Happy birthday Georgie. It’s nice turning 30 again.

ALBANESE: You’re my favourite Today presenter.

GEORGIE GARDNER: That’ll get you everywhere Albo.

PYNE: I love you all. I wake up with Today.

GARDNER: Thank you Christopher.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Albo does have good taste though, to be fair.

GARDNER: That has made my day, thank you both very much.

 

May 30, 2018

Transcript of Radio Transcript – FIVEaa, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Subjects: Barnaby Joyce; tax; pensioners.

HOST: It’s that time of the week. We catch up with Chris Pyne and the most popular man in the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning team.

PYNE: Nice to be here with the people’s choice.

HOST: Hey Albo, we don’t want to sound biased, but could you run for the Labor leadership, because we reckon you would do a better job than Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE:  That sounds a bit biased to me.

HOST: No, we play it with a straight bat here at 5AA.

ALBANESE: That’s just because I’m on your show. You probably think that Christopher should be the Liberal Leader.

HOST: Well, we are about to get to that. He once said he had a baton in his rucksack.

ALBANESE: And how wacky is that idea?

HOST: I think you would both do a terrific job. Hey can we start with …

ALBANESE: We are happy with the job that we’ve got which is here on 5AA every week.

HOST:  That is the most important part of your job. Good answer Albo.

PYNE: He hasn’t answered your question yet by the way.

HOST: You always say that Chris.

ALBANESE: Right after I have answered it.

HOST: This Barnaby Joyce business – now everyone has had a say about the 150 grand. Can I ask you question, and this might be more or more to you Chris, a bit of a procedural …

ALBANBESE: Yes. Where’s our money?

HOST: Exactly. You guys don’t get paid a cent for coming on here. But how does Barnaby Joyce suddenly get three months leave? What what’s the process by which that happens where, because his private life obviously needs a bit of attention at the moment, he can just vanish and does he continue to be paid?

PYNE:  Well like any worker in Australia, they are entitled to sick leave. Barnaby has a sick leave certificate provided by his medical practitioner and that’s why he has been given leave and any other person in a workplace who produces such a certificate would get the same kind of leave.

HOST: Would it be that long though?

PYNE: Well, it would depend on the circumstances of the individual worker. So Parliament sits until, I think, the 28th of June. He is not on leave from turning up to work if he chooses to do so after that, but he is just on leave from Parliament and the Parliament doesn’t sit again until mid-August and that’s the time frame you’re looking at from Parliament. Whether Barnaby is well enough to return to work in his electorate office in New England is really a matter for him and his medical practitioner, not a matter for me to cast judgement on.

HOST: So it is a medical thing is it?

PYNE: As I said, he has a certificate from his medical practitioner which has been provided and that is why he has been given a pair, appropriately, by the Labor Party and I think the obsession with pursuing Barnaby Joyce over these issues, you know, perhaps it’s reached its nadir.

ALBANESE: Yes. I mean he’s getting 10 days’ leave from Parliament effectively is what has happened and when someone produces a medical certificate, the Labor Party has done the right thing here. I’m sure that well, I would hope that, everyone would do the right thing if it was someone from any party produced a medical certificate you say: “Yep, we’re going to honour that’’. And that’s just a sensible thing. I mean, I think that we do need to move on. The truth is of course that Barnaby made a decision to, well, he and whoever else was a part of that decision-making process have made a decision, to further the public debate on this. I, for the life of me, can’t see why that was in anyone’s interests regardless of the payment which is, in my view, entirely inappropriate as well.

HOST: Albo, I want to ask you about personal income tax in light of some modelling that’s been released by the Federal Government through Treasury that compares the Federal Government’s, or the Coalition’s, tax plan with Labor, specifically looking at certain employees. Now it makes some assumptions about what you will and won’t support regarding the current plan. But at its most dramatic it suggests that teachers, nurses and mechanics could pay between $500 and $2000 a year more in personal income tax by 2024-25. Now, it may be dramatically less than that, but are you in a position where you might go to the next election having to champion a tax policy that will have people in those sorts of jobs paying more in the long-term?

ALBANESE:  Well this is quite frankly absurd and is an abuse of the public service.  We’ve seen a range of so-called modelling with all sorts of assumptions in there, you know, that don’t relate to reality at all, including the idea that we’re going to project out what people are earning in 2024-25; what will have happened in terms of the national and international economy over that period of time, we are talking about three terms on – not this term. What we know is right now on the table are two tax plans for now, which are one; the Government offering a bit of $500; and our plan for offering a bit over $900 dollars for low and middle-income earners.

HOST: But this is a long-term projection and it uses a predicted …

ALBANESE: Projections long-term …

PYNE: But you want us to do a projection on company tax over the next ten years. That’s your position on company tax.

ALBANESE: No, that is what you have done. That is what you have done.

PYNE: You are demanding some kind of figure over ten years for company tax changes and now you are using the same argument that we use on company tax. The truth is Bill’s got an enormous problem. You’ve got a $220 billion tax hit. It’s got to come from someone and …

ALBANESE: And what is that figure over?

PYNE: Retirees are being hit. Retirees are being hit worse than anybody.

ALBANESE: Oh rubbish. You want to raise the retirement age.

PYNE: You are getting $10.5 billion from retirees.

ALBANESE: That’s what you want to do. You want them to keep working. You want them to not be pensioners.

PYNE: You are wanting to take away their tax. You started the process of increasing the pension age – not us. You want to take away their money and we have $220 billion of Bill Shorten’s tax grab at the next election and he wants to pretend that this isn’t coming from someone. Everyone in Australia knows if you are raising $220 billion more in tax it’s got to come from someone.

HOST: Chris, why is federal Treasury doing party-political analysis like this?

PYNE: Well, it’s not. It is not doing party political analysis.

HOST: It is analyzing Labor Party policies.

ALBANESE: Of course it is. It has been dropped out with a big exclusive on the front of the modelling.

PYNE: It’s entirely within Treasury’s job to model taxation plans.

ALBANESE: What? To give things to the media outlets as exclusive articles?

PYNE: So what is the Labor Party’s argument here? You shouldn’t tell people how much you are going to tax them?

(inaudible exchange)

HOST: Guys, guys. Let’s calm down. Calm down. I’ve only got one question which is, is there anybody within Treasury who has been paid $125,000 for their saucy tell-all tale about Labor’s tax policy?

PYNE: They get a lot more money than that.

HOST: We are going to wrap it up. Good on you Christopher Pyne, Anthony Albanese, always a rollicking chat. We’ll do it next week.

Pages:1234567...64»

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

Important items

Enrol to vote Parliament of Australia Australian Labor Party Clean Energy Future