Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Oct 17, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Adelaide – Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Subjects: Senate motion; Israel, ship building.

HOST: It’s a target rich environment if you are wanting to have a kick at the Government at the moment. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. If only it was that easy for Anthony. He can fumble the ball any time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: You are doing your best to kick own goals.

PYNE: He has fumbled the ball more often than you can poke a stick at I can tell you.

HOST: Chris, I am going to start with a compliment. You are widely regarded as a master tactician. Should you perhaps run free classes for your equals in the upper house, given the fiasco over the Pauline Hanson motion his week?

PYNE: Well look, it was a fiasco and they have said so. Mathias Cormann, for whom I have a high regard, gave a press conference yesterday where he ate humble pie, which is sometimes referred to as other things, and said he was embarrassed and yes, it was mistake. The instructions to vote against that resolution in September were not followed in October and the only reason why was because of a miscommunication between the Attorney General’s office and the Senate. These things happen. Mistakes happen in workplaces and this was a mistake. We have said so and we have taken our druthers and we’ve moved on.

HOST: This is obviously the Pauline Hanson “It’s OK to be white” motion that we are talking about here. Albo, does Labor buy the argument that it was a cock-up, or do you agree with Penny Wong that it is a conspiracy to suck up to One Nation supporters?

ALBANESE: Well let’s be very clear here. Pauline Hanson spoke on this motion in the Senate. They were sitting there listening to her do the dog whistle to right-wing extremists, use language that is used by the KKK and other extreme right-wing groups. And then the bells rang and they voted for it.

PYNE: Because it was mistake.

ALBANESE: But they were there in the Chamber during the debate. It’s been on notice for a month.

PYNE: Are you seriously suggesting that people like Simon Birmingham and Marise Payne and Christopher Pyne for that matter are racist? Is that what you are saying?

ALBANESE: Simon Birmingham walked into the Chamber and it is understandable that sometimes when the bells ring you go in and you sit with your team …

PYNE: So you are saying that Lucy Gichuhi is a racist?

ALBANESE: But there were a range of people sitting there. I am saying that from time to time people who are associated with your side of politics have been prepared to sit back and listen to dog whistles.

PYNE: So Anne Ruston is a racist? Is that what you are saying?

ALBANESE: You have been from time to time, people on your side of politics …

PYNE: No of course you are not saying that, because it’s not true. You know as well as I do that it is not true and it was a mistake end everyone knows it was a mistake.

ALBANESE: They behaved like stuffed dummies incapable of independent thought. What were they doing, auditioning for a remake of Weekend at ….

HOST: Easy, we’ll fix that. It’s a simple process. We can turn them off. Separate. Subject matter number two. Let’s resume.

PYNE: Did you turn him off?

HOST: We turned both of you off.

PYNE: Goodness gracious. That has never happened before.

HOST: He’s back. He might have another crack here.

ALBANESE: You missed my line about them auditioning for a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s.

HOST: Yes, we just heard it now, OK. Now, Christopher Pyne, for people in Adelaide listening in the suburbs and across South Australia this morning, can you explain to them why it a point of debate among our Federal parliamentarians right now that we are contemplating a move of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at a cost of some $150 million to $200 million? How is that of relevance to anyone listening at the moment?

PYNE: Well Israel is the only place in the world where Australia’s embassy is not in the nation’s capital and it has been that way for historic reasons. I believe that we should consider whether it would assist to create the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine for there to be an Australian Embassy in West Jerusalem and a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and our embassy therefore in their state in East Jerusalem. We are considering that. I think it is a sensible thing to consider. It’s the only country, as I said, in the world where our embassy is not in the nation’s capital.

HOST: Is it a coincidence that it is a debate that has been started just days out from the Wentworth by-election, featuring a large number of Jewish Australians?

PYNE: No. It is a debate that has been going on for years and we have not moved our embassy in the past. We are considering whether it is a good idea. It’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the Wentworth by-election. We announced a suite of things yesterday, one of which was that we will exchange defence attaches with Israel, that we will reconsider our support for the Iran nuclear deal and that we will vote against Palestine being the chairman of the G77 countries in the UN and because of that vote coming up this morning, Wednesday morning at 6 o’clock in the morning I think it was, we decided to look at the number of different issues. But we obviously support a two-state solution in Israel between the West Bank and Israel and the Gaza Strip and we believe this will assist that to consider it, whether we end up putting our embassy there or not.

HOST: Is there merit in the argument Albo, and if so, is it worth spending that much taxpayers’ money to realise it?

ALBANESE: Well the previous issue was the Government putting its hand up and saying: “We are hopeless’’. This is them being reckless. This is them being reckless in terms of Australia’s national interests but also ….

PYNE: On what basis?

ALBANESE: This is completely reckless, the idea …

PYNE: How?

ALBANESE: Christopher, you interrupted last time. How about you just shut up?

HOST: Hey, come on. Let’s keep it friendly.

ALBANESE: In terms of what Frances Adamson has said, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, when asked about the American move she said it hasn’t been helpful. Quite clearly there is a reason why Australia has, under Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister, under both governments, under a range of foreign affairs ministers, had the same position, which is that it needs to be a part of the final determination between Palestine and Israel that will see the two-state solution.

PYNE: Well Frances Adamson …

ALBANESE: What this has done ….

PYNE: Sorry, I would hate to interrupt you.

ALBANESE: Well you don’t get to ask the questions Christopher. The fact is that this just shows how desperate they are to retain Wentworth. There is no doubt that this is not a move designed to assist peace in the Middle East. This is designed to get a few votes in the electorate of Wentworth. I don’t think it will. I don’t think it will be successful at all.  I think it will be seen for the cynical, stupid move that it is.

HOST: Just to finish on something that actually does directly affect people’s lives here in South Australia, and we just want a straight answer from you Chris, no disrespect Albo, but just let the Minster answer this one. Chris Pyne, are you concerned about the news out of the ASC? Apparently they are looking at cutting a further 63 jobs. You said recently, I think it was on our show, that the valley of death is over. Is it over? Are you seeking some sort of urgent indication from ASC about what is going on there?

PYNE: Well we have bridged the valley of death that was created by Labor by not making a decision to build one ship in Australia in their six years in government. The 60 redundancies at ASC is because the Air Warfare Destroyer project is coming to an end. We always knew that and that is why we have created 1200 new jobs. So whether people are wearing an ASC Air Warfare Destroyer polo shirt or a Lend lease Osborne South Shipyard Construction polo short or an Offshore Patrol Vessel polo shirt is not really material. The point is we have lost 60 jobs there because of the end of the Air Warfare Destroyer project and there are 1200 new jobs being created – 400 at the construction of Osborne South Shipyard, 600 for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, which we are cutting steel on in November this year and those jobs have been filled now, and 200 other positions – 100 scholarships at the Naval Shipbuilding College and 100 new positions at ASC Submarine Sustainment and Maintenance. So yes, we always knew the Air Warfare Destroyer was coming to an end. The ships have been built. The 1200 new jobs is because this government is investing in the future of ship building and submarine building. So those people will get jobs in shipbuilding or construction at Osborne if they want them and that is exactly what we are working to do right now, to find them jobs as part of the overall construction project down at Osborne.

HOST: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese on a particularly feisty Two Tribes. Good on you for joining us. We’ll do it all again next week. Thanks guys.

PYNE: Pleasure.

ALBANESE: See you.

PYNE: He’s not so bad.

 

ENDS

Oct 17, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra – Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Subjects: Ian Kiernan, Parliament, Wentworth by-election.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I want to begin by paying tribute to Ian Kiernan. Ian Kiernan, the founder of Clean Up Australia Day, was an environmentalist who mobilised the entire Australian population in the interests of a more beautiful Australia, a cleaner Australia and a better environment. Literally hundreds of thousands of people partook directly in activity as a direct result of Ian Kiernan’s leadership and it is very sad. I pay my respects to his family and his many hundreds, indeed thousands, of friends. Ian was a jovial fellow. He enjoyed life and he certainly lived it to the full.

Can I make some comments on Parliament yesterday and the state of this rabble of a government? The fact is that this government had an absolute shocker yesterday. We have had the debacle of them voting for the it’s-OK-to-be-white resolution in the Senate and then saying that they didn’t know what they were voting for, in spite of the fact that people have known about this resolution by Senator Hanson since September. We then have the foreign policy debacle of a foreshadowing of a change in our foreign policy around the Middle East as a result of the fact that there is a Wentworth by-election taking place in a few days’ time. It might be news to the Morrison Government that the Middle East is a bit sensitive, that this is an issue which people should have considered positions in, and yet quite clearly the announcement that they would consider moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem is provocative, is divisive, it is against Australia’s national interest and, most importantly, it is against the interests of peace in the Middle East.

The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Frances Adamson, has clearly outlined why this would not be a productive move. We have the former minister, Julie Bishop, never considered this move. What is the one thing that has changed? Nothing has changed in the Middle East. What has changed is a desperate government in the days before the Wentworth by-election where they are struggling to justify knocking off the Member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, as the Prime Minister of Australia. The people of Wentworth are justifiably angry and they have an opportunity to cast a protest vote on the range of issues in which this government deserves protest at the moment and we will see whether they do that on Saturday.

REPORTER: Is a win for Kerryn Phelps in Wentworth a win for Labor?

ALBANESE: No. Tim Murray is the Labor candidate and he is a great candidate in Wentworth. But if the Government loses the Wentworth by-election it will be an indictment on all those who thought it was a great idea to tear down an elected Prime Minister in the term in which he was elected at a time when they were very competitive. The fact is that the Morrison Government has been unable to explain why Malcolm Turnbull is not still the member for Wentworth, why he is still not sitting in the Lodge, why he is not taking questions in Question Time. They can’t explain it because there is no rational answer other than hatred. And what we see from a range of the Far Right people who seem to dominate the agenda of the Liberal Party, as we have seen this week, is that because they can’t explain it, it comes down to essentially a view that Malcolm Turnbull was never a legitimate member of the Liberal Party. We see some of the former members of Parliament like Bronwyn Bishop being very explicit about that, saying he entered into the Liberal Party as some sort of fifth columnist and took it over and became Prime Minster.

Well I say this to the voters of Wentworth: if you are someone who shares Malcolm Turnbull’s views on climate change, who shares small L liberal views on social policy, on the rights of gay and lesbian people, on the importance of opposing racism in all its forms, vote against the Liberal Party this Saturday. Send them a message because they sure need it because they are an absolute rabble and we have seen that just this week and Scott Morrison, if he wants a mandate, should stop looking for all these bizarre issues. What he should do is just call an election. And so if the Liberals lose the by-election in Wentworth on Saturday, then I think Scott Morrison should do the right thing, give the Australian people a say in who the Prime Minister should be and go to an election. Let’s get some certainty because that is what the business community are looking for. That’s what the Australian community are looking for. Thanks very much.

[ENDS]

Oct 12, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 12 October 2018

Subjects; Alex Turnbull comments on Wentworth by-election, Peter Costello comments on Liberal economic narrative, Labor’s education plan, Governor General.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Malcolm Turnbull’s son has blasted the Federal Government and called on people not to vote for the Liberals in the Wentworth by-election. This is Alex Turnbull – Malcolm 2.0.

ALEX TURNBULL: If you want to send a signal as to which way the Liberal Party is going and your displeasure with where it is going, then this is your opportunity. Don’t vote for the Liberal Party in the Wentworth by-election. If you want to pull the Liberal Party back from the brink, it’s the one clear signal you can send.

STEFANOVIC: Well for more on that I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne. Good morning guys. Nice to see you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. Nice to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: Who needs enemies, Chris?

PYNE: Look it’s a democracy, Karl, and if Alex Turnbull wants to campaign against the Liberal Party – a vote for Kerryn Phelps is a vote for the Labor Party effectively. It would remove our one seat majority and cast the country into deep instability in the Parliament.

STEFANOVIC: Is it damaging?

PYNE: Well obviously if we lose Wentworth to Kerryn Phelps then we’ve lost it to the Labor Party. And that means that the country will be more unstable than it is and we need stability to grow our economy, to create jobs, to settle the country.

STEFANOVIC: What’s he got on his liver then?

PYNE: Well you’d have to ask Alex. I mean I know Alex, he’s a great bloke. But unfortunately on this occasion he has chosen to campaign against the Liberal Party, which means a campaign for instability and we don’t need instability right now. We need stability. And Labor is backing Kerryn Phelps, they’re peopling her campaign with staff. And that is a vote for Labor if you vote for Kerryn Phelps.

STEFANOVIC: It sounds like to me Alex Turnbull’s going to have a tilt at some point in politics and it may well be that seat down the track sometime. But he might be going for your party Anthony?

ALBANESE: No. We’ve got a candidate and he’s very good – Tim Murray.

STEFANOVIC: Who?

ALBANESE: But I do laugh at Christopher Pyne having the gall to come on national TV and say: ‘What we need is an end to instability’. I mean this is a mob that knocked off Alex Turnbull’s dad just a month ago and no one can say why it happened. That’s why they’ve got a problem in Wentworth. That’s why they’ve got a problem right around the country. Peter Costello was out spearing them yesterday – the former Treasurer. So they’re taking a lot of hits from within and we’ll wait and see what happens next week. Could be another spill.

PYNE: It’s a mystery as to why your bloke isn’t there for the preferred Prime Minister, Anthony, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well we could see another spill on your side next week. You are at war with yourselves.

PYNE: So when are you going to have a go at the top job finally?

STEFANOVIC: That’s a fair enough question.

ALBANESE: What I want is an election so I can be a Minister in a Shorten Labor Government.

STEFANOVIC: A Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: A Minister.

PYNE: Nobody believes you.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, as was mentioned by your colleague, the world’s best Treasurer, Peter Costello, has unleashed describing how your party lost your economic narrative, saying if you can’t deliver it this term what about in three terms time, it’s a parallel universe what they are going through, if anybody believes it you’re just silly. I hate to break it to you, Peter Costello is 100% right.

PYNE: No he’s not actually. The truth is that our economic narrative is working. We have the highest growth of any country amongst the G7 nations. We’ve created over a million jobs in the last five years, including a record over 400,000 in the last 12 months. We’re getting back to a surplus budget earlier than anticipated because of growth.

STEFANOVIC: Now you’re back on track. You were consumed by your own internals, this is what happened. You just went off the rails didn’t you? I mean this is the narrative we needed to hear maybe two months ago. Malcolm would still be Prime Minister.

PYNE: There are jobs coming. We are getting back to a surplus budget. We are reducing taxes. We announced yesterday bringing forward the tax cuts for small business, which Labor opposes. So at the next election you have a very clear choice – lower taxes under the Liberal Party and the National Party or higher taxes under Bill Shorten.

STEFANOVIC: Are you going to tick off Scott Morrison’s small business tax changes?

ALBANESE: Well what we’ll do is examine it in the normal fashion.

STEFANOVIC: You have to know. Yay or nay?

ALBANESE: Well we’ll look at the detail of what they’ve announced because they announce new policies – they’ll have a different position tomorrow. We support small business but we also want to make sure we can deliver on education, we can deliver on health, we can deliver…

PYNE: They want higher tax for small business.

ALBANESE: This week we’ve had preschool for three and four year olds. We’ve had another $14 billion for public schools.

PYNE: All requires more taxes.

STEFANOVIC: Really quickly before we go – so finally Sir Angus Houston – is he the next Governor General? Can you announce that this morning Chris?

PYNE: Well there will be an announcement about the new Governor General next year I assume. There’s no particular hurry. Sir Angus Houston’s a tremendous guy. I’ve worked with him very closely in defence and defence industry. I’m sure there are a number of good candidates and it’s not my call.

STEFANOVIC: Julie Bishop?

PYNE: I think she’s great. I’ve said before I think she’s tremendous.

ALBANESE: That’s why she’s sitting up the back.

STEFANOVIC: She’s causing trouble.

ALBANESE: Sir Angus Houston is a great Australian.

STEFANOVIC: Alright good stuff. Thank you guys. Have a great weekend. Appreciate it.

 

Oct 10, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide -Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Subjects: Sydney Opera House; population policy.

HOST: Two Tribes. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Without Chris Pyne – a late scratching. It’s like the conquest of Mexico, we’ve lost a tribe.

HOST: Tell you what it was very late too. We’re going to have to start broadcasting the line-up for Two Tribes on the side of the Opera House, give people a chance to understand who the hell’s coming on.

HOST: Wouldn’t that be good?

HOST: Anthony Albanese is here though. Albo, good morning to you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day. What do you call – can you have: ‘One Tribe’? I guess you can.

HOST: ‘A Tribe’.

HOST: Well we’re about to do it.

HOST: ‘The Tribe’.

ALBANESE: What if we just call it: ‘One Bloke’.

HOST: ‘One Bloke goes to war’.

HOST: I do like the idea of projecting Chris and Albo’s heads onto the Opera House though. It’s got real merit.

HOST: You’ve copped a bit of flack this week, Albo, from some of your pinko mates over your endorsement of The Everest being beamed onto the Opera House. Why has this become such a huge issue in Sydney?

ALBANESE: Well, I think it’s a combination of interests. One is, I think, a whole lot of people were unaware of how many times the Opera House has been used to promote events in Sydney. Everything from the Ashes, St Patrick’s Day, Chinese New Year, rugby tests, World AIDS Day, Mardi Gras, across the board it is used regularly, and indeed on the other side of the Opera House there are projections onto the sails twice every single night. And I think people were unaware of that.

People have also had some legitimate issues with the issue of gambling. From my perspective, as the Tourism Shadow Minister responsible for promoting tourism, I think that it is reasonable that events which are major for Sydney, that the events be promoted. What I’ve said is that when people see the Sydney Opera House they immediately know that a major event is in Sydney. It is an iconic piece of architecture, it’s very important.

The dispute here, of course, was that Louise Herron and the Opera House board supported the colours and agreed to the numbers being projected for what the barrier draw was. The only dispute was over whether the trophy be shown and I think the Berejiklian Government should have not overridden Louise Herron and the Opera House board, but they chose to do so. But then I think the Alan Jones interview with Louise Herron, in which I think he behaved very rudely and it was an offensive interview – he threatened her job – fed into a view that he has too much influence in Sydney.

HOST: Have you ever got the treatment from Alan on air?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. When I was about 20 years old I was running a campaign to unionise McDonald’s about youth wages.

HOST: He would have loved that.

ALBANESE: I went on his program and pointed out – at the time I think youth wages were $1.03 and he said that was reasonable. I had the temerity to ask him how much he earned. He didn’t respond terribly well to this on live radio. So that was my first experience with Alan Jones.

But I, as you know, am always willing to talk to people who don’t necessarily agree with me and to argue my case. I think that I’m never worried about that. I called out his behaviour very clearly, but I’m still getting messages from people if you look at social media that suggested that I didn’t. The comments that I made as well were before the Alan Jones-Louise Herron interview. So people were saying to me: ‘Why didn’t you condemn Alan Jones’. Well I’m not Nostradamus. The interview hadn’t happened at the time that I supported a minimal projection on the Opera House.

But of course, as well the truth is some people object to racing and see racing just being gambling. I see this event as being about more than gambling. I mean, I’m not a gambler. People enjoy the Melbourne Cup and various major racing events without necessarily being gamblers. It’s also about something that will bring a lot of tourists to Sydney. But there’s no doubt that people are legitimately expressing a very strong view. I think they need to express it on the basis of the facts, which are important. But clearly there needs to be a review of what the guidelines are so that people are all aware of them, so that this dispute – which has been very divisive for our city of Sydney, I think I’ve even had contact from non-Sydney people, it would be good if that was avoided in the future.

HOST: Albo, there’s been something of a development. The Lazarus of Two Tribes Christopher Pyne is now on the line. Christopher, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. I’m not Nostradamus, but I’m apparently Lazarus.

HOST: Yes, you’re Lazarus.

ALBANESE: Mate, we’ve changed the program to calling it just: ‘One Bloke’, instead of Two Tribes in your absence.

HOST: One good bloke.

HOST: Christopher we’re glad you’re able to come along too, because we’ve spent a bit of time over the course of the last couple of days talking in depth about the Alan Tudge speech last night, (inaudible) anticipation of it. He spoke about it ahead of time when he was in Adelaide last week, and joined us to talk about the prospect of redirecting migrants in Australia away from the major city centres in Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide. It’s received a pretty mixed reception, I have got to say, by way of our listeners on the text line and calling in. Can you shed any more light on the detail of how this might happen? How many we’re talking about? How infrastructure might be adapted to better equip Adelaide to handle an influx of people?

PYNE: Well, I would very much welcome an influx of people into Adelaide and South Australia. Because a growing population means a growing economy. It means more jobs, it means more spending on construction and infrastructure and everything that goes with that. We don’t have a population problem in Australia we have a population distribution problem. So sure, the people of Sydney and Melbourne, they might have real issues when it comes to congestion, the ride to work in the morning, infrastructure development which their governments are working on. Adelaide, when I was elected about 25 years ago, we had the same number of seats as Western Australia. Now we have 10 and Western Australia has 16. We’ve lost three in the same time that Western Australia has gained three. Nothing tells us more that our population in Adelaide has been declining relative to other states. (Inaudible) it can’t be disagreed with, it’s based entirely on population.

So I don’t want to be living right up in a state which is declining and getting older. I want a state that is vibrant, that’s bringing new people to our city and that’s growing. The cranes over Adelaide at the moment are inspiring. I think I counted them flying into (inaudible) 18 cranes over Adelaide. I’ve known Adelaide when there’s been no cranes (inaudible). A Sydneysider who is travelling an hour and a half to work in the morning would be shocked here, at an Adelaide resident complaining about congestion. We don’t have anything like the problem that they have in Sydney with congestion – or Melbourne for that matter. And what we need is more people, and I think Adelaide is the perfect city to grow. I very much welcome the Government’s intention to drive new migrants away from the three large eastern state cities, and towards cities like Adelaide, or Hobart, or Darwin, or Perth, wherever it might be.

HOST: Well, we’re looking forward to a detailed plan. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese …

ALBANESE: When it comes to Adelaide, we’re two people but one tribe. I absolutely agree with Christopher’s comments there. We’re as one on some of these issues.

HOST: You guys can work every alternate week at this rate. One can do one Wednesday, one the next.

ALBANESE: That’s actually not a bad idea.

(Inaudible)

HOST: Good on you guys. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes on this Wednesday morning – very glad to get two tribes in the end.

[ENDS]

Oct 9, 2018

Speech to 2018 Australasia Bus Conference – Cairns, QLD – Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Thank you for the invitation to address the 2018 Australasia Bus Industry Conference.

It is always a pleasure to speak at a Bus Industry Confederation event – an organisation that plays an instrumental role in advocating for the bus and coach sector.

Indeed, your sector has always been well organised.

This is partly because it is so well represented at a national level through the hard work of people like Michael Apps and Wayne Patch, who play a leading role in the bipartisan Better Cities Group.

Your engagement across all levels of government and with other industry organisations has become even more important as we progress through the 21st century – a time of monumental change that has affected the way we live, work and play.

Perhaps the most significant change occurred in 2008, when I was serving as the nation’s first ever Infrastructure Minister.

This is when the World Bank confirmed that for the first time ever, the world’s population tipped over to become more urban than rural.

It’s a trajectory that has and will continue.

By 2050, the world is expected to become 70 per cent urban.

And, here in Australia, our urban population is one of the fastest growing in the OECD.

Managing this growth requires a safe and efficient public transport system.

As you know through your work, our public transport network underpins the movement of people in cities and towns across the nation.

Buses are an integral part of this network, providing jobs for the more than 42,900 people who work as bus and coach drivers, while ensuring we all reach our destination.

Indeed, since the last census, bus use has increased in Australia with more than 320,000 people in 2016 using buses to travel to work.

With the right investment, I’m confident that more and more Australians will choose public transport as their preferred means of travel.

But we must also recognise that the transport sector is susceptible to disruption and that there will be significant changes in the decades to come.

That’s why this conference’s focus on future mobility, connectivity and technology in the bus and coach sector is so important.

We can’t stop change.

But we can make it work for us.

LABOR’S RECORD

When people ask what a future Labor Government would do, I point them to our strong track record of investing in towns and cities across the nation.

As well as establishing institutions such as Infrastructure Australia and the Major Cities Unit to break the nexus between the three or four year electoral cycle and the much longer investment cycle, the former Federal Labor Government also:

  • Restored national leadership by appointing Australia’s first ever Federal Infrastructure Minister and the creation of a Federal Infrastructure Department;
  • Built and upgraded 7,500 kilometres of road including completing the duplication of the Hume Highway, accelerating the upgrade of the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway, and improving the safety and flood immunity of hundreds of kilometres of the Bruce;
  • Rebuilt a third of the interstate rail freight network – some 4,000 kilometres of track; and
  • Committed more funding to urban public transport than all our predecessors since Federation combined.

It’s this record that will provide the template for what we will do the next time.

In short, there will be two key elements to Labor’s infrastructure agenda for the nation.

Firstly, if we are to maximise its economic, social and environmental dividends, infrastructure policy has to be got right – and that starts with a genuine commitment to a long term strategy based on an objective, evidence-based assessment of the nation’s infrastructure needs.

In practice that will involve returning Infrastructure Australia’s to the centre of the government’s decision making process – and respecting it’s advice.

To that end, we will provide it with the resources it needs to perform its core functions, including assessing projects, producing an infrastructure pipeline and recommending financing mechanisms.

The importance of having an effective Infrastructure Australia cannot be overstated.

Secondly, we will reverse the projected decline in Federal investment and provide real funding to the real projects that have been identified and properly assessed by a re-empowered Infrastructure Australia.

Not only will we proceed with all the new projects announced in the 2018 Budget, we will add to them to create a more ambitious capital works program, particularly in the area of urban public transport.

This includes Brisbane’s Cross River Rail and Sydney’s Western Metro.

Labor understands that as one of the most urbanised nations on the planet, Australia’s continued prosperity will largely depend on how successful we are at making our cities work better.

And that demands investment in both their road and rail infrastructure.

MOBILITY

It is highly relevant that we are in Cairns today.

Our regional cities and towns, in particular, grapple with the challenge of mobility and an ageing population.

Low volume markets may not produce the same return as high volume markets in capital cities, but they are just as important.

We need to ensure people have access to services, supermarkets and each other.

This strengthens communities and breaks down social isolation.

The value of regional bus operators cannot be overestimated.

We must continue to support them and recognise the fundamental role these bus operators play in the viability of our regional economies, supporting the health and access opportunities of people living in regional Australia.

But mobility is not just important for those living in regional communities – it also matters for visitors.

Coach travel is enjoyed by almost half a million international tourists and more than 1.5 million domestic travellers.

Just look at the thousands of tourists travelling by bus between Cairns and Port Douglas or from their hotel to activities.

Tourism is a super-growth sector for Australia, but regional dispersal remains one of our greatest challenges.

We need to consider how we can improve coach access in our cities and regions so that visitors can be more easily transported from hubs like airports or cruise terminals to tourist destinations across the country.

I am familiar with the national strategy for regional land transport tourism that the Bus Industry Confederation has developed and I commend you for your contribution to this important policy debate.

CONNECTIVITY

The bus and coach sector are also essential when it comes to ensuring effective urban connectivity.

Recently, the Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities released the ‘Building Up and Moving Out’ report.

While I don’t agree with all the recommendations, the report makes an important contribution to the nation’s ongoing debate about how to best manage population growth in our cities.

Of particular significance to this conference is recommendation 11, which focuses on the need for cities to have an efficient public transport network.

It suggests that governments should collaborate to ‘embrace innovation’, create a ‘more sustainable model of urban transport connectivity’ and ‘promote investment in the development of a public transport network capable of meeting the goal of a 30 minute city.’

Just like the Bus Industry Confederation, I am also an advocate of the 30 minute city, and of course buses are part of this equation.

The current Federal Government talks a lot about ‘congestion-busting’.

Adopting this recommendation and investing in public transport infrastructure, rather than just talking about it, would make a very real difference.

Our cities can’t afford more rhetoric – our cities need their national government to take action.

Keeping the wheels turning, literally, so that cities continue to perform as economic powerhouses is one of our biggest challenges.

Traffic congestion is already costing the national economy $16 billion a year in lost productivity.

And, according to analysis by Infrastructure Australia, this cost will rise to $53 billion a year by 2031 unless we act now.

But it’s not just about lost productivity; it’s also about quality of life.

Because most job creation has been in inner areas, growth in population has been in outer communities there has been disconnect between where people work and where people live.

This has led to the development of drive-in drive-out suburbs, where people spend more time commuting to and from work then they do at home with their families.

TECHNOLOGY

The truth is that technology will assist us in overcoming some of our urban challenges.

Technology has facilitated the greater use of bus lanes, which have in turn led to express routes.

These have the added advantage of reminding motorists sitting in traffic of the advantage of taking the bus as it goes past them.

The Managed Motorways Program, which Labor initiated and invested significantly in, is a great example of incorporating intelligent transport solutions into urban motorway networks.

These included entry ramp signalling, variable speed limit signs, CCTVs and digital message signs that provide motorists with live updates on traffic conditions and delays.

But technology is also disruptive.

We know it will impact the transport sector and, indeed it already has.

This includes the rise of car share, with the introduction of Uber and other, similar companies.

Today in Australia there are 3.8 million regular Uber riders and 62,000 active driver-partners.

The taxi industry has, understandably, resisted Uber.

But that has made no difference. The share economy is driven by the Internet, which makes regulation difficult.

But these changes still require a government response.

As Stephen Hawking said, “we are not going to stop making progress or reverse it, so we must recognise the dangers and control them”.

In addition to recognising dangers, we should also be looking at how we can make these advancements in technology work for us.

Not just for some of us, but for all of us.

Automation is one area where this will be key.

Research from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia indicates that up to five million jobs could be affected by automation by 2030.

Governments need to be forward thinking about how to best manage this change.

If it is managed well, the changing nature of work has the potential to improve the quality of life of people, especially those who work in the transport industry with new, high-skilled and well paid jobs.

But if managed poorly, the gap between the haves and have nots will only widen.

And as Michael Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian, told a recent Senate Inquiry on this very issue, “hope is not a tactic”.

We need to actively and genuinely pursue a strategy aimed at ensuring those people who will be displaced by new technology have the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

The fact is that the Federal Government’s cuts to vocational education actively undermine our ability to achieve this.

Investment and leadership from the national government is critical.

So too, is collaboration.

Tackling issues such as automated transport offers a great opportunity for genuine collaboration between governments, employers and trade unions in an area that is undeniably in their common interest.

Over the past ten years as the Minister and Shadow Minister for Transport I have regularly met with transport workers.

The passion transport workers have for their industry is obvious and it is this passion that is so important as we plan for the future of work.

This type of planning is currently underway in Singapore, which has launched its ‘Land Transport Industry Transformation Map’.

This strategy seeks to leverage emerging technology to improve the land transport system, grow productivity and enhance the commuter experience, while also future-proofing the workforce through up-skilling and re-skilling programs.

For the bus and coach sector there are a number of opportunities in this space.

The truth is mass transit will always have a role to play.

We will always want to reduce congestion, not grow it by having more cars on the road – automated or not.

Dedicated bus lanes can carry 8,000 people an hour.

In contrast, cars can only move less than 1,000 people each hour.

Your sector is already talking about what other opportunities might exist.

For example, Michael Apps in his comments to the Senate Inquiry into cities observed that automation could enable buses to compete directly with rail.

He said, “Autonomy is going to drive a whole different outcome … platooning bus seats, or platooning vehicles that operate on a dedicated route but have the capacity to hive off to service individual suburbs…”

As many of you know, platooning is an application of automated driving technology that uses wireless communications to allow two or more vehicles to safely travel closer together.

While travelling in a platoon, the lead vehicle communicates with following vehicles, sending commands about when and how to undertake steering, acceleration and braking.

As well as improving safety, these systems will reduce costs of fuel consumption, in turn reducing pollution.

Vehicle platooning in both passenger and freight applications is projected to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent.

That’s important.

Sixteen per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars.

And transport emissions have the highest rate of growth.

Electric vehicles will help reduce emissions.

In Australia this is already being done.

Adelaide has updated its O-Bahn Busway to include a number of electric buses.

The Australian company tasked with manufacturing these buses, Tindo, has since been contracted to produce additional buses across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

In great news, this has required the company to expand its staff from 29 to 79.

This highlights additional opportunities in manufacturing, which is significant considering Australia’s vibrant bus manufacturing sector.

CONCLUSION

The Bus Industry Confederation is right to highlight mobility, connectivity and technology as its key pillars.

As the nation’s demographics shift and as advancements in technology continue to gather pace technology will shape the way people access services and connect to their community.

Government should work with the sector to ensure that this change is constructive and that the worst potential consequences of disruption and automation are avoided.

For my part, I am committed to working with each of you to ensure that the bus and coach sector remains strong.

This is particularly important given its crucial role in underpinning the success of Australia’s cities and towns.

 

Oct 9, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Far North Queensland – Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Subjects: 2018 Australasia Bus Conference; IPCC Report; Climate Change; Great Barrier Reef.

KIER SHOREY: In my report yesterday we spoke to the Executive Director of the Bus Conference. The Australasian Bus Confederation, which are having their major Conference in town right now, which includes people from across the ditch in New Zealand as well. And that has acted as a magnet for a number of politicians to come into Cairns including my guest this morning, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities, Regional Development and Tourism, Anthony Albanese. Mr Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning. Thanks for having me on the program.

SHOREY: Not a problem at all. So about to jump on the plane to head here for the conference – what’s your message that you’re bringing to the delegates today?

ALBANESE: Well, one of respect for the amazing job that the bus industry do in getting people around our cities and our towns; in supporting the tourism sector; importantly, in supporting the manufacturing sector. We are a major manufacturer of buses. Everyone knows that the car industry, the private motor vehicle industry shut down, unfortunately, in recent years. But we are still a major manufacturer of buses in particular and that’s an important employment generator.

SHOREY: Indeed. And we did talk yesterday with Michael Apps from the Confederation about the fact that the humble bus has kind of evolved a little bit in terms of just how it is such an important part of transport infrastructure around the country. And they’re almost kind of invisible to us, because we see them so frequently and that’s particularly true in a place like Cairns when it comes to the tourism industry.

ALBANESE: That’s right. Look, there’s 43,000 people working as bus and coach drivers. That’s quite an extraordinary figure, and of course for regional cities like Cairns, that are very much reliant upon tourism. People when they get off the plane at Cairns Airport, if they are going up to Port Douglas, chances are they’ll get on a bus to do it. When they’re going out to the reef, chances are they’ll get picked up at their hotel in a bus and take it to the port, either at Cairns or at Port Douglas. If they’re going out doing any of the other activities, everything from skydiving to whitewater rafting, they’ll be in a bus. So the bus industry is absolutely critical for the tourism sector. And I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why the leadership of the Confederation chose Cairns as their destination.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese with us this morning here on ABC Far North, ahead of arriving in Cairns today for this conference that’s taking place. What else on the agenda, Mr Albanese? Any announcements in the air?

ALBANESE: No, but I will be having a range of meetings today – including with the Mossman Mill. People are having a discussion. They met with Kim Carr last week. We want to make sure that industries like that are able to continue. I’ll be having various other meetings with Elida Faith, our fantastic candidate for Leichhardt. I’ve got an event tonight. I’m catching up with Mark Bailey the State Minister around about the time just after I give my speech. There are other meetings as well have been scheduled this afternoon. It’ll be a busy time, but it will be a productive time. Visiting Cairns is always good. You always get a good welcome. It’s a great city, and of course, visitors to Cairns is one of the factors that helps drive the local economy.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese the IPCC report that’s come out in the last 24 hours talking about the idea that we need to transition to a zero per cent fossil fuel. As in 100 per cent renewables by 2050. Now I know the Labor policy currently is 50 per cent at least by 2030 – 45 per cent reduction in emissions. What’s your reaction and response to the IPCC report?

ALBANESE: This is a very serious report. It’s by some of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists and we need to start listening to the science and less to the sceptics, and we need to act. Obviously, the sooner we act – not just Australia alone, but as part of a global action that ensures that our economy can continue to function, our environment can continue to function. And there’s nowhere where the link between the two is more clear than with the Great Barrier Reef, an amazing environmental asset for Queensland and for our nation. But one of course that if we have two degrees of warming or more, then it will be under threat, which is why then, there will be consequences for employment. All those jobs that rely upon the Great Barrier Reef, let alone of course, just the moral responsibility I think we have to act today in the interests of our kids and our grandkids and future generations.

SHOREY: So will the report have an effect on Labor climate change policy?

ALBANESE: I think it’ll have an impact on the world. I would hope that it would have an impact on the Government as well, and that the sensible voices in the Government understand that we can’t just ignore science and dismiss it; that the world isn’t flat; that there is an overwhelming consensus amongst scientists that climate change is happening and that human activity is having an impact on the climate. And you know we can see with the increased number of extreme weather events around the world that that’s impacting. Now that’s not to say that you can point to any individual event and say that is because of climate change, because there always have been events. But what you need to do is look at trends and the trends show that the world is getting hotter, that the extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense. And so all the warning signs are there and the science backs that up and we need to listen to the scientists.

SHOREY: Anthony Albanese, I’ll let you catch your plane.

ALBANESE: Thanks very much for having me on.

 

Oct 9, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Cairns, QLD – Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Subjects: 2018 Australasia Bus Conference; tourism; population policy; urban congestion; infrastructure; public transport; energy; Great Barrier Reef; NBN.

ELIDA FAITH: Good morning, thank you for being here. My name is Elida Faith and I am the Labor candidate for Leichhardt. I’m here today with Anthony Albanese and we are actually attending the Australasian Bus Industry Conference. This year’s theme is ‘Moving People’. We are really excited to go in and hear a little bit more about the industry, and talk about the future for transport in Australia and more importantly, regional Australia. And I’m going to hand over now to Anthony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Elida. It’s great to be back in Cairns. And it’s great to be at the Bus Industry Confederation Conference once again. The bus industry is vital for Australia. It’s vital in moving people around our cities and our towns. It’s also vital in employing people.

There are some 43,000 people who earn their living directly as a result of the bus industry here in Australia. But the spin-off is much greater. The spin off from an industry that takes people to work, shopping, recreational activities, and importantly, here in Cairns, takes people to tourism destinations. Every hotel in Cairns and Port Douglas will have pick-ups every morning, taking people to the Port, taking people to other activities like whitewater rafting, like skydiving, and creating jobs here in Cairns, here in the tourism sector. And that’s why it’s a critical industry.

It’s important to recognise as well, that this conference is about bus manufacturing. We’re one of the regions significant bus manufacturers and that employs many thousands of Australians as well, particularly in our regions. It is timely today to have this conference as well, on a day in which the Government has announced a policy about population and about people being moved to the regions who are new migrants. I think it’s unfortunate that Scott Morrison’s Government have not taken the opportunity to take up Bill Shorten’s offer. Bill Shorten wrote to Scott Morrison last Friday, and suggested a bipartisan approach to the big challenges around population. What we know is that Australia ticked over to 25 million people in July, and we know that is some two decades earlier than what was anticipated in Peter Costello’s first intergenerational report.

Urban congestion, population distribution are issues which are challenges for our national economy. We know that urban congestion will cost, for example, according to Infrastructure Australia some $53 billion by 2031 if it is not addressed. We also know that in terms of population distribution, the concentration of new migrants moving to Sydney and Melbourne has placed a lot of pressure on liveability in those cities, and also in South-East Queensland. But good policy should require a response that goes over many terms and goes beyond one political party being in office. That’s why Bill Shorten’s suggestion to Scott Morrison should have been taken up. To look at settlement policy; to look at urban congestion; to look at infrastructure issues; to look at issues including Labor market issues and whether we’re doing enough to ensure that when jobs are available whether in regional Australia or in our capital cities they’re filled first by Australians where that is possible. And that training for future job opportunities is ensuring that young Australians can access the jobs of the future.

I find it somewhat ironic that a Government when it came into office, cut funding for the Brisbane Cross River Rail Project which it still refuses to fund; for Melbourne Metro, which it still refuses to fund; and hasn’t funded any public transport projects in Sydney of any significance. We’re still waiting for a funding announcement about Western Sydney Rail through Badgerys Creek – has discovered the issue of urban congestion. What we know is that the key to dealing with urban congestion is public transport. Whether it be rail, or whether it be buses, one of the issues that we’re discussing at this conference here today.

And it’s also interesting that Scott Morrison back in 2010 called the policies speaking about people being moved to regional areas rather than capital cities: “false hope”, to quote him on the 23rd of July. On the 25th of July he said: “The Government can talk till the cows come home about getting people into the regions”. He went on to say: “It is just simply not telling the truth”. And on the 13th of May 2011, he spoke about “unrealistic promises”.

What we do need is realistic promises. The Government can start by committing a promise and real funding for the Cross River Rail Project; by funding the Western Sydney Rail Line through Badgerys Creek and the Western Metro. They can begin by funding the Melbourne Metro Project. These are all projects that are necessary to deal with urban congestion. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: Is forcing less than half of permanent migrants to regional areas, is that enough?

ALBANESE: Well, it’s a matter of whether it can be done or not. Scott Morrison himself has said that it is difficult to achieve. In his own words he has called that suggestion an unrealistic promise. So what we will do; is examine anything constructively put forward by the Government. But we say to Scott Morrison and the Government; establish a bipartisan committee of experts, which are agreed on by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Six people we have suggested, but we’re flexible about that, with a chairperson, an eminent person, who can have a debate free of politics. One of the things that Bill spoke about in his letter to Scott Morrison, was the need to keep simplistic solutions out of this and to actually have a comprehensive approach. And that is certainly what Labor is committed to. The offer remains open to Scott Morrison to show some maturity as the Prime Minister. And I think that would be welcomed by the Australian public.

REPORTER: What about foreign students and non-permanent migrants? Would they be considered to be part of that as well?

ALBANESE: This is all an issue. One of the things that is causing pressure, of course, is visitors who aren’t permanent migrants. And one of the things that we’ve raised there is the issue of labour market testing. And making sure that jobs, when they’re available, be made available firstly to Australians who want to work; That we make sure that we examine issues of how we train people for jobs of the future. It’s absurd that at a time when we’ve had cutbacks by Coalition governments in the TAFE sector, we have an inadequate amount of tradespeople who can do the jobs of today, let alone the jobs of the future. That’s why we need to look at education and training. We need to look at STEM. We need to look at where are those jobs going to be. How do we make sure that Australians can fill them, so that we don’t have to resort to temporary migration? Temporary migration will always play a role, but it needs to be a role just filling gaps rather than as an easy solution.

REPORTER: Is Labor concerned about wages and conditions for those migrants if they are forced out into regional areas?

ALBANESE: Labor certainly is concerned about wages of everyone in this country. The fact that wages have been declining; the fact that penalty rates are being cut, with the agreement of the Morrison Government following the old ATM, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government. So we are concerned about labour market conditions. We’re concerned about the decline in real wages. And you know what; it’s not just Labor. The Reserve Bank of Australia is concerned. Any economist around the country is concerned as well. They will tell you that is something that is holding back economic growth in this country.

REPORTER: What would Labor to do improve public transport in Cairns?

ALBANESE: Well, in terms of public transport in Cairns, perhaps Elida might want to add to that. One of the things that we’re here for is to say that public transport plays an absolutely critical role. It plays a critical role for local residents in getting around Cairns. But it also plays a critical role in terms of visitors to this great city and to this great region, and therefore underpins the economic growth in jobs here in Far North Queensland.

REPORTER: Should there be any visa conditions on those migrants?

ALBANESE: We will have a look at any proposals from the Government which are constructive. But what we say is; let’s not have a piecemeal solution. Let’s have a comprehensive plan from the mainstream political parties. The Prime Minister and the alternative Prime Minister in Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten, selecting a group of eminent people to look at these issues and come up with long-term solutions that can put it above partisan politics.

REPORTER: What’s your response to the Environment Minister’s comments that it’s a long bow to draw to phase out coal to 2050 to protect the reef?

ALBANESE: Well what’s very disappointing about the Environment Minister’s statement, is that we now have an Environment Minister who says that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report – by the world’s pre-eminent scientists – should be just dismissed. What I would want to see is an Environment Minister who actually sticks up for the environment. And we know that the environment is about not just itself. Yes, it’s about making sure that we protect our natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef for this and for future generations to come. But it’s also about our economy. This region relies upon the Great Barrier Reef for jobs. So a dismissal, as the Government did on the very day that the report was handed down, is most unfortunate. One of the things that we see in previous visits to this region; to visit the Kidston and Kennedy renewable energy structures that are being put in place. Be it solar with storage, be it wind power, right around Australia we have new renewable energy projects that are up and running. We know that no one in Australia is coming forward and saying: ‘I have the money and I want to invest in a new coal fired power plant’ – in spite of the rhetoric of the dinosaurs that seem to be dominant in Scott Morrison’s Government, and that helped to topple Malcolm Turnbull, an elected Prime Minister, from office.

So what we need is a considered response, one that puts science at the centre of the equation; one that also recognises the job creation that will occur as we transition to a clean economy. We also need a just transition plan for people who are affected; workers who are affected by changes to the economy. Labor has always been very consistent in that. But the jobs that can be created through the changing energy mix, which will occur in terms of the increased use of gas as a transition as well to renewables. One of the things that Labor is committed to is having an energy policy. The current Government don’t have one. And it is quite extraordinary because what industry is all saying – whether it be coal fired power, gas, renewables – they all have a common theme, which is they want a policy and policy certainty, and they haven’t got it from this Government and now the Government has walked away from any prospect of having it.

REPORTER: Is it reasonable to say we don’t know what technology will be available in 2050 as far as clean coal goes?

ALBANESE: What we do know is that human ingenuity constantly exceeds our expectations. So if you look back to what technology was available when I was first elected to Parliament two decades ago, people weren’t communicating through emails, let alone social media, of course, didn’t exist. The world has been transformed. The only certainty is that change will continue to occur. What we need to do as governments and as a community is make sure that technology benefits the community rather than be controlled by it.

REPORTER: (Inaudible).

FAITH: (Inaudible).

ALBANESE: Look, Queensland is Australia’s most regional State. And one of the things that we want to do is to support growth of our regional cities. I tell you what; you know what the single most important infrastructure project for regional Australia was in my view? It’s the National Broadband Network. What that was about is changing the economic equation so that a business located in Cairns, Townsville, Mt Isa, Charleville could have the same access to domestic and international markets as a business located in George Street, Brisbane. And that is critical if we’re going to encourage regional growth. What you’ve got to have is regional jobs and the National Broadband Network, which, where it operates, has made businesses all of a sudden instead of being at a competitive disadvantage because of the tyranny of distance, have a competitive advantage, because the overheads of locating businesses in terms of real estate costs, in regional areas, is less than it is in the centre of the CBDs of our capital cities.

Thanks very much.

[ENDS]

Oct 8, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – David Speers Program, SKY News – Monday, 8 October 2018

Subjects; Sydney Opera House, IPCC report

DAVID SPEERS: Labor’s Shadow Tourism Minister Anthony Albanese has also weighed in on this. On Friday he did so and he copped some criticism for it. He actually defended the use of the Opera House for this sort of promotion, at least the promotion that the Opera House itself had agreed to initially. I spoke to Anthony Albanese a short time ago.

Anthony Albanese, thanks very much for your time this afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on.

SPEERS: Do you think the Opera House should be used to promote The Everest horse race?

ALBANESE: Well of course we have to actually understand what this dispute is over. The fact is that there’s agreement that the colours should be used of the horses, the numbers should be used – this is a dispute over whether the trophy should be used. So the Opera House board and Louise Herron have no problem with the colours and the numbers. This is just over the trophy for the ten minutes that will take place tomorrow night.

SPEERS: That’s an interesting point to make. So the whole dispute is really about whether that logo of the trophy is to be included as part of the imagery. The Opera House had already agreed to the colours and the numbers?

ALBANESE: That’s right. Of course the fact is that the Opera House is used for projections. Every single night there’s a projection on the other side of the Opera House but on that side, of course, for events including Ashes tests, rugby tests, St Patricks Day, World Aids Day, World Diabetes Day, of course as well as the big events like New Year’s Eve…

SPEERS: There was even a Samsung promotion too apparently.

ALBANESE: And there was a Samsung promotion. What I have said as Shadow Tourism Minister is that it is reasonable that we promote major events in Sydney. Now I didn’t back in the Racing NSW plan and I actually think that Louise Herron’s position of support for a minimal projection is a reasonable one and Gladys Berejiklian should consider just supporting that and supporting Louise Herron.

SPEERS: What’s the difference then in including the trophy image? Do you have a problem with that? What’s the difference between, you know, showing the colours and the numbers and showing the trophy?

ALBANESE: Well that is what the dispute is over now. That’s what the difference is between Louise Herron and the Berejiklian Government. What there is is a need to have clearly, a whole of people clearly are understandably upset about this issue, it’s projected a lot of emotion. People need to have a review and the Berejiklian Government should have a review of the uses of the Opera House and get someone in, an expert opinion, and people can submit their views to that process. I think that would be a wise thing given how engaged people are on this issue.

SPEERS: And that’s an interesting idea.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that many people weren’t aware of the number of times in which projections onto the Opera House, since that was made possible by new technology, have been used and what I said last Friday…

SPEERS: Is it different with horse racing? I mean there’s this list of events that have been used on the Opera House but is horse racing, which is obviously linked to gambling, is that any different here? That’s what seems to be upsetting a lot of people.

ALBANESE: Well of course there’s gambling on rugby tests, there’s gambling on cricket as we know, some of it very unfortunate circumstances is how we know that it occurs. What we need here is a bit of a step back once we get through this process. The Berejiklian Government should consider supporting Louise Herron’s position. Tomorrow night it’s just over whether the trophy is shown or not.

SPEERS: And to be clear on that, you don’t think the trophy should be shown?

ALBANESE: I don’t have a strong view frankly, but given that the Opera House board have a view and Louise Herron has a view, I think it would be reasonable that their view be respected. Let’s be clear about one of the reasons why this is a major issue – it’s because of Alan Jones’ inexcusable behaviour in his interview with Louise Herron last Friday morning.

SPEERS: I was going to come to that. What did you make of that interview?

ALBANESE: I only found out about that interview well after I’d made my comments that were actually before that interview with Louise Herron. Louise Herron did Alan Jones the courtesy of going on his program. She said on his program that she supported the Opera House being used for minimal projections. And Alan Jones was rude, was offensive and his behaviour was inexcusable. He has had a record of doing that from time to time. The great hypocrisy here is that Alan Jones was strident in his criticism of Luke Foley for supporting Cheree Toka, a young Indigenous constituent of mine, and her proposal and campaign, to fly the Aboriginal flag from the Harbour Bridge 365 days a year, was treated with disdain and was outrageous according to Alan Jones. He needs to consider the way in which he conducts these interviews and I think that is one of the reasons why there has been such a strong response.

SPEERS: Is that what you think a lot of this outrage is about? People think that Alan Jones has too much influence in these sorts of decisions in NSW?

ALBANESE: There’s no doubt that that is the case. That is a view. And one of the problems with 24 hour media reporting is people often don’t get the timelines. So a whole lot of people, for example, weren’t aware that my interview was before Alan Jones so they were saying, why didn’t you comment on Alan Jones’ interview? Well I didn’t even know about it.

SPEERS: It hadn’t happened at that point?

ALBANESE: It hadn’t happened. And the same as Racing NSW have said and there’s no reason to doubt them, quite clearly, they’ve been in negotiations with the Government and the Opera House for many, many months. Luke Foley put out a media release two weeks ago talking about projections on the Harbour Bridge not the Opera House. One of the problems is that timelines in modern media can all run into each other so that people get two and two and get 84 out of it.

SPEERS: Look at the end of the day, final one on this issue. Does it strike you, there are a lot of things we can get outraged about in this world, in this country, I mean how does this really rank when you look at the amount of attention, the amount of oxygen that’s been spent on this issue?

ALBANESE: I do think it has been an unfortunate debate. I disagree with Scott Morrison when he says the Opera House is Sydney’s largest billboard. It’s much more significant than that. It is an important cultural institution. It’s an architectural gem. It really highlights the great Sydney Harbour that makes the city that I love so important. Indeed, the interview I did on Friday in part spoke about – a little informal review – The The concert, which I went to at the Opera House last Tuesday night.

The fact is that the Opera House is a treasure. It needs to be treated as such. But the other thing is that it is an asset in terms of sending a signal when something is shown, when the Opera House is shown, then the whole of the world sees that an event is being conducted in Sydney. Of course this horse race is about not just gambling, isn’t my concern, I’ve been to Randwick Races once in my life. I don’t gamble.

What I am concerned about is promoting tourism and promoting Sydney as a destination. One of the points that I made in the interview last week is that as well Melbourne promotes its major events much better than Sydney does. That’s just a fact and that has consequences for employment and economic activity here in what is Australia’s global city.

SPEERS: And quickly, the big issue of the day, the release of the latest IPCC report on climate change. It’s suggesting that coal-fired power needs to be phased out by 2050 to avoid dangerous temperature rise. What do you think? Should coal-fired power be phased out by then?

ALBANESE: Well this is another wake-up call. One of the things that we’re seeing is that renewable energy, increasingly right now, is more viable economically than going and building a new coal-fired power station. That’s why, in spite of some of the Government’s rhetoric, and Scott Morrison bringing a lump of coal into the Parliament, there are no private sector operators wanting to go out there and build a coal-fired power station here in Australia. What we need to do is to be a part of the global solution to climate change. That requires the co-operation of the entire international community but it’s not helped when…

SPEERS: But here in Australia, whether anyone builds a new one or not, should it be phased out is the question; should coal-fired power be phased out by 2050?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that what is happening here in Australia is that increasingly as coal-fired power stations reach the end of their life, like Liddell will in coming years; they’re closing, and the energy sector is looking towards renewables, battery storage, hydro, in order to fill the gap. That is something that is happening; the market right now is doing that here in Australia.

SPEERS: So no need for the Government, no need for a future Labor Government to actually accelerate that?

ALBANESE: Well, the fact is that that is happening. A future Labor Government will have a target of reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, and having 50 per cent renewables by 2030. We have support for that, and wherever I go – tomorrow I’ll be up in Far North Queensland, and on a visit earlier on this year with Bob Katter, I visited Kidston and Kennedy. These are very large wind and solar projects in Far North Queensland. Those projects alone are enough to power over a million homes. They’re going ahead right now, as we speak.

SPEERS: Well I wonder, just let me ask you this one finally: the report today also says we need a shift in diet towards less meat, a responsible-consumption, sustainable diet. I’m not sure in Far North Queensland how they’d feel about that, but what about you? Are you prepared to change your own diet?

ALBANESE: Well, I do eat meat and I do quite like eating meat, and I think in terms of diet I haven’t seen the report on that, but I think increasingly as I get older I must say, I’m more attracted to vegetables than I was as a young fellow, and I think that’s got something to do with just the ageing process rather than any ideological.

SPEERS: You’re not trying to save the planet?

ALBANESE: I’m not trying to save the planet. It’s just a fact that one of the great things in Australia that’s happened is that our cuisine has got much, much better. When I was a lad I thought there were two vegetables – there were peas and beans – and they both came out of the freezer.

SPEERS: Right. Anthony Albanese, good to talk to you. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.

ALBANESE: Thanks David.

Oct 5, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Sydney, Breakfast Program – Friday, 5 October 2018

Subjects; Sydney Opera House and tourism

ROBBIE BUCK: Just been called by Anthony Albanese, he’s had a busy morning in the media, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism. Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day.

BUCK: What do you make of it?

ALBANESE: Look I, with my Shadow Tourism hat on, think anything that promotes tourism is a good thing. The fact is that Melbourne does use the Melbourne Cup to its great advantage and it’s known as the events capital of Australia. Sydney needs to do much better.

BUCK: So you reckon that using the Opera House to promote a horse race is a good idea? Good use of the Opera House and its intention?

ALBANESE: People should chill out a bit. The fact is that this race is beamed around the world. People do associate Sydney with the Sydney Opera House. I think any time that the Sydney Opera is shown on TV in Beijing or London or Washington or wherever else is a good thing for Australia. Tourism employs a million people and we need to take every opportunity there is to promote Sydney as Australia’s global city.

REBECCA DE UNAMUNO: It’s interesting with the Opera House being so iconic and so many people have worked within the Opera House itself and have performed in the Opera House and it has held in such high regard when it comes to artists and performers who work there. Does advertising on the sides of a building that is encasing your work, do you think that will have some sort of negative impact on those that work there?

ALBANESE: No I don’t think it undermines it at all. And the Opera House has changed. I was there on Tuesday night to see The The. It used to be the case that you couldn’t see – if you had said to me 30 years ago that I would have seen bands like New Order and The The and Paul Weller at the Opera House.

BUCK: Yes, but you can argue that they are cultural and they are artistic and that obviously resonates with the intention of what the Opera House was built. Advertising a race, a horse race, it would seem like a very different kind of cultural event, wouldn’t it?

ALBANESE: Of course it’s different, but the horses aren’t running up and down the sails, nor are they running around. This is using essentially those magnificent sails as a billboard to advertise Sydney, and that’s what happens on days like Chinese New Year.

BUCK: Oh alright. Yes.

ALBANESE: We have the Opera House sails painted red. The fact is that it’s an asset that can be used and I just don’t see that there’s a big down side to it at all.

BUCK: How was The The by the way?

ALBANESE: The The were magnificent. Matt Johnson was very very good and I have got to say, I saw the Pixies there too. Thirty years ago, the truth is I remember there being a debate. I’m old enough to know that there was a debate about whether more modern cultural forms should be able to perform at the Opera House or whether it should be kept to the Symphony Orchestras and the opera. The fact is that it is a great asset and we should be very proud of it.

BUCK: All right. We know where you stand as well. Anthony Albanese thanks for calling in this morning.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having us on.

Oct 5, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 5 October 2018

Subjects; Malcolm Turnbull’s audio recording, Labor’s policy to extend preschool access to 3 year olds, Pyne in Afghanistan, Theresa May

KARL STEFANOVIC: Well “miserable ghosts”, that what former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott in a leaked audio clip this week on Nine News.  For more I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Adelaide. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, you miserable ghost.

ALBANESE: I don’t think anymore was referring to me.

PYNE: No, he’s no miserable ghost.  He’s still there.

STEFANOVIC: Aren’t you here?

PYNE: He’s very much in the flesh.  Probably too much flesh quite frankly.

STEFANOVIC: That’s a bit rough on a Friday morning.

ALBANESE: He’s mean.

STEFANOVIC: How worried are you about Scott Morrison at the moment, Albo?

ALBANESE: Well, we’re not worried at all. We’re getting on with the job of leading from opposition once again this week – the preschool for three and four year olds. An exciting program; 700,000 people will benefit.

STEFANOVIC: I’ll get onto that in just a sec. But how worried are you about Scott Morrison?

ALBANESE: We’re not worried about the Government because the Government has given up governing. So what we’re doing is leading from opposition with policies, getting ready for the election and we’ll put those policies to the electorate, and we’ll compare them with the rabble and the mess that is the Government.

STEFANOVIC: Why don’t people like Bill?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that they are liking Labor. People I meet like Bill. I like Bill, and we’re out there campaigning as a Labor team on policy.

STEFANOVIC: Okay Chris, Labor is promising to subsidies 600 hours of preschool for 700,000 children. That is good policy, isn’t it?

PYNE: Well unfortunately as usual with Labor they announce a policy and then the detail goes haywire. So first of all they said it would cost $1.75 billion over four years, then it was over two years, and then they said the states and territories would pay for it. They have absolutely no idea whether the states or territories would pay for it. They’ve got no plans for infrastructure. It reminds me of when they were in government last time, and they had cash-for-clunkers, or they had the laptops in schools program, or overpriced school halls.

STEFANOVIC: It is good policy; this will go down well in middle Australia.

PYNE: Well we are already spending over $440 million a year getting more children into preschool, if that’s where they want to be, if that’s where their parents want them. So what Labor is trying to do is come up with unfunded policies that someone else is going to pay for. It reminds me exactly of the Rudd-Gillard Government, which was a complete shambles. Every one of their policies was massively overpriced, and completely under-delivered, and I can’t believe that Anthony couldn’t even say that with a straight face that he likes Bill.

ALBANESE: The fact is this is good policy. The fact is that when they talk about they’re currently educating some 4 year olds, that’s our policy, that’s due to run out, and we are extending that and extending it to 3 year olds.

PYNE: Who’s paying for it?

ALBANESE: It’s fully paid for.

PYNE: Oh really. You changed the numbers yesterday.

ALBANESE: That is not true. And today…

PYNE: It was $1.75 billion, and then it was $3.5 billion.

ALBANESE: You can yell Christopher to try and hide the fact that you don’t have any policies. Today we will be announcing in addition that 10,000 of the 100,000 places we said would be fee free in TAFE would be allocated for early childhood educators because we want to make sure we get people there.

PYNE: That’s a policy you dumped in 2012.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, you’re also – Bill Shorten earlier this week saying that negative gearing tax incentives would be used – abolishing those – to pay for it. Is that true?

ALBANESE: Sorry, I was busy listening to him yelling in my ear.

STEFANOVIC: The negative gearing tax incentives?

ALBANESE: Well all of the changes that we’ve made – what we’ve done is made some hard decisions. Those hard decisions including changes to negative gearing, changes to various tax arrangements.

STEFANOVIC: How will that affect the housing market?

ALBANESE: Well the negative gearing measures won’t impact on the housing market in terms of any bad affects. What it will do is do what negative gearing was designed to do, which is to encourage new supply because negative gearing will still be available for new housing, and also, of course, it’s grandfathered so it won’t impact anyone’s current investment.

PYNE: Every time Labor opens their mouth Karl, they’re taking more of your money. That’s the bottom line. More taxes, higher taxes…

ALBANESE: What we’re doing is investing in kids, and if you think this bad policy…

STEFANOVIC: Gentlemen, gentlemen.

ALBANESE: If you think it’s bad policy get rid of the policy that we put in place for 4 year olds that you’re currently… Just get rid of it now.

PYNE: Karl, the last time they announced this policy about teachers…

STEFANOVIC: Gee you are in a very grump mood this morning Christopher Pyne, You can’t keep talking over everyone.

PYNE: I’m just telling you the facts.

STEFANOVIC: It’s just not very nice.

PYNE: Anthony will talk forever unless someone interrupts him, that’s the bottom line. The last time Labor had this policy on preschool teaching…

ALBANESE: I think you’ve had a pretty fair go Christopher.

PYNE: They scrapped it themselves in Government because it didn’t work.

ALBANESE: One thing about this noise Karl, they can’t put forward any policies of their own.

PYNE: You’ve been saying that for five years. It’s a very boring line.

ALBANESE: You’re not putting anything forward. This is Labor leading from opposition and it’s leading in a very important policy area.

STEFANOVIC: On a policy of this magnitude, you must have consulted with the states?

ALBANESE: Well of course we’ve consulted widely. Look everyone knows Karl, let me tell you who we’ve consulted with primarily, every single parent knows that early childhood education, that investment in the early years pays off.

STEFANOVIC: But the states will have to support it, the states will have to run this. So have you spoken to the state governments about it?

ALBANESE: Well of course the states run all services, that’s the truth in terms of education and hospitals. That’s the federal structure that we have. But already yesterday we had Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews showing leadership, coming on board, providing the funding that will be there for Victoria and we’re confident that all of the states and territories will come on board because this is good policy.

PYNE: They haven’t consulted with the states and territories and they’re writing cheques the bank won’t cash. It’s unbelievable, bad policy.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher I know why you’re so feisty today.

PYNE: Tell me.

STEFANOVIC: Because you’ve been stroppy, one might say a little bit peaked. You’ve been in Afghanistan haven’t you?

PYNE: Yes I was, I was in Kabul last week visiting our troops there in Kabul in Camp Qargha. They’re doing a marvellous job in Afghanistan it must be said. Just one example, 17 years ago there were 800 000 kids in school in Afghanistan, today there are 8 million and 40 per cent of them are girls so what we’re doing there is working but we’ve got a long way to go.

ALBANESE: They are doing a great job. I’ve got to say to Christopher though that I was worried on the Today Show last week when I turned up and Peter Dutton had taken his place. I thought ‘finally Peter Dutton has had a successful coup’.

STEFANOVIC: He’s alright, he’s back.

ALBANESE: Finally.

STEFANOVIC: That’s nasty.

ALBANESE: Finally, but once again it couldn’t last a week.

STEFANOVIC: I want to end on a brighter note because you two have been at loggerheads. Theresa May is leading way on the international stage. Have you seen during the week what she was up to?

PYNE: I have, I have.

ALBANESE: Don’t do it.

STEFANOVIC: This is her, Theresa May…

ALBANESE: Viewers, go and get a cup of coffee.

STEFANOVIC: Have we got Theresa?

Footage of Theresa May dancing on stage.

STEFANOVIC: That’s what I want to see from you guys. I want to see some dancing on a Friday.

PYNE: I like the fact that she’s embracing that story, from her dancing in Africa. Good luck to her.

STEFANOVIC: Are you going to do a little bit of dancing for us?

ALBANESE: Ah, no.

PYNE: Everyone knows that Anthony’s a shocking dancer.

ALBANESE: I’m still in a bit of shock at that footage.

PYNE: He’s a good DJ.

ALBANESE: You have to come to one of my DJ sessions Christopher.

PYNE: I would love to actually.

STFANOVIC: Well there you go, it’s a date. We got some resolution. We achieved something finally today.

PYNE: He’s not so bad after all.

STFANOVIC: There you go.

ALBANESE: He’s better than Peter Dutton.

PYNE: I’m a great fan of Peter Dutton’s.

STFANOVIC: Careful. Over to you guys.

 

 

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