Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Nov 11, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday ,15 November, 2018

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

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, gentlemen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANESE: Ambassador at Large, perhaps?

HOST: Yeah, exactly right.

PYNE: He would want a new uniform, though.

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

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

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

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

PYNE: That’s right, from North Korea.

HOST: We can arrange it.

ALBANESE: There we had all that love …

PYNE: Now we are piling in.

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

HOST: It’s always going to be tense.

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

PYNE: The Democratic Republic of Marrickville.

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

PYNE: They’re not allowed not to be.

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

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

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 14 NOVEMBER, 2018

Oct 31, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Subjects: Halloween; Nauru; American politics.

HOST: Any good relationship needs work. It’s time for Two Tribes, Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen, it’s nice to be back.

HOST: It’s good to have you, Chris.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning from the Sydney rail network.

HOST: The Sydney rail network?

ALBANESE: I’m on a train.

HOST: Are you stuck on a Tangara, Albo?

ALBANESE: I’m on a train.

HOST: Is it moving?

ALBANESE: I’m heading into a forum in New South Wales Parliament House – It is moving – moving quite well, quite efficiently.

PYNE: That’s because of the Berejiklian Government.

(Laughter)

ALBANESE: Mate, come and have a look at the light rail project here.

HOST: Now guys you’re both dads, you’ve both got teenage kids. Have your families been swept up with Halloween fever over the years; is it something that you get into? We’ve been talking about it a bit this morning.

PYNE: Well, I’ve got a 10-year-old daughter, so I have to say our house is covered in Halloween decorations out the front, with the hideous web that gets sprayed all over the front fence – which is better than the graffiti that I’m used to from the CFMEU. Yes we do get swept up in the Halloween thing, we didn’t used to. It’s really a much more modern thing than it was when I was growing up, that’s for sure.

HOST: So you guys could dress up as a character for trick-or-treating. Have you got anyone you might like to go as?

ALBANESE: I could go as Christopher Pyne and scare people.

PYNE: Oh dear. Well, I could go as Kevin Rudd but I think that’s too unkind to people. I don’t want to frighten people. I’m thinking more Frankenstein than Kevin Rudd, maybe.

HOST: Instead of giving people lollies you’d give them your memoirs.

ALBANESE: My 17-year-old son is doing his HSC at the moment, so he’s a bit past Halloween at the moment. But when he was a bit younger he certainly participated and it seems to be getting bigger every year. My much better half, Carmel, was away for a couple of nights and she has …

PYNE: I’m not surprised.

ALBANESE: Bought appropriate lollies and Mars Bars and all sorts of treats, but we had to hide it because otherwise the 17-year-old would have eaten it all.

HOST: Right.

PYNE: I did go trick-or-treating once. I went trick-or-treating a couple of years ago and I dressed up as Dumbledore.

HOST: From Harry Potter?

PYNE: Which gave everybody quite a surprise.

HOST: Did you get recognised or was it – the beard covered you up?

PYNE: I got recognised. I got quite scared, actually, being out there in the dark like that. With all the …

HOST: That’s what the wand is for, Christopher. Okay, now let’s get into some of the issues of the day.

ALBANESE: We’re on the big picture today.

HOST: It’s time to get into it now; because there’s a local story that’s making national headlines. The Advertiser is reporting that immigration officials have been shifting asylum seeker families from Nauru to Adelaide as part of an operation to remove children from the facility. Christopher Pyne, why the secrecy around this?

PYNE: Well, it’s very important that we make sure that people smugglers don’t think they’ve got a green light to open up their trade, their hideous trade, to Australia again. Now I’m not the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton is; but I know that we of course are making sure that, particularly children who are suffering from health issues, are being removed from Nauru back to Australia to be looked after from a health perspective. Now I don’t know if that’s to Adelaide. I haven’t made those inquiries. I’ve only seen that story myself this morning, but if that’s the case, I think most people would welcome that outcome.

HOST: Well, are you one of the people who welcomes it, Anthony Albanese?

ALBANESE: What we have is medical experts saying that children need to be removed off Nauru, and that’s a good thing, if the Government is doing it.

HOST: Are they going about it the right way then? Because the model that sounds like a reasonable justification – the idea is you don’t broadcast to people smugglers that the way to get in is with a child – because you don’t want to encourage that kind of thing. But at the same time you can be humanitarian by secretly then treating these people in Australia. That sounds like a reasonable model, doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well, what I’m concerned about is the outcome here. And if an outcome is that a child who is suffering mental anguish and trauma is looked after, which is our responsibility, then that is a good thing. And I’m not going to play politics with whether it is announced or not. I think the outcome is what matters here.

HOST: Can I get both of your thoughts on the debate coming out of America over the last week? We saw those pretty sinister pipe bomb threats being sent to prominent Democrats. Then we saw the appalling anti-Semitic shootings in Pittsburgh. Starting with you if we can, Chris, and then you, Albo. Why do you think that we’re seeing this really extreme polarisation in politics and what can be done to combat it?

PYNE: Well, I have to say the United States is a different political market to Australia, as the stability that we’ve had here in Australia for a hundred years or more, and the political discourse which some people think is pretty rough is nothing in comparison to the highs and lows that have been experienced in the United States over many many decades. And we haven’t had, for example, the race riots that used to occur in the United States in the 60s and 70s that were very common in those days and happily not so much these days. The gun laws we’ve talked about before in the United States – you’d never have in Australia a situation where people could access weapons in the way that they can in the US. And thanks to the Howard Government, with the bipartisan support of Labor I should add, we have reformed our gun laws here. I think the extremes of politics in America are driven by a number of factors. Voluntary voting is one of them. I think one of our great things here is compulsory preferential voting, which means that everybody has a say in the government of the country. I could go on, but I think Anthony should have a go.

HOST: Feel the love. What about this?

PYNE: We’re giving you an example of how to behave, you two.

ALBANESE: There it is.

HOST: It’s a master class in manners.

ALBANESE: I’m going to reinforce that and get the buckets ready by saying I agree with everything that Christopher said. The fact is, that the gun laws make an enormous difference. You know, we’ve all had experience as local members of having people who have issues. I used to have one fellow; he used to break the glass on my front door once every couple of days at the office and eventually the police rounded him up. He was a guy who had some real issues that needed looking after. The difference is, if that was in the US, he could have access to guns pretty easily. It’s a very different culture and we need to cherish the laws that were passed by the Howard Government, never ever weaken them. And I think also we all have a responsibility to engage in political discourse. Christopher and I sometimes get bagged by people on our own side of politics, or on the fringes of our own side it must be said, for talking with each other on programs like this. This is a good thing that people are able to have differences, but are able to discuss them in a civil way.

HOST: Absolutely, well said both of you. Well there we go. We billed it as, you know, the edgiest and most aggressive segment on Australian radio and we’ve all ended up sitting in a circle singing Kumbaya.

 

Oct 29, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC with Mark Braybrook – Monday, 29 October 2018

Subjects: Queensland infrastructure; Park and Ride scheme; Federal Election; urban development; NRL; South Sydney Rabbitohs.

MARK BRAYBROOK: I am joined this afternoon in the studio by the Shadow Infrastructure, Transport, Cities, Regional Development and Tourism Minister, Anthony Albanese. Mr Albanese, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Mark. Good to be here.

BRAYBROOK: That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: It’s quite a title isn’t it? I shorten it sometimes to ‘Shadow Minister for building stuff’.

BRAYBROOK: Well, you’re in town today. It’s timely that you are here because we had a good chat on the weekend – not on the weekend, on Friday’s program I should say – with regard to public transport in Brisbane was the motivation for it, because a report from the Planning Institute of Australia – Infrastructure Australia, sorry – came out to say that Brisbane has the worst public transport of any capital city in the country. We then spoke to Planning Australia and we got on to infrastructure and planning of cities in this country. So I’ll ask you about that shortly. But you were in Brisbane today – the election is next year – to make an announcement with regards to public transport and infrastructure in this city.

ALBANESE: I was at Northgate Train Station this morning with Anika Wells, who’s our candidate for Lilley, and Wayne Swan, who’s the current Member, and we were announcing an upgrade of the park and ride facilities there. $7 million will be the Federal contribution, but we expect a State contribution as well. It’s part of a $300 million fund that we’ve got for park and ride facilities. We’ve already had announcements at Mango Hill and at Narangba, both of course also in Brisbane’s north.

We think that public transport is an absolute priority of how you deal with urban congestion and we’re funding the Cross River Rail. We’ve got $2.4 billion we’ll make to that vital project that will transform the capacity of the entire network in South East Queensland here, not just for Brisbane but the Sunny Coast and the Gold Coast. But we also recognise, from the feedback that we’ve had by people talking to people like Anika and Susan Lamb in Longman, is that we need to make the stations themselves more accessible and part of that is park and ride. A lot of people go to Northgate because it’s the last station on the north that’s in Zone 1. So they drive there to then travel into the city, to work or to recreational activities. And this is a really practical program that we’re rolling out of commitments around the country.

BRAYBROOK: People say that in government certain Ministries and certain topics are the key to an election – whether it be health, education, whatever it may be. I think that’s subtly changing. I think so many people now are very much interested in infrastructure, overpopulation and what our cities are going to be like in 10or 15 years. Have you noticed that in your time in Parliament that there is a trend towards: ‘Okay, we’ve got too many people not enough infrastructure, not enough places to get around’ – and that you’ve noticed there’s a change there as well?

ALBANESE: Look, absolutely. I was the nation’s first ever Infrastructure Minister. There was no Infrastructure Department at the Federal level. And when we created Infrastructure Australia to guide Government decision-making and to have that arm’s length analysis of what was needed a bit separate from the political process, that was seen as a radical measure. Now the current Government has maintained Infrastructure Australia. I think that they’ve downgraded it a little bit in importance, but nonetheless it’s good that it’s there.

And the feedback I get around the country is that transport infrastructure, health infrastructure, water, energy, these are the things that affect people’s quality of life and they also affect the nature of our cities, whether they’re inclusive cities or not. And we need to make sure that everyone has access to being able to get around our cities. People have seen the impact of not planning properly, that people need jobs closer to where they live. They need to make sure that facilities are where they live as well, in terms of education and health and recreational infrastructure is a big issue as well – places for kids to play sport on the weekend.

BRAYBROOK: How do we do that if we’re still having so many people come to the cities and I’ll use Sydney and I mentioned this on the program, that anyone that flies to Sydney and goes on South Dowling Street or Southern Cross Drive, has to go from the airport into the city past Zetland, Waterloo and those units that are appearing everywhere, left, right and centre. It’s more pronounced in Sydney and Melbourne than it is here in Brisbane. We can learn a lot from what’s happening in Sydney and Melbourne and make sure the same mistakes aren’t being made.

ALBANESE: That’s exactly right. I’m certainly concerned with developments pretty close to where I live around Green Square in Sydney and Arncliffe, indeed very close to the airport as well, where you’ve had a real increase in density and living without giving thought to where will the kids go to school? Where will they get health facilities? And where will they kick a footy or play netball on the weekend? Those are really important questions.

One of the things that I’ve been working with Tony Burke on, who’s our Environment Spokesperson, is how can the Commonwealth play a role in encouraging state and local government to make sure that where green spaces are there, they don’t just get taken up by development, because that I think is the big mistake that has happened in the southern capitals so far and we need to turn that around in Sydney and Melbourne. But in Brisbane, that hasn’t had, to the same extent, that increase in density, that’s been so acutely felt in Sydney and Melbourne, I think learning from those lessons, getting better planning in place is absolutely vital.

BRAYBROOK: But it’s not just the Federal Government is it? It’s got to be Federal, State and local.

ALBANESE: Absolutely and that’s part of the problem that we have is our system of government. The truth is that we have the three tiers of government. Here in Brisbane you have a big advantage of having a big council and that makes it easier to get planning right whereas what’s happened in say Sydney is you had councils around the airport, some of which –

BRAYBROOK: There could be three or four different councils in …

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And they went gangbusters in terms of some development and the council gets some revenue from that, so there’s a bit of a built-in incentive for them to do that. But it’s led to some very bad outcomes. Whereas here you have the scale. I’ve worked effectively as the Infrastructure Minister in the last term of Government to partner with state, but also local government, here in Brisbane with Legacy Way just up north a little bit with Moreton Bay Council and the new Redcliffe Rail Line. And we partnered with the State Government and Gold Coast City Council on the light rail.

So when you have those large councils, you can have better outcomes. We want to work on a City Partnership arrangement with the South East Queensland councils. One of the good things that has happened here is that mayors by and large have put aside their political caps to cooperate and to come up with coordinated plans for the whole of South East Queensland. And myself and I know Jackie Trad as the Treasurer is very keen – as is Cameron Dick and Mark Bailey, other Ministers responsible in this area – in getting a three-tiered government approach, federal, state and local to get better outcomes for the people who need to improve their quality of life. There’s no reason why, with proper planning, you can’t have increases in the population that are sensible that improve the quality of life. If you leave it to the market though and just let it rip you’ll get really bad outcomes.

BRAYBROOK: Absolutely. Well, one of the calls that were taken on Friday, the theme running through was the fact that no one asked the population what they want their city to be like. And they just built these units and they just do this thing saying that it’s good for the economy, if the population grows, it’s good for the economy, means more jobs and more this sort of stuff. Well no one actually sees that, no one sees those benefits that these people talk about in theory. In practice all we see is the loss of green space, more traffic as we’re trying to get home to and from work and even on the weekend. So all we tend to see is those negative things. If people actually spoke to those out in the public and said: ‘what do you want, what can we do to improve your way of life or improve the city’? The answers can be quite interesting.

ALBANESE: Oh, that’s right. When you talk to people about what they’re interested in, one of the big issues for example, is the growth in participation in girls and young women’s sport. So that changes what infrastructure you need. That means that we need more dressing rooms put in ovals so that – people are participating now in soccer, in AFL, in rugby league – and that changes the nature of that infrastructure. So that’s a good thing that we’re seeing that participation. But there are implications for ensuring that that’s possible and in terms of good development. There’s lots of examples around the country of, whereby, you’ve had a medium density or even higher density living with open space and places for people to gather that add to that sense of community and quality of life. Be it community gardens, not just in between buildings or within structures, sometimes on top. Places where people can gather and get that feeling of belonging, rather than a feeling of isolation that can happen if you have really bad planning and design that doesn’t have any communal space. We are as beings, people who aren’t just individuals, we do want to have places where we can gather and also community based infrastructure. There’s a big development in my electorate at the moment that is having included in it a new community library, and a meeting place, that is desirable. People are wanting to live there and it’s all sold out well in advance of people who will actually be owner-occupiers. So you can have an increase in population with good outcomes or you can really risk a backlash as well, because people will eventually get a say.

BRAYBROOK: There’s a difference between development and overdevelopment, too.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And it’s got to be appropriate. I mean some of the pressures that are being placed on our natural resources, on local roads and infrastructure, too often one of the things that used to happen was that the easy decision for governments to make was to open up new estates. And without thinking about: ‘Okay, what will go there’? Now here in Brisbane, a good example of that not happening is Springfield. That has the railway station, that has public transport access, has educational facilities, health facilities – including high value research. So you have a range of jobs in that community because some of the planning has gone in there, in advance. Rather than just saying; ‘well we’ll just build houses and worry about how people get there, how people get to work from there and what community infrastructure they have’, after the event.

BRAYBROOK: One of the difficulties that any government has in, whether it be state, or whether it be federal, is trying to divvy up the money as to who may need it. Because everyone thinks they deserve it. From a federal perspective, how does Queensland put its picture across, or put its pitch across to you, I should say – if you were to be the Minister for Infrastructure next year, to get money from the Federal Government, as opposed to WA or South Australia, or any other state wanting money as well? I mean there is only a finite resource isn’t there?

ALBANESE: That’s true. And one of the ways that you’ve got to determine that is by having some objective forum. So it’s not based just upon politics. And, for example, using Infrastructure Australia, using the re-established Major Cities Unit that we would reform, to look at City Partnerships.

When we were last in Government, when we came to office, the average Queenslander got $143 per head, essentially was the infrastructure spend from the Commonwealth. When we left office it was $314.

And that was because Queensland put forward good proposals. They were proposals that made a difference like Redcliffe Rail Line, that’s now up and operating. Cross River Rail, it should have been completed now, except the funding was cut by Tony Abbott, and then it was canned subsequently by Campbell Newman. But that was a project that we negotiated with Anna Bligh’s Government, Campbell Newman’s government kept on with that negotiation, we had an agreement. We put funding in the 2013 Budget and then, because Tony Abbott had said the Federal Government shouldn’t be involved in public transport, that was withdrawn. So that’s five lost years effectively because of that. So we’ve been working constructively with – here in Queensland today – I was in Brisbane just last Friday, I had a meeting with Jackie Trad, The Treasurer. I’m here pretty regularly and we’ve been talking through what the priorities are, and I’ve also met with the Mayor of Brisbane and all of the South East Queensland Mayors, just during the last Parliamentary session about what their priorities are. I think the case with a growing population means that we will see the sort of investment last time we were in, where we did the Ipswich Motorway, The Gateway North, Gateway South, the M1, the Redcliffe Rail Line, Gold Coast Light Rail. We did all of these projects that made a difference and we’ll have more announcements to make in the lead up to the election, whenever that may be, I suspect next May.

BRAYBROOK: Yes. Can we take a quick break and come back and have a chat with you after?

ALBANESE: Sure.

BRAYBOOK: Because I do have to ask a very serious question of you on this Monday afternoon, being a South Sydney supporter. Your new – who’s going to be coaching you in 2019 or 2020? You can’t come to Brisbane without having a chat about Mr Bennett and South Sydney and the NRL as well. So I’ll speak to Anthony Albanese a little bit lighter after the break.

[BREAK]

BRAYBROOK: Anthony Albanese, my guest this afternoon. We’ll get to the lighter stuff shortly. But I do have one serious question to ask you and I asked it to Tanya Plibersek when she was here as well. So I’m asking you the exact same question that I asked her a couple of weeks back. Is the next Federal election, which you say is more than likely in May next year, is it the Labor Party’s to lose? Are you in a position now where, if you just keep your head down and your backside up and work hard, you will be in Government in May next year?

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t think this Government deserves to be re-elected but you can’t take any election for granted and the truth is that Governments have an advantage with incumbency. So we have to earn the win. We can’t just sit back. We have to continue to, what I call lead from Opposition. Which is what we have been doing – making announcements, going out there talking to people about issues – today making an announcement with Anika Wells about an issue that she had identified as a priority for the north side. And we’ll continue to do that with our candidates right around the country.

BRAYBROOK: Now, at twenty-nine past three, is your club in chaos? You’re a South Sydney man. You’re trying to steal Wayne Bennett – you have stolen Wayne Bennett in 2020. Should they switch? Anthony Seibold and Wayne Bennett – should they switch clubs? This is the real nitty gritty now Anthony, to get into the NRL.

ALBANESE: Well, I have to declare an interest. I’m a life member of Souths and I was on the board, including when we got kicked out of the comp and fought our way back.

BRAYBROOK: For those that don’t know, that’s the reason I brought it up. Because I know you were a Souths man.

ALBANESE: I thought it was the one red eye and the one green eye that was the giveaway. Look I think it’s a pity that Anthony Seibold wasn’t prepared to stay for longer. I think he was a fantastic coach in his first year. I was at the Red and Green Ball at the end of the season and he gave an incredible speech. He’s very articulate. He has the faith of the players. And it’s a question of, with him moving on in 2020, whether he can coach in 2019 and similarly with Wayne Bennett and the Broncos. I think they’re all mature and professional enough to be able to do that. I myself think that players or coaches shouldn’t sign in advance. We had a problem last year with Angus Crichton playing for us when he was going to Eastern Suburbs.

BRAYBROOK: He still had a good year though.

ALBANESE: He had a good year, but …

BRAYBROOK: But you reckon it could have been better if he hadn’t signed?

ALBANESE: They were pretty cranky in the Burrow. And I just think there’s something wrong with lining up for a semi-final …

BRAYBROOK: But they’re not breaking contracts, though?

ALBANESE: No, I’m not blaming them. I think the system needs to be looked at. Whereby, I think for the fans watching your players play against a team that they’re going to be playing with next year, there’s something awkward about it. And I understand that players aren’t as loyal as they used to be. And, it does stick in the craw a bit. And it’s an unusual situation for coaches to be …

BRAYBROOK: Very odd, yeah. Well, sort of what’s happened with the West Tigers now, your former coach Michael Maguire, is going there and so …

ALBANESE: That’s right.

BRAYBROOK: Cleary will go to Penrith. So should these two swap? Or do you reckon just leave them for the year and hopefully they’re mature enough, and the players are mature enough and see what happens?

ALBANESE: I’d leave them for the year. I think that is what will happen unless the Broncos move Wayne Bennett on earlier …

BRAYBOOK: They won’t.

ALBANESE: Which they will have to pay him substantial money, and fair enough, he has a contract. Anthony Seibold certainly made the comment that he has a contract that he’ll honour. And I have no doubt that he will give a thousand per cent, and I’d have no doubt that Wayne Bennett, the professional that he is, will give a thousand per cent as well. If it changes and we get Wayne Bennett a bit earlier, then we’ll see how that goes. I think the current team of Souths, I’m at that point where the 2014 team, I think they’ve got another Premiership in them. But it has to be in the next couple of years, because after that you’ve got Greg Inglis and a bunch of – certainly Sam Burgess and some other players will be towards the latter half of their career.

BRAYBROOK: Whatever happens, I’m just having a look here. Round Eight, 2nd of May. Thursday 2 May, Souths versus Brisbane, it’s the Thursday night game away. So it’ll be in Sydney, they will get about seven or eight thousand there to ANZ Stadium, on Thursday night, won’t they?

ALBANESE: Oh come on, they’ll go real well.

BRAYBROOK: And then Friday the 23rd of August, Round 23, back here in Brisbane. No matter what happens with these two coaches, those two games will be huge.

ALBANESE: I have already had an invite to the Brisbane game up here. Certainly one of the big advantages that the Broncos have got is – Suncorp is a fantastic stadium to watch rugby league in. I’ve got to say that AAMI Park in Melbourne is just awesome. You are really on top of the play. And when I was on the board we didn’t play at ANZ Stadium, I’ll say that. It’s a fair way away from the crowd.

BRAYBROOK: Anthony Albanese, thank you so much for spending some time with us this afternoon, appreciate it.

ALBANESE: It’s been a pleasure, thanks for having me in.

BRAYBROOK: And good luck to the Bunnies in Season 2019, there’ll be so much to watch.

ALBANESE: The year of the Rabbitoh.

[ENDS]

Oct 29, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Northgate, QLD – Monday, 29 October 2018

Subjects: Park and ride upgrades, public transport investment, aged pension waiting times, Nauru, Liberal Party chaos, Tony Abbott.

ANIKA WELLS: Good morning everyone and thank you so much for coming to one of the best corners in Australia – the Northside of Brisbane. It’s really good to have Anthony Albanese with us – with Wayne and myself today – to talk about our really important and quite exciting new announcement, which is the upgrade to Northgate Station Park and Ride.

Now I live here on the north side of Brisbane. I live a couple of suburbs over and it’s a really great place to live, to work and to raise a family. We do weekends like no one else. I went to eight events on Saturday because we do a fete, we do a festival, we do a church parish rosella jam, we do it all. But the thing about living in a really great spot is that everybody wants to join you and fair enough. So what we look to from our governments then is big, nation building infrastructure projects that support us where we work, where we live and getting around to both of those things.

So that’s why I’m so happy to be part of a team that’s delivering Cross River Rail, which is a $2.4 billion congestion-busting fund that will improve and expand Queensland rail services in South East Queensland and now today to be part of the team that’s looked at the micro-solutions that will help people in our suburbs twice a day, every day to get home faster. So let me throw to Albo now to give you the detail.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Anika and it’s great to be here with yourself and with Wayne Swan, the current Member for Lilley, for this important announcement. Labor federally will deliver $7 million for the upgrading of parking facilities here at Northgate.

We’ve identified this station with Queensland, with Anika’s lobbying, as one of the absolute priorities right here in South East Queensland. It’s a priority for a range of reasons. We know that some 36 per cent of commuters who travel into the city from this station come from the surrounding suburbs. It is a station which for a range of reasons, not the least of which is it’s the northernmost section for Zone 1, people come to park here to then travel into the City, to work or to recreational activities.

We know that park-and-ride facilities are very important for increasing access to public transport and we know that this is particularly the need in growing cities such as here in Brisbane and that’s why we created a $300 million park and ride fund, which we’re using to fund park-and-ride facilities and upgrades right around the nation in partnership with state government. And we’d expect that the Queensland Government will now be able to plan with the confidence that they have this Federal contribution for the upgrade of these facilities. We know this has been needed …

(interruption from aircraft passing overhead)

One of the big distinctions in Australian politics is Labor federally, which supports public transport – we built, of course, the Redcliffe Rail Line, we committed some $2.4 billion we have on the table for the Cross River Rail project, after we committed to it last time when Wayne was the Treasurer and I was the Infrastructure Minister. The incoming Government of Tony Abbott cut that out and what’s more, in spite of their rhetoric, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have kept that funding at zero. We know that to deal with urban congestion you need to support public transport and in order to increase the access to public transport you need good park and ride facilities. That’s why today’s announcement is so important for residents of the Northside.

WAYNE SWAN: Well thanks Anthony. It’s great to be here with Anika. Just look around the streets here in Northgate. They are absolute crowded with cars that are parking and people are walking up to the station. So this park and ride is desperately needed here right now and it’s terrific to see the commitment of a Federal Labor Government, along with Anika, to building one here in this area.

Traffic congestion has to be dealt with in a number of ways. Park and ride is part of it, but we’re very proud Anthony of the expansion of the Gateway North. Well over $1 billion of money which has expanded Gateway North. That’s one way that traffic is taken off our suburban streets and funnelled around the outside of our community. That’s a huge advantage for this area. But we do need park and ride and we also need the commitment to Cross River Rail so we can have more frequent services over time.

So all of these things together give you a Labor Government committed to dealing with urban congestion and providing effective public transport solutions. So this is a very welcome commitment here. Certainly be welcomed by everyone who’s living in the suburbs around here I know that because crowding on suburban streets as a result of inadequate parking around our train stations is a very significant problem particularly in this area.

ALBANESE: Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: I’ve got one for you Mr Albanese. Is Labor concerned pensioners are forgoing groceries and other essentials as they wait for Centrelink aged pension claims?

ALBANESE: Well it’s quite extraordinary, the news today that people are having to wait beyond the normal period to receive an aged pension. It’s as if the Government didn’t know we have an ageing population. This just shows the inertia that’s there at the heart of the Government. It’s a direct result of the cuts to Centrelink and why we have said we’ll employ more workers at Centrelink – real people who other real people – pensioners – can actually talk to and deal with their problems.

This is symptomatic of a Government that is so divided that they’re incapable of performing basic functions of government. And I think really now that we have this revelation – we have today Malcolm Turnbull out there liking a tweet that Scott Morrison’s numbers have gone down in Newspoll. We have a Government that has shut down Parliament because it was unable to function. We have a Government making announcements without reference to the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Department of Defence about where the Embassy in Israel should be located. We have dysfunction and chaos wherever we look and perhaps it’s time to have a mercy rule in politics, whereby things are so chaotic that the Government just calls an election, because if you can’t actually process a form for a pensioner who has turned pension age – and it’s predictable, it’s not like they jump from being age forty up by twenty-five years. It’s very predictable when the numbers are coming in, in terms of pension age. This is an indictment of a Government that simply is incapable of performing basic functions. The problem here is, is that it’s aged pensioners who’ve contributed to build this nation and make it what it is today, who are being treated with contempt by this Government.

SWAN: I just want to add to that because we’ve had a recent case in my office which demonstrates just how bad this has got. We’ve had pensioners come in who have been waiting months and months and months. This is a deliberate policy of the Government to delay the processing of people’s applications. There’s no question about that. And of course just to add to something that Anthony just said, it’s really ironic isn’t it that Malcolm Turnbull actually prefers Bill Shorten over Prime Minister Morrison? That’s quite extraordinary.

ALBANESE: Anything else?

REPORTER: Is this just the start of this or do you plan to upgrade any other Northside stations?

ALBANESE: We’ll make announcements as they come along. We’ve already made a number of announcements for park-and-ride facilities.

WELLS: In Mango Hill and in Narangba these announcements have already been made, but I’ll trust Albo with the details of the $300 million fund that does exist now for this purpose.

ALBANESE: This is the third of the announcements we’ve made right here on the Northside of Brisbane and we intend to make further announcements. We’re making sure that the work is done. The Queensland State Government of course have responsibility for planning, so we’re working through with them in co-operation; in co-operation as well with local members, certainly Wayne and Anika identified this as an absolute priority. That’s why today you can see why it’s a priority just visiting here.

SWAN: But it’s also complemented by what we’re doing in terms of funding Cross River Rail because another issue around here is the regular services that we have. We need to expand capacity. This is a fantastic commitment from the incoming Federal Labor Government, to expand rail capacity right through suburban Brisbane.

ALBANESE: Cross River Rail, to make this point as well – had Labor still been in office from 2013, we would have looking at the opening of Cross River Rail right now.

SWAN: And better and more regular services right up the line. We did Moreton Bay Rail but it needs to be complemented now by extra capacity right through the metropolitan area and that’s what we’re committed to.

ALBANESE: Thank you.

REPORTER: I’ve got a couple of unrelated questions. How hard is Labor willing to push the Government to get the kids off Nauru?

ALBANESE: We think very clearly we should be listening to the health experts here, and the medical experts are saying that the situation on Nauru is a crisis. What we have is the Government slowly bringing some people from Nauru but not being prepared to actually have a common sense solution such as taking up the offer of New Zealand. What we know from  Senate Estimates, have confirmed, is that the Government doesn’t need special legislation to stop people who might go to New Zealand from coming to Australia. The Minister can do that with the stroke of a pen. That happens now for a range of people who are New Zealand citizens unable to come to Australia. They’re stopped at the point of attempting to board an aircraft in New Zealand. Those lists are available and that evidence was given and confirmed last week. What we have is a Government that again is simply incapable of governing.

REPORTER: Was Tony Abbott right when he said the kids on Nauru get better medical care than people in regional Australian towns?

ALBANESE: The thing about Tony Abbott is that he now appears to be not satisfied with just wrecking the Liberal Party. He’s now intervened in the British Conservative Party in a piece in The Spectator attacking Theresa May’s attitude to the Brexit negotiations. Tony Abbott has nothing constructive to offer Australian politics and I think he should actually listen to some people on his own side and think about his departure, and if not then I think the people of Warringah will get a say in that sometime early next year.

[ENDS]

 

Oct 27, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Tarneit, Melbourne – Saturday, 27 October 2018

Subjects: Park and Ride; Tarneit station; rail upgrades; Coalition chaos and dysfunction; veterans’ affairs; climate change; Nauru.

JOANNE RYAN: I’d like to welcome everybody here this morning to the Federal electorate of Lalor. Of course, we are at the Tarneit station. With me today I have Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese. I have the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, Minister Hutchins, the local member for Sydenham, and Labor State candidate for Tarneit Sarah Connolly today to talk about infrastructure announcements in Victoria.Thank you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Jo and it is great to be back here at Tarneit Station and this of course this has a great deal of sentimentality for me as a Sydneysider because this is the site of the largest-ever Federal public transport investment in Australia’s history since Federation – the Regional Rail Link, a project which has transformed this part of Melbourne at a time when the Federal Government used to fund infrastructure here in Victoria.

We know that in 2017-18 the amount of dollars for infrastructure coming to Victoria from Canberra was 7.7 per cent. We know that Victoria has 25 percent of the country’s population. Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city. Victoria is Australia’s fastest growing state. But Victoria has been doing it alone when it comes to the big projects and I am very proud of this project and this announcement today of $15 million – half shared by the Victorian State Government and a commitment from Federal Labor – to fund half of the Park and Ride upgrade for between an additional 400 to 500 additional parking spots here. It will make an enormous difference.

We support investment in public transport, but we have also got to facilitate access to that public transport. There’s a fantastic active transport component to this station with a lock-up bike facility. But in addition we do need extra parking spaces in part because this has been such a successful project. So we look forward to working with the Victorian Government and one of the things that we have done is to establish this $300 million Park and Ride facility – good for jobs in construction in the short term, but importantly to facilitate access to public transport here in Melbourne but right around our cities right around the nation.

TIM PALLAS: Thanks very much Anthony and can I say you really did make me get just a touch sentimental there remembering what we used to do when we worked together in co-operation – State and Federal Labor – and you will probably get no greater demonstration of the achievements that we were able to deliver when you look at the Regional Rail Link, a vital piece of infrastructure that quite frankly you couldn’t imagine this community being able to function without. But it could function better and as a Government we are pleased to say that we will operate in co-operation with a future Federal Labor Government and out of $150 million Car Parks for Commuters fund we will provide a capacity for an upgrade of 1600 cars parks right across the western suburbs – so whether it is Werribee, Wyndam Vale, Watergardens or Tarneit. Here in Tarneit we are looking to almost a 50 percent increase in the capacity of this car park and we hope to be able to do it of course with a future Federal Labor Government. Just as we built these facilities we can get on and deliver the thing that the community have been most insistent about. They recognise that we are improving the number of train services into the area – 78 extra train services into Werribee, on the Werribee Line, over 300 extra train services on the Geelong line and 31 extra services on the Sunbury Line. We are massively increasing the capacity for the accessibility of the city, but more needs to be done. And that is why we are pleased to work in co-operation with a future Federal Labor Government.

Of course our commitment will stand and we will deliver these projects regardless, because you need ultimately to be able to say who will stand behind the delivery of these things. If we are elected, an Andrews Labor Government will commit sufficient funds out of our $150 million Car Parks for Commuters Fund to ensure that 1600 extra car parks in these four western suburbs stations are delivered. That will see a minimum of 50 per cent increase in capacity across those car parks and indeed, in respect of for example Werribee, it will see a doubling of capacity.  So it really is a demonstration of a Government that recognises that we have done a lot; we promised before the last election that we would add 5000 car parks to the metropolitan network. We in fact delivered 10,000. So our Car Parks for Commuters projects will, if elected, deliver a further 11,000 car parks right across the metropolitan network. This is critically important to ensure that we can give options for people to get out of their cars and make their way to the City and where they need to work in way that is both efficient and also ensures that they can utilise these great facilities in a much more effective way.

ALBANESE: We might just take some questions on this first and then other Federal issues and Tim will handle State.

REPORTER: How much of that $150 million is actually going toward today’s announcement?

PALLAS: Well I did a bit of a back-of-the-envelope calculation on this because, as you would appreciate, we are going to have to go through design processes. I think three of the four stations we’ll be looking at multi-deck options. What we expect therefore is that about 15 per cent of the total $150 million fund will be devoted to the delivery of this project. So it is about $22.5 million.

REPORTER: If you are increasing capacity for parking by 50 percent does that mean that the number of new services will balance out to another 50 per cent?

PALLAS: Well I don’t think there is a direct correlation but I think it is true to say that we have massively increased the services up until now and we recognise that this is a growing community and we are going to have to continue to improve the quality of services. That is why as a Government we have recently announced of course our Western Suburban Rail Upgrade program. That is why we are in the process of recognising that we have to make an investment to improve and upgrade the access to Melbourne Airport using Sunshine as a hub and ultimately electrify the line to Wyndham Vale, looking at the potential for both connecting Wyndam Vale  to Weeibee and might I say making sure that the services to the community as it grows adequately meet their needs.

REPORTER: When will the lines out here be electrified?

PALLAS: Well we have indicated that will be sequenced in a way consistent with the upgrade to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. Melbourne Airport Link has to come first because the electrification of the outer western suburbs will be part of our upgrade both for the Sunshine Station and ultimately for the fast rail to Geelong. So our strategy, which was released about two week ago by the Premier, basically identifies a ten-year package of investment that delivers all of these outcomes.

ALBANESE: Can I make some comments on a couple of Federal issues that are out an about today, including Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister is announcing today a proposal for a new Veterans’ card. Federal Labor welcomes any additional support for veterans. It is unfortunate that when he was Treasurer Scott Morrison presided over a $400 million cut in services including dental and other health services for our veterans. In the lead up to Remembrance Day, on November 11, those commemorations, it is vital that we as a nation remember the sacrifice of veterans and their families. Hence we would support any positive move from the Prime Minister to provide additional assistance to veterans. We’d ask that at this time he consider giving bipartisan support to proposals that we have put forward.

Once again, Labor has been leading from Opposition on issues including calling for a Veterans’ Employment Program, so that we can assist veterans into jobs once they leave the defence forces. Support for families is particularly important at times where that support is needed and also we’ve called for the establishment of a Western Front Fellowship as well.

These are practical issues that we are forwarding. We’d call upon the Government to engage with us in a bipartisan way so that the veterans’ community can have certainty going forward about any support that can be offered; either by government or some of today’s announcement is about companies providing discounts to veterans. We would also call upon the private sector to do its bit to provide support to veterans.

In addition, today, we’ve had a rather extraordinary front page of – not ironic, not a satirical magazine – Tony Abbott calling for unity amongst Liberal Party members. This is somewhat ironic given Tony Abbott is the great wrecker of Australian politics and has been identified as such by people on his own side. But, not satisfied with wrecking the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott is now intervening in the British Conservative Party over the Brexit issue in order to create division and dysfunction over there in addition to that, which is already there around the Brexit issue. I’d say to Tony Abbott that actions speak louder than words. He said that there’d be no sniping, no undermining when he lost the leadership of the Liberal Party. And he has done nothing but that since.

The Liberal Party, we saw again this week, are a chaotic government. When Scott Morrison said that he didn’t want to be a hokey-pokey Prime Minister, moving to the left, moving to the right, what he really identified is that he is incapable of leading on any issues because of the division and dysfunction that’s there in his Government.

No wonder he described it himself as a Muppet Government. Well today’s Tony Abbott declaration is the Muppet declaration of this particular weekend, but we can look forward to more dysfunction and more chaos in the weeks and months to come. This is why, really, Scott Morrison needs to consider whether in fact he is in a position to govern in the national interest or whether he should be just calling an election.

REPORTER: What do you make of Prince Harry’s speech overnight calling for more action on climate change?

ALBANESE: Well Prince Harry is a part of what everyone knows is the scientific consensus. Prince Harry, it’s not surprising, like Prince Charles who has been a very strong advocate for action on climate change, Prince Harry is showing leadership. It’s a pity that the Morrison Government won’t listen, not just to Prince Harry but, more importantly, to the scientists. We do need to act, we know that the cost of inaction means that down the track it will cost even more, in terms of the economy. But, even more importantly, it will cost more in terms of our environment.

Australia is particularly impacted, the land of drought and flooding, by climate change and extreme weather events. What we need is a Government that is committed to having climate change action. The fact that this Government still doesn’t have an energy policy is quite extraordinary and the fact that Prince Harry has seen fit to intervene in this debate shows that he is someone who cares about the environment. Just as, I pay tribute to the incredible job that he and Meghan Markle have played in the Invictus Games and in raising awareness of the need to look after our veterans and respect them.

REPORTER: There’s a protest in the city today to get children off Nauru. There’s been a bit of rumblings at a Federal level. Is the Government moving fast enough to get those kids off?

ALBANESE: The Government isn’t moving fast enough. They have an agreement, an offer, from New Zealand that has been on the table for a long time. And this week in Senate Estimates we had confirmed, yet again, that it doesn’t need special legislation in order for the Government to essentially stop people coming to Australia who might be settled in New Zealand. They can do it simply by putting people on a list. The fact is that these children, in particular, have been on Nauru and Manus for far too long.

I think that Australians are increasingly concerned with these issues. You can have strong borders without losing our national soul. The fact that children have been on Manus and Nauru for five years is far too long and we should listen to the medical experts. We have doctors saying, speaking of the mental anguish that is being caused and trauma to these children. They haven’t done anything wrong. These are just little kids and they deserve a bit of compassion and common sense. The fact that the New Zealand option is available to the Government today should be taken up.

REPORTER: If you win the next election, what will happen to those children if they’re still on Nauru?

ALBANESE: Well we want them off. We want them off. The fact is that they should be dealt with immediately by this Government. They have options to deal with that. They have the option of New Zealand, which is there. Let’s not talk about what happens to these kids in 2019; we have medical advice saying that they need urgent assistance and the Government should respond to that medical advice.

REPORTER: Nat, just a quick one from you, if that’s all right. How much of an issue is parking at train stations in your electorate?

MEMBER FOR SYDENHAM, NATALIE HUTCHINS: This is the single biggest issue in my electorate at the moment and we see many, many families relying on the need to get a car park. If you have a look at the cars that are in our car parks around stations in the outer western suburbs, you see baby seats, you see backpacks of kids and that’s because they’re working parents who are driving to the station, getting to their job, coming home, needing their cars to go straight to picking up their kids. And that’s why the car parking issue is so important to working families. But also we are seeing unprecedented growth in the outer west across all the way from Wyndham Vale across to Calder Park and we’ve got to keep up. This is a fantastic announcement today; 500 new car parks in my area is going to be an absolute game changer for people that commute into the city every day.

REPORTER: Will it be enough to cater for that extreme growth we’re seeing?

HUTCHINS: We’re going to have to keep planning and certainly keep pace with the new estates that are going in, but this is a great step forward for people in the western suburbs

REPORTER: How much does it affect people’s ability to actually work if they can’t park at a train station?

HUTCHINS: It is about that balance for them between work and family, I think is the really important issue. Quite often people say, “well why can’t people just get on buses and go to the station or ride their bike?’’ Well if in fact they’ve got responsibilities after work to pick up kids from childcare, school, after school care, they need their cars and they need to be able to park them safely during the day close to a station. Thanks.

Oct 26, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC with Tim Shaw – Friday, 26 October 2018

Subjects: High Speed Rail; drought; Luke Foley; Governor-General; Julia Gillard; tennis.

TIM SHAW: Now the Liberals and Nationals Government in New South Wales have committed every cent of the proceeds, under the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, to spend in regional NSW backing big projects. Including a very fast train between Canberra and Sydney. I have to ask whether this fast rail link between Canberra and Sydney being back on the agenda, is it really going to happen? We’ve been talking about this since 1967 and a bloke that talked about it a lot in 2013, of course, is my next guest – The Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Mr Anthony Albanese the Member for Grayndler. Albo, welcome back.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to talk to you, Tim.

SHAW: Is it good – is this right – are you and John Barilaro and I, going to be on a very fast train any time soon from Canberra to Sydney?

ALBANESE: Well, I certainly hope that there’s a very fast train, not just from Canberra to Sydney, but right down the east coast. The first viable link we found in the study was Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra, but the study that we undertook in two stages, in the lead up to 2013, said that there’s essentially two components to it. One is the big inter-capital city routes from Sydney to Melbourne and Sydney to Brisbane and of course, Sydney and Melbourne at one stage was the world’s highest number of passengers by air travel, so there’s certainly the potential demand there. And if you could do it under three hours then that effectively is quicker when you’re taking the time into account – all the time waiting for the plane travelling to airports.

But the thing that really lifted it up was the regional economic development, including the Sydney to Canberra route. So I think it certainly is viable but it needs something other than good intentions and that’s why the committee that I had appointed included Tim Fisher from the National Party and included a former National Party Deputy Prime Minister, a genuine train enthusiast, that included Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia. It was heavily weighted towards an economic analysis of viability. It said that you had to create an authority that would coordinate this, preserve the corridor, make sure that it got on with the planning that’s required across the different jurisdictions, both local and state government. And I’ve had a Private Member’s Bill – I reintroduced it again just last Monday before the Parliament, to do that.

SHAW: That is good news. Now, a couple of things that we need to consider here. Luke Foley, the Leader of the Labor Party in NSW, he’s put a lazy $5 million down. If his Government – his Opposition is elected, he is saying $5 million to boost Andrew Barr, the Labor Chief Minister’s request for a faster link using the existing track. Now Andrew Constance is a bit busy trying to clean up that problem with light rail up there in Sydney. But here’s the question, how very fast is this very fast train, if it’s got to stop eight times on the road on the line from Canberra to Sydney? It’s got to stop at Goulburn, it’s got to stop at Bowral, where do we go to from there? Do we run a tunnel under the seat of Grayndler? What happens after Bowral to get it into Sydney Central Station?

ALBANESE: Well, that’s right. That’s really faster rail, rather than High Speed Rail. High Speed Rail was envisaged to have – the study that we have would be a dedicated line rather than trying to fix the existing line. And there’s no doubt in the short term that you could do some things to fix the existing route between Canberra and Sydney, that sees people choosing to go by bus rather than by train, because the bus is faster. But what you would have is essentially a stop at Southern Highlands, a stop on the outskirts of South-West Sydney, but that was all that was envisaged. But it would also envisage direct routes, that is, no stops between Sydney and Canberra as well, which would be well under an hour. And that would make an enormous difference, it would transform Canberra. Because what it would do is change the economics of businesses being located in our national capital. If you could be located under an hour from the CBD of Sydney, which is very competitive, much better indeed for some of the outer suburbs of Sydney. I live in Marrickville which is pretty close to the airport, I have to allow three quarters of an hour if I’m driving into the city.

SHAW: Well that great Majura Parkway that you and the ACT Government built, of course, we’ve got Stephen Byron there at the Canberra Airport, he’s made an infrastructure capacity to be able to have a very fast train station there. Is that the kind of far-sighted thinking we need? Secondly, we had Mike Kelly – Dr Mike Kelly –  the Member for Eden-Monaro, he said: ‘Tim the value capture is a great idea but we’ve got a lot of land acquisition, could be up to $1 billion to get that corridor for the very fast train track to run along the Hume Highway.’ There’s a lot of dough attached to this, Albo?

ALBANESE: There is, which is why you’d need to get that planning started. And one thing that we know is that the more that it’s delayed – I’m very confident that it will happen, if you look overseas at Europe, in our own region. Australia is indeed the only inhabited continent that won’t have High Speed Rail in a few years’ time. It’s being built in South America, North America. It’s being been built in Africa. So we need to, I think, plan now; if we do that then the cost is cheaper. Infrastructure Australia have certainly pointed towards that as a priority. They’ve been very supportive of the project and common sense tells you that because we do have an advantage for a change. Usually it’s a disadvantage the fact that our population is concentrated in that small area on the East Coast. But that concentration of population is what makes it viable and you can get some value capture out of the growth in regional cities. But the truth is, it will also require a commitment from government and the report made that very clear. Always be aware of people who say you can do something for nothing.

SHAW: Well, if you were in government today would you be committing to this very fast train? The Government led by your Leader Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: We would. And we’d create the authority, we had that in place at the time of the last election. We had $54 million allocated for the authority to begin its work. And that was cut by Tony Abbott when he got elected and it hasn’t been replaced. So there’s been some musings from time to time from the Federal Government, but essentially we’ve had five lost years and I know that has been a cause of much frustration from the people who worked on the report.

SHAW: Yeah, we’ve got Labor Premiers coming with their colleagues from states and territories to the summit today to be held at Old Parliament House. We’ve got the Prime Minister whacking $5 billion on the table. Anthony Albanese, this is the drought relief plan going forward, ironic that there was no word ‘drought’ in the 2015 White Paper. Is this Government on the right track? Michael McCormack, the Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, $5 billion, a lot of money, will it fix the problem?

ALBANESE: Well look, we will work constructively with the summit and with any proposals that come out of it. It is a pity that the Government had a White Paper on these issues without mentioning drought, when it comes to agriculture. But Joel Fitzgibbon is working very hard. He’s someone who is really connected with people in rural and regional Australia.

SHAW: Yeah, your old mate Luke Foley is in a bit of trouble over these allegations. Front page of The Daily Telegraph about alleged harassment of an ABC journalist. Should Luke Foley get on the radio and dispel these allegations today? He refused to do so yesterday on Sydney radio. What’s your advice to your mate Luke Foley, the Leader of the Labor Party in New South Wales?

ALBANESE: My advice to him is to hang in there, in terms of – what we have is, I think, it’s quite extraordinary that there is so much publicity without there being a specific allegation made by anybody.

SHAW: Brought down the leadership of John Brogden. We know there was some subsequent mental health issues there. Is Luke on track to become the next Premier or is he going to step aside for someone else?

ALBANESE: Luke is on track to be the next Premier. He’s doing a fantastic job. And the fact that this is a desperate tactic by the Coalition Government, under Parliamentary Privilege with vague smears; there isn’t even a specific allegation.

SHAW: Yeah, take it outside is what Luke said yesterday. A quick one on Governor-General. What a great man, Sir Peter Cosgrove, he’ll leave that role 27 March. Do you support the idea of Sir Angus Houston being the next Governor-General of Australia?

ALBANESE: Well, that’s not a decision for me to make.

SHAW: Good bloke, though.

ALBANESE: I would say about Sir Angus Houston, he is a fantastic Australian. He is a real gentleman. He undertakes every job he’s ever been given with class and dignity and he’s someone that I appointed as Minister to head Airservices Australia and I’m very proud of that appointment.

SHAW: Yeah, absolutely. They’re looking for new board members at the ABC. Kevin Rudd is looking for a job, do you reckon he’d make a good contribution as a board member in the ABC?

ALBANESE: I think Kevin’s doing a great job as head of the Asia Society in New York and as someone who is talking about some of the really big issues – of the rise of China what the implications are between the relationship between China and the US, as the two great superpowers. And he’s someone who, I think, does Australia a great deal of credit on the international stage.

SHAW: What a class act is Julia Gillard, what a beautiful portrait and seeing that dignity by which she returned to the Parliament for the first time – very moving, Albo?

ALBANESE: Oh look it’s a fantastic portrait. It’s very different from all of the others and I think it does capture – I listened to quite a wonderful interview by the artist who spoke about the amount of time that he had to spend with her, to really get to know her and to capture her in that portrait. It’s a portrait that captures her dignity, her humility and I think it’s a wonderful addition to a building that I very much love, Parliament House.

SHAW: Who won the tennis by the way? You and your Davis Cup partner John Alexander, was it the pollies over the press in the tennis?

ALBANESE: We won. It helps when you do have a Davis Cup Captain, a former Davis Cup Captain on your team.

SHAW: My oath.

ALBANESE: But Kevin Hogan from the National Party and Peter Khalil, we make up the pollies team, so it’s very much cross party. But it was it was a very close match. It was just a bit of fun that we have and one of the things about parliamentary sport is that a lot of money is raised for charity over the years and it’s a good thing.

SHAW: Thanks for being there, Albo. We appreciate it.

ALBANESE: Nice to talk to you, Tim.

Oct 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Subjects: South Australian accent; Wentworth; negative gearing; National Party.

HOST: Meanwhile, back in Australia our two next guests – working hard, Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you. I almost resigned from this segment, when I rang in they thought I was Christopher Pyne.

HOST: Is that right?

PYNE: Moving up in the world, good luck to you.

ALBANESE: I’m offended.

HOST: Does that happen very often to you, Albo?

ALBANESE: Never! Never ever.

HOST: You are quite different blokes, aren’t you?

PYNE: He’s starting to take on all my mannerisms and voice; he’s becoming a South Australian.

HOST: They don’t speak very elegantly, the Sydney people, do they, Chris?

PYNE: But obviously Anthony is learning, which is great.

ALBANESE: I’m learning to speak properly.

HOST: He’ll be saying ‘dance’ and ‘vase’ soon.

PYNE: Yes, and ‘graph’.

HOST: Graph, the graph.

PYNE: And ‘pool’ and ‘school’ rather than pool and school.

HOST: Different accents. So if you read some of the commentary this week, you might believe the seat of Wentworth was actually situated on another planet. What do you make of the result on the weekend, Christopher Pyne? And is there any chance that it will be replicated or any of the sentiment is, across the rest of Australia?

PYNE: Well, I think it was entirely expected because the local member in Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, was very popular in his electorate and they were very upset with the way he was replaced as Prime Minister and they wanted to make their annoyance well known. It doesn’t mean that will be the result at the general election, and there’s lots of examples of by-elections that have been lost by governments and then subsequently returned the following election. Like Canberra, like the seat in Wollongong that was lost to the Greens by Labor during the Keating Government. So these kinds of things do happen. The important thing is, as I said to The Advertiser yesterday, politicians have got to stop talking about politics like it’s a parlour game – which is what Labor is desperate for us to do. And we have to talk about what’s important to people, which is what the Government is trying to deliver and has been delivering, which is good economic growth and jobs, good social reforms that people want to see happen, to increase equality and compassion in our community and that’s exactly what we’re getting on with.

HOST: What about your take out from it, Albo? Because obviously you can take a sort of perverse delight in the Liberals misery, understandably. But the Labor vote was pretty abysmal, wasn’t even 10 per cent, was it?

ALBANESE: Labor voters are smart and they knew that Labor couldn’t win the seat and they voted strategically to send the Government into minority, which the Government itself said would create economic instability before the by-election. And now they’re saying: ‘nothing to see here’. And the problem with the analysis that says it’s all about Malcolm Turnbull – I agree that in part it certainly was about anger about his removal as a local member – but the problem with that analysis is, that should have been consistent. Whereas what happened was that the Liberal vote got worse as it got closer to the by-election. That is, further away from the coup. And that’s because the Government had a debacle of a week in the lead up to the by-election.

PYNE: That’s not true, actually.

ALBANESE: It is true. You look at the postal votes, you look …

PYNE: I can tell you the polling.

ALBANESE: You look at the postal votes as they’re coming in, instead of being around two thirds of the vote; yesterday’s results were just 55 for the Coalition when they needed 70. The fact is the prepolls; the Government did better in people who voted early than they did on the day. And that’s because decisions like floating moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, voting for: ‘It’s OK to be White’ – all of those things were diabolical in the electorate.

PYNE: I can tell you that on the Monday before the by-election. Our polling had us at 41 per cent two-party preferred and we’ll end up at about 49 per cent two-party preferred. So in fact in the last week we pulled the vote back when people realised in Wentworth that we could actually lose the seat or that we were going to lose the seat. But I do think people are thoroughly sick of talking about all these internals, this inside the bubble conversation in Canberra. People want us to get on with the job and that’s what we’re trying to do with economic growth and new jobs and projects like the defence industry in South Australia. And I’m sure that Labor and the Press Gallery are desperate for us to talk about ourselves. We’ve got to stop it and get on and talk about new things. Wentworth was lost; we know that, that by-election is over. We’re getting on with it now.

HOST: To Chris’ point …

ALBANESE: But there is still no policy on climate change, there is still no energy policy.

PYNE: That’s rubbish. We have reduced our carbon emissions dramatically in the last five years.

ALBANESE: Thanks to the renewable energy target, but the trend now is going …

PYNE: Well, I didn’t interrupt you.

ALBANESE: You did actually, Christopher.

HOST: All right, guys.

PYNE: No, no. You went on for a very long period of time.

ALBANESE: Which you interrupted.

PYNE: Because you went on for far too long.

HOST: Albo, when Kerryn Phelps takes her seat is the first thing, or one of the first things that Labor does, to move a no-confidence motion in the Government, to see if you can push the Government over?

ALBANESE: Well, we’ll wait and see what we do on the day. And I probably won’t foreshadow it on your show, weeks in advance, as much as you would like me to do in a debate with the Leader of the House of Representatives. Nice try.

HOST: Doesn’t it risk perpetuating the point that Chris was making which is politics as a parlour game? You know surely the Government should last until next year, shouldn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well we’re not responsible for the chaos, David, they are. This is completely self-inflicted. There is no reason why Malcolm Turnbull should have been removed. I used to think he was very competitive. They were on 49 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, which if you look at what’s happened in previous elections is actually a winning position for a Government at this stage in the cycle. And Malcolm Turnbull had led on 58 consecutive Newspolls as preferred Prime Minister.

HOST: Albo, far be it for I to introduce policy into a conversation about politics, but is it giving you any pause at the moment – what’s happening to housing prices on the eastern seaboard, regarding your negative gearing policy? There is some modelling that’s been done by the Master Builders Australia, that’s on the front page of The Australian this morning. That says over the first five years of the negative gearing cutting plan there would be 42,000 dwellings fewer built at a value of some $12 billion to the construction industry. Is it time to pump the brakes and have a rethink here?

ALBANESE: Well the MBA should be embarrassed by this. It doesn’t model our policy. Our policy, of course, is grandfathered. So it’ll have no impact on anyone who currently has a negatively geared property. The other thing it will do is continue to allow future negative gearing for new property. That is new construction. It will boost supply. And that’s why, when I’ve met with the construction sector, they are supportive of the policy because they know that it will actually boost supply and therefore will boost jobs.

HOST: Setting aside the MBA then. Just the direction the prices are heading in …

PYNE: I’m still here by the way. I’m still on the radio.

HOST: You’ll get a shot in a second. The direction that prices are heading in, on the eastern seaboard, does that give you any pause?

ALBANESE: Well, no. Because what is occurring is essentially what was always going to happen which is a more sensible approach to price. It was out of control. You can’t continue to spiral. You can’t have property prices increase by almost double figures on an annual basis into the never never. Because eventually the market works to an equilibrium. What our policy will do is increase supply which is good policy. It will stop as well, the situation whereby a first home buyer trying to get into the market has to compete with – on an unfair playing field, compete with an investor who can afford to bid more because it’s going to be a write-off on their tax.

HOST: Hey Chris, just to your point, I know that the default position of the Libs is to say that you never want to comment on what’s happening within the National Party …

PYNE: No, I’m not commenting on that, because you’ve just allowed Anthony Albanese to give an unpaid political advertisement for the last five minutes.

HOST: You’re allowed to respond to that.

ALBANESE: You’re so precious.
.
PYNE: You’re not now shifting to another internal conversation.

ALBANESE: You’re so precious.

HOST: No, Chris.

PYNE: And now he’s interrupting again.

HOST: Hang on.

ALBANESE: Harden up.

PYNE: Not fair.

HOST: Chris, you’re more than welcome to respond to that.

PYNE: Not fair.

HOST: You’re more than welcome to respond to what Albo just said, obviously.

PYNE: Well, I would. Because the Labor Party’s policy on negative gearing will actually smash house prices and put up rent. And everyone knows that. And the Master Builders have put out the modelling because it’s true. It’s not party political modelling and Anthony’s decided to shoot the messenger, rather than actually focus on the issue. And the issue is that Labor wants to take us back to the 1970s, not just on industrial relations, as we saw yesterday with industry wide bargaining being their new policy. But they also want to have five new taxes. One of them is to increase Capital Gains Tax on everything by 50 per cent and the other is to abolish negative gearing as we know it. Which we know will push up house prices. Sorry, push down house prices and increase rents. And that’s bad for renters and it’s bad for people who own houses and this will be a red hot-button issue at the next federal election.

ALBANESE: Except that’s not our policy.

HOST: The final question I was going to ask you, Chris. Are you confident or do you believe that the National Party are going to heed your message about not focusing on yourselves? Because it sounds like the leadership dramas that we’ve seen with you guys are about to be replicated there.

PYNE: Well, I’m focusing on policy and I’m focusing on good outcomes in defence and defence industry, on national security, on economic security. We’ve created over a million jobs since 2013. A record number of jobs. And we’re focusing on growth. We have growth at 3.7 per cent, which is higher than any other country in the G7. The next election will be fought around tax. It’ll be fought around the industrial relations wrecking ball that Labor wants to put through the economy, and I’m not focusing or commenting on internal party matters.

HOST: Good stuff. Christopher Pyne, Anthony Albanese, thanks for joining us.

ALBANESE: See you next week.

[ENDS]

Oct 24, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra – Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Subjects: Government dysfunction.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is a government that is just looking for things to fight over. Now they are fighting over whether Malcolm Turnbull should attend an oceans conference in Indonesia. This is just pathetic and it comes at a time whereby this is a government that simply doesn’t have policies in key areas. They don’t have an energy policy. What they have is platitudes. Platitudes aren’t policies. Policies are things that change the economy, that drive that change through.

This is a government that has no idea why they are there. They are at war with themselves and consistently what we are seeing is that Scott Morrison can’t move either in a progressive direction or to the Right because his party is so divided that they have rendered him incapable of serious policy response.

Oct 22, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 3AW, Neil Mitchell Program – Monday, 22 October 2018

Subjects: Wentworth by-election, Kevin Rudd book.

NEIL MITCHELL: Anthony Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning, Neil.

MITCHELL: Do you accept you’re both on the nose?

ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly there’s no reason for complacency in this result on Saturday for Labor and we’re not complacent, but –

MITCHELL: But are you on the nose, as well?

ALBANESE: No.

MITCHELL: Did you run dead?

ALBANESE: Very clearly the voters of Wentworth got a message each and every day including from the Prime Minister that there were two possible outcomes on Saturday. One was the Liberal Party. The second was a minority Parliament with Kerryn Phelps being elected. So I’m sure a lot of people who would normally vote Labor heard that message. People in Melbourne would have heard that message.

MITCHELL: So you reckon people – Labor voters – voted for Phelps just to make a point?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s tactical voting occurred, quite clearly. We had a very good candidate on …

MITCHELL: But you had an 11 per cent swing against you. Look, I know that’s nowhere near as bad as the Government. But it’s the message I’m getting, and you must be getting it too. It’s a pox on both your houses.

ALBANESE: Well I think quite clearly here that the pox was on the Liberal Party. We’re talking here about –

MITCHELL: They got most of the pox –

ALBANESE: We’re talking here about …

MITCHELL: But you got a dose of it yourself.

ALBANESE: I’ll give you the big tip here, Neil. If you live in Point Piper –

MITCHELL: Which I don’t.

ALBANESE: – And you live in more expensive real estate than Manhattan or Tokyo, chances are you’re not a Labor stalwart and so …

MITCHELL: Yeah, but you’re still 11 per cent down on last time.

ALBANESE: Well, this time there were 16 candidates. This time you had a very high profile, progressive, Independent and it’s not surprising at all.

MITCHELL: So no lesson for Labor in this?

ALBANESE: Well, I think there is certainly – not in this, but in general – yes there has been a trend towards Independents and third parties away from major parties. That has happened for a period of time. Yes Labor has to take that into account and yes we have to try harder to get the primary vote of people. We know that both major parties have had a primary vote in every poll except for one, below 40. And we need to work harder on that. That’s something I’ve said very publicly for a long period of time.

MITCHELL: I agree with you, so how do you do it? How do you actually re-engage people?

ALBANESE: Well, I think people want us to be talking about the issues that they’re concerned about. About education, about health, about the fact that their wages haven’t increased, about job insecurity –

MITCHELL: So why aren’t you?

ALBANESE: Well, we are. And that’s one of the reasons why I think people will be –

MITCHELL: So why is Bill Shorten on the nose?

ALBANESE: Well, I think Neil that it takes a brave man to, after Saturday’s results against the Government, to suggest that this is a bad outcome for Labor. The message about Saturday is about the Government. It’s about the deposing of an elected Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull.

MITCHELL: I agree. I agree.

ALBANESE: And the fact that Scott Morrison can’t say why, that’s why people are angry. I handed out on Saturday.

MITCHELL: No, that’s nonsense. We know why they got rid of him …

ALBANESE: Because they could.

MITCHELL: Because they thought they had a better chance of winning. Why did you get rid of Julia and Rudd, same thing?

ALBANESE: It’s a bit different here, Neil. Because one of the things that we’ve seen happen … look, on Friday night there – the Bellevue Hill Branch of the Liberal Party held a forum with Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, Andrew Hastie from Western Australia – travelling over the night before a by-election, in the electorate of Wentworth. They were having a forum, a sort of hard-right forum about how to stop the left. These are people who never saw Malcolm Turnbull as being a legitimate member of the Liberal Party.

MITCHELL: Look, I’m not arguing that this was good for the Liberal Party. But I’m arguing that it wasn’t particularly good for your people either. It was the strength to the Independents. You were handing out how-to-vote cards on Saturday. Were you handing out Kerryn Phelps ones or Labor ones?

ALBANESE: I was certainly handing out Labor ones, as I have been doing since I could walk.

MITCHELL: Of course. Now look, you’re former Leader of the House. You want an early election, right?

ALBANESE: Well, I think the Government says there should be an early election.

MITCHELL: Do you want an early election?

ALBANESE: Well, I think that if the Government can’t govern and there’s no indication, frankly, that they can govern when they had 76. When they’ve got 75, I think, in the Government’s own words they’ve said this would create insecurity. Not just political instability, but economic instability as well.

MITCHELL: You are making me look stupid.

ALBANESE: I could never do that.

MITCHELL: You are. In the first half hour I said I want to talk to Anthony Albanese, there is no spin. And you’re sitting there like Shane Warne. Do you want an early election or not?

ALBANESE: Of course I want an election, because any time there’s an election you can win.

MITCHELL: An early election?

ALBANESE: Well I think the Government itself, is what I’m saying –

MITCHELL: What’s that, Shane?

ALBANESE: No, you have to listen to what they were saying last week.

MITCHELL: But I’m asking you. Do you?

ALBANESE: That’s the problem here. I, in general, think that governments should serve a full term. That’s my starting point. My second point is, though, if governments can’t govern, then give the people a say.

MITCHELL: So are we in that position?

ALBANESE: I think we are.

MITCHELL: We are. So you want an early election?

ALBANESE: Yes.

MITCHELL: We’ve got there. Can you force one? Former Leader of the House, tactically, can you force one?

ALBANESE: Well, this mob have lost votes when they had an absolute majority. So we’ll wait and see whether they’re capable of governing. Last week was a debacle. We had the issue of voting for the Pauline Hanson ‘it’s okay to be white’ motion – and they’ve (inaudible) saying it was an administrative error. We had foreign policy and the location of our Embassy in Israel being determined by a by-election, not determined on its merits or on the national interest. We had absolute chaos from the other side of politics. And we had, remarkably, I don’t know – I thought I had seen everything with Malcolm Turnbull being knocked off –

MITCHELL: And Julia. And Kevin.

ALBANESE: – But the idea that you can bring back Barnaby Joyce as the National Party is just bizarre, but that’s what they’re contemplating.

MITCHELL: What could you use to put the Government in a position to force an election? Is it the kids on Nauru? Is it climate change? Is it Peter Dutton – referring Peter Dutton? What can you use? Tactically – you’re the tactical expert. What do you do?

ALBANESE: The only thing that ensures there can be an election has to be called is a motion of no-confidence. The Government has guarantees of confidence from Bob Katter and from the Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, so at this stage they have a capacity to do that.

MITCHELL: So that means you can’t force an election?

ALBANESE: Well that’s right if they stick to where they are know. But if the Government has another week like they had last week, I’ve got to say that some of their own side might decide that it’s too much. We’ve already got the Deputy Speaker sitting on the cross benches and not voting with the Government, and that happened last week – Kevin Hogan, the Member for Page – and we have I think a state of absolute chaos. We have no energy policy from the Government, not because they were going to lose it on the floor of the House, but because they were going to win with Labor’s support.

MITCHELL: Will you accept though – I raise Bill Shorten – and yes look it is a better result for Labor than it is for Liberals certainly in Wentworth. but Bill Shorten’s on the nose. His popularity is pretty ordinary. Even for an Opposition Leader. You’ve got to agree with that surely?

ALBANESE: Well no I don’t agree with that. You won’t be surprised by that. But also you look at the …

MITCHELL: How do you justify it though?

ALBANESE: Well you look at the team that Bill Shorten leads and we’ve been ahead in Newspolls for a long period of time now.

MITCHELL: You’d walk it in wouldn’t you? You’d walk in an election.

ALBANESE: Well I don’t think any election is a walk-in. Once an election’s called it’s a brand new ball game and any political party that’s complacent and taking the Australian people for granted will be punished accordingly. But we’re working very hard. We’re leading from Opposition on a range of issues including tax policy, education policy, health policy, infrastructure policy and we’ll continue to do so.

MITCHELL: Kevin Rudd’s book I’ve been, for my sins, reading it at the weekend. You come out of it all right. I mean not surprising Wayne Swan, Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten all get a bit of a belting. Were you aware of this so-called ‘Kirribilli deal’ that you’d done with Julia Gillard to hand over the prime ministership to her?

ALBANESE: No I wasn’t.

MITCHELL: You should have been. It’s a pretty ugly thing to do isn’t it, to be raffling the prime ministership like that? I mean it happened under Hawke and Keating. It’s happened under various governments. It’s pretty ugly stuff isn’t it?

ALBANESE: I haven’t read the book. I read David Speers book. I’m launching it at 10 o’clock on the very recent coup and it’s a very good read – On Mutiny.

MITCHELL: Well I’m sure you will read Kevin Rudd or at least the index. I just give you a test to it, Luke Hilakari from the Trades Hall Council has tweeted this today in Victoria: ‘Hey Kevin Rudd how about you shut up for a bit? You had your turn. You blew it. Nobody likes a wrecker. You’re embarrassing yourself. How about you give us all a break?’ You agree with him?

ALBANESE: Look I have no intention of getting into an argument about things that happened in the past.

MITCHELL: But is he damaging you? You mightn’t have read the book, but you will have read all the stories.

ALBANESE: I have no intention of getting into that as I said.

MITCHELL: He’s your mate.

ALBANESE: As I said during one of the disputes on our internals – I like fighting Tories, that’s what I do. And that’s what I will continue to focus on.

MITCHELL: But you were his deputy? He’s one of your mates. And he’s out there damaging Labor. Wouldn’t you just pick up the phone – as they did to Malcolm Turnbull and he wouldn’t listen – why wouldn’t you pick up the phone and say: ‘Kevin hose it down a bit’.

ALBANESE: Well I have not read the book.

MITCHELL: But you’ve read the stories, the reports of the book, haven’t you?

ALBANESE: I don’t have the book.

MITCHELL: Have you read the reports of the book?

ALBANESE: I have not read today’s newspapers.

MITCHELL: Yesterday’s newspapers. Come on.

ALBANESE: I read something on the Saturday. I’ve been very busy.

MITCHELL: What is it with ex-Prime Ministers? They are all bitter and nasty.

ALBANESE: Well people like to put things – their versions of things – their version of history. Julia’s done it. Kevin’s done it. John Howard did it.

MITCHELL: Well it wasn’t too bitter. Neither was Julia in fairness.

ALBANESE: They’ve all done it. And David Speers book is much more interesting because it’s about events of the last two months that are still ongoing.

MITCHELL: (inaudible) … Well good to talk. Will you be going to the rallies this week? The union rallies?

ALBANESE: Mate, I’m in Parliament.

MITCHELL: Oh are you? Bad luck.

ALBANESE: I’m in Parliament so I’ll be here in Canberra. We’ve got actually a very good thing happening this morning – the apology. That will be a very sombre occasion and I just hope that the victims of abuse get some small level of comfort from the fact that the nation is apologising to them.

MITCHELL: I agree. Thank you for speaking to us. You happy there was no spin in there?

ALBANESE: My pleasure Neil. It is always good to talk to you.

MITCHELL: No spin?

ALBANESE: Never.

MITCHELL: (laughter) … Anthony Albanese, senior Labor frontbencher, former Leader of the House.

[ENDS]

 

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

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